Sustainable You

Sustainability and the Built Environment

4900/6900 Wk 8: The Big 3

Response due at the beginning of class March 1.

CLIMATE CHANGE, GREENHOUSE GASES AND GLOBAL WARMING

Alright, for us to begin looking at built environment issues, we must address a couple “hot” (hahaha, that is me being punny about global warming) terms in the sustainability discussion these include climate change, greenhouse gases, and global warming. My sense is that there is a lot of misinformation on these topics so this class will try to make sense objectively of these topics since they really are at the core of many issues relating to sustainability in the built environment. Step one is to look at climate change:

1) Read through the EPA’s Climate Change website for KIDS. I personally prefer sites like this for kids because I find them easier to understand than the EPA Climate Change when I’m first looking at a new topic. Although, once you look through the kids site, you may find the adult EPA site ultimately more informative.

1a) Do you think you should question whether info from the EPA is objective and the best source for this type of info? Or do you think the EPA has ulterior motives for transferring information to the American public?

3) In your own words explain the difference between the three concepts: (a) Greenhouse Effect, (b) Climate Change, and (c) Global Warming.

4) What has happened in your personal experience that relates to climate change and/or global warming, if any?  Make sure on this question that you try to critically apply if your experience in your perception is climate change or global warming.  For example, I grew up in Tucson, Arizona and we used to average 11 inches of rain a year, not much rain in general but it used to be enough to sustain the desert. Now Tucson gets about 3″ of rain per year and this is really affecting the wildlife, plant life and human inhabitants consistently for a number of years – the lack of water over this long period of time is problematic.  I know this is part of a cyclical weather pattern related to climate change, but I have a sense it might be global warming that is causing some of the changes since they are so extreme and damaging the natural habit (as in concerns about animal extinction, etc…). I also think it might be partially global warming related  because I personally believe that some of these drastic weather pattern changes may be caused by human activities that influence climate change (which is the basic definition of global warming).

5) How will your field/discipline have an impact on climate change in the next 20 years? Both positive and negative aspects are welcome.

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Filed under: Sustainable Design

22 Responses

  1. Katherine Holland says:

    1.After reading through the EPA’s Climate Change website for kids and the EPA’s regular Climate Change website, I do not question whether the EPA is objective and the best source for the type of information being projected. The EPA stands for the Environmental Protection Agency and climate change, greenhouse gases, and global warming are all impacts on the environment. I feel that the EPA is a great source for transferring information to the American public. The EPA is a trustworthy source of information that is helpful in getting people’s attention to the topic. The whole purpose of the EPA is to project human health and the environment therefor I do not think there are ulterior motives to getting information out about the areas of concern.

    2. While greenhouse effects, climate changes, and global warming, al have individual impacts, the terms also relate to eachother and effect eachother in the atmosphere. “The Greenhouse Effect” has to do with heat and the atmosphere. A greenhouse effect occurs when the gases in the Earth’s atmosphere becomes hot and then traps the heat. “Climate Change” relates to the changing climate which can be hot or cold. Climate change and global warming go hand in hand and can be the cause of eachother. “Global Warming” coincides with the greenhouse effect. The term global warming simply means there is an increase in the temperature caused by the greenhouse effect. Many believe that global warming is caused by peoples actions on Earth.

    3.I am from Marietta, Georgia and ever since I can remember we have had to abide by certain water regulations. What I mean by this is everyone in my neighborhood has specific days and times in which they can water their yards, wash their cars at home, etc… The water regulations have effected my personal experiences and relate to climate change. Drought is a significant part of climate change and contributes to the cause of water shortages in areas of the United States. The ongoing drought is also an outcome of global warming because I feel some of the crazy weather patterns are caused by how humans treat their environment and use resources such as water.

    4.Depending on the career path I choose, whether I become a property manager at an apartment or a fitness trainer, I believe my personal impacts on climate change over the next twenty years will be positive ones. I believe that over the next twenty years, more and more information on environmental sustainability and the reduction of climate concerns will be a major topic of discussion. Because of this increasing information available to the public, I will constantly have new ideas on ways to prevent global warming due to climate change and greenhouse gases. Learning about this information is consistently becoming more trendy and will only gain popularity over time. There is no reason for my field/discipline not to have a positive impacts on climate change over time.

  2. Kelsey Savell says:

    1.Because my dream job is to work for the EPA, I may be a little biased answering this question. I assume that any biases the EPA is accused of having I likely have myself. That said, I do believe that any source of information should be scrutinized for accuracy and clarity, including the EPA. However, I know that the EPA gets much of its information about climate change from the IPCC, whose members are many of the leading scientists around the world. I think the IPCC works very hard to not exaggerate climate change and its effects, often choosing to err on the side of caution when attributing changes in climate to anthropogenic causes. Although I do not think the EPA is the best source of information on climate change—I think the IPCC is—I do think it is reliable and can be trusted. I do not think the EPA has any ulterior motives for transmitting this information to the public; their goal is simply to create awareness about the issue.

    2.Greenhouse effect: the cause of global warming and climate change. Heat trapping gasses like carbon dioxide are being produced on a much larger scale today than in the past, largely because of industrial activities. These gasses cause more solar radiation to remain in Earth’s atmosphere, which produces climate change.
    Climate change: the cumulative effects of increased greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, including global warming. Higher temperatures, more droughts, decreased forest sequestration of carbon dioxide, increases in extreme weather events, melting icecaps, and loss of biodiversity are all parts of climate change.
    Global warming: the increase of Earth’s average temperature over many years; a part of climate change. I think it should also be noted that the term “climate change” is favored in the scientific community today not only because it refers to the wide range of effects of increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but also because it has much less political charge.

    3.I saw a news clip a couple of years ago that helped me realize how much of Earth is effected by increases in atmospheric greenhouse gasses… http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video?id=3178279 Species extinction as a result of climate change is an issue I had never bothered to consider until then. It really helped me see how interconnected Earth is—water, air, land, and all living things. Last year’s ice storm is also an example of the effects of climate change. Perhaps counter intuitive—many people tend to think climate change only refers to hot and dry weather—climate change also refers to an increase in extreme weather events such as ice storms, hurricanes, and floods. Summer 2010 was also a record warm for GA, an indication of global warming.

    4.I hope that my field will have a vast impact on climate change in the next 20 years. In general, I hope that I can assist in educating the public about climate change and how it will affect their livelihoods. I also hope to help develop practical solutions to reduce our CO2 footprint and combat its effects. I hesitate to get more specific because we simply cannot predict what will become the most pressing aspect of climate change over the next 20 years—will we still be trying to wean ourselves off our addiction to fossil fuels? Will our biodiversity significantly decrease? Will we have summers with no polar ice? Will sea level rise cause mass migrations inland and the loss of island nations such as Tuvalu (or more locally, the loss of cities we know today like New Orleans and the Chesapeake Bay)?

  3. Adam Nowaczyk says:

    1a) Do you think you should question whether info from the EPA is objective and the best source for this type of info? Or do you think the EPA has ulterior motives for transferring information to the American public?

    I think it’s a bit of a double-sided answer. I’ve previously mentioned my concerns regarding lobbying. I think lobbyists are able to have a lot of influence in our policy decisions in the U.S. Whether they are lobbying congress who appropriates funds and write laws or the president who appoints cabinet positions such as EPA head there is always someone out there who does have an ulterior motive, whether they are able to influence the EPA is a different story.

    The EPA is not infallible, it’s a large bureaucracy, mistakes will be made and miscommunication will happen. They’ve made plenty of mistakes in the past especially in the area of supposed cleanups that were in fact still polluted heavily (see documentary Mann v. Ford about Ford Motor Paint Chemicals dumped into an Indian Reservation in NJ).

    3) In your own words explain the difference between the three concepts: (a) Greenhouse Effect, (b) Climate Change, and (c) Global Warming.

    Greenhouse effect is where the light coming into the earth in the form of heat is not able to escape back out and keep self regulated because of the particulates in the air that trap the light, creating a sort of heat buildup on the planet.

    Climate is a weather pattern. Climate Change is a change in the weather pattern, for example, right now we are experiencing highly unusual weather in GA, usually it is cooler, more snow, etc. The climate has changed (especially this year).

    Global Warming is when the greenhouse effect starts to warm the planet, to a higher temperature than it’s used to. As the planet gets warmer the ocean currents start to change, the ocean currents dictate weather patterns, etc. It’s pretty complex. I think I understand global warming, but perhaps I’m not the best at explaining it.

    4) What has happened in your personal experience that relates to climate change and/or global warming, if any? Make sure on this question that you try to critically apply if your experience in your perception is climate change or global warming.

    I hate hot weather. It seems that every year we have less and less cooler and mild temperatures. I grew up in the Midwest (Michigan, Chicago). I noticed in the early 90s that we started having really damn hot days in the summer, humidity, hot, hot heat, etc. Also in the winters we started having really bad cold spells and snow would just get dumped down on everything. I remember it didn’t used to always be like this. It seemed there was more spread out snowfalls and the climate in the summer usually was mild. In recent times it just seems like that’s become less and less and severe and harsh weather conditions have become more and more.

    5) How will your field/discipline have an impact on climate change in the next 20 years? Both positive and negative aspects are welcome.

    Well, housing seems to be going green, but not fast enough. I think that’s the one positive. People are also becoming better educated about green building and design as well.

    I think we’ll always have consequences of building and waste and electricity. We’re not serious about water consumption and energy conservation which I think are two of the most important things regarding housing. We’re also not serious about new sources of energy, we seem to think oil can last forever and that somehow coal is a clean substitute (clean coal is one of the most stupid things I’ve ever heard… that’s lobbying for you!).

    I think solar and wind power should be invested in more heavily. The oil companies are going to string us along until the last gallon, and then they’ll probably corner the market on new technologies… but not if we beat them to it.

    Our society or civilization isn’t much different than any other before it, except we have energy and industry. I think we can sustain as a society and culture, but I’m not very optimistic about it.

    Just as a side note I think implementation of public transit into more urban areas is key. I hate driving. I’d rather sit with my headphones on and stare out the window than drive in traffic any time.

  4. Megan Greene says:

    1. After I looking through the website for kids and the regular website, I learned a lot of what seemed to be very reliable information. I do not question whether the EPA is objective or the best source for information that is stated. I think that just the fact that they have a website for kids to understand how our world is changing shows their true priority. The websites are fairly easy to navigate and display important information. They seem to truly want everyone to be knowledgeable on this subject. The general EPA website states their motto: “Protecting the Health of Every American”. It appears pretty clear to me that the EPA does not have ulterior motives. It looks like they genuinely care about citizens’ well being.
    3. The terms greenhouse effects, climate change, and global warming all have to do with the way our world is changing. Greenhouse effect means that gases are being contained in the atmosphere and warm the Earth. Too much of this effect can cause temperatures to get warmer than usual which causes water levels to rise in some places and drought in others. Climate change means that the average weather typical of a certain area is differing. Global warming refers to the rising temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and bodies of water. Global warming is causing climate change and is occurring because of people’s actions.
    4. I am from Texas so I think I have experienced a noticeable climate change. Normally, we receive enough rain to at least water our plants and avoid being in a drought. However, last year Lake Travis, near Austin, suffered from the worst drought in the country at the time. The drought was the worst in fifty years. The Lake was 27 feet below capacity as the area suffered a category 4 drought. It damaged lake recreation, livestock, and crops. I believe that this is a prime example of global warming. Because of the increased temperatures, more water is evaporating. The more water that evaporates means that there is less water in lakes like Lake Travis. Humans need to reduce their emitting of greenhouse gases in order to stop trapping too much energy in the atmosphere.
    5. I am hoping that in the near future the fashion industry can be more involved in the awareness of climate change. The fashion industry should be more aware of the emission of greenhouse gases during the production and transportation of clothes, accessories, etc. Hybrid and electric cars will possibly influence larger transportation methods to apply this concept to those that deliver fashion pieces to stores. Hopefully factories can develop ways to reduce and eventually eliminate the releasing of chemicals that machines let out during the production of fashion pieces. It is difficult to say what will happen in the future. It all depends on what more research is discovered.

  5. Katie Jones says:

    1. After reading through the EPA’s various websites on climate change, I don’t think that the EPA has ulterior motives for transferring information to the American public. First off, the fact that they even have such interactive websites for a variety of different age groups says a lot about the agency. They are trying to make the information accessible to a vast amount of people and therefore inform as many Americans as they can. It shows that they actually care about the information and want it to reach as many people as possible. In today’s society, I think the primary goal, in terms of the environment and sustainability, is to better educated the general public about what is going on. Having a website that comes from a reliable governmental source (this can be debated), rather than one made by a multi-billion dollar corporation, is less likely, in my opinion, to have an agenda behind it.
    3. The Greenhouse Effect is when greenhouse gases become trapped in the atmosphere and therefore trapping heat as well. As a result, the earth’s surface becomes warmer, causing temperatures to rise. If too many greenhouse gases are absorbed, temperatures around the world will become too high, and therefore largely impacting the “circle of life.” Therefore, The Greenhouse Effect is directly linked to the term “Climate Change.” Climate change is currently impacting the world in a major way. Like I was saying above, areas with which aren’t used to such hot conditions are really being affected by our warming atmosphere. Ice capes are melting and plants and animals are dying because of such an abrupt change. As a result of The Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change, we then arrive at Global Warming. Global Warming is essentially both of these concepts combined. It is how earth’s average yearly temperatures continue to steadily rise and its overall damaging effects on our environment.
    4. To be honest and I know this is being extremely naive, I haven’t really noticed the way Global Warming has effected my environment. I am from Atlanta and this past winter we have had an abnormally hot winter. However, in comparison, last winter we had an abnormally cold winter. It has even gone so far as to snow a good 2-4 inches almost every winter in the past couple years. So, when this winter has been really warm, I always just contribute it to just how the weather changes in general. It probably isn’t healthy how erratic our temperatures have been changing but then again Atlanta has always had unpredictable climates. Again, I know this is a very naive response, I just really have never noticed it.
    5. Fashion Merchandising has a huge impact on climate change and global warming. Most of the fashion industry deals with manufacturing and the emission of toxic fumes from large conglomerates and factories. Also, our industry produces large amounts of waste and therefore this negatively impacts our climate. As an individual and a consumer we can definitely start to slowly cut back on the amount of waste we produce, but until large companies stand up and take responsibility for their poor manufacturing processes, it is hard to say how our major will change in the next 20 years.

  6. Melodie Bundrage says:

    1) N/A

    1a) Do you think you should question whether info from the EPA is objective and the best source for this type of info? Or do you think the EPA has ulterior motives for transferring information to the American public?

    Since reading about the EPA in other subject matter for this class I have questioned the EPA in particular when it comes to the ingredients in personal care products but I don’t feel I need to question whether the info from the EPA is objective in regards to this subject. The information presented is straightforward, educational, based on scientific evidence, and focused on awareness and not regulation in this case. However, I agree that it is not the best source of information because primary sources are always better and primary data on this subject matter would come directly from the scientist and research findings. I don’t feel there is an ulterior motive as I found the site to be awareness and education oriented providing simple ways to change behavior but leaving the decision to believe or care or become involved up to the person.

    3) In your own words explain the difference between the three concepts: (a) Greenhouse Effect, (b) Climate Change, and (c) Global Warming.

    a)Greenhouse Effect- the process of trapping heat from the sun within the close environment of the earth to provide warmth for human existence

    b)Climate Change – changes in the earths temperature, weather and precipitation amount and patterns as a result of burning of fossil fuels and release of excess carbon dioxide into the atmosphere

    c)Global Warming – rise in the average temperature of the earths atmosphere caused by climate change

    4) What has happened in your personal experience that relates to climate change and/or global warming, if any?

    To be honest, I have never thought about my personal experiences and how it relates to climate change but I do think about it when catastrophic events happen in the lives of others such as New Orleans and Haiti. I guess I have unconsciously felt that I have it good compared to so many others and don’t see how I have been negatively affected. In addition, I absolutely love hot weather so that may be another reason why it has not bothered me. I also moved from Maryland to Georgia happily in part due to being in a warmer climate and hating snow. It just seemed apart of the territory to have big snow storms in Maryland every few years and I can’t really compare the level of heat from year to year in Georgia because I haven’t been here very long.

    5) How will your field/discipline have an impact on climate change in the next 20 years? Both positive and negative aspects are welcome.

    The fashion industry will continue to have a negative impact on climate change in the next 20 years unless some of the ideas around sustainable fashion are implemented on a major scale to reduce dependence on the global supply chain and factory manufacturing.

  7. Hannah Greenberg says:

    1a) Do you think you should question whether info from the EPA is objective and the best source for this type of info? Or do you think the EPA has ulterior motives for transferring information to the American public?
    After looking over both websites, I think the EPA is a great source of information. I do not think the EPA has ulterior motives. The websites seem very informative and helpful, and really allow one to learn. If they wanted to sway a person one way, I do not think they would be like this. For instance, both the children’s site and the regular site provide a glossary for users. This allows users to fully understand the information. If they wanted to trick us, they would not provide this. Also, they have FAQ’s section that then expands to a FAQ’s database. I think this shows that they are very open, honest, and user friendly. Both websites really seem like they are geared to honestly serving people.
    3) In your own words explain the difference between the three concepts: (a) Greenhouse Effect, (b) Climate Change, and (c) Global Warming.
    Greenhouse gases are gases that can be manmade or natural. These gases trap heat in our atmosphere then leading to the Greenhouse Effect. The Greenhouse Effect then means that these gases trap solar radiation in the atmosphere, causing climate change. Climate Change is a change in the earth’s climate. This can include either warmer or cooler temperatures, different weather patters, etc. However, Global Warming specifically refers to the temperature rising near the earth’s surface.
    4) What has happened in your personal experience that relates to climate change and/or global warming, if any? Make sure on this question that you try to critically apply if your experience in your perception is climate change or global warming. For example, I grew up in Tucson, Arizona and we used to average 11 inches of rain a year, not much rain in general but it used to be enough to sustain the desert. Now Tucson gets about 3″ of rain per year and this is really affecting the wildlife, plant life and human inhabitants consistently for a number of years – the lack of water over this long period of time is problematic. I know this is part of a cyclical weather pattern related to climate change, but I have a sense it might be global warming that is causing some of the changes since they are so extreme and damaging the natural habit (as in concerns about animal extinction, etc…). I also think it might be partially global warming related because I personally believe that some of these drastic weather pattern changes may be caused by human activities that influence climate change (which is the basic definition of global warming).
    I used to be a camper. I went to an all girls riding camp for 12 years. I remember one year (2003-2005ish range), it was the hottest summer we had ever had. Being in the mountains of Virginia, there usually was a cool breeze, and it was never unbearably hot. However, that summer it was miserable. The horses were getting too dehydrated to be ridden all day. Typically there ridden for three hours in the morning, and then have a jumping class in the afternoon. They had to limit the number of hours each horse was used, meaning each camper was not riding everyday. Also to get to this camp, you have to drive through a creek with no bridge. On check-in days they have people helping the cars make it through the creek if it is high. That year the creek was completely dried up.
    5) How will your field/discipline have an impact on climate change in the next 20 years? Both positive and negative aspects are welcome.

    I hope to work in fashion. I think fashion will have both a positive and negative impact. Fast Fashions (Your Forever21s, H&Ms,etc) are mass-produced, and not usually made in a sustainable way. The factories release gases that will eventually lead to global warming.

  8. c. gordon says:

    1a) Do you think you should question whether info from the EPA is objective and the best source for this type of info? Or do you think the EPA has ulterior motives for transferring information to the American public?
    I think we should always question the objectivity of any type of informational source, EPA not excluded; best to use multiple sources when assessing a complex issue.The EPA is obviously backed by our government, and as such can fall prey to bureaucratic issues that may stem from big politics. However I would like to think, most scientists, including those from the EPA hold the pursuit of knowledge and dissemination of that information above politicking. As for ulterior motives, I do not sense big brother at working here. The EPA is not an infallible agency, but rarely at odds with their scientific information, find them to be reliable.

    3) In your own words explain the difference between the three concepts: (a) Greenhouse Effect, (b) Climate Change, and (c) Global Warming.
    The greenhouse effect is the scientific term used to explain how Earth’s gaseous atmosphere retains heat and also why we all don’t freeze to death. Climate Change, also scientific, refers to sustained alterations in weather patterns around the planet, rising towards the toastier end of the thermometer in recent years. Global Warming has become somewhat of a political buzzword used in reference to actual global climate change, but usually in an alarmist or possibly uninformed way.

    4) What has happened in your personal experience that relates to climate change and/or global warming, if any?
    Personally, climate change has affected me in a very passive way. When I first moved to Georgia I was pretty convinced no place should be this hot and humid anywhere with the absence of some entity like global warming. Soon I realized that it was, and has been like this historically. However, statistically it seems summer has been getting hotter and nearly every year, not just talking about the farmer’s almanac either. This has changed some people’s lives drastically depending on geographic region, but nothing too extreme here save some drought. So, increased a/c costs, perspiration, and the added bonus of wearing shorts in winter months are just some of the passive personal effects of global climate change.

    5) How will your field/discipline have an impact on climate change in the next 20 years? Both positive and negative aspects are welcome.
    Wherever I find myself in my career, I hope to be working in a field that does not affect global climate change too much. In any profession or career, a carbon footprint is inevitable for those involved – even those who work for the EPA. An industry that reduces negative externalities while proactively changing things for the better seems like a good fit to me.

  9. Ari Strickland says:

    1) Do you think you should question whether info from the EPA is objective and the best source for this type of info? Or do you think the EPA has ulterior motives for transferring information to the American public?
    –The EPA is a government agency so of course the information given to the people is government regulated. Still, I think all of the information given is accurate and necessary and the motives are to educate us so that we are more aware of our global impact.

    2)In your own words explain the difference between the three concepts: (a) Greenhouse Effect, (b) Climate Change, and (c) Global Warming.
    –The Greenhouse Effect refers to the phenomenon of Greenhouse gases (heat-trapping gases), which naturally or unnaturally occur, trapping heat in our atmosphere, making it possible for plants and animals to live.
    –Global Warming is caused over time when too many man-made greenhouse gases get trapped in our atmosphere, causing the Earth to inevitably heat up.
    –Climate change is the result of global warming, when sea levels rise from melted ice caps and more evaporation occurs, causing more drought and wildfires.

    3)What has happened in your personal experience that relates to climate change and/or global warming, if any? Make sure on this question that you try to critically apply if your experience in your perception is climate change or global warming.
    –I used to play golf all the time with my dad at a golf course called The Lakes at Laura Walker. It was on a state park and alligators, turtles, ducks, snakes and everything else were everywhere! A few years ago, it barely rained all spring and summer, and the lake dried up! A gross amount of fish and aquatic creatures died and the turtle population relocated. What used to be a beautiful, natural and scenic golf course became a barren, sad representation of what global warming is
    doing to South Georgia. Our neighbors (farmers, on both sides) were getting tiny harvests and they were suffering financially. And of course the golf course was suffering financially..No one wanted to golf at the Lakes with no lake. In south Georgia, mills are everywhere, making paper and fouling utp the atmosphere. It’s more than obvious that they are contributing to our water problem, with more heat than the already sweltering south GA atmosphere…only trouble can come.

    4) How will your field/discipline have an impact on climate change in the next 20 years? Both positive and negative aspects are welcome
    I’m honestly not sure anymore what exactly my field is going to be. I’m so indecisive and wishywashy about the future and what I want it to be. All I know for sure is that I am grateful to have this class and grateful for a level-headed teacher who is teaching me how to break down all the information for myself. When I start a family, (and even before children come into play), I plan to be conscious and ever-present when making decisions on what kind of energy to use to fuel my life, whether this concerns actual energy (natural, renewable vs. fossil fuels that will be gone soon/ or shit like styrofoam that can’t be broken down) or FOOD to fuel my body. I plan to instill that active decision making skill in my children and spouse, and encourage them to ask questions about these issues and not just read headlines.

  10. Maggie Benoit says:

    1. When I start thinking about the world, climate, and the impact that ensues, I am driven back to a perspective on the bigger picture. Yes, the levers and pulleys that run the growing world are chugging along. Since the beginning of time we as a humanity have sought after growth. We have toiled the land and its riches are lying way to a clue that our efforts will not be met with abundance without proper regeneration of the resources it bestows. And, as a result of our ransacking ways, our environment is in distress, or being accelerated into exaggerated levels of change, rather. But despite the bottom line of health and survival, wellness is not the only imperative. So, when I arrive at “clean energy,” I’d like to gain understanding on the mechanism behind creating that energy, from a production standpoint, as well as political. And also, I have to ask how this “creation of energy” plays into a larger whole? I then begin to consider standpoints of agriculture, global trade, outsourcing labor, economies, the growing population – and the operations through which to realistically feed that population (which thus far has needed the support of industry, ie. Monsanto) with practical initiatives (although organic initiatives support the bottom line of health, can it legitimately create necessary output alongside the restraints of time and money?) From this working system, I begin to consider consumption and also our use of energy and how that deals with fossil fuel emissions, greenhouse gases, climate control and what that means for our environment. Then, who else is concerned with the environment starts to matter. From here, I am led to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) The Agency clearly stands on a platform to inform and regulate with hopes of making a dent on the environmental neutralizing scale. But, every great idea is met with a need for funding. Part of the power of information is in creating value. The more people know about a “thing,” the more value that “thing” has. And, if value can be quantified, then further investment is promising. In this case, the dollar comes down to the government. Decisions on this playing field are also met with votes, and furthermore outcomes. In that regard, government spending is a keynote. So then, in the cycle of Democracy > the people back the government > the government backs the EPA > the EPA regulates + feeds information to the people > business runs accordingly. As it stands now, the EPA’s value is not of highest priority it seems, as budget cuts have been sharp. In light of the economic climate, where our money goes is a pretty crucial stop on rector scale. So right now, in terms of perspective, it seems that money, and not health, is the bottom line
    And then I get frustrated because I don’t think that green houses gases operate on a barometer of Republican or Democratic (http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/ALLTOP-BGOVBUDGE-BGOVENERG-BGOVHEALT/2011/02/10/id/3855770) and have/ have-nots. And, regardless of my ideology, and no matter who my President is, tomorrow I still need to inhale and exhale properly – with an assurance that my ability to do so will be possible the next day after that, and so forth. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/27/us-utilities-exelon-epa-idUSTRE79Q7NM20111027
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-29/epa-s-greenhouse-gas-rules-are-illegal-opponents-tell-appeals-court-panel.html

    3. The Greenhouse Effect has to do with an imbalance in the Carbon Cycle. The sun puts out heat, which is then absorbed by the earth. This has a warming effect and creates energy. This exchange is a necessary input to our existence (otherwise the planet would be too cold for survival.) Given this input, an output is also necessary in order to create regulation. As the surface warms it lets out infrared radiation. As living organisms organism ingest oxygen and machines are lubricated with fossil fuels, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Certain levels of this carbon dioxide/ infrared radiation is a crucial part of the cog, as green gases they trap energy in our planetary bubble. However, due to the immense wear + tear of the daily actions of the populous, an influx in these gases (such as carbon dioxide) are being created and expelled into the environment. So then, we are trapping more than we need. With this, the input output scale is shifted and we are unable to release an amount equivalent to that which we are taking in. Because of this we are seeing the process of global warming occur. Our planet is raising its temperature and introducing itself in the form of heated oceans, hurricanes, melting ice/snow, irregular rainfall, floods, fires, etc. Climate change is a measure of these changes over a larger period of time (as opposed to the immediate changes in weather from day to day).

    4. I think the season of winter over the past year is a big indicator. In January last year we saw the most impactful ice storm Athens has experience in some time. In 2012 however, we have only experience a day here or there that really indicate any true shivers that point to winter’s bone. Not only has it not been particularly cold, it has been particularly nice out, with a schizophrenic touch of rain sporadically, just to keep things interesting. And what about the cherry blossoms in spring? I’m afraid their lives will be cut short due to early hatching (tear.) Though I think this is an indicator of the direction that climate is changing, I think it is moreover an implication of global warming due to the sheer amount of imbalance in such a short amount of time. The cycle of the seasons has been dramatically thrown off course, and I think there’s little doubt weather global warming is to blame.

    5. On the one hand, fashion – a big player, due to the fact that everyone has to get dressed in the morning. People have to grow the material for the clothing. Then others have to prepare those materials for implementation. At this point, clothing is produced. So there’s a factory standpoint and also a transportation factor that results from implications of the supply chain that globalization creates. On the other hand, art + management – has the power of voice and collaboration. So, if used correctly, cooperative + artistic business efforts may be used as a vehicle to disseminate and spread information. And, I think education and proper information are the seeds that nurture both new practice and change.

  11. Karen Cotton says:

    1. I watched the EPA’s Climate Change website for Kids video which was quite informative and I read through the EPA Climate Change.

    1a. I think EPA is a good source for gaining info. Just like with anything else, you take the info and dig further to gain a clear understanding because there will always be bias if you are trying to prove a point.

    3. I have heard during the Al Gore hayday about Greenhouse Effect, Climate Change and Global Warning but I really did not put much stock in it. I thought that it was just publicity for his political campaign. With my limited knowledge on this topic I believe that a) Greenhouse Effect means that heat comes from the sun. Some of the vapors reflect back out into the atmosphere and some is trapped here which is what helps keep the earth warm and livable b) Climate Change is basically changes in the weather pattern and c) Global Warming is when there is much heat trapped close to the earth.

    4. After the limited reading and understanding that I have so far, I feel somewhat responsible for contributing to global warning, My family vehicle is an Ford Expedition which is a big vehicle that burns alot of gas. The desire behind buying the vehicle insprite of the use of gas was keeping my family safe on the highways and byways in a big, solid, well structured vehicle. I ensured that our vehicle was properly serviced. I depise being behind a vehicle where I see black fumes coming out of exhaust pipes polluting the air. However, I never thought about how much gas fumes I was putting out in the atmosphere and what damage I am causing byby driving the gas gussler.

    5. I feel that my field (airline industry) will have a positive impact on climate change in the next 20 years. This field is currently conscious about making changes to improve their contribution to our environment. I will definitely do my part in having a positive influence due to I am now more aware of what’s going on around me. I am working towards being LEED certified so that I can influence others in an educated manner rather than with emotional, assuming manner.

  12. JoAnn M says:

    1a) I believe it’s important to be aware and to always think critically about the information you’re being given. We as consumers may not always trust the information we’re given. In this particular situation though,I believe the information I read from the EPA is true and relevant. I wont go to the extent and say everything the EPA puts out is thorough and uninfluenced, but I believe this material was.I also think the EPA was one of the better sources to use for this type of information.

    3) (a) Greenhouse Effect: Is a phenomena that involves our atmosphere trapping in too many green house gases, which is in turn making the overall temperature of the atmosphere rise. The greenhouse effect is important to maintaining a liveable environment to Earth, but the excess gases that are being trapped is making it dangerous for our future.
    (b) Climate Change: Climate change effects the weather and seasons and can be short or long term. Due to the greenhouse effect, our Earth getting warmer. The warmer the Earth gets, the more climate changes it will see, Climate include storms, percipitation patterns, temperature, etc.
    (c) Global Warming: This refers to the average increase in temperature of the Earth. The reason the temperature is rising is due to greenhouse effect duscussed previously.

    4) I spent most of my life growing up in South Florida, Punta Gorda to be exact. Extremely hot summers and lots of rain were always expected. Over the years I noticed the summers to be getting hotter and rain amounts getting lower. As the years have gone by the droughts get worse, but whenever a rainstorm does occur it’s very violent. The air although humid also feels more dry, compared to years past. I believe these changes are happening due to climate change and global warming. The air feels drier because less water can stay in the atmosphere due to global warming and it’s raining less due to climate change. These things are affecting more than just one area of life in this region. From an economic view, less “snowbirds” are traveling south, because it’s simply to hot for them. On the environmental side of things, certain plants are beginning to die out in this region, because they can’t get enough water and when they do they literally drown. Most of the vegetation today is made up of plant life with very deep root systems that can withstand drought like conditions for some time.

    5) To me, the impact South Florida is feeling right now is bound to start moving north eventually. If temperature is rising it will be a matter of time till areas like Tampa and St. Petersburg, which are both more North, begin to feel similar impacts. For Punta Gorda specifically, they will continue to lose more flora and when that happens fauna also. More desert like conditions will begin to appear in this area.

  13. Samantha Morton says:

    1) I think the EPA is generally a trusted source, however, with my recent discovery of who is on their board I am a little disturbed. For example, Linda Fisher had high ranking positions in both the EPA and Monsanto- a chemical company with patents over the majority of genetically modified seeds. Although, global climate change and agriculture may not be directly linked, (or in the realm of Fisher’s position) this brings a question in my mind as to who is responsible for publishing the information, and if they are connected to any other major industries that might have a vested interest in the matter. I googled Lisa Jackson, the current administrator of the EPA, and was relieved to find any conflicts of interest. In general I trust the EPA however they too are not devoid of issues.

    3a) Greenhouse effect- The effect of green house gases (water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, particulates, etc.) on the Earth’s atmospheric temperature. Greenhouse gases reflect the suns rays back to Earth to keep our planet viable for humans.
    b) Climate change is the altering of climate patterns, more specifically trends in weather deviating from the observed norm.
    c) Global Warming is the worldwide raise in temperature. It is of concern because the raise in temperature is abnormal and has severe environmental, social, and ecological consequences. The raise in temperature is argued to be unnatural and this claim is supported by increasing evidence of correlation between greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere and the Earth’s average temperature.

    4) Georgia is for the most part a temperate region with mild –everything. The past few years however, weather has been far less steady. Snow is usually a hopeless prayer when temperatures skirt the thirties, but for the past two winters Athens and Atlanta has seen a fair amount. Weather is never reliable anymore. It could be warming up to a beautiful day in the morning and by the afternoon a cold front has arrived. Later, in the evening a thunderstorm could be on the horizon, to wrap things up with a warm night. Meanwhile, the day before had been bitterly cold. One specific example I can think of is the past few droughts in Georgia. A few summers ago Lake Wendy dried up. All of my friends go to a certain sleep away camp and I remember all of their reactions when they discovered the lake that cooled them off and supplied so much fun was now a muddy basin. I apologize if this is a shallow example, but to a young kid camp without the lake isn’t the same.

    5) I hope that whatever my life takes me I will be doing positive things for the environment. As an environmental econ major, my major is kind of two conflicting ideas. Economics strives for maximum efficiency and in the past that is what has lead to the most severe environmental damage. When we think strictly in terms of what is most efficient and what maximizes profit we sacrifice a lot of important things. The next step is to find a way to make a market for those “missing markets” such as pollution. In the next 20 years I wouldn’t be surprised if carbon emissions had a direct price tag attached to it.

  14. Danielle M. says:

    1. For the most part it seems pretty objective. On both websites the information that is given is very scientific with articles and information to back it up. I think their purpose for the most part is to teach the public on different issues regarding global warming and climate change.
    3. Each term in some way relates to each other. Greenhouse Effect refers to the trapping of heat in the earth’s atmosphere. Climate change refers to any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period of time, like years or decades. Global warming is an increase in temperature near the earth’s surface. Commonly the term is applied to the warming that can occur as a result of increased admissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.
    4. Well, growing up in Georgia, specifically in Savannah, the weather has always been a little bit unpredictable. One year we might have a cold, bitter winter and the next it could be mild like this one has been. Last summer we had record days where it was 90 degrees for more than two straight weeks, with little rainfall. I think a lot of it might have to do with climate change with a touch of global warming. Weather is always a topic of conversation in our family and talking to my grandparents sometimes they are able to tell what a season may bring. Since it is now March, which is the most unpredictable month in Savannah as far as weather goes, it will be interesting to see what the weather will be like.
    5. I hope it will be all positive. Since I will be hopefully working with the interiors of homes, making smart decisions on finishes will be important.

  15. Briana Martinez says:

    1. For the most part I believe the EPA is fairly objective when it comes to relaying basic known information; however, I do know that the EPA is a government funded agency therefore policies, plans of actions, and new lines of research will vary in opinion and importance with the changing of political parties. I don’t think the EPA in general has ulterior motives, but I do believe they shift importance away and to the American people as they see fit with the knowledge they have on hand.
    3. Greenhouse effect is the process of trapping radiation and other gases in the atmosphere of the earth to provide a suitable atmosphere for us to live in. Greenhouse effect is a natural even however humans can add to the effect by the adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by the use of fossil fuels. Climate change is the change in an area’s climate over an extended period of time. This too is a natural event however the problem today is the change in climate is happening quicker than ever, and this change is not happening to a specific region but to the planet as a whole. Global warming is an increase in the earth’s temperature on average.

    4. I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Louisiana. Louisiana is known for being hot and humid with really mild winters. They were many a Christmases where I wore shorts. Towards the end of my time in Louisiana (my family moved in 2002) we started to have annual ice storms/ freezes in February. This affected the plant life severely as many people would already be starting the planting for spring since Louisiana never really got that cold before. I remember my mom has a problem getting her gardenias to bloom at all after that. I think this is related to climate change especially as now Louisiana is still getting really cold winters and the occasional snow and ice is becoming more and more frequent. Global warming could also be a cause of this as human’s consumption and lifestyles are known to influence climate change.

    5. Merchandising and fashion has survived because it operates on the assumption that people always want something better, something newer, something in the here and now. This field can negatively impact climate change over the next 20yrs if it does not take global issues into effect and get the market place to change its views on consumption. Merchandising (which can be any product) and fashion is known for having excessive wastes, most of us can look into our closet and most likely pack a bag or two of clothes we no longer wear or find multiples of an electronic product we have caused we had to have the newest one which only had one slightly cooler update, for example the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4s. These two examples are just looking from a end consumer viewpoint, if one was to look down the production pipeline, one could potentially find more waste in forms of dyes, toxic metals, chemicals, and other gases. If the merchandising and fashion industry can find a way to clean up their waster and change the market place’s mind on consumption pattern, they negative aspects they pose to climate change in the next 20 years could be highly positive.

  16. 2) I think the view that the EPA gives makes sense is describing and defining global warming and what causes it. But I also think it is just one view on the scientific reasoning behind the changes occurring with the Earth in recent times. I think the EPA could have its own ulterior motives for providing this information to Americans. The EPA could possibly want to scare Americans about the consequences of using up so many fossil fuels and releasing greenhouse gases into the environment. There are other scientific takes on the issue of global warming that people should be aware of, not just the EPA’s.
    3) Greenhouse Effect: The earth’s surface absorbs energy from the sun and this is how it heats up. To cool down the earth gives off infrared radiation, but greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb some of this energy before it escapes making the atmosphere warmer. When the atmosphere is warmer the earth’s surface is also warmer.
    Climate Change: a pattern of change in the climate (expected weather conditions) that happens over many years. Air water and land all related. Average temperature of the earth changing is part of global climate change
    Global Warming: The average temperature of the Earth rising. This increased global temp leads to changes all over the world- stronger storms, melting ice, changing habitats.
    4) The most relevant personal experience I have had that relates to global climate change was experiencing Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans and the surrounding areas in 2005. I know many people think that the strength of the storm may have been caused by global warming issues. Going with the information provided by the EPA, the rising temperature of the Earth can also increase the temperature of the oceans making them warmer, which causes stronger storms. It can also cause and increase in sea level. The city of New Orleans is already below sea level and a rising sea level was a definite threat. Levees were built around the city long ago to keep the water out in case of storms, but these levees broke during Hurricane Katrina. So not only was the city subject to the wrath of a category 3 hurricane, but also extreme flooding. Hurricane Katrina was considered one of the 5 deadliest hurricanes in the history of the US, and the most deadly since 1928. But I think this poses a question about whether global warming and the effects of Americans caused the hurricane or not, since one just as terrible hit in 1928.
    5) In my field of Fashion Merchandising, there is a definite impact on the climate and global warming. The production of apparel is an enormous industry throughout the entire world and emits toxins into the atmosphere every day. If the fashion industry can cut down its waste and pollution it would have a large impact on global warming and the greenhouse effect.

  17. ashley Walker says:

    1) Read through the article

    1a) Do you think you should question whether info from the EPA is objective and the best source for this type of info? Or do you think the EPA has ulterior motives for transferring information to the American public?
    I believe that the EPA is being honest but I don’t think they tell everything because if the information is too bad then they don’t want to panic the public and get the public in an uproar so no I do not think there are any ulterior motives.

    3) In your own words explain the difference between the three concepts: (a) Greenhouse Effect, (b) Climate Change, and (c) Global Warming.
    the green house effect is basically just that. There has been a “ceiling” formed in the atmosphere making it difficult for the bad gas to be released into the atmosphere so the earth then becomes a green house. The gas is trapped in the earths atmosphere.
    climate change is when the climate changes in a way that it usually wouldn’t change. for example the fact that it is 75 degrees in the middle of winter in Georgia is an example of climate change.
    global warming has to do with the overall temperature of the earth is getting higher than usual. It is happening due to extra gases being emitted into the atmosphere by humans.

    4) What has happened in your personal experience that relates to climate change and/or global warming, if any? Make sure on this question that you try to critically apply if your experience in your perception is climate change or global warming. For example, I grew up in Tucson, Arizona and we used to average 11 inches of rain a year, not much rain in general but it used to be enough to sustain the desert. Now Tucson gets about 3″ of rain per year and this is really affecting the wildlife, plant life and human inhabitants consistently for a number of years – the lack of water over this long period of time is problematic. I know this is part of a cyclical weather pattern related to climate change, but I have a sense it might be global warming that is causing some of the changes since they are so extreme and damaging the natural habit (as in concerns about animal extinction, etc…). I also think it might be partially global warming related because I personally believe that some of these drastic weather pattern changes may be caused by human activities that influence climate change (which is the basic definition of global warming).
    I remember my senior year we were having prom at lake lanier and this was the time of the drought. The lake was about 6 inches lower than what it usually is due to the lack of rain. Georgia had gotten substantially less rain than any other year. It was weird to see the actually sea level in the rocks and to see how low it actually was. the fish were suffering due to them not having enough”oxygen” in the water and it threatened our water supply. I believe it happened because of climate change because if it was solely global warming then I think this would happen every year.

    5) How will your field/discipline have an impact on climate change in the next 20 years? Both positive and negative aspects are welcome.
    the problem with fashion merchandising is that it is one of the most wasteful fields in the world. It encourages consumers to consume and always get the newer thing so the fashion world will definitely have a negative impact if there are not way invented to be a less wasteful field.

  18. Laney Haag says:

    1. After reading through the EPA Climate Change Website for Kids, I do not think I should question whether info from the EPA is objective and the best source for this type of info. The website is under a government domain and provides a page full of references they used for the facts and figures provided throughout the website. Both of these observations lead me to believe it is a trustworthy website. I also think this website could be used as a very efficient learning tool for kids who are clueless about climate changes.
    2. Greenhouse Effect- When greenhouse gases including water vapor, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide absorb and release heat which raises the temperature of the Earth.
    Climate Change- Changes in weather conditions over a long period of time
    Global Warming- The extreme increase in climate change due to the greenhouse effect reported over thousands of years
    3. I have lived in South Carolina, Maryland, and Georgia. I can’t remember much from South Carolina since I was so young but when I lived in Maryland we never had to worry about water restrictions. Since I have lived in Georgia nearly every summer my family is only allowed to use water for watering plants, washing cars, etc. certain days of the week depending on our address. For example odd number houses can water Mondays and Wednesdays while even number houses can water Tuesdays and Thursdays. Also I live close to Lake Lanier so I have seen the extreme effects the drought has had on the lake. Certain docks are now surrounded by mud instead of water. Global warming seems to be the only logical cause of these events.
    4. I would love to do marketing for a green company, but since I have no idea as to what company I will be working for I am not sure what my impact on climate change will be in the next 20 years. Marketing and advertising both have a large impact on consumers so there is definitely a possibility I will have a positive impact on climate change (by marketing sustainable products or services).

  19. Melissa Worth says:

    1a) I think that it’s always important to consider the source of your information; however, after reviewing the EPA website, I do not believe that the EPA has ulterior motives for transferring information to the American public because their primary purpose is to protect human health and the environment.

    3a) The greenhouse effect is a natural process that keeps the Earth warm enough for human survival. As Adam said in class, it’s kind of like sitting in your car on a hot summer day. As the Earth receives energy from the sun, it heats up, and then it tries to release that energy; however, the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap some of that energy, making the Earth warmer. Also, the burning of fossil fuels adds to the number greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which makes the Earth even warmer.

    3b) Climate change is a broad term which relates to all of the changes that are happening as a result of global warming. For example: an increase in global warming is expected to cause an ice age in the future due to rising water temperatures.

    3c) Global warming is pretty much what the term implies (i.e., that the Earth’s temperature is rising).

    4) I live in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, which is an island between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, so I’ve always had to pay extra attention to the weather during hurricane season. When I was in the 5th grade, my family and I had to evacuate for Hurricane Floyd, but we weren’t really affected again until 2008 when we felt the effects of several hurricanes in a row. During one storm in particular, we lost seven trees in my yard, which speaks to the intensity of these storms. I’ve noticed that the intensity and the frequency of the hurricanes over the past several years has increased and it has affected our beaches. They’re no longer smooth; they’re shelly. Also, my mom has been finding several whole conch shells on the beach, which was pretty rare in the past. I believe that humans do have some role to play in this recent climate change because hurricanes only form when warm, moist air from the ocean surface begins to rise rapidly, and the water temperatures are definitely increasing due to global warming.

    5) I don’t believe that accounting, in and of itself, will have any impact on climate change. However, KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, is working to tackle the issue of global climate change by implementing three initiatives: 1) reducing their net emissions per full-time equivalent by 15% by the end of 2015, using a 2010 baseline, 2) supporting environmental projects, and 3) working with their employees, suppliers, and clients to help them improve their climate change impacts. And while these initiatives may seem pretty vague, I think that they have the potential to significantly reduce the impact of climate change in the next 20 years.

  20. Aubrey says:

    1a) I think the EPA is a good source to get general information, but perhaps not the best. Maybe it’s the conspiracy theorist in me, but I have a tendency to always question the role of a government agency. There are many officials who have investments in oil and other “unsustainable” power sources which contribute largely to greenhouse gas emission. I always wonder how or if they sway the information of the EPA to send a certain message to the public or put doubt in their minds about environmental issues for their financial gain. Having said that, I would still use the information given from the EPA because I try also to look at the other side of this argument and consider the fact that their role is to monitor threats, so if they tell us there is one I feel there’s not much a need for questioning it. I guess what I really mean is I know we’re getting the information, I am just not convinced we’re getting all of it or that it is not somehow diluted.

    3. What is the differences between
    a)The greenhouse effect- the greenhouse effect is a natural occurrence where the sun heats the earth, the earth reflects back that heat, and the gaseous compounds on the earth keep some of those rays from reflecting back(they make a barrier) thereby keeping the earth at a temperature which allows us as humans to inhabit it.
    b)Climate change- Climate change is also a natural occurrence and is the fluctuations and falls in temperature which lead to changes in the natural weather patterns over time.
    c)Global warming- Global warming is where these two natural occurrences of climate change and the greenhouse effects’ regularity comes into question. We know the earth changes climate, usually over time. The issue being raised is are we, as humans, contributing to the irregular rapidity of these changes. Scientists are finding that the greenhouse effect is directly related; when people produce emissions of too many harmful chemicals, the earth can no longer regulate and clean itself. The sun heats the earth and the rays should reflect back but because humans are creating an overload of these gaseous emissions, the rays reelects less than what’s normal, in turn trapping heat (more heat than normal) This trapped heat affects our weather and the result is extreme drought, or freezing temperatures, ice caps melting, sea levels rising etc.

    4) In the backyard of the house I grew up in, in Kennesaw Georgia, there is a lake. It is actually more like a large pond but as a kid you can imagine it looked very lake-like to me. I remember when we first moved in and the level of the water was as high as it could get. The fish were swimming the ducks were playing and having babies. Everything around it seemed lush and green. As years went on and the summers got hotter, the lake we loved so much turned into….well into a big puddle it seemed. It was so sad looking out in the most extreme summers. I remember being young and finding the creek behind it was drying up so severely that fish were flopping around. Naturally I took it as my personal duty to save all the fish and frantically ran back and forth taking the flopping fish and dumping them in what was left of the pond. Sadly, there weren’t many survivors. In the past few years the levels seem to be rising but I remember the stress that was brought to me by looking out onto the dried up land behind my house. Now in retrospect I see other people have more sever water issues , like not having any. These experiences and realizations have lead to me be ultra conscious of my water use.

    5) A statistic from Eco Textile news states that “the largest Co2 emissions in the world comes from the ‘use phase’ of clothing.”
    I had to stop and read that over and over; thats a really big deal. I questioned studying fashion merchandising for awhile because I didn’t see a real use for it, one that would make a difference. I looked around at my classmates and saw that they had been manipulated by the glamorization of the industry. Then I started this course and quickly realized the relevance that fashion design and merchandising has in my life. There is such a need in this industry for awareness and social responsibility. I want to learn everything I can about the industry, and start my own business in sustainable fashion so I can be a tool for change. So many people simply are not educated about the true impact of the fashion industry on the environment. I am hoping to inform textile producers, manufacturers and designers so that they can start making the changes and be part of the movement that is happening. Sustainable fashion and design is now something I feel passionate and excited about. I don’t want to scare people or preach, but I do think that by informing others in the industry I can help them be as excited about the possibilities as I am.

  21. Heather B. says:

    1a) I don’t think it is ever wrong to question a source of information, if nothing else you will learn more about the topic while researching various other articles, sites, publications, etc. and can truly make your own informed opinion. The EPA is no different- just because it is a government agency does not mean it is necessarily without flaw. Now that being said, I’m not a conspiracy theorist promoting distrust of institutions or public information, but it has been clear throughout history that what the government releases to the citizens of the United States is not always an accurate portrayal of what’s really happening behind closed doors. From time to time I’m sure corruption has enabled ulterior motives of various departments to go unchecked and incorrect knowledge has been spread to the public to gain support as needed. However, with the overall skeptical attitude of most Americans, I think it would be a much harder feat to achieve, but documentary film makers and opposing political parties will cause questions to be raised regardless of their relevancy or accuracy. I don’t know what to think really, I’d say it’s a 50/50 chance that there are or are not ulterior motives behind the EPA’s release of information.

    3a) Greenhouse Effect: Various chemical compounds, both naturally occurring and manmade, released into the air as gases “allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere freely. When sunlight strikes the Earth’s surface, some of it is reflected back towards space as infrared radiation (heat). Greenhouse gases absorb this infrared radiation and trap the heat in the atmosphere”. The greenhouse effect primarily deals with the release of chemicals into the air which trap heat and cause our atmospheric temperatures to rise.
    Climate Change: Though climate change uses the concept of greenhouse gas emissions as part of the issue, it looks into how these rising temperature, possibly caused by other factors as well, affect the Earth in more ways than just “getting hotter”. It looks into the long term of how we will be able to us our Earth in the future as changes in weather, sea levels, and more take place. “In computer-based models, rising concentrations of greenhouse gases generally produce an increase in the average temperature of the Earth. Rising temperatures may, in turn, produce changes in weather, sea levels, and land use patterns, commonly referred to as climate change”. “Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and sub-surface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability.”
    Global Warming: Similarly, global warming takes into account how the rise in temperatures change over time, but also looks at the ecosystem as a whole- oceans, animals populations, weather patterns, crop yield, people. “Refers to the rising average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, which started to increase in the late 19th century and is projected to keep going up. An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, and a probable expansion of subtropical deserts. Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice.”

    4) The most obvious personal example I can think of is the 10+ year drought (at least I think it has been 10 years) Georgia has experienced every summer. Growing up, my neighbor was an absolute obsessive compulsive in regards to his yard. If you so much as thought about stepping near his grass, he’d do all but call the police. Well, the water restrictions that resulted in hefty fines if you were caught watering at any point in the day other than the designated earliest hours of the day, were his worst nightmare. He invested in a very expensive timed sprinkler system that reached every square inch of grass, though he could still be spotted hand watering his flower arrangements at 4 AM from time to time. His efforts to keep his landscaping luscious and green were nearly all a waste though as that hot Georgia sun and dry-as-a-bone air just did not permit this no matter how hard he tried. My earliest childhood memories of running through the sprinklers on a hot afternoon or washing the car or the dog to cool off were snuffed when I was about 7 or so years old and have not let up ever since- I’m now 21. The water restrictions due to extreme drought throughout Georgia have been my closest brush with climate change- the rise in atmospheric temperatures affecting our land use.

    5) If I stay in the fashion merchandising field, I think the most relevant impact we could have on global warming is a change in fabrics- natural as opposed to harmful chemical fibers which require pollutant-emitting manufacturing plants and constitute 7% of waste. Also, encouraging the support of local merchants would cut down on transportation of goods since most transportation vehicles eat fossil fuels like crazy.

  22. Mary Alice Jasperse says:

    1a). Because I have read too many “Big Brother” type books about the corrupt nature of governmental agencies, I cannot help but question motives of these agencies. Even the EPA. Also, I think the EPA’s motives and goals can (and do) change depending on the administration (who appoints them) and that administration’s goals and motives. I would like to wholly support the EPA, and for the most part they really providing a service that no other corporation is charged with: looking out for the health of the public. That is a high calling, especially when the EPA’s scientists think one thing, but can only enforce or influence governmental decisions in a lesser degree. I think that people who work for the EPA do so because they believe in its mission. Otherwise, they would take a higher-paying job in the private sector. For the most part, EPA workers are underpaid (I’ve looked at their entering salaries), so I can believe that they do not have too many ulterior motives. At the same time, they are influenced by what the administration wants out of their work.

    3a). The Greenhouse Effect is a process that allows humans to exist on Earth. Certain “greenhouse gases” which include CO2, water vapor, Nitrogen, Methane, form a cloud around our atmosphere that lets solar radiation into the earth’s atmosphere in order to warm the planet. These greenhouse gases allow some of that radiation to pass back through this gaseous layer into the atmosphere beyond the earth, but trap a portion of that radiation and reflect it back to the earth’s surface. If this did not happen, we would all die at night because it would simply be too cold. So, this effect is good. However, those gases that help trap solar radiation in the earth’s atmosphere accumulate. So, when we emit certain gases into the air (CO2, methane, aerosol sprays, water vapor, particulates), these create an even thicker blanket of greenhouse gases that reflects more of that solar radiation back to the earth’s surface, making the earth warmer. This can turn a beneficial process into a potentially harmful one.

    3b). Climate Change is a natural process of warming and cooling of the planet based on weather patterns and other factors. Much of the climate change that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution has been changing at an unprecedented rate due to anthropogenic causes. This is a part of the debate that must be differentiated from the natural processes that cause warming and cooling. The warming that has taken place in the past 100 years has been occurring at an exponential rate, and we have reason to believe that no end to this change is in sight unless our fossil fuel use (and other practices that release harmful substances in to the air and water) are not seriously changed.

    3c). Global Warming (going off of the previous two responses) is the process by which ample solar radiation is trapped in the earth’s atmosphere, which increases the average world temperatures. Global warming can have many, many implications. The basic concept is that there is more heat trapped in the atmosphere, which can effect other weather and climate systems in ways that are unpredictable because this has never really happened before. It has never really happened before because these changes are influenced heavily by humans and our behaviors.

    4). I think one of the main reasons it is so easy for people from the Southeast (a mainly conservative area) to deny the concept of climate change is that we still receive a high amount of rainfall and we still have a very temperate climate. That being said, I was first exposed to natural resource issues when I did research on Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River battle among Georgia, Alabama and Florida my freshman year of college. This research brought about issues about drought that I had never really thought about before. Water seemed to be a really plentiful resource! Also, my grandparents live in an extremely industrial city in Tennessee that was built due to its proximity to rivers (to be used in the textile and paper-making processes) and its lack of regulation. The air there still smells terrible and the health of the city’s population is very poor. These were both reasons for my interest in environmental issues, all of which relate back to the concept of climate change.

    5). I hope to have a career in water resource law. Hopefully, this could have a positive impact on climate change by forcing companies to abate their pollution of water resources and requiring cities to limit their withdrawals as well. To me, water is THE most important resource that a society must have in order to sustain itself. An obvious negative aspect of this profession is: what if I end up working for the bad guys.

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