Saving the World through the Pursuit of Self Interest: Part 2

Part 1 of this segment, which I published on April 25, 2017, focused on the March for Science – an event that took place on Earth Day and addressed the Trump administration’s attitude of climate change denial. This follow-up seeks my students’ input.

The 2017 Fall semester is over and my students are preparing for their final exam. I have been teaching my Climate Change course using the TBL (Team Based Learning) system. I have 6 groups in my class, each composed of roughly 7 students that have been studying together throughout the semester.

As an extra credit assignment I have challenged the groups to produce a collective paper addressing, “what can we do to save the world?” I view this question as synonymous with the objective of this whole blog. They will post their answers as comments for this post and all of you can be the judges.

About climatechangefork

Micha Tomkiewicz, Ph.D., is a professor of physics in the Department of Physics, Brooklyn College, the City University of New York. He is also a professor of physics and chemistry in the School for Graduate Studies of the City University of New York. In addition, he is the founding-director of the Environmental Studies Program at Brooklyn College as well as director of the Electrochemistry Institute at that same institution.
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2 Responses to Saving the World through the Pursuit of Self Interest: Part 2

  1. GROUP 4 says:

    Thanks to the Energy Use and Climate Change Course we took this semester, we found that anything and everything we do affects the world we live in. With the knowledge learned in this class and the concerning predictions discussed about how the world is aging, we found it important to take matters into our own hands to prevent further damage to the Earth and preserve as many resources as possible.
    To begin, we can start with what we consume in our body. Drinking more water has numerous health benefits in itself, and also stops the production of many artificial drinks. By drinking water you are also eliminating the process of many beverage sweeteners and other resources that are causing scarcity for sugar cane and tea. Also, if you drink water from a reusable bottle you are saving production of plastic and decreasing the chances of littering and pollution in the world.
    save the world by saving paper!
    we have been living in a world that can’t live without paper. Now it’s time to change the world!. America is the heaviest user of paper according to data. The average American uses seven trees or an average of 700 pounds of paper. by using all that, we are destroying numerous animals houses, contribute to negative changes in our climate, using energy sources to complete the job. By reducing the amount of paper we use daily, we reduce our carbon footprints on forests, we cut energy uses, limit water, air, and other pollutions to reduce producing papers. Why not use your electronic devices for taking notes in class, or submitting an electronic version of an assignment to your professor instead of physical copy!. Use the hand air dryer in public bathrooms rather than paper towels. Wash your dishes when you have a party instead of buying paper plates. You can make an improvement by adapting one method at a time then make it a habit, spread it, enjoy a better cleaner environment for you and your kids!
    Roaa Yousef
    Energy resources come in all different kinds of technology, from solar, to wind, to hydro power plants. However, a long time producer of clean energy has some new tricks up its sleeve and those who were once afraid of this source might want to reconsider it in today’s society: Nuclear energy. Traditional Nuclear power plants have typically had 2 major problems: 1. Nuclear waste is a major pollutant and is incredible toxic and dangerous to earth life forms. 2. Nuclear plants have the potential to have a catastrophic meltdown that could lead to events such as 3 mile Island and the worldwide known event of trinoble.
    However, newer designs that have been developed by startup nuclear companies have shown incredible promise in eliminating meltdowns all together and creating significantly less nuclear waste. While removing all the massive smoke stack like structures that normally cloud a communities skylines; thus, making them smaller and far more elegantly designed than the new ones. These plants would run off specially designed fuel capsules that enable the use of up to 90% of uranium’s full power potential, with only the remaining 10% being left as a small amount of nuclear waste that breaks down much more quickly than traditional nuclear fuel rods. With plants like this becoming safer and newer reactor designs proving to completely eliminate the possibility of nuclear meltdowns, it’s time the public takes a closer look at nuclear power once again, for a long term solution to renewable, clean energy! Forget the mushroom clouds, and walk by that silent nuclear plant admiring the beauty of the plants architecture!
    We should develop and make more biodegradable products to prevent trash from accumulating in the environment.
    Things such as glass, plastic, and metal are non-biodegradable and if dumped in the environment can last forever! Even though glass, metal, and plastic are recycled, they are not recycled worldwide. And styrofoam or packing material is hardly recycled at all! Wood is biodegradable but it lasts a very long time—maybe decades or even hundreds of years!
    We need to develop more biodegradable materials that will not accumulate in the environment! As an example, styrofoam packing material was replaced by many companies by starch. The starch is soluble and is biodegradable by bacteria and fungi, s it will not accumulate in the environment indefinitely. So what we need to do is to try to develop new packing materials which are biodegradable. This will help reduce land and water pollution!
    Living in NYC we have easy access to public transportation. Even with significant delays during day hours public transportation is faster and less aggravating than driving. However many people still choose to drive a car to work or school instead of taking public transportation. Yes you might be cold or get wet waiting for a bus or a train once in a while, but you will be doing a greater good for the environment taking public transportation.
    According to the APTA by reducing the amount of miles we drive a day we can reduce the amount of c02 produced by 37 million metric tons annually. Cars don’t just require gas when you drive, many components go into a car such as oil and tires which need to be replaced as you drive. If we drive less than harmful products such as those will not have to be disposed off or made as frequently. Public transportation also greatly reduces congestion, which means you get to where you’re going faster and less aggravated. There are many benefits to public transportation that we need to realize and stop driving our cars so unnecessarily

  2. David says:

    To save the world, one needs to take care of surrounding environment and protect with all possible ways.

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