Quick! Name the company that’s doing the most for the green cause in the world.
According to green industry journal Greentech Media, it’s the Chinese Communist Party.
This claim is true, if a little silly. The Chinese government has made amazing forays into every area of green technology, from wind power (they recently dethroned the U.S. to become #1 in installed wind power generation capability) to solar panels to electric vehicles. Their government-run reforestation program alone employs over 1 million people.
Consider steak…As with everything we put in our bodies, our society can’t leave well enough alone.
There are several problems with the beef industry. The worst is the use of large tracts of arable land to house and feed cattle when this land would often be better used to plant crops for human consumption. But that’s not something that ends up on your plate.
For the past few weeks here at Good-B we’ve been talking about genetically modified foods. In this field there is no company more lauded – and questioned – for its achievements than agricultural juggernaut Monsanto. We’ve invited this company into our homes – and make no mistake, you have eaten Monsanto today – without questioning their motives or thinking much of it at all. Why?
“Genetically modified organism:”That term is bandied around a lot, but what does it mean?
You’ll never know. U.S. law does not require corporations to make their patents on genetically modified crops public. And yes, you can patent an organism. There are GMOs in 58 percent of U.S. processed foods and 72% of U.S. corn. In other words: you ate a GMO today.
America has two problems right now: one we talk about, and one we don’t.
One problem, admittedly, encompasses a lot of others; but it can be summed up as a general feeling that this country is doing something wrong, that our position as a world leader is slowly slipping.
The other problem is that we’re no longer a leader in green technology. Europe and China have taken the crown here: in 2009, China spent $34.6 billion on clean tech, almost double the U.S.’s total. The EU, meanwhile, actually takes the Kyoto Protocol somewhat seriously and has been lessening emissions on a yearly basis.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been wondering if carbon dioxide might not be the driving force behind global warming.
Have I gone climate denier, become a card-carrying member of the GOP? Have I been swept up in the populist fervor of young maverick Mitt Romney’s whirlwind campaign?
No, I’ve just been reading the news (and taking classes) and can no longer be glibly ignorant of the huge significance of methane gas to climate change. In fact, it’s a factor in 28% of the climate change currently occurring. It’s also 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
Ever see an eighteen-wheeler belching out smog and think, “That’s got to be bad for the environment”?
Indeed it is – and carbon dioxide has nothing to do with it.
There is, in fact, an entire world of non-CO2 greenhouse gases with various effects on the global climate. Gases such as methane and black carbon contribute 30% to 40% of the world’s global warming potential. The upside, though, is that these agents act on a very short term – weeks to months – as opposed to carbon dioxide, which can remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years.