Category Archives: Environment

The Mysteries of Our Universe

Image

It is hard to believe that our universe is actually expending considering how immense it already is. We still ask ourselves many questions that have remained unanswered by the famous scientists that have marked our cosmological history such as Einstein and Aristotle. For instance, how do black holes grow? Where does the universe take all of its energy to expand the way it does?

I therefore consider cosmology as a great mystery that humans have not yet discovered all about and maybe never will in the future. In a way, I feel afraid of space especially since we do not know enough about it to do what we want.

This may be beneficial for the universe since humans are unable to control it, which means that they cannot damage it unlike what they did to our planet Earth. The mistakes that were made on this planet in the past are irreversible and will forever remain a part of our eventful history. Many people today are still troubled by what has happened in their past such as the soldiers in World War II. This means that we must be careful with the universe so that we do not commit severe mistakes.

I will always remain impressed by astronauts who have devoted their lives to exploring space and testing new equipment to go into space without knowing exactly how it would react.

What humans know is that our galaxy called the Milky Way is located in stars and gas and is part of tens of thousands of galaxies. These galaxies remain unexplored by humans, which makes us question about whether there could be other life out there. Furthermore, since 1998, there is the idea that dark energy could be the source that is controlling our universe and also contributing to its growth.

I think the next big step for humans in space, even though many other achievements could be performed, is developing a way to be able to travel out of our galaxy to visit others. This idea is very interesting for me but it brings me to question whether we would ever know if our experiment worked or not. We must remember that the astronauts would be “traveling through time” because of the light years…

To watch the video this blog was based on, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUpWCRadIIA

Forcing the Environment to Accommodate Us

The environment is always a big topic of discussion especially since we are seeing more and more news about disasters, flooding, epidemics, and more.

We do not realize how much we are affecting the environment simply because we have become used to the idea that the environment should accommodate us and not the other way around. We are shaping the environment so that we can live comfortably, but we are starting to assume that the environment is strong enough to handle all change. This assumption should not be made because, as we can see with recent news, some of the biosphere is deteriorating which is causing damage to many species on Earth.

Image

One of the things that have recently been seen in the news is the fact that 61 trees must be cut down in Verdun because of an infestation of Emerald ash borers (http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/infos/regional/montreal/archives/2014/03/20140324-175858.html). These green beetles are starting to infect more and more regions and they are hard to stop due to the fact that they do not have many predators. We also greatly contribute to their rate of dispersion because we import and export wood that could contain these killers.

Another problem that I read about in the news, concerning how the environment cannot meet all of our extensive needs, is about our waste (http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/infos/regional/estduquebec/archives/2014/03/20140324-204328.html). A couple living in Saint-Gabriel-Lalement is having problems with their plumbing system, which has caused their waste to go directly in nature. When they realized how much their house stank, they took off a piece of floor, and found more than 4 inches thick of crap!

            This indicates how much we are forcing the environment to obey us. What I mean by this is that humans are only thinking about themselves but they should be thinking about the poor biosphere that might not last an eternity.

The following picture makes you think not only about the environment, but also the animals that are cohabiting wit us in it.

Image

Should Humans be on Top of the World?

Image

Why would humans want to continue managing ecosystems when they see what happened when they removed grey wolves in Yellowstone? Humans must understand that they are not at the top of everything so they cannot manage everything either.

What I mean by this is that we cannot control everything in this world because we are a part of it and therefore, we should respect the others who are a part of this world as well. It is impossible for us to say that we will start controlling every ecosystem so that we can take advantage of it. If we would start doing this, there would be major repercussions in the long run for many different species.

The issue that is explored in this article, written by Emily Gertz, is a perfect example of how humans negatively change the environment for their personal advantage. The only reason we decided to start removing the wolves in Yellowstone was because they were starting to eat our livestock. But an even bigger problem arose; the elk population was growing too large which means that there was a decrease in the amount of willow trees that the elk feed on. This had an effect on many other species as well.

Sometimes, our population has a hard time to critically analyze their actions before they actually perform them. We do not take the proper amount of time to fully understand what we are dealing with before we just jump into it. For example, if I said, “I need to use the computer every Saturday for the whole day for the rest of the year.” By actually doing this, I would be preventing other people in my household from using the computer which could cause them problems. These could include; a deadline of a payment that couldn’t be made on time or an important research project that couldn’t be finished.        

All of this comes down to the fact that humans have a hard time to know the limit of their control on this world which unquestionably has impacts on every other species living in the same environment. Couldn’t we just force ourselves to fully analyze a situation before taking action so that we reduce the amount of damage on Earth?

 

The full article about wolves in Yellowstone can be viewed at:  http://www.popsci.com/article/science/have-wolves-really-saved-yellowstone?src=SOC&dom=tw

An Addition to the List of Harmful Things for the Environment

Image

The list of bad things for the environment that humans have is very long and is getting even longer. An article entitled “Why Use Microbeads When The Alternatives Are Better?”, written by Rebecca Adams, talks about how microbeads are placed in skincare products to clean our skin better but actually, they are made of plastic and are helping our environment degrade.  

The reason why we buy them is also because these products are less expensive. Ultimately, humans always try and save money on anything they can so that they can save for important things such as buying a house. The authors in the text are assuming that consumers don’t take the time to read the ingredients and this may be true, but not in all cases.

Sometimes, either people decide that they will disregard the environment or the environmentally friendly products are just too expensive for their budgets. These people might think that not caring about the environment for such a little thing isn’t all that important, but they are wrong. Their attitude will be attributed not only to cosmetics but other things such as paper towel.

Of course some people only like to think about themselves but we are living in a society. In a society, it is essential to think in a utilitarian way because the most amount of people should benefit. By thinking this way, we can then consider our grandchildren who will want to grow up in a clean environment.

Furthermore, by making sure that we are taking care of our environment, we are actually benefiting ourselves as well since it is still our environment. We can look at the analogy of a bedroom for example. When a bedroom is dirty with full of clothes, books, and music all over the floor and shelves, it is quite hard to do your homework with this limited space. But with an organized and clean bedroom, there is enough space to do your homework in a comfortable way.  

We can conclude that microbeads shouldn’t be used because they will harm our environment, although alternatives cost more. This means that the pharmaceutical companies will have to try and find a way to sell these cosmetics in an environmentally friendly way without it being too costly.

 

For more details on effects of cosmetics on the environment, visit: http://www.organicmonitor.com/r2504.htm

People Needed for Great Backyard Bird Count

Image

An interesting idea was published by Evelyn Boychuck on the CBC News website. This article is entitled “Great Backyard Bird Count appeals for public’s help.”

 

Scientists are showing how they can think in a very systematic way. Why not save money and time and get more accurate results?

 

Also, people who aren’t scientists and who are interested in nature and its fauna can participate in something big. The population of birds is being observed which is something important for our ecosystem.

 

This is a great project for the elderly who aren’t working anymore and who have a lot of time.

 

“This is a great idea! I can sit in my backyard and see plenty of birds, but maybe less in the winter. Although, I have no Internet so there would have to be a place where I could go to give my data,” says Josette Fortier, my 74-year-old grandmother.

 

It would be very simple to send a representative of the Great Backyard Bird Count in various communities. People who think it is complicated could therefore still submit their observations. 

 

There is actually an occupation that describes exactly what the population is doing. It is called ornithology. This is the study of birds, which includes photography, observation, banding of birds and also to assist conferences.

     

Lastly, there are lots of benefits for people participating in this bird count. This is something I would consider doing if I had the time, so in summer would be a more probable time.

 

Go watch this video for tips, given by an expert, on bird watching:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9h3aSmLZS0  

An Important Dilemma for Sochi

At the moment, Sochi is experiencing very hot temperatures which have many effects on the environmental conditions of the outdoor tracks. As a result, the athletes’ performances will be affected by these conditions. How will they be able to keep ideal conditions to last all of the games? In my opinion, this is a subject that should be reflected upon.

Image Engineers and scientists, who are specialists in the field, are taking care of the matter since they are experts in the formation of snow. They have expressed their information on NBC Learn’s website page entitled “Science and Engineering of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.”

We might think that snow can easily be created, but it requires the right temperature and environment. Society, in general, probably thinks that they know everything there is to learn about snow. But what they don’t know is that there are scientists who are researching this subject. If we can learn more about how snow is formed, what influences it and its features; we can be a step closer to finding out how our earth works. I know this is a very big field to learn from, but without earth, humans would not exist.

I think it is very important to have specialists for every field so that we can learn the way our world works. Looking at the winter Olympics, everything must be thought of for the athletes so that everything is organized and ready for the races. Furthermore, our research can limit the amount of injuries for the athletes as well as reduce risks for humans in general. It will also create an ideal environment for performers. For example, the ice that the athletes must skate on goes through a filtration system first to remove impurities and salt is then included in the layer that is applied to the ice.

Most of us probably remember skating on some ice during the spring and falling down because of kinks or just because it was so slushy. Didn’t we wish that there could exist a special treatment so that ice could stay perfect all the time? Well this phenomenon is already happening and we can thank these researchers for that.