issues with my laptop kept me from getting on line this week.
4 May 2013 03:51 PM
this week was spent in revising and up-dating the e-book
27 Apr 2013 12:05 PM
the writing and revision continues
27 Apr 2013 12:00 PM
the writing continues
27 Apr 2013 11:59 AM
the writing continues!
22 Apr 2013 06:20 PM
the writing continues! I'm at the stage where I'm adding material to the topics that have been selected!
15 Apr 2013 06:03 PM
I slipped this week. No excuses from this point forward.
10 Apr 2013 01:41 PM
Very powerful information that everyone needs to read!
6 Apr 2013 01:33 PM
1.1 “Green living is no longer a social expression of political ideas, but an economic expression of personal ones.” There’s certainly no shortage of information concerning ‘going green.’ This topic has become one of the biggest buzzwords in everyday life. You can find advice everywhere you turn, from the print media and all across the internet. For the last 20 years some big businesses and congressional leaders have expressed, in no uncertain terms, that global warming doesn’t exist. Yet, they can’t explain why the ice is melting at an alarming rate around the North Pole in fact it’s just possible that the ice could be gone by 2040. Then again, many other big businesses have jump on the “going green” bandwagon. For example, Wal-Mart is working hard to reduce the amount of energy used in its stores by using more fuel-efficient trucks and even going so far to encourage its 180 million plus customers to purchase products that are helpful to the environment. General Electric (GE) is moving away from the stance that the Chamber of Commerce and the fossil-fuel industry have taken in denying human involvement in global warming. GE has gone green because company leadership understands that by embracing environmental issues they are also creating new business enterprises. Many Fortune 500 companies have even created a spot in their flow charts for an executive level green management position. The one thing that the experts all agree on, no matter how you feel about the green movement, is that if we don’t do something now we will be facing serious problems down the road. We are all in this together by working with each other we can make a difference. “Going green” can be both a good and bad thing, either leaving us inspired or suffering from green fatigue and apathy to the cause. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything involved with “going green.” “The real question is whether we each can move ahead creatively with our fear because we believe that, in this pivotal moment, we have it in us to make a planet wide turn toward life.” (Lappe, 2011) __________________ ____________________ __
1.2 How is ‘going green’ or “green living” defined? There are so many definitions found on Google that it is hard to decide which one is the best. In reality, the following is a combination pulled from a number of different definitions found on Google. “Going green” is the act of curbing harmful effects to the environment by consciously changing our behaviors, beliefs, practices and lifestyles. “Going green” means changing our lifestyle so that our impact on the environment is as minimal as possible. We do this by: • adopting earth friendly practices • conservation efforts • finding alternative fuel sources • using natural resources wisely • making sound ecological decisions Why is “going green” or “green living” so important? Julia Kerr states that “going green” is a personal decision with global consequences.” (Kerr, 2012) Clayton Bennett goes further when he writes “we make ecological decisions every day. What we consume and what we waste produces an immediate effect on our environment. This affect, as a result of our choices, affects everything from our physical health to the natural world we may never see.” (Bennett, 2008) Our actions can have long-term financial, health and environmental benefits. Not only do we, as individuals, gain but so does society and nature. __________________ ____________________ __ 1.3 “Going greener” vs. “going green” We mentioned earlier that we’ve been or are being, overwhelmed by the amount of news articles, television shows and internet exposure to all of the “green” information coming at us. Through all of this noise the one thing we do not want to do (is lose focus on the main objective, “going green.”) You’ve heard about the squeaky wheel get the most attention in this case those making the most noise are often heard the loudest. The problem with this information is that we don’t know how much of it is true. So the challenge is we must figure out what is true, the degree of truth and if we follow this information, how will it impact the world around us. Even though that is a good start, we don’t want to stop at “going greener.” Going greener is good, something we should all strive for, but our main goal should be “green.” According to Collin Dunn, “What we don’t want to do is get “going greener” confused with green.” (Dunn, 2012) Dunn uses three examples in his article: Dunn’s first example is: driving a hybrid car is “greener,” riding a bicycle is “green.” Hybrid cars still have an internal combustion engine that requires the use of gasoline which is made from oil. Even though hybrid cars are twice as fuel efficient as normal cars we can do much better. This isn’t to say that driving a hybrid isn’t a worthy cause, it is, but it isn’t “green.” Number two: Grass-fed beef is “greener,” not eating beef is “green.” We’ve all heard the stories about commercial farms where cattle are stuffed into pens where they barely have any room. Many of these animals are fed antibiotic-laced feed. Grass-fed cattle are less stressed making them “greener” but not “green.” The reason for this is the amount of water it takes to raise a pound of beef is between “2500 and 5000 gallons,” reports Dunn. Third: Recycling is “greener” but “cradle-to-cradle, zero-waste is green,” states Dunn. We’ve all know the 3 “R’s,” reduce, reuse and recycle. The problem with recycling starts the minute we purchase something that can be recycled. Of the three “R’s,” recycling receives the most attention, as Dunn says, “recycling is greener and we should continue to do it.” __________________ ____________________ __ 1.3 Reasons Why “Going Green” Won’t Work One of the biggest reasons that “going green” won’t work is due to moral licensing. What is moral licensing? It seems as if we do something good and then turn around and do something bad. For example, we might shop at Whole Foods, buy organic, and yet we drive to the store in an SUV that gets very poor gas mileage, writes Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post Staff Writer. “Why going green won't make you better or save you money,” July 18th, 2010. Another example might be us installing a tankless water heater only to end up taking longer showers. Still, we might buy a quarter-pounder and fries but drink a diet coke. "We have these internal negotiations going in our heads all day, even if we don't know it," said Benoît Monin, a social psychologist who studies moral licensing at Stanford University. "People's past behavior literally gives them license to do that next thing, which might not be good." We can find moral licensing in just about everything today. Auto makers can still build gas guzzlers as long as their overall fleet meets the federal law for specified miles per gallon rating. This is apparent more in the ‘green’ field than anywhere else. In a recent study published by Nina Mazar, a University of Toronto behavioral marketing professor, showed that people who bought green products were more likely to cheat and steal than those who bought conventional products. "People do not make decisions in a vacuum their decisions are embedded in a history of behaviors," Mazar wrote, with co-author Chen-Bo Zhong. "Purchasing green products may license indulgence in self-interested and unethical behaviors." Lucas Davis, an energy economist at the University of California, Berkeley, has published a study showing that after getting high-efficiency washers, consumers increased clothes washing by nearly 6 percent. According to Rosenwald, many metro Washington, D.C. local home-appliance and building contractors who specialize in green products see examples of such indulgence almost every day. They have begun to warn customers that installing green products in their homes does not give them license to over consume: Don't run the plasma TV all night just because you put solar panels on your roof don't take endless showers because your water is heated off the grid don't do more loads of laundry because your machine is energy-efficient. There’s a valid reason for these warnings. “A recent study by the Shelton Group, which advocates for sustainable consumer choices, showed that of 500 people who had greened their homes, a third saw no reduction in bills,” reports Rosenwald. "Subconsciously , I think this is just part of human nature," said Jason Holstine, owner of Amicus Green Building Center in Kensington, Maryland. "It's like, 'If I just do a little, I'm off the hook and my conscious is clear. Give me a pat on the back, and thank you very much.' Then it goes too far." How do we know if “going green” is hurting the environment or not? It’s hard to look at the United States to find an answer. We should look at Germany, the leading green country in the world. While U.S. politicians sit on their rear ends debating whether or not that global warming even exists, Germany has charged ahead with every major political party has preserving the environment as one of its top priorities. A lot of money is spent on studies, research, risk assessments and seals of approval, yet the German magazine Spiegel has its doubts, writes Jessica Stillman in “Is Going Green Bad for the Environment?” published in MoneyWatch, March 21, 2011. Stillman goes further by stating “…Not everything that looks green serves the environment. The ecological principle of proceeding with care doesn't seem to apply to environmental policy. The more, the better, seems to be the principle. No one is calculating whether all the billions being invested in protecting the environment are actually being spent wisely. Ordinary citizens can't judge it and many experts have no interest in shedding any light on this aspect because their livelihoods are at stake.” Stillman writes, “In economics, it's called the law of diminishing marginal utility. The first glass of water you drink will help a lot to quench your thirst. The second will help a little less and so on. By the 10th glass you will be feeling unpleasantly full or even sick. That's the worst aspect: some major environmental policies aren't just ineffective -- they are counterproductive. What we want our environmental policies to do is to cause action, real to honest action that makes a difference. Shelly McRae, eHow Contributor, writes in “The Negative Effects of Going Green,” that the relationship between nature as an ecosystem and humans has become less than ideal, with humans abusing the ecosystem. Right now many news reporting organizations dwell on going green issues that the world is facing. We need to get away from this world view and think on an individual level to get an idea about gaining the proper view of the negative effects of going green. Another factor McRae reports is the cost. Many people can’t afford a solar array on their homes, plus the payback period is 14 years. The payback period alone might make some homeowners rethink going solar. Solar isn’t the only process that holds the average family back. Electric cars are a high-up front cost with a slow payback. What many folks see is that going green is for rich people. McRae writes that by replacing the standard light bulb with the newer fluorescent bulbs that use less energy we can save money because the bulbs last longer so we need less of them. The one drawback is that these bulbs contain mercury. They have to be recycled properly and not thrown in the trash. Still again, we are encouraged to buy locally grown organic food. When you are counting the green in your pocket how can you afford to buy organic? You can’t so you end up buying food that is on sale so you can feed your family. Organic foods have taken on a boutique attitude and like solar panels and electric cars, have become more about lifestyle and less about saving the planet. It's definitely a trend, continues McRae. Do we need to change our ways in order to save the planet, yes we do. But going green has turned into an economical profit zone. Companies can label their products as green and charge more. Local governments can raise taxes by creating recycling programs. Plus, when we purchase energy star products what happens to the old models that are replaced, they usually end up in garbage dumps instead of being recycled.