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Discussions Discussion Deforestation SOS
Andrea C-US, Feb. 28, 2014

I am not an expert in deforestation and from my small town we have plenty of trees, but I have noticed that to expand our town we are having to destroy forests to get soccer fields or anything else we need. When I think of deforestation I think of a funny cartoon that has a bulldozer ripping through a forest. I know there is a need for change in my hometown. In my school alone we have an award for most printer paper used. There should be no award, but the person who does use the most paper does get a tree that they can plant. While this is a comical idea of a tree for paper it is not enough; trees take many years to become actual trees. This is where we go wrong we think okay we can just plant a tree, but that will not change the fact that we just destroyed more than we planted.

Andrea C-US

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Discussions Discussion Deforestation SOS
Jesse Bowers, Feb. 28, 2014

Deforestation is good and bad at the same time but i am going to discuss why I think it is bad. Deforestation destroys habitats for different wildlife in our environments. Therefore, the wildlife in our environments are lacking a safe home and eventually dying out.

Jesse Bowers
Comments (1)
  • Leonardo Ferrari Feb. 28, 2014
    I think deforestation can be only bad because we over use it, as we do with all the sources we have. Trees are the main sources of life we should cut them off for personal and stupid purposes.

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Discussions Discussion Sustainable city
Niall Patrick, Feb. 10, 2014

In this type of city, that has a central focus on low carbon transportation, I can imagine a clean environment and atmosphere where there is little to no smog and clear visibility for miles. This type of clean environment is rare to see in cities as there are lots of pollutants and bad emissions coming from cars that have high carbon emissions. A goal I would have as a mayor of this town is to make the city look like the outdoors and the wildlife environments. This would offer a large benefit towards the atmosphere and in result I would expect people to move to this city as a city with low emissions is in very high demand these days as global warming and climate change are becoming real and serious threats. Ultimately people are drawn to clean and ecofriendly cities and it would be my goal to bring people the city, increase GDP and make clean energy a new energy.

Niall Patrick

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Discussions Discussion Deforestation SOS
Ana Sofía AW, Feb. 10, 2014

Because I am so fortunate to have grown up in a place that values environmental education I often forget that this opportunity is relatively rare. My name is Ana Sofia and for the past four years I have been part of a small organization dedicated to teaching kids in Borneo, Indonesia about the devastating effects of deforestation on the world’s green house gas emissions and global ecosystems. Borneo is home to an incredibly large rainforest which is home to thousands of species some of which are only found in Indonesia. Increased logging both legal and illegal as well as the rise of palm oil plantations has greatly affected the habitats of Bornean animals as well as the lives of people. The programs goal is to bring pride to Indonesian students on an elementary to high school level and encourage them to make a difference in the future of their own rainforest.

Ana Sofía AW
Comments (1)
  • Wiebke Rahlf Wiebke Rahlf Feb. 22, 2014
    What can the people in Borneo actually do to prevent deforestation? Apart from teaching the kids about the effects etc., what does the organization do? I didn't get that from the link. And what could I do myself?

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Discussions Discussion Carbon emissions
kyle cafarelli, Oct. 24, 2013

Hello my name is Kyle Im from California USA. While i was calculating my carbon footprint i thought it would be a lot lower then the average person in my area. i found out i was right on everything but one, my carbon emissions for my house where a lot higher then the average. i was shocked but soon realized that we dont have any energy efficient machines in my house.

kyle cafarelli

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Discussions Discussion Deforestation SOS
Earl A-USA, Oct. 17, 2013

For this discussion, I shall be tracing the effects of deforestation. First of all, deforestation will, as the term expresses, shall lead to less trees and therefore less CO2 depletion in the atmosphere.

This slight decrease in CO2 depletion leads to more greenhouse gases in the air, which could lead to warmer temperatures. Those warm temperatures can cause certain species on land, who are used to the temperature in the past, to start depleting in population. The ecosystems that have these organisms will have their food chains tweaked to the point of possible species extinction from extinction or scarcity of food source, which could lead to overpopulation of another species which competed against the previously alive species for other resources that are separate from the possibly extinct food source of the now dead species. This dominant species could completely destroy their ecosystem by consuming resources faster than they previously did so due to competition from the now dead species. This could lead to the destruction of the resource in that area and, eventually, the destruction if the whole ecosystem.

Another consequence of CO2 levels being risen is the increase in acidic rain. H2O(water) could interact with CO2(carbon dioxide) and create carbonic acid(acid rain). This acid rain could increase acidity in the soil in which it lands on. Some consequences for this can be seen in the link: (http://soilwater.com.au/bettersoils/module2/2_3.htm.) If the plants in the area where to die because of the acidity, there would be a smaller amount of CO2 consumers AND a decrease in the overall food supply of that ecosystem. Consequences of that are shown in the previous paragraph. Also, if that was the primary food source of the entire ecosystem, then the ecosystem would die in an even simpler way, by lack of food.

Lastly, a consequence of the root of all these problems, deforestation, is what it is going to be used for. If it is used for firewood, firewood converts O2 and some of its carbon atoms into CO2. If it is used for building, it will eventually catch molds that will decompose it into methane and other greenhouse gases. So, in deforestation, both its absence and use create CO2 and/or other greenhouse gases. This is not good, and I would like to say that I am an advocate for the reduction and/or the destruction of deforestation.

Earl A-USA

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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Jeevin S-USA, Oct. 17, 2013

Hello, my name is Jeevin Sandhu from Oakland California. After my realization of how much excess carbon is unnecessarily released per capita in California, I tried to look up ways that could be the rational. My findings were shocking.

I found that every year Americans (just American’s alone!) throw away enough paper, cups, forks and spoons to circle the equator of the earth 300 times. In offices in America alone, the average worker throws away 500 disposable cups a year! Imagine how many office workers there are in America. Every year, America uses approximately 102.1 billion plastic bags and most of them end up in landfills. Over 7 billion pounds of PVC are thrown away and only 7 million are recycled. These facts are staggering and almost unrealistic.

I think that education is the key to controlling carbon emissions in the United States. If these astounding facts were presented to the next generation of American’s, there could potentially be a huge difference of carbon emission of future generations. If we present this information, and show the catastrophic results and ramification of our nation and world’s carbon emission change is imminent.

Jeevin S-USA
Comments (4)
  • jamie B USA jamie B USA Oct. 17, 2013
    I also agree with you. It is incredible how many plastic bags a family of 5 could go though. My family friends have 5 people in there family and they go food shopping and I remember last time I counted 15 bags. A lot of people don't reuse bags. I think it would make a hug difference if everyone made that little change to reuse bags. In some areas now they are charging people for bags for ten cents. Which I actually think is a great idea. It encourages people to be more carefully with the amount of plastic bags they use. I don't know where people think plastic bags go after being thrown away. I se them all over the streets. I also learned that it takes a plastic bag 10 years to discenigrate.
  • Mark K-USA Mark K-USA Oct. 17, 2013
    I completely agree with you and Ariel, we shouldn't be using plastic as much especially to hold our food, which is probably already wrapped in plastic. I really like the ideas of cities making plastic bags and extra 5 or 10 cents. In the end it really adds up. People go shopping so much it could be hundreds of dollars a year wasted on silly bags. My family has reusable bags that we bought for a dollar and we use it almost always. And if we forget it, we never use plastic. We buy paper, and we use it for recycling bags or stuff for school projects. Theres no point in plastic.
  • Daniel Oliner Daniel Oliner Oct. 19, 2013
    Hi Jeevin,
    I agree with you completely that education is the key to controlling climate change. As a student, I have not been exposed to the effects of Global-Warming enough and, if I had not researched it on my own, I would not know the severity of it. Education leads to awareness, and awareness leads to a solution to this looming problem.
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Discussions Discussion Climate Change Effects on the Ocean
Aditya Rao, Oct. 14, 2013

Hello I am Aditya, I am a 9th grader in California. I recently did on online virtual lab about Ocean acidification and I was very surprised with the results. Apparently the CO2 that is released all over the world are being absorbed by the ocean. This higher concentration of carbon in the oceans will cause the pH levels of the oceans to go from 8.8 to 7.6 in just a few years. The higher acids will cause certain animals to die because they can’t be supported. For example sea urchin’s skeletons are made of calcium and the higher acidity causes the sea urchins to have a stunted growth. If the sea urchins die then other species will be affected drastically. Sea otters feed off of urchins and might die out. On the other side urchins feed on sea weed and if there are fewer sea urchins then the growth of sea weed will be uncontrolled. The entire sea ecosystem will be disrupted by the removal of one species.

There are other things that are effected by climate change. I have recently learned about how the increased temperatures are causing glaciers all over the world to melt. The melting glaciers raise the sea level and can cause entire cities to be submerged. Glacier ice is actually the most reflective natural material found on Earth. If the glaciers melt than more energy from the sun will be absorbed resulting in a massive loop. We are at the start of this loop and unless we stop it now we will be caught in the events to follow.

This delicate balance is present in all of the world’s ecosystem. Small things we do right now have effects that we can not fathom. Even the small amount of Carbon Dioxide released by driving to school a cause catastrophic changes to the world. Every person in the globe should realize what it is that they are doing and hoe exactly it affects the world. If we raise the awareness about our current problems then we can change the world one step at a time.

Aditya Rao

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Discussions Discussion Reuse & repurpose
Vendela G_Na11bswe, Oct. 13, 2013

Hi everyone!

I have read a lot of posts that encourages recycling in order to decrease emissions. Of course, this is a great way to get the most out of our natural resources. Though, I wonder if that is enough. Recycling can take us only so far considering the enormous demand of products we have today. I think that even in a scenario where everything that is produced also gets reused and recycled, the environmental problems will remain. I recently watched a documentary (unfortunately in swedish, http://www.svtplay.se/video/1480596/del-5-av-18 ) that stated that people make a big mistake when not linking emissions and consumption. The documentary spoke of China as an example. It is true that the country has emissions far beyond what is sustainble. At the same time Sweden (where I live) is happy about having managed to decrease the emissions during the past couple of years. What many seem to forget is that countries like China have high emissions only beacuse we want to buy their cheap products. As long as the demand exists the manufacturing will continue. So, reusing and recycling are both great actions, but they should not be the first ones to take. Instead the process should start at the mall or where you buy your electronics. I think the question we all need to pose is: “Do I really need this?”. That way you will both decrease emossions and save money. Another way to do it can be to see if you find what you are looking for in a second hand shop before buying it in the regular store. Analyzing my way of living, I realize that I buy a lot of things that I do not really need.

How about you? What do you buy that you do not really need? And what would you be willing to refrain from in order to lower your global footprint?

Vendela G_Na11bswe
Comments (2)
  • Aditya Rao Aditya Rao Oct. 14, 2013

    A couple years ago I learned about the three r's. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Everyone talks about the reuse and recycle parts but I haven't heard people talking about the reduce. W should reduce what we buy. We will make a bigger impact on the world by using less than using more and recycling it.
  • Vendela G_Na11bswe Vendela G_Na11bswe Oct. 14, 2013
    I had not heard about those before! Clever ;)

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Discussions Discussion Deforestation SOS
Amy M-USA, Oct. 10, 2013

Hello everyone!

Recently, I stumbled upon a Greenpeace article about the effects of deforestation on the environment. Whenever I think of the term “deforestation,” I usually form images of trees being cut down. However, This article gave me an entirely new perspective on deforestation and how serious it really is. It states that when forests are destroyed and burned for human settlements, the carbon dioxide initially absorbed by the trees is released back into the atmosphere. Trees also release methane as they decay. As a result, the production of greenhouse gases from the burning of forests produce as much as “thirty percent of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere over the past 150 years.” The increase of greenhouse gases combined with a decrease in the amount of trees to absorb carbon dioxide are even more damaging to the environment.

To ensure that we do not further increase the rate of climate change, we need to plant new forests, moderate the amount of logging, and protect existing forests. We also need to make sure no new forests are cut down. Check out the article below to find out more about deforestation and practices that promote sustainable forestry!

Comments (4)
  • Sara LUSA Sara LUSA Oct. 10, 2013
    I agree. We need to make a bigger effort to use fewer trees and leave a smaller footprint on the environment. For example, what if the labels and nutritional information for bottled drinks were printed on the plastic, instead of on a paper label? Think of how much paper we would save. Simple actions like this can make a huge impact on our carbon footprint as a society.
  • Betsy f-usa Betsy f-usa Oct. 10, 2013
    It is shocking how many trees are cut down by people each year. About 18 million acres of forest are lost each year due to humans. Not only does this release greenhouse gases that cause global warming, but it endangers many animals who live in those forests. However, there are many things that we need that come from trees, so completely stopping deforestation is very unlikely. I agree that planting more trees to make up for the ones we chop down is a good idea. This article gives many interesting details about the effects of deforestation.
  • Amy M-USA Amy M-USA Oct. 11, 2013
    Thanks for all your great ideas! I now realize that deforestation probably cannot be stopped completely. However, Elizabeth gave a great suggestion to plant a new tree to replace a tree cut down, which will reduce the environmental impact. I also like Sara's idea of printing the nutritional information of drinks on the plastic itself instead of a new piece of paper for each bottle. Doing so will definitely save a ton of paper! And Betsy's link gives a more in-depth view on the effects of deforestation. After reading her article, I learned that greenhouse gases are not the only negative consequence of deforestation. Many animal species become extinct as well when their homes are destroyed, which also hurts the fields of animal and medicinal research and the people who depend on the animals for survival.
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