Last week along the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States, offices, schools, dining rooms and Uber rides were consumed by conversation of the looming Winter Storm Jonas. As many Americans cleared grocery store shelves, purchased shovels and stocked up on batteries for flashlights, municipalities made similar preparations the best way they knew how, spreading salt on roads.
The lesson, The Pop Ecology Files, provides a fun way to integrate math and science concepts into middle school classrooms. In Part 1, students examine exponential and arithmetic growth rates, and every-day situations where growth occurs in each. Students calculate the difference between saving money so it will grow arithmetically versus exponentially.
You don’t have to look far for signs that we are living in the human age, or the Anthropocene. Every day we’re exposed to evidence of human impact. For a city dweller a tell-tale sign might be a tall skyscraper whereas for a person living in a rural area it may be the miles and miles of cropland.
Every day, all over the world, ordinary people are dreaming up solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing our planet. From technologies such as LifeStraw (a small water filtration device) to programs like American Forests’ Global ReLeaf Program (a tree re-planting program) – we’re constantly coming up with ideas to mitigate human impact on our planet. Here are a few of our favorite solutions to this year’s World of 7 Billion contest challenges:
Sustainable Solution to Deforestation:
In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their 4th report stating human caused climate change is ‘unequivocal.’ To understand how a scientific panel can clearly, and with no doubt, make such a statement about carbon dioxide emissions, we need to understand the trends that led to the 2007 IPCC report.
It goes without saying that the United States is a nation of immigrants. With the exception of indigenous native populations, most of us can claim an ancestry (distant or otherwise) derived from the passage of one group of people via land, ocean, or (in recent cases) air. Even so, every stage of our nation’s history has been fraught with difficult, and often controversial, decisions about immigration policy (Who should be admitted?
More than 4.3 million people die prematurely from indoor air pollution each year, most of whom live in the developing world where open fires are used as a primary source of energy. Open indoor fires pose a serious threat to human health and the environment. When wood or other traditional fuel sources are burned, dangerous forms of particulate matter are released into the atmosphere (think ash and soot). Of these pollutants, none is more harmful than black carbon.
As our human population continues to grow, one of our vital resources—Earth’s forests—continues to decline. It’s estimated that about 36 football field’s worth of forests are lost every minute due to logging, clear cutting, climate change, and forest fires.