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Topic Assignment: Referring to and mentioning the topics of all of them, Assignments 1-6, see what connections you can find. How do you see technology adapting to global changes in the future? What opportunities might there be, as we adjust to a changing environment? Why is this urgent? Why are there reasons for hope? 7-8 paragraphs.
Assignment 1
Water pollution
Water Pollution has been a major issue for centuries now. It has conducted many major effects in the environment, Aquatic species, and undeveloped countries. As a result, millions of people are sick and animals are dying every year due to poor sanitize water. A lot of marines have lost their lives as well from chemical poison coming from the ocean. Every water source is important to the environment and the way our world function. Unfortunately, nobody is aware of the damage they are causing to the environment, until it’s done. Ocean pollution is caused by a variety of sources; such as electronic waste, Clothing dye, Ice melting, and sunscreen.
E-waste add up to more than 5 percent of all community solid waste around the world and is increasing with the rise of sales of electronic products in developing countries. Recycling companies in developed countries are facing environmental regulation. This result to them dumping their e-waste in the form of donations and charity in developing countries. Not every developing country has access to protective gears. Therefore, workers are being expose to numerous toxic substances. Inhalation of those substances are toxic metals and poison that can enter into the bloodstream causing cancer. as a result of direct exposure and inhalation of harmful chemicals.
In the textile industry, enormous dye is being used to produce garments. Every year, about 80 billion garments are being produce with dye. In fact, 17 to 20% of industrial water pollution is owed to fabric dyes and treatments. As those dyes are been successful in the textile industry, millions are being affected by it. According to Greenpeace, many used additives in the dyeing and finishing process are harmful to human health, marine life, as well as the environment. For example, the least effects of dyed synthetic are allergic reaction, rashes and skin irritation. The worst-case scenario is that it increases the risk of cancer.
Global warming has a big impact in ice melting around the world. It has been adding to sea level rise which then increases coastal erosions and causes huge storms like hurricane and typhoons. For instance, the Greenland ice sheet currently has a melting rate of 20% at sea level rising and it is four times faster than it was back in 2003. As sea level rises, ocean currents will continue disrupting weather pattern worldwide causing several industries facing billion of dollar recovering bills due to frequent and intense storm. Human are not only the ones affected by the storm. Wildlife, like walrus and polar bears are also losing their home, spending more time on land, and causing more conflict between them and human.
During the summer, tons of people are using sunscreen to protect themselves against UV rays. However, sunscreen is made with different chemicals that is lethal coral reef. We have lost 50% of our planet’s coral reefs in the past 30 years. Global warming leading to warm climate is known to be the main cause of coral reef bleaching, Nevertheless, it’s not the only cause. According to “Protect yourself – and the coral reefs – with reef-safe sunscreens this summer BY KARUN NG” a study has found common chemicals in sunscreen and cosmetic that is highly toxic to coral reef. Those chemicals can also originate through the water and directly from swimmers wearing sunscreen.
In conclusion, water is one of the most importance substances on earth. It is essential to every living thing in this planet. There would not be a life without water. However, the world water recourses are being polluted in many ways. In ways that society is not aware of. For this reason, we need to be educated on how water is being affected. That way, we can wisely choose what can be beneficial to us and the environment.
Assignment 2
The human brain compares to an animal’s brain is very different. Some animals have larger brains, which may allow more information to be stored. If the different size of the brain identifies the intelligence of a living being, the most intelligent being would be a sperm whale. A brain sperm whale measures around 8-9 thousand cubic centimeters, while the human brain is around 1,300 cubic centimeters. That would indicate that a sperm whale is smarter than humans. However, the size of the brain does not determine how smart a person or an animal is. Instead, it is indicated by the cerebral cortex and the more lobes of the brain. A cetacean has a 40 percent more cerebral cortex than humans and larger more lobes. This shows that it has a higher level of complexity and development and process more complex thoughts and emotions than humans.
Throughout this pandemic, a lot of changes have occurred to the songbird’s call. Researchers found out that the anthropogenic noise of a male white-crowned sparrow had a sudden drop in San Francisco during a strict lockdown in April and in May. That is because urban birds are more likely to sing louder in a noisy environment than a quiet one. They are also more likely to contain more information when communicating long distance.
Whales are being affected by ship strikes. There were about 14 confirmed cases of ships hitting whales in 2018 and 11 fatalities, 13 strikes in 2019, and 11 fatal cases off the California Coast. Those were only 5 and 17 percent of the cases of dead whales that were found. That is because they are more likely to be washed out to sea. Today, Scientists are trying to figure out a way to keep the whales safe along the California coast. They have currently created a system using a buoy, where it would send a signal to them when it hears a whale song. The signal is sent to them using an underwater microphone known as a hydrophone. The ship would then slow down giving the whales time to react. This system might not be the most effective, but it might reduce the risk of ship strikes.
No matter how much you try to eat healthy, there’s no chance that you are not consuming harmful chemicals. The food and drink you are consuming daily are likely to contain 10,000 chemicals that may be added to food. However, those chemicals are recognized as endocrine disruptors, which could lead to health problems in adults and babies. It can impact a baby’s IQ, affecting their achievement in school and their ability to socialize. This could also affect the adult reproductive system, allowing birth defects to occur.
Assignment 3
Coral Reef
Boyan slat is trying to clean up plastic waste from the ocean. His organization, Ocean Cleanup has successfully embarked on the process of cleaning up the pollution that has been circling the great pacific garbage patch. However, tons of plastic are entering the ocean every year. The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, they have conducted that 10 rivers are responsible for 90 percent of plastic. Slat believes, if they focus on the most polluted rivers, it can prevent more plastic from reaching out to the ocean. The Ocean Cleanup operation has established a solar-powered, autonomous system called the Interceptors.
The interceptor uses river water to escort the garbage to a platform that transports the waste to the waiting bin. These Interceptors went to two places, Indonesia and Malaysia, to help collect trash from water sources. Fishes are dying from water pollution and becoming more hazardous to eat. Fishes are consuming waste that is in the water, making them toxic to eat. Slat hopes to make life better for those who inhabit next to those rivers. The goal of the Ocean Cleanup is to take care of thousands of the most polluted rivers in five years.
In the past three decades, half of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost its coral populations. The primary cause of reef disturbance would be climate change. The coral reef is the most vibrant marine ecosystem on the planet. Mostly, a quarter and one-third of the marine species rely on them in their life cycle. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef, covering about 133,000 square miles. It is also home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 hard corals, and dozens of alternative species. More than 50 percent of the Great Barrier Reef has declined.
Reefs are essential to the health of the marine ecosystem. Without it, marine life would become extinct. Experts found out that population declines occurred in both shallow and deep-water coral species. The most affected corals are branching and tablet-shaped corals, which are habitats to fish. Those coral reefs are affected by mass bleaching events in 2016 and 2017. Water temperatures also play a role in coral bleaching. When the water is hot, the coral will bleach. If the water remains heated, the coral will die. This eventuality would affect the natural habitat of many species. Co-author Hughes said that “the world’s largest and relatively well-protected reef system is increasingly compromised and in decline,” They must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to save coral reefs.
In conclusion, according to the video, coral reefs are living in a different time scale. It is a community for many microorganisms; it also produces reefs. Corals are over-protected creatures. Fishes depend on those reefs for food and shelter, especially from a storm. There are way fewer coral reefs than there were back in the 60s and 80s. Corals often suffer pain when the water heats up quickly. Ensuring that the industry is not harming the corals’ reef could prevent them from bleaching.
Assignment 4
Plastic bags
California is the only state in Florida that has strictly forced the ban on the use of plastic. It strictly prohibits the use of plastics by city-owned property and city suppliers in California. Hollywood has officially banned anything that comes in plastic, such as utensils, straws, plates, anything that is being used once and thrown away. Commissioner Shuham initiated this legislation, which established a single-use plastic ban, which has been implemented in Hollywood Beach and Barrier Island. It has been 40 years since the law has passed. However, it is hard for the state to manage what cities do with city-owned properties, which created a loophole. Businesses are unaffected by the ban, and the city believes that if consumers demand business owners to reduce their use of plastic, it could be effective. The city of Hollywood also charges a 50-dollars fee to whoever is caught using single-use plastics and polystyrene. It can go up to 500 dollars and eventually serve jail time for repeat offenders.
Companies across the world and industries like Amazon, McDonald’s’, Ikea, and General Motors have announced a plan for them to eliminate the use of single-use plastics. To reduce carbon emissions and shrink their environmental footprint. Newlight technologies wish to speed that process up with a biodegradable material that can be designed like plastic. They developed materials using microorganisms that can be found in the ocean and feed on methane and carbon dioxide. At Huntington Beach, the company’s production facility is filled with large saltwater tanks that recreate the ocean conditions. This idea allows organisms to replicate the process of extracting polymers from AirCarbon. That is because the process of developing AirCarbon, uses gasses from the atmosphere, taking out more pollutants than they use. The company also partnered up with IBM to use its blockchain technology to track every step of the manufacturing process and its carbon footprint.”Most people want to do something good, right? And the problem has been a lack of information,” Herrema said. For instance, when someone goes and buys a t-shirt, that person does not know that 700 liters of water were used to make that shirt. Replacing virtually all the plastic in the world can eventually get the multinational companies that use it to sign on.
A local entrepreneur in the Japanese tourist destination of Nara has developed an alternative to plastic shopping bags, to protect the town’s sacred deer. Hidetoshi Matsukawa who works for Nara-ism said that he heard the deer that roam the city’s park, was dying from ingesting plastic bags. He wants to do something to protect the deer which represents the symbol of Nara. Matsukawa wanted to come up with a different solution to the problem and teamed up with a local paper manufacturer and a design firm to work on the project. They developed the “Shikagami” or deer paper among themselves. The paper is made out of rice bran and milk cartons. This bag was tested by local banks and Todaiji Temple, and they brought about 4,000 to 5,000 bags for 100 yen (about 95 cents). He believes the price will drop if businesses sign up to use the bags and prevent more deer from dying after eating them. Since the news about the deer dying from plastic bags creates a negative image, the bag can protect the deer and the image of Nara.
Assignment 5
Nutrition blog
After writing this blog, I realize that I practically eat the same thing every day. There is no diversity to what I’m eating, I mostly eat whatever there is. The food that I eat every day mostly consists of white rice, sometimes rice with black beans. However, those days it was white rice, with black beans and meats. I found that most of the food that I eat consists of cloves and green peppers. Cloves are known to be a healthy substance, which can be used in foods and also in medicines. They contain fibers, vitamins, and minerals. Adding them to your food can provide important nutrients. One important thing that cloves have is that they are low in calories with a rich source of manganese. Manganese is an essential mineral for maintaining brain function and building strong bones. It is also high in antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress, which contributes to the development of chronic disease. The other ingredient used often in the food I eat is green pepper. Green peppers are also healthy substances that contain fibers, that can help you be less constipated. The fibers you are getting from it can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes as well.
There are two items that I eat that contain Hydrogenated oil and food coloring. The item that contains hydrogenated oil is the peanut butter that I eat every night as my snacks. Hydrogenated oils are not a healthy product as it creates a trans-fat chemical makeup that makes it difficult for the body to metabolize. As for the food coloring, it is found in the juice that I drink. Passion fruit contains food coloring, and it is not technically bad for you. However, Food Coloring is Linked to Hyperactivity, Allergic Reactions, and Tumor Growth. I normally don’t control what I eat, since I don’t cook, but if I were to change my ways of eating. I would try doing a keto diet, to help me be healthy and not being overweight.
Assignment 6
Plastic Pollution
Plankton are microscopic living things that live in the oceans. There are two different types of plankton, there’s Phytoplankton which lives like plants, and Zooplankton which are tiny animals. Phytoplankton lives in the upper zone of the ocean to get sunlight and create food from simple chemicals. They are later eating by Zooplankton, then the zooplankton got eaten by a vast number of fish and other marine creatures. Plankton are also a primary in the oceanic food chain, which is very important to ocean life.
Ecovative Design is a company that is trying to grow compatible materials with the Earth. They are collaborating with other companies to create plant-based meat and biodegradable packaging and much more. There are three different platforms that they are using to make this possible. They are Atlast, MycoFlex, and MycoComposite. The Atlast platform is needed as a supporting role to deliver whole cuts meat to the dining table. The MycoFlex platform allows engineering of high-performance foam to create different types of material across a large range of applications. Finally, the MycoComposite platform uses a root structure of a mushroom call mycelium to bind organic agricultural byproducts such as wood chips together. This produces 100 percent compostable materials and durable biobased.
Plastic spoon and other plastic cutlery have so many chemicals complex that causes cancer. However, they are still been use to eat foods, even though those cutleries are unbiodegradable. There’s an alternative to this problem, and it is edible cutlery. Bakeys Edible cutlery was found in 2011 in Hyderabad, India. It has no coating, and it is delicious to eat. It is made out of wheat, rice and millets, highly nutritious and can be shelf live for up to three years. It is also made out of different flavors such as ginger cinnamon, ginger garlic, mint ginger, carrot beetroot, etc.
The great bubble barrier has been created as a barrier to stop plastics from entering rivers, but allow fish to pass. Their mission with this barrier is to raise awareness to prevent more plastic pollution. They are aiming for a solution that can permanently decrease plastic pollution in the oceans, protecting the global ecosystem, and provide a better quality of life on earth. The great bubble barrier created a bubble screen by pumping air through tubes with holes, that are located at the bottom of the waterways. It also created an upright thrust that brings waste to the water surface and uses natural current to guide the plastics by a catchment system by the riverside.

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