Humans Positive and Negative Impacts on Climate Change
Mar29

Humans Positive and Negative Impacts on Climate Change

Protecting the environment is one of the most important battles the U.S. faces in the coming years. If the high rate of pollution continues, there will be grave consequences not just in the U.S., but across the entire planet. Carbon-emitting machines like cars are a significant contributor to the global pollution rate. Vehicle neglect, for instance, is a major problem for the environment, and one that’s easily preventable. Not only does vehicle neglect cost the U.S. economy $2 billion a year, it can lead to more carbon emissions being discharged into the air from faulty exhaust systems. Luckily, there are programs trying to phase-out the use of gasoline in the near future, like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. Environment News Service reports that Gov. Cuomo’s campaign will focus on electronic vehicles by adding charging stations, employer incentives for employees making the switch to electric, and general outreach. “This multi-pronged campaign will help in this administration’s efforts to fight climate change, strengthen infrastructure to support the use of electric cars, and help reduce New York’s carbon footprint on our roadways,” said Governor Cuomo. “With these actions, we are taking another step toward a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable New York for all.” Unfortunately, despite these attempts, there is still a long way to go to improve the damage that’s already been done to the environment. According to Inside Science, humans have been causing serious environmental issues for decades. Simple things like improperly discarding plastic bags are even causing major issues, as 10% of the debris that ends up polluting the U.S. coastline is from plastic bags. In addition to carbon emissions, plastic waste, and overflowing landfills, one of the most damaging pollutants is aerosol spray. A potential silver lining, however, is that the aerosol spray, although dangerous, might actually help increase Arctic sea ice. Researchers have found that between 1950 and 1975, certain types of air pollution actually counteracted the effects of greenhouse gases that have been melting the polar ice caps. “I think what it’s telling us is that humans had an impact on the Arctic much earlier than had been though,” said John Fyfe, senior scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada and one of the lead authors of the study. Andre Mahoney, a sea ice geophysicist at the University of Alaska wants to emphasize the importance of continued research on this topic. “When we try to do an environmental accounting of the impacts of our activities,” said Mahoney. “[We] need to be very broad in our thinking about what to...

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“A Day Without Immigrants” Protest Has Unexpected Outcome
Mar03

“A Day Without Immigrants” Protest Has Unexpected Outcome

“If you’re going to stand up for what you believe in, you have to be willing to pay the price.” These wise words were spoken by Jim Serowski, founder of JVS Masonry in Commerce City, Colorado. His words were a response to, “A Day Without Immigrants,” a nationwide day of protests held this February. The protest allowed progressives to voice their outrage at President Donald Trump’s policies regarding immigration by highlighting the effect immigrants have on the productivity of the country as a whole. At JVS Masonry, more than 30 workers failed to show up at the job site on the day of the protest, and as a result, they were terminated immediately. Serowski says, “I stand by what I believe in. I didn’t do anything wrong…They were warned: ‘If you do this, you’re hurting the company, and if you go against the team, you’re not a member of the team.'” Even though employees made their absences from work apparent to Serowski prior to the protest, it still left a bad taste in his mouth. He claims to support immigrant labor, but business is business. Serowski claims he’s known most of the terminated employees for almost two decades, so this couldn’t have been an easy decision to make. Serowski isn’t the only one who terminated employees following “A Day Without Immigrants” — terminations were made all over the country be regretful employers who just want the work to get done. Some employers showed mercy to employees and were supportive of the cause. What made a difference is how the employees handled the protest. Employers tended to be more sympathetic to employees who notified their supervisors in advanced as opposed to a ‘no call no show,’ which could certainly be grounds for termination. The employees aren’t the only ones getting the raw end of the deal. High employee turnover rates can heavily interfere with day-to-day work functions, not to mention the cost — human resources consultants say that employee turnover costs range from 30% to 150% of the employee’s salary. Most employees ended up going back to work on Friday, but those who didn’t are now back on the job...

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Ikea’s New DIY Garden Promotes Local Sustainability
Mar02

Ikea’s New DIY Garden Promotes Local Sustainability

In 2014, roughly 35% of all American households, or 42 million homes, were participating in gardening, up from 17% over the last five years. Thanks to an unlikely organization, the percentage of indoor gardeners will probably increase from 2017 and beyond as well. Ikea, the furniture manufacturer behemoth, has developed a do-it-yourself indoor spherical garden. According to Architecture and Design, the large, indoor product known as “the Growroom,” was designed and developed inside Ikea’s Space10 innovation lab by two Danish architects. Staying in line with Ikea’s award-winning culture, the Growroom was conceived out of a goal to create positive social change in the world. “It is to support or everyday sense of wellbeing in the cities by creating a small oasis or ‘pause’ – architecture in our high-paced societal scenery,” said Space10 developers, “and enables people to connect with nature as we smell and taste the abundance of herbs and plants.” The Growroom is a multi-tiered spherical garden that was specifically designed to produce enough food to feed the average neighborhood. Ikea made the blueprints and plans available as a free online download in hopes of encouraging people around the world to build a Growroom for their own cities, neighborhoods, and homes. “Local food represents a serious alternative to the global food model,” added Space10 developers. “It reduces food miles, our pressure on the environment and educates our children of where food actually comes from.” EcoWatch reports that currently, there are plans to build Growrooms in Taipei, Taiwan; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Helsinki, Finland; and San Francisco, California. “Standing tall as a spherical garden, it empowers people to grow their own food much more locally in a beautiful and sustainable way,” said Growroom designers. In addition to the step-by-step diagrams provided via the online download, to build a Growroom, 17 pieces of plywood are required, along with a rubber hammer, metal screws, a drill, and a CNC...

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