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Author: Eirena Do

COP26

Besides some commitments made till this point, one thing that I am particularly interested about the COP26 conference is its menu option which bears some critics, while the COP26 main website assumed its menu to be sustainable. In these recent days, many environmentalists mocked the COP26 menu for containing lots of meat, dairy, and fish options when it is a climate summit event. The campaign group Animal Rebellion even said that this was like “serving cigarettes at a lung cancer conference”. In fact, animal consumption is also one of the biggest contributors to climate change, which is even equal to the energy issues, and COP26 organizers certainly acknowledge this and even put the carbon footprint beside each dish. However, the question is why there are still many meat options. Or does the COP26 have any intention by doing that? On the other aspect, to Washington Post, “Ana Maria Kleymeyer, a climate lawyer who has been to every COP since 2006, said that there are far more vegetarian options on the menu than ever before, and she couldn’t remember organizers ever before publicizing the carbon content of the food.” This might be the reason why COP26 announced its menu to be sustainable (as the UK organizers assumed that they had made some improvements compared to the previous years’ conferences). Despite this fact, a confirmation from COP26 organizers is needed. For the considerable amount of emission from agriculture, humans should take it into consideration as seriously as the energy problems.

Pre-assignment 3: Moving forward to Nuclear Energy.

For me, nuclear power is kind of controversial, but it is undeniably one of the most suitable options now – as 2050 is the deadline for us to become zero-carbon. For three destructive nuclear accidents in the past – Three Mile, Fukushima, and Chernobyl – nuclear energy bear a kind of unamiable look from many people. However, noncarbon and high productivity are the two biggest advantages that we should not ignore. It emits no emission in the energy-generating process, requires less input compared to any other energy sources, requires less land, and is even much more productive than any renewables (as it is not intermittent like wind or solar power). Electricity generated from nuclear is also much cheaper compared to renewables. Two examples we can look at are France and Germany. Frances produces approximately 70% of its electricity consumption from nuclear energy, the highest in the world. It is also one of the countries bearing the lowest electricity cost in the EU, 25% lower than the EU average. While electricity cost of Germany – moving from fossil fuels and atomic energy to renewables, is 79% higher than that of France and also the highest in the world. For nuclear negative sides, the two which most people are concerned about now are radioactive waste and reactor accidents (some are also afraid of the nuclear weapon, but I would say it nearly impossible to happen now as firstly uranium enrichment process for making weapon is not easy to reach – about 70-90% of uranium 235 – and secondly there are up to 9 countries possessing nukes so these countries should acknowledge that they are not the monopoly in nuclear weapons). At this moment, we still haven’t found a safe way to process the waste, so we have to put it underground temporarily, and definitely, it is also hard to say that risks from nuclear plants are completely avoidable. However, the fatalities caused by nuclear energy are far fewer than those from pollution caused by burning fossil fuels. The fact that we are afraid of nuclear power so continuing to consume non-renewables is like we are afraid of taking a flight (due to some reported accidents) and using cars instead (when on-ground transportations accidents in fact are commonplace and even cause much more fatalities than any other means of transports). It is estimated that uranium can give us a more than 200-year supply till it becomes undiscovered. That is enough amount of time for science and technology to make more innovations for nuclear power (like how to manage and recycle the waste more safely and effectively or how to minimize risks risen from the reaction process) or find any different clean sources of energy. Another concern is that uranium 235 accounts for only 0,7% of the uranium in nature and the more exploited it is, the more carbon-intensive its mining process is, which also should be taken into consideration. Therefore, finding other replaceable resources is also a mission we are moving forward to. But we should not have to concern too much as those are responsibilities of humans during the next two centuries. Our responsibility at this moment is to become zero-carbon in the next 30 years and I would say we have enough input resources and technological advancements to make it.

Media Source Bias Investigation

I would pick The New York Times to investigate as it is a top-notch newspaper and also the one I read most. The Media Bias Website says that The New York Times is one of the top reliable sources for news consumption, which is ovbvious, and leans a little bit to the left (I am not sure about this). I mean I am not so surprised to know that as, honestly, I do not know much about politics and I was not so aware of whether the left and right partisans matter or not when reading newspapers. And this is just a small incline to the left so I did not feel clear about the difference. This enlightenment is kind of interesting and by knowing this in the future I will pay more attention to any source I consume.

Opinion on gasoline issue

Personally, I believe that the cut down on gasoline is necessary for the long term. I do not say that we have to do it immediately, reduce gas consumption in a large scale or change to use other renewable alternatives right away. There is no way a transition to a renewable can occur quickly and easily like the way we state we have to cut down on gasoline. Definitely, everything needs time and effort but first it is important for us to have a mindset that we must lessen the gas consumption sooner or later. Oil is now the most consumed energy and the amount of greenhouse created by it is tremendous and we cannot just exploit it relentlessly till it becomes exhausted. Gasoline is a non-renewable resource and it is still affordable for us now as it is still available for us. Once gas becomes scarcer and harder to exploit, its price will not be affordable anymore as we have to put more effort to get it. We cannot wait till that moment, when its impact on environment is damaging enough, to change our behavior. Remember that our core eventual purpose is the reduction of carbon. We have to keep the mindset of limiting and saving gas in specific and energy consumption in general as much as we possible. Any can afford more environmental-friendly approach to life should do it. Any cannot can limit the amount they use. If every individual and cooperation think and do like this, the amount of gas left will become exhausted slower, hopefully, giving us enough time to shift to renewables with less difficulty.

REWRITE SET LETTER #3

Dear my folks, I know that we all love our liberal agenda. It is our home, our livelihood and I believe that none of us want our community to be contaminated. Environmental pollution in general is a far-reaching issue that we have spent decades to combat and it is never, as you can see, an easily solvable problem. I would not say about the stuff of environmental issues again as if you are a caring person to our national affairs, or at least to yourself, you must relentlessly have heard of many speeches and seen many daily newspapers about how destructive our surroundings are and how people were making attempt to protect them, from everywhere and every time in our country. And at this moment, we are no longer a passive audience who just read and comment about those matters and other’s actions, it is time we became a protagonist for our own life, our health and economy.  As I have mentioned above, dealing with an environmental issue is always complex and oil drilling in our Kern County is not an exception: It is an incremental process. That’s as to why a transition to a green energy is inevitable and we have to experience it now or later, no matter we like it or not. Whether Kern County will play its leading role as a clean energy initiative once facing an initial economic recession as a trade-off or continue with its business as usual and leave its workers and civilians suffering from toxic air and water resources depends on how much we can love and respect ourselves and our community. I do know how much time, effort, and prices it would take us to make it but as long as we still love our community, that day is inevitable.

– Bill Platton, Bakersfield

My enst class is full of reading assignments :v

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