Know Thy Resources
October 10, 2030 - The air is particularly dry and thick today. The current temperature is 107 °F, and it’s only 8:43 a.m. The air quality is rapidly deteriorating. God, it’s so hard to breathe outside. Incredibly, this hazardous environment is not just typical of the tropics anymore. A special report was running on the Weather Channel this morning about a new kind of atmospheric pollutant that is being produced thanks to the synergistic effect of global warming and contamination. The prognosis was specific: We’ll have a lot more to worry about than just ragweed and pollen here in upstate New York. Soon, we might end up adopting portable breathing devices outdoors, just as many places around the world have.
This short, gloomy journal entry, although entirely fictional, is no longer implausible. The Earth’s weather patterns are changing at a voraciously fast rate. Global warming is undeniable. Temperatures around the world have risen dramatically in the last 30 years. In fact, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), 2007 was the second hottest year measured since they started recording in 1880. The titleholder? 2005 is the champion, by a paltry 0.03 °C.
Since I feel morally compelled to do what I can to avoid the atrocious future we’re destined for if we continue our dubious ways, I’m hereby sharing a few sites that will surely “green up” your life a little. These sites provide news and information about green technology, as well as information on everything a young environmentalist needs to know and do to take action for a better, healthier world.
Our first stop is the instructive EcoGeek.org, a blog for all the pragmatic eco-lovers out there. EcoGeek publishes several stories a day on green tech innovations around the world. As an example, one of the latest features on the site is the futuristic concept of buses traveling on train tracks. The system will be dubbed BladeRunner. Go check it out.
Another cool site is ClimateCrisis.net, the home of Al Gore’s controversial documentary An Inconvenient Truth. This website has one of the most
thorough carbon neutral how-to guides for us regular folks that I’ve ever seen. Curiously, thanks to the site’s impact-on-the-world calculator, I discovered I’m producing 8.1 tons of carbon dioxide (the US average is 7.5). If you’re serious about global warming and protecting the environment, this site is an obligatory visit.
Next is EarthFirst.com, another blog dedicated to the green movement but with a twist. EarthFirst covers technology news about renewable sources of energy and green buildings. Interestingly, the editors apparently have a vendetta against Sen. John McCain.
From the site’s “about” page, “We also like to throw in a good mix of Bizarre, Jerkasses, Sexy People, and we LOVE to rip on John McCain.” I know that may seem a little bit of a stretch for a pro-environment website, but I highly recommend you visit them first before jumping to conclusions.
Lastly, RIT’s own green site (www.rit.edu/ritgreen) is worth mentioning. The portal has an outstanding breakdown of the Institute’s commitment, strategy, and sustainability efforts. I’m confident you’ll be fond of the “What you can do” section at the end of the energy and recycling entries. There are many simple, yet positive tips that have the potential to make our campus more eco-friendly.
My intention is not to frighten anyone here. Maybe I went a little bit too far with my fictitious introduction. However, I’m merely doing what any conscientious human being in my position would do. The reality is we’ve only got one Earth. It’s about time we start taking good care of it. We already have the most important tool: Knowledge. Let the “greenness” begin!
The opinions expressed in the Views section are solely those of the author.