The last assignment of my Sustainable Energy class was to write our “Hero’s Journey” telling the process we went through with out projects. The final stage in a hero journey story is the final mastery and I wrote that I do not think there is a mastery and instead I strive to keep learning but come see me in 10 years. I got a comment back from the instructor, Leidy Klotz, “Just made a note to come see you in 10 years, but I have a feeling I’ll be hearing more about your project before then:)” …yes the teacher of an honors class at Clemson writes with smileys too 🙂
Some thoughts on removing carbon from the atmosphere November 4, 2012
As part of the Sustainable Energy class I am taking I was reading about some different ideas for removing carbon from our atmosphere and one of the ones discussed was growing trees, cutting them down, burying them and growing more. At current rates we would need more land area than exist to do this on a large enough scale to make up for what we are putting in and that is before you take into consideration all of the energy that would go into planting, cutting, and burying these trees. What if instead of cutting them down in a way that would require replanting we cut them while the sap is down in the roots (winter) and allowed the same trees to regrow. They should grow more quickly because the root system is already fully established. Instead of digging into the ground to bury the wood that has been cut, they could be stacked up and covered with a layer of compost and then allowed to break down naturally resulting in better top soil. I wonder how much carbon could be sequestered using this method. It is still obvious that we need to cut down on our fossil fuel consumption so the amount of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere every day decreases.
My Pecha Kucha November 1, 2012
I put this together for my Sustainable Energy class.
lol@me for using paper October 3, 2012
I actually started out writing this down with a good old fashioned pencil and paper. I got to the bottom of the page and not the bottom of the idea so I am copying (editing as I go mind you) what I have on paper and then continuing on from that point. This is based on an ah-ha moment after many days of study and I am not going to bother adding refrenses at this time but do hope to come back to it later:
Poor people drawn into urban areas by subsidized housing projects or the unfulfilled promise of jobs or other supposed opportunities leads to an increase in poverty and disparity. My proposed solution is to get these people out of the city and into smaller communities and villages. If someone isn’t working outside the home, there is no reason for them to live in a certain area as long as they have access to all necessities and have learned to be fairly self reliant.
For this to work though, people must be taught a useful skill set in school, instead of things that will do little to help them live and thrive in the real world. They need to learn practical trade skills like welding, small engine repair, auto mechanics, construction, etc. and a variety of arts and crafts and domestic skills as well. These things should be taught according to interest and talent along side the basic reading and math skills we use in daily life. Students should be allowed to advance in classes according to their readiness, not according to their age. Children of different ages should be encouraged to interact, with more advanced students and those just starting out all able to bounce ideas off each other.
Since it is unlikely that the entire schooling system is going to change anytime soon we could offer a self reliance boot camp for those wanting to learn the skills to survive without further reliance on “public assistance” programs. Again, since the education system isn’t going to change (fast enough for my liking at least) after school programs could be offered to teach children useful skills and encourage creative problem solving skills. Having these programs available in the cities as well as the more rural villages the people would be transitioning into helps provide jobs and encourages diversity and community togetherness. I think small villages with a strong sense of community will be safer places too.
So how are the poor supposed to afford all of this?
Thanks to deflation of property values, plots of land can often be had for a few thousand and sometimes as little as few hundred dollars. This makes it possible for a person with little money to become a land owner, even without any government assistance.
Now imagine that instead of housing subsidies the government would give out grants equal to up to the amount of one year of housing subsidies for the purchase of land that meets certain eligibility requirements. These requirements could include things like being within a reasonable distance of public transportation, grocery and hardware stores, etc. Recipients of these grants could have requirements placed on them to qualify and there could even be a land improvement clause stating that the grant recipient must make certain improvements and begin residing on the land within a period of time.
Warehouses of salvaged building materials could be started, allowing people to build their homes for very little money. This would reduce the amount of waste going into landfills as well. Inventory could be kept at local warehouses, but inventoried into a larger system so that if you can’t find it local you can check the system and have it sent to your local warehouse, similar to the way library systems work with books.
ok…I think I ran out of steam on this little brainstorm now