Spring Session 2013

This semester is a lot rougher than I anticipated it would be. Every single class has a higher workload than I expected. That’s not to say that the workloads are unreasonable, generally speaking they aren’t on an individual level. However when every class has a higher than anticipated workload it gets overwhelming pretty quickly.

I ended up dropping my writing class, which I think I was only one of maybe two or three people who have had a 100% on all projects so far, just because it will be the easiest class to take at another time. I’m going to be working on my bachelor’s degree for another four and a half years and as much as I would like to get some of the bare bones work out of the way for it like this writing class, I need to keep in perspective that I have plenty of time. I am constantly looking for ways to reduce the overall time this is going to take because My GI bill is going to run out long before I’m done, and I’m on the hook for the rest.

There now you are caught up on where I am. i actually logged on here today because I wanted to talk about one of my classes in particular this week. This started as a G+ post but was starting to edge towards the ridiculously long so I decided to transplant it over here.

Steve Running came to our Biology lecture this week and talked to us about climate change. His data was pretty remarkable as one would expect I suppose.

He got me thinking about the problems of Climate Change and how to over come them. I think the only answer is genetic engineering. I don’t expect China and the US to stop burning massive amounts of coal, and everybody to stop using fossil fuels, that just doesn’t seem like a practicable solution. It wouldn’t be a solution anyway it would just slow the growth of the problem. Don’t get me wrong that’s a good idea, but it won’t “solve” anything in and of itself.

Instead if we want solutions, we need to genetically engineer organisms for more efficient photosynthesis and farm these organisms in centers where pollution is the worst, sunlight is the best or some combination thereof.

Additionally we need to plan for a world in which severe climate change is a reality. We need drought resistant grains and other food crops, we need to breed livestock that produces optimally under more arid conditions. In short if we are going to live in this world and every indication is that we are, we need to breed the organisms that are going to make that life possible, the sooner the better.

The generation of electricity is the main culprit here, sure cars play a part but not anywhere near the magnitude of electrical generation. We need electricity as humans in the modern age we really don’t have any way to sustain ourselves without it. Dr. Running suggested that he thinks the future of power generation is going to be personal level off grid solar and wind power. I think there is probably something too that. I think it would probably work well to power most homes, the problem comes in trying to power cities in some places this might work pretty well but I think in general those places are probably going to be an exception rather than the rule.

Instead I’m pretty certain that we need to overcome our fears of nuclear power and step up production of that. It is currently the cleanest most efficient form of power production that is practical on a large scale. It does have its dangers and its drawbacks like anything else, but if you look at how much power is produced by nuclear fission around the world, how long it has been going on, and how few problems have actually come from it, rather than how many popular culture tells us could come from it it seems like an obvious solution. It does generate a relatively small amount of nuclear waste that we have no real way to dispose of and that is an issue we need to work on as well. but if most personal electricity needs are met by using abundant natural and renewable resourced like solar and wind power that would also have the side effect of limiting the amount of nuclear waste that would need to be generated.

It’s an interesting thought exercise anyway, well at least to me it is.

Leave a Reply