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2.08.2010

New York Times Articles

Here's a project I'm working on for my Humans and the Environment Class. We had to read 10 articles and summarize them. I've copied and pasted a couple here so I hope you read and feel more informed!

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/05/science/earth/05cold.html?ref=science

This article is about wind turbines in Minnesota. This state has mandated that a quarter of its energy comes from renewable sources by 2025. These turbines were supposed to be, basically, a symbol of their first steps towards accomplishing that goal. However, this winter those 20 year old wind turbines didn't start spinning this winter. Their inaction brought a lot criticism from citizens of Minnesota. Scientists believe that it's not just the cold that kept them from spinning. They spent the first 20 years of their lives spinning in California (a state much warmer than Minnesota) and because of that they need to be altered to work with Minnesota's climate.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/world/asia/11coal.html?_r=1

It's pretty terrifying to think that China is the leading the world when it comes to building coal-fired plants. However, in the past 2 years it has emerged as a world leader in building more efficient, less polluting coal powered plants. China has the third largest coal reserve next to Russia and the United States and because of this coal is the cheapest source of energy for the country. The country is working to build more efficient, less environmentally dangerous coal powered plants in order to reduce it's greenhouse gas emissions. It is now building such efficient plants at a rate of one a month. "But by continuing to rely heavily on coal, which supplies 80 percent of its electricity, China ensures that it will keep emitting a lot of carbon dioxide; even an efficient coal-fired power plant emits twice the carbon dioxide of a natural gas-fired plant." Here's my personal opinion: China freaks me out.

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/12/15/us/1212RANCH_13.html

This is a multi-media article/slideshow about the Nevada Nature Conservancy's work to restore the Truckee River to it's old lush and vegetative glory. The Conservancy, led by Michael Cameron, has worked to restore sections of the Truckee through reconstruction and replanting. It has taken 9 years, and works with 8.5 miles of river. They even when so far as to move the infamous Mustang Ranch miles downstream from its original location. Its old site in a grove of cottown wood trees has become a restoration site for the Truckee River. Susan Austin, madame of the Mustang Ranch, paid for much of the moving process herself.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/01/us/01horses.html?fta=y

This is an older article about the wild horse round up in the Calico Mountains of Northern Nevada. It says the horses are kept by the BLM in the open grasslands of Oklahoma and Kansas. Activists are distraught about the roundup because the helicopters used to round them up are traumatizing and it totally disrupts the social structure of these horses who travel together in tight knit bands. BLM says it's better that only 600-900 horses are left in these ranges because it's better for the native plants and provides more room for grazing cattle. (I LOVE the picture the journalist used for this piece, horses are so beautiful I think)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/us/11wolves.html This article is about Idaho allowing hunters to hunt grey wolves for the first time since their reintroduction into the wild in 1995. Back in the day wolves were shot on site for preying on livestock, and their numbers dwindled greatly and were nearly eradicated in the 1930's. In the 1970's they were put on the endangered list. Hunters are excited about the chase, but the wolves are proving to be quite elusive. Their reintroduction was so successful there's now about 1,650 wolves running around Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. About 5 times the set goal for reintroduction. I hope they keep outsmarting the hunters.

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