Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Home Environment: We have some issues


All matter is limited, finite.
All matter begins with a star - like energy.
All “usable” energy begins with a star - like matter.
Both matter and energy can be resources.
What does the word “ Re – source” - mean?
Nature recycles naturally
What does the word “Re - cycle” mean?
Why / how are resources limited ? limited resources

All matter recycles (Law of Conservation of mass/matter)
Whether we want it to or not
Whether it’s “good” or “bad” is a human judgment
Some cycles take a long time (rock cycle animated)
Some cycles can happen overnight (H2O cycle animated)
Humankind interacts with these cycles in some way – directly or indirectly.
2 ways to Calculate your interactions. Simple (suggested) Complex

It takes energy to do anything
It takes energy to do everything
Energy recycles ! (Law of Conservation of Energy)
Energy is originally “solar” – in some form
Solar Energy “arrives” at Earth at a “constant rate,” the Solar Constant
Energy can be stored

Energy loses “usability” when changing forms.
What is entropy ? (a bit complicated)
Every energy expenditure has a cost.
Use it AND lose it.
The energy “cycle” can be simple, complex or beyond humankind time-scale.

Humankind may increase, decrease, or have no effect on the amount or rate of a cycle.
Humankind interacting with a cycle may be positive, negative, or neutral.

Science, is a process that observes, measures, models and tests the cycle(s), the biosphere and our interactions. Scientists look for patterns, and changes in patterns in order to make predictions.

If ___________________________,
(Increase, decrease, stay the same)

then _________________________ .
(Increase, decrease, stay the same)

Search and locate an issue most important to you. These are simply good starting points, jumping off points into some very deep waters ...... but you can do it.

After all, it is the only home we have.

A quick refresher, What's it all about?

A broad overview of many environmental issues, resources, and documentation try

Environmental Literacy Council
Click on their Site Map at the top of the page FOR A VERY LONG LIST of topics and issues or
Start by clicking of the MAin headings on the left side of the page.

GREENPEACE's What We Do Page

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (animation 1) (animation 2)
© 2009 Annenberg Media.
Air pollution
Ocean surface temperatures (animation1)
Tropical deforestation
Landfills and "Stuff"
Ogallala Aquifer
Oil depletion (5 predictions)
Ozone pollution Ozone2 Ozone animation
The Solar Constant ( what if.. ?)

Off shore Oil Drilling ( see previous Blog: Slick Oil)

Overfishing New Overfishing site 1
Polar ice caps (melting)
Pesticides (a cycle) ground water pollution
Population (complex)
Nuclear power
Species Diversity
Urban sprawl
The Nitrogen Cycle
Potassium (cycle) and Phosphorus (cycle) SOIL
Carbon cycle (animation 1)
Freshwater and water pollution

Other ........... ?

These are just some of the issues facing the Biosphere (of which you are a part).
Will you let others determine, define, and deal with these issues for their own interests, or will you take part for your interests? Your understanding, or lack of it, about how science works will make a big difference in the future of the biosphere – for better or for worse.

The comments box is open.

What issue are you most interested in?

What is your If...Then... Prediction?

What more would you like to know?


  1. the second video about nasa is right we have to start recycling more and walk or ride bikes instead of using a car.

    Aby (orange) p.2

  2. What i would like to know is if people know polluting,littering and causing environmental issues is bad,than why dont they do eneything to stop environmental issues. Charles scott,orange

  3. Everyone just needs to do their part.
    For example, What can you do?

  4. Wow am i suprised how oil pollution is natural(most of it), the second video says how easy it really is to go Green! I will try my best to help, maybe even get my parents to recycle more than just aluminum cans. Thanks for the great material Mr.V keep up the awesome work!! :-)

    Michael S. Blue Class

  5. Michael, there are lots of surprises out there for you to discover. You're right, Going Green is easy to do, but seems hard to get started. What's really amazing about Going Green is that in the long run not only do we get to "Save the Planet," Going Green also saves time and money. It is a real win-win deal.

  6. I really like your information about how energy can be stored. If we store more energy then we can be less pollutant. Also, I like the blog aobut recycling because we can all do something about it like walking to school or riding a bike instead of driving a car and using gasoline wich pollutes our earth.

    Savannah orange (period2.)

  7. If the whole world increased their number of papers that they double-side print then the world paper pollution will go down at least 25%.

    Ayden Marrullier

  8. people nead to learn that if we keep burning fossil fules than the o zone layer of earth will be lost. recycleing can help most of those problems.jacob short red

  9. Its amazing how much of the leaked oil comes from natural leaks!I think that we are making to big of a deal about off-shore drilling risking oil spillage, when most of the leaks come naturally. There was a lot of good information from this blog! Going green doesn't seem as hard I first thought, its the same as throwing away regular trash, except in individual bins. Sorting the trash as you throw it away (throw it in the recycling bin) only takes a minute, if even, so why doesn't everyone go green! Thank Mr. Voskuil for all the good information!

    Chris Tepetitlan BLUE class Period 5

  10. I went to the carbon footprint page and I found out that we would need 3.8 Earths to support everyone if they all lived like me. It is cool to see how many resources you use daily without even realizing it.

    Jessica Means Blue Pd 5

  11. Mr.v i hope you had a good time at your daughters wedding. Your information realy helped me on my project and this information is very helpfull either way. Charles, Orange

  12. Thank you Charles, I appreciate your kind words.

    I am very glad you found this blog entry and the information helpful to your environmental understandings.

  13. spencer /green classNovember 22, 2009 at 6:55 PM

    mr v so far for the xtra credit i found a website called The Fish Times on google the artical is on diffrent fish and their facts.

  14. i cant bring in the fish because i am ging to the eye doctor and fish are not aloud in the office

  15. uhhh .. I think you wanted to respond under Good Golly Goldy

  16. I think if we recycled and reused more, than global warming will slow and it might not be to late to turn around what we have done to our ozone. Matthew Blue

  17. We need to reduce the impact the human population has on the earth.

  18. for our enviornment, we need to start to pay attention to how much pollution there is and start to do something about it because we really need to do that. :-]

  19. I feel awful! If everyone lived like me, there would have to be EIGHT planet Earths!

    Grayson, Blue

  20. I relize that really have to cut back on the meat, and driving around, my family shouold recycle more too. I FEEL AWFUL I HAD THE BIGGEST FOOTPRINT IN CLASS....

    Marissa, Blue

  21. Grayson, Marissa, don't feel so bad... know you know. Youn can focus on reducing your footprint and helping others do the same's really not that hard. The more you know, them better choices you can make.

    Thanks (+2)

  22. This is a very helpful site. I have learned alot since i first started comming on this. Like global warming in caused by infered rays.

    Preston, Red class pd 1

  23. Preston, glad it helps you, (Infra-red) which i another way of describing "heat"

    Bonus point in the box for you.

  24. I never realized how much damage I am causing the earth. I really need to start cutting back on driving eveywhere I go and I need to start recycling more. This website has really been helpful and I have learned a ton of information from it. This website has also helped me out alot on my project
    Liam R., Blue

  25. Everyone has lots to learn. I'm glad you are finding the site beneficial.

    2 pts in the bonus box.