Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Blog Experience

This week Professor Peluso asked the class to summarize their blog experiences. Well, I don’t know about my other classmates, but I had an absolutely amazing experience and a wonderful time blogging about my topic. To be very honest, I have never experienced anything new/different. It is always the same old stuff with the same old rules in every class. However, English 112 was a totally new and exciting experience for me due to blogging.

For the longest time, I have been hearing about “blogging” and the world “blog.” Yet, I always asked myself, “What in the world is a blog?!” I mean I just could not understand what was so special about it and why it was used. Well, today I know, and I know very well what a blog is and why people are so fond of it.

Ever since the start of English 112, I have been writing and posting new blogs every week. When Professor Peluso told the class that there would be a ton of blogging in this class, I became very stressed out. It wasn’t the writing that was worrying me, but it was actually the blogging that got to me. I wasn’t even really familiar with the world, so how in the world was I supposed to create a blog and also post entries on it every week?

Well, when I had to write my first blog, it was not quite up to the mark. And to be quite honest, that was only because I really didn’t know how I was supposed to approach a topic through a blog. Then, I read other blogs, including the blogs of students in my class, and saw the way they did their writing(s). After seeing that the blogs looked similar to how one would write essays for a regular research paper, I realized that it was not such a big deal after all. After that day, my blog entries were just commented on and praised continuously, which influenced my writing even more. For a beginner like me, I had an easier time blogging than I ever thought. I guess it was the new experience that was scaring me, but when I got a little push, everything seemed to be just fine.

To me, blogging was just such a new innovative way to put out my writing, my thoughts, and more, online. Blogging was not just a way put out research and facts about a topic for my class or the public, but also a way of announcing and showing my passion about this one topic and what I want the world to know and hear. I think that my blogs definitely reflected who I really am, and maybe there could not have been a better way of showing that than this (blogging). I have a tendency to write a lot about any topic I choose because I feel as if there is just so much to say and yet so little time. But, blogging actually allowed me to present my information more effectively without cluttering everything together. After my first blog, my writing improved so much that I started to get numerous amounts of comments. Not just that, but Professor Peluso even called my writing, “senior-level!” I mean, how awesome is that? I was so proud of myself when I realized that my writing had gone up to a level that I never even though of, and that was actually because of blogging. I, myself, am impressed with my writing and I couldn’t have felt better!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cultural Losses

Never having any issues on what to write for my blog entries, I finally got one! I sat down and thought long and hard about what to write, but whenever I started to write about a topic, I would always stop in the middle and delete whatever I had written. So, after deleting about 3 blog entries, I finally decided to write about "Cultural Losses." At first I thought that this topic had absolutely nothing to do with global warming, yet as I was reading a book called, “The Atlas of Climate Change,” I realized it had plenty to do with global warming.

Climate change, whether we like it or not, is threatening parts of the world’s cultural and historical heritage. It’s not just about what is going on currently, but also about the past. For example, in 2002, flooding across Europe damaged concert halls, theatres, museums, and libraries, which led to a loss of half a million books (Dow and Downing 66).

There are many places that suffer a loss of built heritage and cultural landscapes, such as Boston, South Africa, Italy, Mt. Everest, Thailand, and Tuvalu. Let me first start by talking about Thailand. Due to severe flooding in northeastern Thailand, the 600-year-old ruins of Sukothai have been damaged, including the ruins of Ayutthaya (which was the capital from the 14th to 18th century). Venice, Italy has previously and is still experiencing frequent flooding, which has caused the damage of many buildings. For example, St. Mark’s Square actually floods about 50 times more each year than it did in the early 1900s. Thirdly, evacuations are taking place due to the rise of sea-levels in Tuvalu, which is an island nation. Moving on around the globe, Mt. Everest has almost lost its natural beauty since there is not as much snow as there used to be in 1953. The negative effect of this is that if Mt. Everest loses its natural beauty, there will be a decrease in the amount of tourists that come to visit every year. Excluding building and mountains, even National Parks are being affected due to climate change. For example, the West Coast National Park in South Africa actually had to move their fossils of the oldest human footprints (estimated to have been made 117,000 years ago) in order for them to be safe. Lastly, sea-levels and coastal storms could increase the height of flooding on the Charles River and many famous historical sites (such as the Boston Garden) (Dow and Downing 67).

These are just some of the many places around the world that are being affected due to global warming. As it is said by Dow and Downing, “The potential for more frequent floods and more intense storms poses greater threats to cherished buildings, monuments, archaeological sites, and other material traces of history and heritage” (Dow and Downing 67).


Dow, Kirstin, and Thomas Downing. The Atlas of Climate Change.Berkeley and Los Angeles: Myriad Editions Limited,2006.

Renewable Energy

Increasing the use of renewable energy sources is an important way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while still continuing to provide power. Everyone probably knows that renewable energy technologies can help contribute to a clean and secure energy future for the nation and the world. But, how many of us really use renewable energy?

There are actually two types of energy- Renewable and Non-Renewable. According to the Energy Information Administration,” Renewable energy sources include solar energy, which comes from the sun and can be turned into electricity and heat. Wind, geothermal energy from inside the earth, biomass from plants, and hydropower and ocean energy from water are also renewable energy sources.” On the other hand, Non-Renewable energy includes oil, natural gas, and coal, which actually come out of the ground. These are basically called “non-renewable” because they cannot be replaced, which then causes pollution and increase global warming.

Unfortunately, only about 4 percent of total primary energy comes from sources which do not produce greenhouse gases. That means that most of the energy comes from non-renewable sources, even though it is harmful to the planet. Well, why are non-renewable sources being used if they are a disadvantage to us? According to Alliant Energy, non-renewable energy sources are used more basically because they are cheaper.

However, the good news is that more than 40 percent of U.S. states have actually adopted a renewable electricity standard. The Union of Concerned Scientists said, “Renewable electricity standards have been enacted in 21 states and the District of Columbia. UCS projects that these standards will result in the development of 46,270 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy capacity by 2020—an increase of 340 percent over total U.S. levels (excluding hydro) in 1997.”

So, the U.S. does finally decide to do something about reducing carbon dioxide emissions! Although if the Congress adopted a National Standard, things would probably look much better.