Benjamin Franklin is perhaps known best for his famous kite experiment. He used a kite with a key attached to the string as a means of proving that lightning was a form of electricity. The lightning rods he invented were used on buildings all over America and Europe. He went on to invent bifocal lenses for the spectacles that he wore himself. His other achievements in science include developing methods for measuring the Gulf Stream and tracking storm paths. He designed ships and published a theory of heat absorption.
Franklin began his career, not as a scientist and inventor, but as a printer and writer. Although he had less than two years of formal schooling, young Benjamin learned from books and from his older brother James, the printer of the New England Courant in Boston.Benjamin Franklin went to England to become a master printer. When he returned to America, he opened a newspaper and book shop in Philadelphia, both successful ventures.While others managed his businesses, he began to focus on his other interests. He founded a library, a hospital, an insurance company, and a college that later became the University of Pennsylvania. He began his career as an inventor with the fireplace that was later called the Franklin stove. He also traveled all over the American colonies to reorganize the American postal system.
In his later years, Benjamin Franklin became an influential politician who opposed the violent and bloody approach western pioneers took against the Indians. He then became the chief defender of American rights in Britain. He became a revolutionist at the age of 70 and helped to draft the Declaration of Independence. France became involved in the Revolutionary War through Franklin's powers of persuasion. Then he became the first American minister or ambassador to France. At the end of the war, he proposed many of the treaty articles that were finally adopted to ensure the evacuation of British forces, and the complete independence of America.
When he returned to America, he took up the cause for the abolition of slavery. He lived long enough to see the Constitution of United States he helped to write ratified, and his friend George Washington made president. Franklin's image is found on the $100 bill.
Consensus is when all those who have a stake in a decision resolve their differences,working together as equals in order to agree on the actions or outcomes. Consensus building is an effective tool for resolving disputes and making decisions. Among the ten principles of consensus building are such important issues as inclusiveness, voluntary participation,flexibility, equal opportunity, and respect. Participants should be involved in designing the process, should be held accountable to the process and to those they represent, and should be accepting of realistic deadlines. Above all, they should be committed to the implementation and effective monitoring of the outcome of the agreement.
Although each group seeking consensus must design their own process , there are some steps that are essential. First of all is discussion with potential participants to identify the issues to be addressed. Then all participants should draw up a set of ground rules, preferably recorded in writing and distributed to all those taking part. Since the goal is to reach common ground, the discussion should begin there, followed by expressions of concern.Finally, how the agreements reached are implemented and monitored must be set out clearly.This process of consensus building enables disparate groups to make agreements more effectively than conventional decision making processes.
There are a number of factors that ensure better results with consensus building. Perhaps the most significant is the lack of an overall authority. Although a mediator may be used to chair meetings, all the parties involved participate on an equal footing. Each person involved can address their concerns to others in face-to-face discussions. All the decisions are made by consensus and the participants are committed to the decision.
The Axis Shifted
One of the most popular theories about the cause of the Ice Age is that the axis of the earth was shifted or tilted as the result of the impact of a powerful force from elsewhere in space. The effects of such an event would be far reaching and could explain some of the evidence of major climatic change found all over the globe. Air and water, like hurricanes and tornadoes, would sweep across the continents, spreading gravel, sand and marine animals over land. Earthquakes and erupting volcanoes would alter the shape of the land.Mountains would develop from plains and climb the sides of other mountains, forming rifts and faults. Rivers would change direction, creating new beds; and lakes would empty. The water of the seas would roll away, creating deserts. The result of such a dramatic event would, in fact, alter the face of the earth.
Apart from the effect of the initial jolt to the earth, there is the question of what would happen as a result of the shift of its axis. Generally speaking, the effect would be climatic. For example, water, now rolling over new lands, would rise in clouds and fall in torrential rain and snowfalls. Dust clouds from volcanoes and hurricanes would block the sunsrays from the earth, reducing the temperature of the air, but not maintaining the heat of the earth.Melting snow in the polar regions would create streams of water that cool the ground.
After years of rain and snow in a virtually sunless world, the ground would cool to the point where the snow stops melting into water and becomes ice. Over many years, the snow in higher latitudes would form permanent layers of ice: the basis of glaciers. This is only one possible explanation for the disappearance of species of plants and animals, the discovery of the remains of tropical fish and forests in polar regions, or the evidence of large scale volcanic activity in prehistoric times.
Managing Ocean Pollution
Studies show that the ocean has proved to be amazingly resilient(when it comes to)pollution. Even when a clean-up program has been necessary, the oceans have provided an environmentally sound way to dispose of uncollected waste. However, the continual stress hat population growth and uncontrolled coastal development have put on the marine environment can not be good in the long term for the ocean and its ecosystems. Although increased contamination of coastal regions seems inevitable, it is possible to impose limits and manage disposed waste.
Better strategies should not only be developed to manage marine pollution problems, but they should also be accepted and applied internationally. To encourage such global implementation a range of measures could be employed. Environmental awareness should be promoted by governments so that individuals, municipalities, and industries become knowledgeable about the problems and the solutions. Such a program would encourage the reuse of materials, the development of secondary materials and the use of less polluting materials. All of these approaches together would not only make a difference to the problem,but also have business potential. Profit is often the most powerful incentive for such programs.
Some industries have already begun to employ conservation and recycling as part of their operations. Scrap plastic resins are recycled into new products, including plastic lumber which is better suited for marine construction as it doesn't erode like wood, concrete or steel Restrictions and replacement of toxic substances with less polluting materials have already decreased the concentrations of such pollutants as PCB's (polychlorinated biphenyls) in coastal marine sediments and some marine organisms.
Marine systems appear to have the ability to rejuvenate. Oceans have the capacity to dilute, neutralize and disperse wastes. Compared to land based disposal, which tends to pollute soil and groundwater, it is more environmentally sound to use the oceans for disposal.Instead of stopping the use of the oceans as a way of handling wastes, more attention should be paid to the methods of pre-treating effluents and minimizing the impact of residual sludge.If every community makes the effort, the problem of ocean pollution can be managed.
Script for Lecture
Take a look at this bill . It's an American . Whose picture do you think is on think it's on think is on think is think .Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson is respected by Americans, first of all for the major role he played in the writing of the Declaration of American Independence, which is the picture on the other side of the bill and secondly, for serving as President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. But he accomplished a lot more in his long life.
Jefferson was from a well-to-do landowning family. He attended the College of William and Mary, and studied law. About seven years after he graduated, he began his political career as a representative in the Virginia House of Burgesses, But his reputation extended beyond Virginia when he started to write political pamphlets calling for independence from England. It is no wonder that he became the primary author of the Declaration of Independence.
During the American Revolution, Jefferson focused on making major revisions to the criminal code and providing for complete religious liberty-setting the standard for other states. After serving as Governor of Virginia, he took a seat in Congress. His report and advice on the adoption of a decimal monetary system lead to the dollar.
Initially Jefferson was sent as a commissioner to negotiate commercial treaties, then he succeeded Benjamin Franklin as minister or ambassador to France. When he returned from France, Congress confirmed his appointment as secretary of state in George Washington's administration. One of his contributions as secretary of state was the wheel cipher, a machine for encoding and decoding messages. In 1793, Jefferson took a brief retirement from politics to experiment with a new plow which delved deeper into soil and was used to prevent soil erosion. He also improved other recent inventions, like the dumbwaiter to deliver meals upstairs, the swivel chair with its own writing arm, a portable copying press which he incorporated into a lap desk design, and he perfected the polygraph copy machine he used often himself. He designed and built the Great Clock at the entrance to the home he designed himself,Montecello. He also designed the folding ladder used to adjust and repair the clock. The ladder folded up into a pole shape for storage.
Jefferson reluctantly became Vice President in John Adams administration in 1796. He then ran for president in1800 and won. As president, he reduced taxes and the military budget, and began to reduce public debt. Above all, he succeeded in completing the Louisiana Purchase which added vast territory to the United States.
His last major contribution was the founding of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. Not only was it his dea, he designed it and supervised its construction, and the hiring of the faculty. Doesn't he deserve to be on the $2 bill？
Script for Lecture
So last class we talked about consensus building. And I hope you read the chapter again so you know all about the characteristics of the process now. Okay.
Today we are going to look at a case study, in fact, at an actual case. Actually this is quite a common situation. A medium sized city has a problem of traffic congestion that they hope to solve by creating a new traffic route . They hope that this new route will also encourage the creation of a new area suitable for industrial expansion.
So we have a city which has main roads full of traffic, including trucks going and coming from industrial premises and the city wants to do something about the problem . They pick a new route and suggest a new area for industrial development. They have the environmental impact assessment done. There is a public review and all seems well, until a city councilor asks some awkward questions about how adequate the impact assessment was and how safe the highway extension will be. The councilor was particularly concerned about three things. First of all was his concern for the issue of public safety because the highway would entail a new railway crossing-and we have all heard the horror stories about people being killed at such crossings. Secondly, he was worried about the increase in traffic noise on several of the streets close to the new development. And his last concern was about the impact on heritage and archaeological resources.
Now this case used a mediator, a provincial or state official who had no stake in the municipal matter. This person mediated between the city councilor and his supporters, and the city management, the director of technical services and his staff. The result of this consensus process was a commitment to measure for reduction of noise impact, and to further analysis for the heritage and archaeological resource issues. The railway crossing plans were shown to conform to industry standards, which cleared up that issue. The point is the process of consensus building really works .
Script for Lecture
So, at this point we know that the glacial cover of the Ice Age expanded way beyond the polar regions of today. What is more, it has been calculated to have been between six and twelve thousand feet thick. So based on the figures used to calculate the mass of the ice, we can figure out the amount of water necessary to produce it. And of course, it was so much water, that it could only have come from the oceans. In fact, it has been estimated that the surface of the oceans were three hundred to even two thousand feet lower when the ice developed. So there's probably a connection between those two figures , eh .
But if all that water was to evaporate, there must have been a lot of heat. And what would be left? Whole areas of the continental shelf exposed as a desert of sand and shells. Is there a simple explanation for how this evaporation happened?
Actually, there's this guy called Tyndall who calculated that for every pound of vapor produced, a quantity of heat enough to get five pounds of cast iron to the melting point was needed. So he theorized that to transfer the ocean water to the vapor that became snow and then ice , it would be necessary to raise the melting point to five times greater than the mass of the ice. Tyndall believes that the earth had to have experienced extremely high temperatures immediately before the Ice Age and the formation of glaciers.
So how did such a heat wave happen? That is, if it actually did. Most scientists would argue that direct impact of series of meteorites could have that effect It could also cause a disturbance of the axial rotation, which theory would help to explain other aspects of the Ice Age.
Another theory is that the earth passed through a cloud of dust with an electromagnetic charge which could create a thermal effect; in fact, the beat created could be very intense. Actually this theory has some credibility as the ca itself is a large magnet, so a charged cloud of dust or gases could have been responsible for the major changes in climate . It could even change the rotational velocity of the earth .
And I'll tell you more about the effect of that type of event next class.
Script for Lecture
Did you know that the oceans cover nearly 71 percent of the earth's surface and have 10,000 times the water of all freshwater lakes and rivers ? That's amazing , isn't it ? The system of oceans around the world is the basis of our global climate. And there is incredible biodiversity under all that water. Scientists have developed such medicine as anti-leukemia drugs from sea sponges, diagnostic chemicals from red algae, anti-infection compounds from shark skin and even bone graft materials from corals. But the ecosystems that have provided us with this medicine are in danger from the same thoughtless treatment that has degraded the environment on land.
What is happening is this: increases in population, expansion in industries, and rising consumption have threatened, in some cases destroyed, species of marine life and their habitats.
How is this happening? You might well ask! Everyone likes to live by the seaside. Ocean views increase property prices, don't they? In fact, half of the people in the world now live within 100 kilometers of the coast. So to develop these cities, wetlands are drained for land reclamation, sewage plants and industrial facilities are built which release waste into coastal waters. Then there are ships that flush out their tanks near port, and even agricultural waste is poured into the sea.
So what are the results of this activity? The thing is, if you mess with nature, the consequences can be quite serious. Let's take a look at a couple of cause and effect situations. San Francisco Bay is prime real estate which means that the large estuary has shrunk by 60 percent with land reclamation, which is now so overrun with alien species it can no longer support commercial fishing. A city sewage plant outside Los Angeles has contributed so much polluted effluent that it replaced a kelp forest with sludge laced with toxins and heavy metals . The point is that estuary and its ides acted as part of Nature's way of dealing with pollution. So did the kelp forest. Get rid of them and you reduce the ocean's ability to do what we want it to do-disperse wastes and deal with pollution.
The truth is we have dumped so much in the way of pollutants, toxins, and sediment into the ocean that we have effectively degraded estuaries, and coastal waters by blocking sunlight, suffocating fish and damaging marine habitats We can't afford to go on thinking of the oceans as a disposal area without limits. We need to create the limits and impose them internationally to protect what is left of these precious ecosystems.