Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Group 5 - The Green Movement

Submitted by: Tara Baxa
Terms: Greenhouse Gases & Greenhouse Effect

Scientific definition of Greenhouse Gases: Water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone--trap heat in the atmosphere instead of allowing it to radiate back into space, the way glass traps heat in a greenhouse. Except for chlorofluorocarbons, greenhouse gases are natural components of the atmosphere, and the greenhouse effect itself is a natural phenomenon. Without it, the earth would be about 60 degrees cooler than it is today, and life as we know it would be impossible.

Greenhouse gases in general terms: Gases trapped in the atmosphere. This definition benefits most in society who are not well-informed on global warming.

Scientific definition of Greenhouse Effect: Humans enhance the greenhouse effect primarily by burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas). These fuels are stored carbon, formed millions of years ago from organic matter. Burning them returns the carbon to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide, the gas that contributes most to the enhanced greenhouse effect. The fossil fuels we burn are limited, non-renewable resources and will eventually run out. Furthermore, emissions from their use pollute the air and contribute to the greenhouse effect, accelerating global climate change.

Greenhouse Effect in general terms: Radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases raising the Earth’s temperature. This is the simplest definition for most of society who may not know much about the topic.

Answers to Additional Questions
The Media involved with the green movement are newspapers, spokesperson (such as Al Gore), Scientists, Reporters/Journalists, etc. The media help to make the subject public and assist in awarness of global warming and the green movement.

The Media Communicators are people such as Kate Nelson, who is UWM's sustainability director. News Stations involved in reporting issues and environmental topics, as well as environmental groups or blogs interested in speaking about the green movement.

The Communicators do so through their actions such as Kate Nelson's move toward more eco-friendly projects and energy saving on campus. News Stations are approached by others and are responsible for reporting these environmental issues accurately. Environmental blogs are created by anyone on the internet (amateurs or professionals). All of these ways help to communicate to society about the environmental issues that the world is experiencing.

Videos to back my definitions and information: These videos show someone with limited knowledge on the topic what greenhouse gases are and what the greenhouse effect is.

Greenhouse gases and the Kyoto Protocol --
The Greenhouse Effect --
Climate Challenge - Greenhouse Effect --

Works Cited:
Proquest. “Global Warming and the Kyoto Protocol.” (2001). alternative approach to establishing trade-offs among greenhouse gases Nature, vol. 410, no. 6829, pp. 675-677, 5 Apr 2001 Climate Change and Its Consequences Environment (Washington DC) [Environment (Wash. DC)], vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 28-35, Mar 2001
By: Ashley
Global Warming-the increase of the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its likely continuation. Human activities are one of the main reasons global warming has occurred in the past 50 years. Some signs of global warming include heat waves, ocean warming, sea-level rise, glaciers melting, and even animal and plant population changes.
An Inconvenient Truth-An Inconvenient Truth is a documentary film that was produced in 2006, and is about Al Gore and his former campaign which focused on educating people about global warming. The document and Al Gore’s main point of the film was to raise public awareness on climate change and encourage citizens to become more conscious of their actions that may harm the environment. The film followed Al Gore across the globe where he repeatedly showed examples of climate change and how the world around us in changing. The document won Academy Awards and was a great success at the box office.

Audience Perspective- Since global warming is mainly caused by human activities, people who are seriously concerned about this topic, like Al Gore, are the audience members who believe we need to take action. Whether the audience looks facts up online, has a rally, or has their own global warming prevention website, the people who respond to this topic are all trying to prevent this continuous problem. Some things people might do and advocate for, to reduce this problem is: drive less, choose energy efficient appliances, unplug electronics when they are not in use, recycle as much as possible, cut down on your garbage, and so on. However, the main prevention to global warming, I believe, is awareness. People still need to be alerted and educated about this topic before they realize the precautionary measures they can do. In 2007, millions gathered across the nation to rally and support an anti-global warming campaign.

# 2- There are many different media producers concerned with the topic of global warming. As I already mentioned, Al Gore is a loyal activist in this cause and his Academy Award winning documentary proves it. I have come across numerous informational websites about global warming that have educated me to the fullest of this serious problem. So therefore, the Internet is a large media producer of this topic, having thousands and thousands of websites that have to do with advocating and informing, or solely explaining the science behind global warming. The persuasion in the websites is very clear. Each writer is trying to prove a point, whether it is someone trying to get people to rally for this cause, or it is a scientist explaining what will happen if global warming goes in full effect. Also, information exchange is something I saw to be relevant when researching this topic. Many websites included blogs at the end where people could discuss their thoughts on global warming, whether they were strongly against the information or not.

By: Kyle
Energy Efficiency: By breaking these two words apart and looking at them separately, energy is defined as 1.) The capacity for vigorous activity; 2.) An adaquate or abundant amount of such power; 3.) An exertion of such power; 4.) Any source of usuable power, such as fossil fuel, electricity, or solar radiation. Efficiency is defined as the accomplishment of or ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort.
This definition as many people look at it today is generally regarded by what is the "most efficient way to make things run the way they do currently." People want the things they have and are used to to stay the way they are, but they are concerned that too much energy is being used. They know things cannot go on the way they are, but most are not willing to change their behaviors in order to help. People realize it's hard to change, so instead they would rather look into ways to make everyone else change. Cars, batteries, coal refineries, homes. The list is endless.
Green Jobs: Green jobs are no longer the wave of the future. Especially with our current President. Creating more, and even new jobs to help offset the exposure to harm in our atmosphere seems to have taken control of everyone in America. However, these new jobs have become a political battleground. While they are good, many people find the extremes from both ends of the spectrum. Is it really necessary to fall off the ship completly? Can something else be done that isn't so expensive and so dramatic? There is a simple answer waiting on our doorstep. While billions of dollars are being pumped into alternative energy and fuels, an energy so great and unlimited sits literally all around us. An energy that is cheap, easy to harvest, and creates jobs for the future. Nuclear. Yes, I said it. Building nuclear reactors no longer has the same devestating consequences it once did. We no longer live in the 1980's where we do not know how to subdue and contain the harmful effects. Yet so many are afraid of it, nothing is done with it. So while there are many green jobs that are great to implement and use as tools to help our future, we simply need to look at some of the things we already own.
#2 The media in play with this Green Movement are primarily 1.) Internet Coverage/Research; 2.) Private/non-profit organizations who are trying to convey a message to the rest of the world. Through these sources, a tremendous amount of information is at hand to the general public. Books have been written, seminars have been given, documentaries have been made. (And not getting into politics-but I hope no one really believes Al Gore. He didn't use science, he used pictures...) No matter what side of the debate one falls on, there is evidence to show that harm is being done. There is evidence to show that something is causing a difference in temperature. There is evidence to show we can help offset some of these effects. Now, depending on how you wish to look at this debate, there is evidence on both sides of the arguement to support each theory. And no matter what you believe, both sides are still just theory. Enter our own personal research and intelligence. There are tools available to everyone via the internet, via books and tapes, via documentaries to help everyone draw a conclusion. No matter what, people need to use these tools effectively, as well as rationally.
As for who is producing these media outlets? That is where people need to do their homework. Are the producers being paid by some large corporation-or dare I say, the government? Or are these producers of information simply trying to find the right answer according to basic, fundamental science? Money is the loudest speaker in every debate. Who is supporting these claims? People need to be skeptical of everything they read and hear. Don't just believe what you are told. Go out and use the necessary and available tools to help you draw your conclusion.
By: Nicole

Definition in general terms:
Environmentalism is a social movement focused on the conservation and improvement of the Earth’s natural environment.
Eco-Friendly is a term used to describe specific goods and services that inflict minimal damage or harm to the environment. Definition according to the audience members of the issue:
If someone were to ask people who just read an article about the “Green Movement” or listened to someone speak about it, they would see Environmentalism as a new way to live your life. It offers people a different outlook on the future and teaches them ways to have a more positive and hopeful view about our planet. If one audience member was from a warm climate they would realize there are steps they can take to create a solar roof on top of their home to conserve energy. Most audience members probably think of environmentalism and environmentalists as tree huggers who just want to save the environment, but once they become more informed they realize everyone can do their part in saving the environment. Luckily, “Going Green” has become very popular and has drawn a lot of people’s attention because it not only will help the environment but the audience seems to see it as the “cool” thing to do.
On the other hand, if someone was asked what he or she thought eco-friendly meant they would most likely think about “eco-friendly” products sold across the country. Many companies are coming out with new products that present better ways to conserve energy. Every culture is different and offers different ways to save the environment. Almost every article you find speaks about wind power and fuel-efficient or hybrid cars. Most retail stores and grocery stores now offer reusable bags for shopping instead of using plastic or paper bags that you just throw away. How definitions differ from general to definitions according to the audience:
General definitions are much more specific and focused on the actual description about each term, compared to the way the audience views the terms. The audience seems to stereotype the kind of people associated with the terms, and types of products used to help the environment. Many people know about ways to save the environment but do not understand the underlying issues about the news topic. Usually most people read the heading of an article and maybe the first paragraph which can often cause people to be misinformed.,8599,1722644,00.html
By: Sheila
Organic: Products or food raised or conducted without the use of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals. There are many standards for products that are called organic. Farmers that sell organic products must be certified and refrain from using pesticides and other synthetic and altering materials.
Hybrid Cars: A vehicle that uses two or more different power sources to make the vehicle move. For example, The hybrid electric vehicle combines a internal combustion system and an electric motor to function.
Who are the media communicator/ producer in this topic?
I believe that the media communicators are activists like Al Gore that made a documentary placing importance on the state of our planet or urban farmers like Will Allen of Milwaukee that has a 3 acre fully sustainable farm in city limits that is making it cool to shop for organic food at a open market.. Therefore it has made a lot of people wake up and want to take steps to contribute to the planet as a whole. You can see many television channels such as, HGTV, THE FOOD NETWORK, DIY all making it a very cool thing to go green during this time with shows that focus on green products for your home and kitchen. You can even find channels like NOOGIN and NICKJR making kids think about saving our planet.

Organic (Sources)
The Free Dictionary Website General Definition
Organic Trade Association Website More Information
Hybrid Cars (Sources)
Wikipedia website - general definition and information

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