Environmental Awareness


Wednesday Thoughts

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." - Lyndon B. Johnson


Pollution over Fairbanks in 40 below weather


Environmental Awareness

    Do you ever think about the future of the environment and the landscape? What will still be left in 50 years from now? Usually when we talk about long-term change, especially climate change we talk about hundreds of years, in geology thousands of years. The past decades we have seen very distinct changes of the landscape on such a short time scale. Coastal erosion, permafrost thaw, wildfires, sea-ice shrinkage and many other things. Are we already past the tipping point, and is there no return? 


Type I and II Errors

    As with statistics, I would rather do a type I error than a type II error (when it comes to the environment). If the null hypothesis is that humans have no effect on the climate change, then type I error in this sense would be that we accept (based on statistical testing) that humans actually do have a large impact on the environment when in fact they do not. Whereas a type II error would mean that we accept the null hypothesis, humans don't have an impact on climate change, when in fact they do. A lot of people justify their opinion against climate change (that is they do not believe in climate change, or that it is driven by humans) and then think that we are wasting millions of dollars on something so ridiculous. But really, is it that ridiculous to try and have a working planet for future generations, even if the hypothesis is wrong? Would it be better to just sit here and watch as the planet deteriorate?


The Consciousness Traveler

    Sometimes I think about the irony, when people travel far to see the "last" of anything, let it be sea-ice or glaciers, it's ironic but we all do it in one way or another. What is the best approach to mitigate the impact that humans have on the environment, should we all stop traveling? Living in Alaska is like the irony of everything combined. Alaska are seeing the greatest increase in temperatures, and as a result permafrost is thawing, wildfires are burning larger and more frequent. Yet there are occasions when we do not have any potato or other vegetables at the store around the wintertime because a truck broke down, train broke down, a bridge collapsed, a snowstorm happened etc. Alaska is so far away, from everything, and we are not able to produce as much as we would need to feed the whole state within the state. We are dependent on importing groceries into Alaska. You are not environmental friendly when you live in Alaska unfortunately, but there is no other way. Living in a dry cabin at least decreases the amount of water you use, but driving a car to the store when it's 40 below? Ok, I actually used to bike or ski to work so at least i wasn't that bad, but still. Last year the main road to the oilfields thawed/melted.....likely because the temperatures were so warm...how ironic is that???


    What is your opinion on climate change and environmental awareness. Do you have any ideas on how to mitigate climate change on a more personal level?