Monday, November 26, 2012

Al Gore (again)

Al Gore, besides being one of my personal heroes, is arguably one of the most visible and influential environmental leaders of our time. Gore was born in 1948, and even as a teenager, growing up in the 1960’s, he had a great awareness and concern for the natural world. For instance, he remembers his mother reading Silent Spring to him and being horrified with the abuse of the earth. One must take note that his distress over the matter, at that time, is really quite remarkable as conservationism was unheard of in the 60s, and the “green movement” is very much a recent undertaking. However, his early involvement allowed for Gore to become one of today’s most important environmental leaders.
As time went on and Gore got into politics, his passion for the environment remained. For instance, in 1994 Gore created the GLOBE program to help raise awareness of the issue with students. Or, in one of his most daring moves, he opposed the U.S. Senate by supporting the Kyoto Protocol, which called on the United Nations members to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Gore soon became known for calling various congressional hearings on climate change and global warming. Gore also had a huge role in creating the Global Marshall Plan intended to help developing nations grow in a way that was environmentally responsible.
Furthermore, in what I personally believe to be Gore’s most significant act, he released the documentary An Inconvenient Truth in 2006. I can honestly say that I would not have the same environmental passion I have today without this film. In it Gore discusses various topics such as global warming, the many affects it has been having on the world, and human responsibility in the matter. I still remember pulling it out of the Netflix sleeve, and my perspective on the world being forever changed. (Link to the trailer:
Gore continues to travel all over the world raising awareness for this issue. While someone like Wendell Berry may protest, Gore makes sure to counterbalance the carbon emitted in his travels by buying carbon offsets—besides, I think the change he causes with each lecture is compensation enough. Finally, Gore has also played a part in organizing Live Earth, a concert series devoted to raising awareness for climate change. Gore has been dedicate to reversing climate change for decades, and deserves to be counted among the top environmental leaders of the modern world.

Al Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore is one of the most recognized activists in recent decades, spreading awareness of global environmental issues around the world. Since 1976, Gore has been actively involved in the environmentalist movement, beginning with his political influence in the House of Representatives. He was the first House member to hold congressional hearings on the relatively new and threatening issue of climate change. Gore became one of the first individuals to shed significant light on this global concern. In more recent years he has made a big push to bring awareness to the world. His Academy Award winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth", released in 2006, provided substantial evidence for the reality of global warming, warning the public about the dangers and consequences of current human behavior towards the planet. Additionally, Gore has been involved in the development of numerous environmental programs and organizations. In 2004, he helped launch the General Investment Management company, with a goal of creating "environment-friendly" portfolios for prominent investors and individuals, and in 1994, he launched the GLOBE program, which increased student awareness of the environment. In addition to his involvement in such programs, Gore has given countless talks and lectures, highlighting his views and concerns on the environment in hopes of creating change. This work has given Gore immense recognition. In 2007, in conjunction with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to raise awareness on climate change, and offer fundamental measures to counteract this change. Today, Al Gore continues his work with a valiant effort to eradicate the harm man has caused on the environment and restore the earth to its former inherent beauty and sanctity.

John Muir

            Born in 1838, in Scotland, John Muir played a crucial role in the environmental movement by bringing attention to the beauty, and the need for preservation of the natural world. Muir a prolific writer, and adventurer, lived in California where he spent much of his time in, and around what is now Yosemite National Park. Muir through his uncanny ability to connect with others, took numerous future environmental leaders on hikes through the Sierra's; these include: Warren Olney, David Starr Jordan, and President Theodore Roosevelt. These hikes served as an opportunity for Muir to present both a physical and verbal case for the need for preservation of this nations greatest natural wonders.

              Muir's legacy as an Environmental Leader lives on through such organizations as the Sierra Club, Yosemite National Park, and his numerous writings that still inspire readers to actively protect, and secure the environment, for current, and future generations.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Michael Patterson

Solar Power is currently one of the leading sources of renewable energy.  Solar panels, made of photovoltaic cells, convert sunshine into electricity.  The advantages of solar power are numerable.  Solar power lessens our dependence on nonrenewable energy sources, such as fossil fuels, because it relies entirely on the sun, a renewable resource.  Furthermore, solar panels do not produce emissions and are completely silent.  Solar power is an ideal, renewable energy source except for one major setback: what if there is no sun?  For areas that experience minimal amounts of sunlight, solar power is not a viable energy source.  In response to this limitation of solar power, Michael Patterson, an Australian engineer and teacher, invented Hydrasolar.  
Hydrasolar is a solar tracking device that allows solar panels to self-adjust in order to optimize their sunlight intake.  The rotation of Patterson’s solar panel relies entirely on the thermal contraction and thermal expansion of a liquid inside the panel that is controlled by the intensity of the sun; no electric motors or computer trackers are needed.  Patterson’s invention has revolutionized solar power.  Now, areas that receive minimal amounts of sunlight can still utilize solar power as a renewable energy source.   

David. "Solar Power-Advantages and Disadvantages." Alternate Power. Alternate Power,
2008. Web. 13Nov. 2012. <
"New Inventors: Hydrasolar." The New Inventors. ABC, 2011. Web. 13 Nov. 2012.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Elon Musk

Elon Musk
While his main claim-to-fame is being the creator of Paypal. Elon Musk is not only revolutionizing the technology field but is also starting a green revolution. He co-founded Tesla motors in 2003 with the idea of creating an all electric vehicle. Tesla came out with the Tesla roadster in 2007 shocking people all over the country and world. The sporty design and amazing speeds dramatically changed peoples opinions about electric vehicles. The fail electric vehicle from GM seemed to be a thing in the past, a new electric vehicle revolution was starting. 
     Even though Tesla has critics about its environmental policies, the truth is that electric vehicles are our only way to stop using fossil-fuel powered vehicles right now. A person can can charge their electric vehicles using solar panels and can have a zero-carbon footprint for their transportation. While the prices of Tesla vehicles are certainly not for everyone, the revolution that Elon has started has lead to many other companies to start produces electric vehicles which everyone can afford. Because of  Musk's efforts, there are many options for people to travel carbon free right now.
     His innovations that help the environment do not stop with Tesla. Musk also help create the solar panel provider, Solar City. This is the largest provider of solar panels in the country for residential buildings. This is due to it's leasing program that helps eliminate the initial upfront cost for homeowners. Through his efforts in these two companies, Elon Musk is having a broad impact on global warming.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Sister Miriam truly is an inspiration to all who have a passion for the environment. She is not only a source of knowledge about the religious view on sustaining the environment, but she is also a scholar of the sciences. As a fellow believer in the power of nature, I look to Sister Miriam as a guide and role model to the type of person I want to be in the future. I appreciated her goals of educating people and  providing a sanctuary to all living things. Sister Miriam's way of life emphasized her participation in the green revolution and her attempt to create a more sustainable life style. Her home is made out of straw, she uses a composting toilet, has a grey water system, and is currently focusing on implementing a  furnace that runs on a particular type of grass. For a person her age, it is not common to see someone using these recent technologies to the fullest and having so much knowledge on the products themselves. By her making these differences in her present lifestyle, she is inspiring the minds of us, the future. My favorite activity of the trip was when we had half an hour to pick a spot and be a part of nature. Throughout that time Sister Miriam wanted us to write on a stone a hope for the future. After learning about and spending a little while on the farm I wrote on my stone to "BE SIMPLE". This is a message that Sister Miriam taught me through her way of life. Her life of simplicity not only provides her happiness but is also great for the environment. After writing on our stones we had a ceremony and placed them in a circle under a tree. This location is where everyone who had visited the farm wrote their hopes for future generations. After this ceremony it became clear that Sister Miriam really is making a difference for the future of the planet. She opens people's eyes to new ideas and challenges them to make a difference in the world like she does every day. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Why We Made This Blog

This blog will highlight people who are changing the world in way that will make our society more sustainable for future generations. These people are leading the green revolution by finding solutions to the problems that they feel are in dire need of updating because that certain problem is damaging our Earth. We feel that this is topic of great interest because it will give recognition to those who are taking care of Earth's fragile ecosystem and may inspire others to to help lead our communities to do good for the Earth as well.