Welcome to Green World, the Press of Atlantic City’s new Energy & Environment blog. To get started I want to let everyone know a little bit about me, what you can expect to find in future blog entries, and provide some background information and links that I find to be very useful.
I currently work at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA), as a project analyst in our Research and Development department. The ACUA is responsible for solid waste and wastewater management in Atlantic County; we handle your trash and sewage. In addition to these waste management services that the Authority is responsible for, we also are strong advocates for the environment and alternative energy; the Jersey Atlantic Windfarm located at our wastewater treatment plant is a landmark in Atlantic City, and in addition to the windfarm, the ACUA is also home to a solar array, landfill gas to energy facility, compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station, as well as many other sustainable projects.It is my job to stay on top of all of these technologies and help get new projects off the ground. It is through my position at ACUA that I keep up to date with the ever evolving world of alternative energy technology and environmental stewardship, and I will share these important developments and issues with my readers.
However, while I do work for the ACUA, the opinions I express here are mine, and do not reflect those of the Authority. You should know that I do not consider myself an environmentalist; I would call myself a sustainabilitist. Sustainability occurs when economic, environmental, and social concerns are all taken into consideration to make the best possible decision. I consider the environment to be very important, but also to be like any other resource, it’s something that we shouldn’t waste and exploit, but at the same time we shouldn’t halt important progress and development to save patch of rare ragweed. I like to think of it this way; if a meteor was going to hit Earth and destroy the entire planet, it would only be our technology that could prevent it. Our progress can ultimately do a lot of good for the planet, and there is a balance we need to find, where we can continue to grow and develop, without doing irreversible damage to our home, this is SUSTAINABILITY.
Here are some topics that I will be covering in the coming weeks:
•Climate Change / Global Warming – is the climate changing and how is human activity influencing it?
•Oil – how much do we have left, what are the real consequences of peak oil?
•Species Loss – what impacts do human activities have on threatened and endangered species, and what, if anything, should we do?
•Alternative Fuels – hybrids, electric vehicles, fuel cells, hydrogen, natural gas vehicles, biofuels… what are the pros and cons of each, are there real cost savings with these technologies today?
•Solar Energy – our state has become a hotbed of solar energy development, what factors have spurred this?
•Wind Energy – New Jersey is positioned to be the first state to install offshore wind turbines, what does this mean for the wind industry and for jobs in the area?
•Green House Gas Emissions – carbon offset credits, emissions trading, carbon footprint reduction… what do all of these things really mean, and are they the best techniques for curbing what we put into the atmosphere?
•Water – energy is the all the buzz now, but droughts and water shortages are just as big a concern to the development of our society as energy is.
•Pollution – from our unused prescription drugs to the exhaust coming out of a school bus’ tailpipe, just what is being put into our atmosphere, and how is it impacting our health?
•Nuclear – fission and fusion, what new technologies are on the horizon, and what role should current nuclear energy technology play?
•Smart Grid – it is another buzzword, but it is also incredibly important to the implementation of everything from building automation systems, renewable energy generation, and electric vehicle charging.
•Natural Gas – it’s cleaner than petroleum and found in our country, what role should it play in our energy future?
•Green Washing – promoting environmental stewardship is an important new strategy in business marketing, many times these claims are misleading.
We’ll be getting into all of these topics and more. Some days there will be a more in-depth feature on one of these and other topics, other times I’ll post some news links and a few comments on recent events in the environment and energy industry. I hope that this endeavor can both educate and spark discussion on these important topics. Please feel free to chime in with comments, but please respect each other’s opinions and be polite.
I can also be found on twitter but I am new to it, so bear with me.