Jordan Grace

About Jordan

Universities

University of Oregon

Comments & conversations

187542
Jordan Grace
Posted about 2 years ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
Your mention of a wide variety of pollinators makes me wonder if any of these insects might cause problems for urban beehives. Africanized honey bees are one insect variety I can think of that might cause problems. They are known for their more aggressive behavior and have the ability take over European honey bee hives. I think this more aggressive behavior may also be responsible for some of the negative stigmas associated with bees. The possibility of urban beehives being overtaken by this more aggressive variety of honeybee should definitely be considered and strategies to combat unwanted invasions should be devised.
187542
Jordan Grace
Posted about 2 years ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
Don, I think your mention of consulting local plat experts to determine the best plant species for different areas is crucial. Since microclimates within cities can vary, determining what plants will best support pollinators seems like the most important step when attempting to create more hospitable environments in a specific area for these organisms
187542
Jordan Grace
Posted about 2 years ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
This information about urban bee keeping in the US is very encouraging. I think the most important factor to keep in mind as this movement proliferates cities across the US is public acceptance/approval. By educating people about the benefit bees provide and ensuring adequate regulation/enforcement of urban hives, I think this movement can have successful outcomes. This delicate balance of ecological benefit and public consent must be maintained at all costs because it only takes one lawsuit from an outraged citizen for a city to start banning urban bee keeping. Overall, this is an awesome concept and I hope it experiences successful implementation and longevity.
187542
Jordan Grace
Posted about 2 years ago
Will the Belo Monte Dam project on the Amazon River cause more harm to the environment or will it be a good source of energy for Brazil?
These links about the flawed dam analysis and reduced generating capacity due to lack of rainfall are very interesting. From other information I've read Brazil is basically looking for a very quick and 'cheap' way to produce a lot of power for increasing energy demands from a growing population and industrial sector. As a few other people have stated, the perception of this hydroelectric source as cheap is skewed because it fails to take into account (in terms of money) how valuable the ecosystem services offered by this extremely biodiverse region really are, in addition to indigenous land claims. The perception of a massive increase in energy demand is also being misrepresented in terms of how much and to what extend energy will be needed. This is because Brazil is using a quick and dirty way to gather energy for what is in many ways an inefficient system of infrastructure and electronic products. While I do not know much about specific standards Brazil has in place related to energy efficiency, I do know that there is always more that can be done. The government should be looking for ways to make the current energy consumption as efficient as possible because increases in efficiency can provide the growing economic/manufacturing sectors with some leftover energy that is not being used (and otherwise would have been used). In terms of biodiversity, increases in efficiency can reduce some impacts of growing energy demand and many sources of efficiency would have a much less dramatic impact on biodiversity. In the end I think it boils down to this: the government of Brazil should be looking to other sources of energy like wind/solar and increases in nationwide efficiency related to all sectors instead of spending $14.4 billion on one large project. Rather, the money should be invested in a myriad of different energy solutions, including research on new technologies, best practices, environmental impact, and efficiency.
187542
Jordan Grace
Posted about 2 years ago
Cats pose a serious threat to biodiversity: Why do we accept it? What should be done?
I think you bring up a very valid point that has been touched on in other parts of this thread. Many problems with cats arise from the fact that many are not neutered or spayed and in turn can create offspring that often run wild in cities reproducing and causing further problems. This issue seems like the most logical place to start if we want to really address the negative biodiversity impacts of cats. Programs and regulations that require cats to be neutered/spayed and that perform these services on stray cats seems like a good start
187542
Jordan Grace
Posted about 2 years ago
Cats pose a serious threat to biodiversity: Why do we accept it? What should be done?
I think a proposition like Morgan's would meet great resistance in the U.S. One big reason is the civil liberties/rights that make America unique; I could see many people rejecting this idea on the premise that their rights are being violated. Obviously the ideas behind this question are much more complex and scientific than those ideas behind a stance like that. My support for legislation that attempts to curb problems associated cats would depend on a multitude of factors specific to the situation, but ultimately it would depend on the resulting exacerbation or inhibition of biological impacts. Humans are only a small part of this very complex system of life that exists on planet Earth. We must handle this issue in a way that protects the integrity of this intricate (and not fully understood) system of life. Since cats have been shown to pose serious threats to important members of this web of life (and the resulting biodiversity), something must be done to reduce their impact. While humans enjoy the presence of cats, in a physical and emotional sense, their current ways of life are causing more biologically unhealthy effects than biologically healthy effects. We must decide what actions should be taken that benefit the greater good of life, in a holistic sense. The most ecologically sound outcome will result from a rational, instead of emotional, decision based on facts.
187542
Jordan Grace
Posted over 2 years ago
Purell now, Bacteri-ell later?
The connection to natural areas within cities, or even constructed parks, is something I find very interesting. I also like the idea of looking to exposure in natural environments as a way to built strong immune systems through exposure to a variety of organisms found here. As a few other people have said below, until we know which microbes benefit our health I think looking to the Earth's natural environment, which we've evolved with over a long period of time, is currently the best bet for building strong immune systems in young people.
187542
Jordan Grace
Posted over 2 years ago
Purell now, Bacteri-ell later?
While I definitely believe there could be a crucial connection between contact with healthy microbes at a young age and development of a strong immune system, viewing asthma affliction rates in the country vs. city as a problem caused by less exposure to outdoor microbes can be problematic. Development of asthma in a city environment is often caused by poor air quality, which is the result of airborne pollutants released by fossil fuels consumer for transporation, commercial/industrial manufacturing, and other various factors. If higher rates of asthma are found in cities, maybe this is more an issue of exposure to the wrong microbes (or maybe just pollutants) that are not found in the country, where asthma rates are lower? http://erj.ersjournals.com/content/early/2013/03/20/09031936.00031112.abstract
187542
Jordan Grace
Posted over 2 years ago
What form of renewable energy has or will have the lowest impact on biodiversity?
It seems solar has been mentioned many time after this post on the above portion of the thread. From Chelsea's technology review article I was able to find another project dubbed Palen that is in the final steps of approval and is hoped to be built within the next year or two. http://www.brightsourceenergy.com/palen. While this article does not go into the specifics about impacts on the environment, the fact sheet mentions a variety of technological innovations, two of which are very interesting and would decrease environmental impacts of the technology. One, is that it uses 95% less water (supposedly) than the other Mojave plant by cooling it with air in a closed loop steam system that also recycles water. Second, it uses land efficiently by implementing taller towers on pilons which preserve plant life below by not using traditional grading techniques that require removal of plants. I think some of these improvement go to show that the energy technology with the best and most efficient implementation innovation with be the quickest to become more widespread. Many of these innovations are hard to predict.
187542
Jordan Grace
Posted over 2 years ago
What form of renewable energy has or will have the lowest impact on biodiversity?
I think in the short term the notion of this idea is good. Farmland doesn't necessarily need to be used to produce cellulosic ethanol because it is made from lignocellulose, which is found in nearly every natural, free-growing plant without agricultural effort. These plants can be acquired from a wide variety of ways that don't involve farming. However, I do not know the effectiveness of these other acquisition methods or the amount of land involved. These plants also need to go through extensive processing steps which require a variety of chemicals. Every energy production method has some form of a trade off. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulosic_ethanol