Paige Walker

Springfield, OR, United States

About Paige

Universities

University of Oregon

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

186835
Paige Walker
Posted about 2 years ago
Buggin' Out: Urban Bug Farming for the Future
The UN actually just put out a report last month on the advantages to eating bugs and which ones are beneficial. ( http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e.pdf ) The idea of eating bugs is something that is hard to accept. Maybe if we process them or prepare them in ways that make them not look like bugs will help to get past the stigma of eating a bug. Just like the rest of our meat doesn't look like an actual animal but also it is widely accepted that high protein, high fat diets are ok. But they are truely detrimental to our health including issues like heart disease, high colesterol, high blood pressure and even seizures.
186835
Paige Walker
Posted about 2 years ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
I imagine that in addition to the Israeli acute paralysis virus, industrial agriculture is major factor in the disappearance of honey bees and many other pollinators. The extensive use of pesticides on large industrial farms is one way to combat the loss of bees not to mention allowing industrial farms to revert to more natural, small scale style farming. Allowing natural predators to keep pest levels down and biodiversity of plants in and around the farm will allow for more diversification of pollinators too. Even though I believe that the EPA is a permitting agency, rather than a protection agency, they recently acknowledged the issue of pollinator disappearance in the US. They concluded that many factors are contributing to pollinator decline including:" inadequate food sources (nutrition), diseases (bacteria, fungi and viruses), habitat loss and bee management practices, as well as pesticides." Urban and local farming is the answer to food security and food justice around the world. Education on the value of diversity of our gardens and the food on market shelves is needed, because at this rate we won't always have the options we do today. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/ecosystem/strategic-plan.html
186835
Paige Walker
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?
As Clarissa said earlier "Save the rainforest" is a common phrase in the mainstream. So why do so few people know of the Belo Monte Dam project? The immediate loss of species in the river due to the restriction of access to breeding grounds and their natural range of habitat is a huge issue not to mention the loss of organism (plant, animal, fungus, bacteria, etc.) due to the flooding of the rainforest. Biodiversity is so dense in the Amazon that even 2% of its loss is detrimental to the surrounding area. With the new reservoir that will be filled in place of the forest the ecosystem will change. Areas around the new reservoir will also be dictated by a water environment. This will impact the type of plants and animals that can live in proximity to the reservoir. The high methane emissions of the reservoir will further this dictation. Organisms that are able to inhabit the area will have to be able to withstand the temperature increase, due to the release of methane, that will likely occur quickly in the immediate area.More and more we see humans making decisions at the detriment of other humans and the organisms they depend on. Currently there are many dams being proposed in the Mekong region of Southeast Asia. The region is susceptible to climate change which is impacting its agriculture and fishing (the Mekong River is the most productive freshwater fishery in the world). Dams would be a further stress on this region's ability to sustain people from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam which rely heavily on the river for their livelihoods. http://www.voanews.com/content/climate-change-dams-threaten-mekong-region-experts-warn/1628527.html
186835
Paige Walker
Posted about 2 years ago
Cats pose a serious threat to biodiversity: Why do we accept it? What should be done?
I don't debate the damage cats do to small animal populations but an issue surrounding this is poverty.Putting aside people that just don't care, do pet owners have any less right to the companionship of cats (or any animal) because they are not educated or financially able to be responsible owners? Government subsidies and enforcement of neutering and spaying might be a real answer to this question. I am just not sure if this is where funds should be allocated though. Another issue is the threat cats pose to human health. Most people don't have the money (or the insurance) to see the doctor let alone take their cat to have regular checkups and the fact is they carry gastrointestinal parasites like helminths and protozoa that are dangerous for pregnant women and people with suppressed immune systems. Maybe if this becomes a human health issue it will get more serious attention and thought from a broader spectrum of people. "Gastrointestinal Parasites in Domestic Cats" Cohell et al. (2012) http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs/34781/InTech-Gastrointestinal_parasites_in_domestic_cats.pdf
186835
Paige Walker
Posted over 2 years ago
Purell now, Bacteri-ell later?
Unfortunately so far the main focus of the public is the bad bacteria and because we are so bad at battling the bad bacteria, we just get rid of it all. I think a probiotic cleanser that actually contains good microbes is a great idea. Maybe the microbes would be specific to your family's microbial biome. Maybe instead of vaccinations we can have hair depurifiers that put pathogens into the air. Unfortunately we know so little about our microbes and their functions that if we introduced microbes to replenish or help our personal microbes, would they upset a delicate balance that our bodies maintain?
186835
Paige Walker
Posted over 2 years ago
Purell now, Bacteri-ell later?
The biggest issue is how to find the good microbes and figure out a way to distribute it to people who might benefit from its affects. I have never had any food or environmental allergies, that I know of. I consider myself one of the lucky few. I think the key is to look at people like myself and the kind of microbes I carry in order to get an idea of the types that potentially help to prevent allergens and possibly disease. In the case of disease my family on both my mother's and father's side are predisposed to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Could these things be influenced by my microbes and can I be exposed to microbes from people with a lower probability of developing diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol in order to "immunize" myself? Can my genetics be influenced by my microbes. Its an exciting thought but is it plausible or silly?
186835
Paige Walker
Posted over 2 years ago
What form of renewable energy has or will have the lowest impact on biodiversity?
I think that tidal power is promising. Many different mechanisms are being employed to capture this tidal energy. These include tidal dams, tidal fences (like big turnstiles that reach across channels), tidal turbines and tidal barrages. I found one company well on its way to the installation of tidal turbines. Tidal Energy Ltd has plans to install a DeltaStream (a tidal turbine placed on the seafloor) in the Ramsey Sound in southwest Wales. Their Environmental Assessment is available (http://www.tidalenergyltd.com/?page_id=17 under Resources). Many of the environmental dangers listed were assessed as of little consequence or low risk. What I understood of the assessment was a bit different. Diving birds would be at great risk to collision with turbines. The device would emit a sound that was supposed to warn mammals of its presence and deter them from a collision. The cable that will run from the turbine onto land would emit an electromagnetic field affecting fish. In not so many words, the report said that destruction of grasslands would be of little impact because it would be reinstated, but once an ecosystem is destroyed we all know the bidiversity is never the same. They were taking some initiative to use lubricates and oils that were biodegradable. The destruction of the grasslands would be during winter as to supposedly prevent the effect on nesting birds. Tidal power is a young and not well developed energy source, but its no emission production of energy is eluring. Of course whenever metal is mined, manufactured, transported and installed there is always emissions. The fact remains that the technology currently poses a great threat to aquatic wildlife, birds, terestrial ecology and biodiversity. http://www.rnp.org/node/wave-tidal-energy-technology http://www.eere.energy.gov/basics/renewable_energy/tidal_energy.html
186835
Paige Walker
Posted over 2 years ago
What form of renewable energy has or will have the lowest impact on biodiversity?
One of the biggest issues is the storing of nuclear waste. Currently the Hanford Nuclear Site, which was used for weapons production during WWII, is begining to leak into the groundwater and then into the Columbia River due to inefficient and containment facilities that were only meant to funtion for 10 to 20 years. This is a huge threat to the organisms and the people who depend on the river for food and fresh water to irrigate millions of acres of agriculture. There is also the issue of the environmental degradation due to mining for uranium. The refining, enrichment, and production process produces radioactive isotopes that profoundly affect the entire ecosystem in which it is done. We need to think even cleaner, i think.