Vesta Tsao

Taipei, Taiwan

Someone is shy

Edit profile

Vesta hasn't completed a profile. Should we look for some other people?

Comments & conversations

4887dc1a88c3c39f2bd7985b5329893cddeb4b21 50x50
Vesta Tsao
Posted 11 months ago
Buggin' Out: Urban Bug Farming for the Future
Good point Krista! We should start to eat from lower food chain. In Taiwan, we have a dish that involve bees larval. I have tired it but have no special feeling toward it. In addition, I think if we give kids to try eating insects when they are young, it will be more acceptable to eat insects in the future if they have tried them before. I think urban bugs farming definitely will work because it takes less land than cattle and more sustainable than livestock, like you have said above. Their food does not need large amount of transportation (for example corns for cattle has large carbon footprint). They are easy to cultural and raise in dense urban areas. Moreover, people will be more willing to eat bugs that they know bugs come from clean and "licensed" bug farms so that we can get away from traditional culture thinking that "insects are full of bacteria and pathogens". A fun article to read from National Geographic about 10 insects to start trying bugs eating: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130514-edible-insects-entomophagy-science-food-bugs-beetles/
4887dc1a88c3c39f2bd7985b5329893cddeb4b21 50x50
Vesta Tsao
Posted 11 months ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
I agreed with you we need more education about bees and their behaviors to youth. I did not get any education about bees as a child. I still have phobia towards bees and not really sure about putting honeybee hives into urban areas because of the fear of general public (include myself). I think we need more research do be done about the causes of CCD. Find out the real problems then we will have more correct solutions to target the problems. As many post and comments mention before, the majority concerned is food and fruit production because some fruit only got pollinated by bees or specific kind of bees. The article you found on Sciencedaily is so interesting!! If we scale up the RoboBee maybe we could use it as temporary at massive fruit farms that are suffering from CCD meanwhile do more research about the cause of CCD. One interesting idea came up in my mind is that we could design a bee hives with solar panels and put them on building green roof. More on-site energy in urban and created a habitat for biodiversity in urban area also.
4887dc1a88c3c39f2bd7985b5329893cddeb4b21 50x50
Vesta Tsao
Posted 11 months 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?
Exactly Erik, I totally agree with you. If this dam get postponed this year. Next year people from all over the world will be in Brazil and support the indigenous people and Amazon rain forest. And as you said, this will be great opportunity for them to gain support from international community. If Brazilian government can weight the consequences of short-term and long term benefits on tourism, green energy technology and good reputation for their country. I believe there will be better way than building this project!
4887dc1a88c3c39f2bd7985b5329893cddeb4b21 50x50
Vesta Tsao
Posted 11 months 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?
Eugene ourselves, most of our electricity power is so "clean" and cheap because of hyropower from BPA. However, We heard too much stories about hyrdopower and its impact on biodiversity. In the high biodiversity and species dynamic area such as Amazon forest. I can not image what would happen if Belo Monte dam project get built. Haven't we learned enough from past lessons? Three Gorges Dam which caused many old historical buildings and statues disappeared in China. Moreover, the dam caused 57% of plant species endangered and deforestation (Wu,2003). Another recent research about dam building activities in India also showed that "almost 90% of the Himalayan valleys would be affected by dam building and that 27% of these dams would affect dense forests with unique biodiversity." (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130117105659.htm) Brazil does have large potential to design a scalable renewable energy, such as wind and solar. Brazil has the cheapest and successful wind energy in the world however it is not stable and they have to use coal-fired power plant to achieve stable energy in grid system. If they would invest more money on transmit full energy generated by wind and store them. Also, postponed the Belo Monte Dam project after complete and understand the full research of impacts on biodiversity and indigenous tribes. Brazil is hosting 2 largest world sport event in 2014 and 2016. This might be the reasons they are highly desired to build a huge hyropower plant to sustain the energy usage. However, maybe building a more energy efficient stadiums and well-planed city transportation would be better than building a monster that will affect millions of people and species? Wu, Jianguo, et al. “Three-Gorges Dam— Experiment in Habitat Fragmentation?” Science 300-5623 (May 23, 2003): 1239–1240. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/05/brazil-may-favor-gas-over-wind-to-fulfill-world-cup-energy-demand
4887dc1a88c3c39f2bd7985b5329893cddeb4b21 50x50
Vesta Tsao
Posted 12 months ago
Cats pose a serious threat to biodiversity: Why do we accept it? What should be done?
I also disagree with Morgan's idea about eliminating cats in general. Like other people, I'm also concerned about removing the predators (feral cats) that you never know if other predators will be replaced on their role and increase preys population. For example, the wolves removal in Yellowstone National park in the U.S. Removing the top predators in the ecosystem disturbed the whole balance of the ecosystem and animals behaviors. Looking past regulation and actions have been done, we can not decide a extreme action so soon before we know what would be the consequences. To adjust this problem I think it will work a lots better if the two extreme group: cats colony caretakers and bird conservationists should find a common ground to work together and decide a good and balance solutions to solve the real issues. I believe many cat owners are very willing to participate in studies or research about cats as threat to biodiversity. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906181643.html) A study to monitor own-cats and un-own cats actually already have been done by Jeff Horn in a neighborhood near center Illinois. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526114531.htm) A research to study and collect data from firsthand and ground data could be more relevant than reading how many birds and endangered species were killed by one of our family member---cats. The interesting found on this study was that house cats rarely go too far from the houses. Their territories were way smaller than un-own cats. The other issues I think it also depends various areas, such us, urban, rural, and endemic islands.To consider feral cats as invasive species in a small island is vital because they might really kill large amount of endemic birds and causing threat to endangered species. Solution can be regulating families with cats on the island and ship un-own cats to bigger urban area for adoption. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130201090610.htm)
4887dc1a88c3c39f2bd7985b5329893cddeb4b21 50x50
Vesta Tsao
Posted 12 months ago
Purell now, Bacteri-ell later?
I agree with you Mika. I'm not so sure about adding "Bacteriell" alter on in adults will help to reduce certain diseases. In a mean while, we need more time and research on studying skin and human microbiome. I love outdoor activities. I exposed myself with nature most of the time when I was young. I think this definitely is one of the reason I rarely get sick. I think most of the reasons people live in the cities don't want kids to be outside because the severe air pollution in the city. After get used to Eugene extremely clean air, every time I went back to Taipei, Taiwan, I got skin and eye allergies. So my personal experience kind of tell me that my microbiome on my body has changed probably throughout these several years I lived in Eugene. I like your idea about city planning solution in the big cities. We all know city parks / gardens are really important to kids live in cities. To add on that, maybe a small area of "educational" ecosystem (include microbials) right beside the the park or gardens so that both parents and children are more willing to reconnect with the mother nature.
4887dc1a88c3c39f2bd7985b5329893cddeb4b21 50x50
Vesta Tsao
Posted 12 months ago
What form of renewable energy has or will have the lowest impact on biodiversity?
Yes, I agreed with you. Like every other renewable energy we need to put manufacturing process into account. Nuclear energy, wind turbines manufacture and any other elements. Everything need to be transported anyway. Wind turbines have huge issues on transportation to the sites because they are really enormous but I feel solar panels/ cells are easy to transfer and install. They are expensive and to produce, those cells are not "green" either. However, once they are installed and combined with other green roofs in a dense urban areas. I think this can be a promise of on-site energy generation.
4887dc1a88c3c39f2bd7985b5329893cddeb4b21 50x50
Vesta Tsao
Posted 12 months ago
What form of renewable energy has or will have the lowest impact on biodiversity?
I would like to think combination of solar and wind. Solar panels have less biodiversity impacts because they are usually used on the roof or in the urban areas. Solar energy can be used as small on-site renewable energy or can also be used as enormous as solar thermal. Like the Parabolic trough design in a solar energy site. Wind turbines, as we all know, have some controversial issues with birds and raptors conservationists. However, I had a biology conservation class and had a guest lecture and he talked about how they are doing a study of birds species that are affected by wind farms. They are studying the species nesting behaviors and flying/ soaring distance from ground. If all the ecologists and conservation biologists dedicate to research and help analyze the site before the wind farm gets built, it will have less impact on birds and raptors. However, I think a big land area like United States doesn't need to worry about land usage for energy generation. Small island countries, such as Taiwan, Japan, Philippines are not so lucky about renewable energy because they don't have enough land to build efficient wind farms or big solar energy sites to generate energy. Most of the energy still comes from coal and nuclear energy. To respond to Bill Gates: Innovating to Zero talk, I would think we should do it both ways. It means we are all responsible for reducing energy usage and never give up on innovating new technologies that will help us generate enough energy but have less biodiversity impacts. This being said, I would argue for more dense urban areas and less spread out suburban. Dense urban areas with solar roof and green roof combined.