Posts Tagged ‘science and society’
For web-savvy environmentalists, or any interested environmentalists, please consider joining sustainability, a home for all environmentally-related content on Squidoo.com. See also the new site for discussion of solar power on Squidoo.com: solar power. If you don’t know about Squidoo, I didn’t either until a little while ago. It is easy to set up a “lens” that focuses on your favorite topic, blog, website, etc.
After concluding that a Bush administration appointee ‘may have improperly influenced’ several rulings on whether to protect imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife Service has revised seven decisions on protecting species across the country. The appointee repeatedly overruled recommendations by scientists. Julie MacDonald, former deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks “resigned from the department in May after she was criticized in a report by the inspector general and as she was facing congressional scrutiny”. Click below to read the Washington Post article.
© James K. Bashkin, 2007
The first thing I want to do is point out my own main interest in green chemistry: as a practicing chemist, I have been very attracted to “pollution prevention” as a field of research and development. While it may seem obvious in today’s world, pollution prevention wasn’t always a high priority. The concept is: it is far better to avoid pollution in the first place than to try to clean up pollution after the fact.
The goal of this blog will be to discuss the ideas of Green Chemistry in non-technical terms, though I will provide links and references to relevant technical articles for the specialist. I will try, eventually, to cover all of the key ideas in Green Chemistry, not just my personal favorites. You might wonder, however, why I enjoy a focus on pollution prevention. This is because:
- Pollution prevention is something that nearly all chemists can work on.
- Pollution prevention can provide significant economic benefits to companies, making them likely to use new technology and reduce pollution.
- Pollution prevention doesn’t require changing a product, simply the way a product is made. This also makes adoption of the technology more likely.
- Much industrial chemistry of today is based on chemical reactions that are over a hundred years old.
- We have learned so much chemistry in the last hundred years that we have a good chance of entirely replacing the older methods.
- Reducing pollution has a dramatic and immediate effect on our air, rivers, streams and oceans.
Before I go any further, I should mention that I have posted in a few other places on this subject:
- I wrote a comment on an article in the excellent blog, Highlight HEALTH, a site for health news and information from a scientific perspective.
- There are also a few posts on my other blog (nearlynothingbutnovels.blogspot.com), which are really out of place because the blog is devoted to reviewing fiction and crime fiction. But, I had only just started blogging, I felt a need to write, and I had an outlet available. Now the time has come to break out in a new direction in a new blog.
- You can see a list of books on Green Chemistry and related topics by clicking here and going to page 2. Note: in the interests of full disclosure, these books were written by friends or acquaintances of mine.
I will reveal conflicts of interest to help you judge what I say. Comments and questions are always welcome and appreciated.
© James K. Bashkin, 2007