January 18, 2014
Going Green In 2013
2013 saw a myriad green initiatives and discussions. The “green” stories, as they are called, caught the attention of many a reader including me. The next best of 2013 in this series will discuss some of these according to one Time.com article. In this case, instead of ‘best of,’ though, I would like to deem these the most interesting green stories of 2013. Let’s jump right into them.
5. No Mo’ GMO
Several anti-genetically modified food stories reached the media. Heck, even I wrote about these (click here and here for a couple of my stories). For many, GMO foods are really, really bad while others do not see the issues. I tend to think somewhere in the middle. I try hard to eat organic, non-GMO foods, but I also do not freak out if I get some GMOs because, frankly, these are hard to avoid. Nonetheless, I love the discussions, information, and focus on this topic, so let’s keep them coming. Thanks to redOrbit for already continuing the discussion in 2014.
4. Keystone Pipeline
I live in the heartland of the country in Oklahoma. Just a few miles from my home, the Keystone Pipeline is being laid. It may be an environmental battle wherein politicians are allegedly still debating it, but here in Oklahoma, the Pipeline is very real and very alive. Despite concerns about what happens if the pipeline leaks into the Oglala Aquifer (only the main water source for much of the Midwest—aka farmland—and my own water source), oil companies are well into the digging and lying of the pipeline. It may help to bolster domestic oil production, but it is still a source of contention and concern for many. I’m all for domestic growth, but I want a guarantee that the water we must have for sustenance, not to mention to help grow our foods, will be safe.
3. Continuing on with Oil Production
In 2013 (and most years prior to it), another battle comes in the form of imported oil versus domestic production. Turns out that in 2013, US oil imports dropped. Time says that this is due in part to the slower economy, “which depresses oil demand” but also due to growing efficiencies thus a reduction in oil waste. Additionally, much of the decrease is suspected to come from the “unconventional tight oil patches” in states like North Dakota and Texas. These oil patches come from fracking, the controversial method of obtaining oil. In 2013, oil use, import, and pipelines were definitely on the list of green (or not-so-green) discussions.
2. Hurricanes and Typhoons, Oh My!
In 2013, only two hurricanes hit the Atlantic, which is very low considering usually 7-11 hit a year. As Time writes, “On the whole, the Atlantic seems to be in a hurricane trough. For all the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, even that wasn’t a particularly strong storm, just one that landed in a very vulnerable region. A major hurricane hasn’t made landfall in the U.S. since 2005.”
Yet the Pacific seems to be a typhoon (fancy West Coast word for hurricane) punching bag. Twelve typhoons formed in the Pacific during the 2013 year. Many of these 12 hit land. And these were deadly, with one being dubbed possibly the strongest storm ever.
1. Climate, Climate, Climate
Lastly, 2013 brought a surfeit of green stories about the climate in the forms of climate change, carbon dioxide concerns, climate regulations, and cap and trade. It looks like 2014 will continue this discussion for sure.
I am sure that the green stories will not end with this new year. In fact, I know they will not, and many new stories will likely pop up. That is a-okay with me, though. The more we discussion and learn, the better we will understand these topics. Bring on the green!
Image Credit: Thinkstock