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Showing posts from September, 2020

Should You Fast to Help the Environment?

  Should You Fast to Help the Environment?  Today marks a high holiday for the Jewish faith: Yom Kippur, and many Jewish people will fast for twenty-five hours. As a Jew myself, I have fasted for the last couple of Yom Kippurs, and I am fasting on this day too. Yom Kippur is a day to apologize to God for their sins. It doesn't matter whether or not you observe Yom Kippur; exploring the environmental impact of fasting applies to a lot of people. There are two different types of fasts we will explore. The first is a traditional fast, or not eating or drinking for a long time period (e.g. Yom Kippur), and the second is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is generally defined as fasting on and off for short periods of time. A common example of intermittent fasting is eating during an eight-hour window of the day, and fasting for the remaining sixteen hours. Apart from religious reasons, people tend to fast for health reasons. People who fast tend to eat less than those who don&#

The Most Important Thing YOU Can Do to Stop Climate Change

 The Most Important Thing YOU Can Do to Stop Climate Change When it comes to  climate action , I've heard that i ndividual change can only go so far. I'll admit it: that's very true. The most consequential changes will be made by politicians and business leaders. But what if we could have a say in those consequential decisions? Well, at least in democracies, you can. It's by voting. Wait a minute! EarthPlex's posts are guided towards teens, and in most countries, the majority of teenagers cannot vote. I'm fourteen, and I can't. If you're below your country's voting age, it doesn't hurt to research the candidates, their values, economic policies, and as we'll discuss in this post, their environmental policies. If you live in the United States, we made this job easier for you by analyzing the environmental policies and past experiences of both major-ballot presidential candidates, the 2020 Green Party candidate, and Kamala Harris. You can read

We Can Fight Climate Change in a Capitalist Society: Here's How

  How We Can Fight Climate Change in a Capitalist Society I've been looking into youth climate activist groups to see what young people like me think is the culprit of climate change . A few weeks ago, I found a group called Youth Climate Action Team (YCAT) . YCAT is "a youth-led movement building a coalition of the working class to fight for climate justice," they say on their webpage. Throughout their site, they lay out a clear enemy, the reason climate change exists: capitalism. Their About  page mentions the need for dismantling capitalism many times. In their explanation for fighting capitalism, they write, " Capitalism is unquestionably the source of our crisis. A capitalist system is set up to pull as many profits as it can from the environment and working class while benefiting the rich and wealthy." While I appreciate their intentions and the work that they're doing, I disagree with them. I don't think capitalism is the source of climate change

Climate Emergency: Wildfires

 Climate Emergency: Wildfires  At the beginning of 2020, the Australian wildfires flew to the headlines. As an American resident, I felt sorry for the people and animals who live down under, but my country is on fire too. The wildfires in California rage every year, and they keep getting worse. California boasts a higher GDP and population than any other state. California's Hollywood is the center of the film industry; some of the largest tech companies (Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel, etc.) were founded or are headquartered near Silicon Valley, CA. World Atlas  says that California is the most visited state in the United States. Wildfires threaten all of this industry. Why would somebody travel to California if they could be caught in a situation reminiscent of the picture above? And who would risk their career to start a company in a place subject to extreme weather? Let me clarify: contained wildfires can help forest ecosystems, but the fires we've seen in the media (or in-p

EarthPlex is Going to Post Less - Here's Why

 Why we're switching to two posts a week - EarthPlex  In May of 2020, I started EarthPlex as a blog for me to post about the environment and keep myself occupied during the coronavirus pandemic . Early into the development, I decided to open EarthPlex up to anybody who wants to contribute to it with a focus on teens. Since I founded EarthPlex, it was featured in the NY Times , we have had a few guest posts, and - if I counted correctly - this is our fiftieth post!  I feel incredibly proud to have accomplished so much in so little time. Now that the school year has begun, I need to balance posting with my schoolwork. I am confident that I will be able to, but  I will have to compromise. I have decided to continue posting this school year every Monday and Friday to increase the quality of my posts. I will have to see with time if I can bring back my Wednesday posts or only post once per week.  Besides a quantitative reduction of blog posts EarthPlex will create, not much will change.

How Will We Get Energy in the Future?

 How Will We Get Energy in the Future?  The future: it's hard to imagine, but inevitably, it will come. One of our current challenges is providing energy for a growing population. In 2020, the majority of our energy comes from burning  fossil fuels , but we now understand the harm it could cause if we continue to do that. We are consuming energy faster than it can replenish, and even if there were an unlimited supply of fossil fuels, burning them has some nasty side effects . In this post, we will discuss likely scenarios for how our species will use energy in the near future, and then explore possibilities of how we could get our energy thousands of years from now. The near future  What I'm about to say has been stressed enough times on this blog, and if you know anything about energy, you probably have heard this too: we must stop relying on fossil fuels for energy. In the next few years, we will have to begin the transition to clean and renewable sources. Renewable energy wi

Making GMO Crops: Helping or Hindering Climate Change?

Making GMO Crops: Helping or Hindering Climate Change? By Mahir Hossain, age 14 Every book has its cover, and inside every cover of a book has its own story. But even if the book cover looks like a masterpiece, the story could be bland, and vice versa. But what if you could alter that story or the cover endlessly? With GMO crops and new biotech that is looking to reconstruct new species into populations and add to biodiversity, breakthroughs are hoping to rise from the horizon. However, many are apprehensive about “GMO”, and many other labels that can make it perplexing to understand what’s good for your body, the environment, and ultimately the world. If you want to understand how GMO crops can benefit, you have to understand the genetic base. GMO stands for ‘genetically modified organism’ in which special enzymes cut off DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)  of the desired trait from an organism, which is then transferred to a vector, also known as the carrier. The trait is then placed in a

An Interview With Philadelphia's Director of the Office of Sustainability (Christine Knapp)

An Interview With Christine Knapp, Philadelphia's Director of the Office of Sustainability In order to fight the climate crisis, we need leaders to guide us in the right direction. I had the honor of corresponding with one of those leaders: Christine Knapp. Christine Knapp is the Director of the Office of Sustainability in the city of Philadelphia. She's accomplished and has worked hard to make change in Philly, and her work will cause a ripple effect to better the entire planet. I asked Christine to answer a few questions about her career and experience, and she was kind enough to answer them. What do you do as Philadelphia’s Director of the Office of Sustainability?  I help to advance policies and programs that help to reduce the causes of climate change and protect residents from the negative impacts of climate change. I work across City government with other agencies and with external partners to coordinate and implement these changes.    What projects are you working

The Best Sources to Learn About the Environment

 The Best Environmental Sources  Like many of you reading this, I am interested in climate change and the environment as a whole. As a climate blogger, I must have adequate sources to maintain the integrity of this website. Citing sources is necessary every time I include information that I didn't previously know (contrary to my beliefs, there's a lot that I don't know). I decided to compile some of the most trustworthy sources for when you're curious about the environment, ranked in no particular order.   EarthPlex (Yes, us!) How could I not include the site you're currently on!? EarthPlex is a blog and climate platform guided towards teens. We frequently post high-quality content about climate change and how to live a more ethical life. As a NY Times featured platform , we feel the need to contribute accurate information to educate teens on humanity's biggest challenge. You can read more about us in our mission statement .  World Wildlife Fund (WWF)    If yo

Double Trouble: The Fujiwhara Effect

Double Trouble: The Fujiwhara Effect By Mahir Hossain, age 14 Hurricanes. A spiral of destruction with catastrophic winds, heavy downpour, and lightning strikes that can split cable lines and trees in half. Many have experienced the damaging effects of hurricanes in Latin America and the Southern United States, but what if there were two spirals of destruction, or worse, what if they were to collide? The rare phenomenon has already materialized in Louisiana and Texas amongst other states who encountered the storm’s wrath. So exactly how does the Fujiwhara effect work?  The phenomenon is named after Sakuhei Fujiwhara, a Japanese meteorologist who was highly encapsulated with works of vortices, rotation, and other factors that contributed to such natural disasters. Although he put most of his time into the development of hurricane research, his findings of double vortices while studying at the Meteorological College of Japan was very intriguing to other meteorologists who tried to compre