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Passion Project Weekly Update #8

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22, 2018 by David W

This week I’ve been busy preparing for summative tests, and I was busy during the weekend, so, unfortunately, I couldn’t accomplish as much as I wanted to during the two sessions.

In the time I did have, I focused on reprogramming and debugging certain codes that I have in my files, finding better ways to accomplish the same tasks in order to either reduce the strain on the computer (and therefore make the game run smoother) or to find any problems that I’ve missed during my initial programming.

I’ve redone some obstacles, so that’ll also further balance the difficulty of the levels to make it hard but not impossible. The video below shows myself working on fixing a bug with the jumping mechanic that the game currently has.

Passion Project Weekly Update #7

Posted in Uncategorized on March 26, 2018 by David W

This week I’ve begun the creation of the actual levels, as I’m pretty much finished with all the mechanics in the game. I’ve spent a lot of time designing the end-of-level portal, with custom particles and animated textures. I’ve programmed a script for this as well to make sure it runs smoothly and does its function.

I’ve also worked on the first two levels (excluding the tutorial level included in the last update). They’re still a bit short and requires some more work next week. I feel the need to alter the speed of the game a bit and change the rigidbody scripts of the obstacles to make the collisions more smooth. I’ve realized that with computers like Macbooks that don’t have as much processing power, the first time it loads many scenes it will delay a long time, which is something else I must take into account when designing the levels.

Next week I plan on finishing the first three levels (including tutorial) and perhaps create a “levels” menu. I’ll also start working on level 4 / 5 if I have more time.

Passion Project Weekly Update #6

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2018 by David W

Video:

Game Effect Showcase

This week I’ve focused on additional gameplay programming. I’ve completed the gameplay system:

  1. The player would run forward automatically, controlling his/her directions with A/D or Left/Right arrow
  2. The player can press W or Space to jump over obstacles
  3. The player can press S or Shift to rewind time and thus go back to a point in time up to around 1.5 seconds before
  4. The player has an energy bar displayed at the bottom of the screen. Jumping or rewinding costs energy
  5. The player can pick up powerups
    1. The star completely refills the energy bar, which currently remains the only way to recharge (I’ve tried automatic recharging and found it to be too powerful, and thus I’ve removed it from the game)
    2. The vial/flask powerup grants the player an invulnerable effect for a limited time, allowing him to destroy obstacles and respawn if fallen off the platform. The invulnerable effect comes with a red skybox effect as shown above

The entire gameplay system is completed, and the only major update I need is to design the levels. I’ve run into difficulties when programming for the invulnerability and rewinding of time, but the rest was surprisingly easy with a tool like Unity.

 

Passion Project Weekly Update #5

Posted in Uncategorized on March 12, 2018 by David W

This week I’ve continued to work on the menu system. I’ve completed the main menu with functioning buttons, including the play button, the options button, and the quit button. Also, I’ve completed options to change quality and volume as well as full screen. This took me longer than I’d expected as I wasn’t familiar with unity’s game option system, and the programming of C# had to be integrated into the unity system. I’ve learned how this worked on youtube and completed the two menus in a week. Next week I want to start making powerups, and after that begin designing the levels.

Passion Project Weekly Project #4

Posted in Uncategorized on March 5, 2018 by David W

I’ve completed the basics of gameplay. I finished the interactions between the player and obstacles / void, the controlling of the player, and I’m currently working on completing a main menu & a pause menu.

I’ve finished the code for the pause menu, and I’m currently working on the main menu codes. I just need to work on the design, and I want to spent the following week finishing the main menu, the pause menu and an options menu. (that actually affects the game) The options menu is challenging, but I’ll try to finish it before actually creating the levels.

Passion Project Weekly Update #3

Posted in Uncategorized on February 19, 2018 by David W

Planner for the entire semester

Week Goals/Steps for the Week
5 February – 9 February Complete obstacle / player collision system
CHINESE NEW YEAR Enjoy your week+ off!
26 February – 2 March Debug / Texture creation (I’ll be away for a session because of math competition)
5 March – 9 March Complete camera interactions / programs
12 – 16 March (4 day week) Begin level generation: Random / Planned?
19 – 23 March Continue level generation programming
SPRING BREAK Enjoy your week off!
9 April – 13 April Finish level generations / debugging
16 April – 20 April Begin menu work – start menu, pause options, settings / options
23 April – 27 April Continue menu work – Level menu? (If I decide on pre-generated levels)

Continue texture design for menus

2-4 May (3 day week) Debug and finalization of menus
7-11 May Decoration and particles – extra work
14-18 May Finalization of the entire game, final debugging, extra ideas?
21 – 25 May Presentation Week
28-1 May Reflection due

I’ll be away on many days in March, so I might fall behind schedule, and I’ll use the weekends / spring break to catch up on any work I need to

Passion Project Weekly Update #2

Posted in Uncategorized on February 6, 2018 by David W

This week I’ve started on my Unity project to create a game. I’ve started creating materials and textures for the characters, obstacles, sky, and ground. I’ve begun on a prototype game as I follow along with the tutorial. I’ve made the game character, made the basic model of the obstacle, and the course I’ll be using for my game. 

I’ve started on a bit of programming as I learn to adapt to using C#, but I’m only just beginning on learning this relatively foreign programming language. My plan for next week is to continue on my programming for the player and obstacles, hopefully finishing the basics for the camera to follow the player as it moves, finish the collision system, and to create a “death / respawn” system for the player.

Passion Project Weekly Update #1

Posted in Uncategorized on January 27, 2018 by David W

I mainly used this week to find ideas for a project to do, and at this point I feel I have a pretty good idea of one:

To create a simple video game using Unity and programming with C#

I’ve found an existing game as inspiration, and I’ll try to create a game with a similar idea but with simpler graphics and mechanics.

I found a tutorial video series that guides me through using Unity. I have programming experience with the C language but not C#, however, it has its similarities and I should be able to learn how to use it fairly quickly.

The Night and Home – Setting Description

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2017 by David W

The sky burned with the radiance of the setting sun. I stand next to the creek, the same creek that flowed from the frozen mountains, feeling the cool and refreshing embrace of the crystalline water. Under the sprouting trees I lay, looking at the flaming shade of orange high above and dreaming about my journey home. Nostalgia struck and I remembered these same woods fifteen years ago, when the canopy of leaves shielded the earth from rays of sunlight, when the lively birds chattered and the deer and rabbits wandered. Now, I look around – the onl[y thing that lasted the same was the one shimmering stream by my side. The great oaken trees vanished –  burnt and used as lumber. The deer were slain – slain as food for the hunters. I felt as if this stream was the only thing rooting me to this place. As if in a decade, I could return and see this very creek and the memories of my childhood will return. The wonderful memories. The sun dimmed as it drifted below the horizon.

 

The shadows crept overhead as night dawned upon the lone gravel path, the surroundings chilled except for the crunches under our feet as we’re stranded within the darkened forest. The single lamppost that once erected on the side is now covered with rust and worn with age, flickering dimly above the dancing shadows. Above the roofed trees, crows croaked and fluttered, calling upon the darkness. The smog veiled the lunar light, leaving us in the gloom. Far down the path, a small stone house came within our vision as we walked, curtains flowing in the wind. The same chill sent our arms tingling, cold gust scraping every bare bit of skin. The withered bushes rustled besides us, brown leaves falling off in a storm. A wind, now freezing, breathed on our necks and an invisible claw of ice seemed to claw at our backs.

 

We walked into the house and sat on the oak chairs. A dim flame danced off our matches and migrated to the stone fireplace, brightening up and warming the room. We felt our hands grow warm, the hut now cozy and pleasant. I smelled the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread permeate from the kitchen. I released a deep breath, dropping the burden in my chest I’ve felt since I left in the morning. This felt natural, sitting here next to a warm fire, sipping coffee and sheltered from the cold dark night. This felt safe, enjoying a delicious dinner with what is now family, having relief from a day of busy and exhausting work. This feels like home.

 

 

Capstone Rationales – POWER OF CHANGE: WATT CAN WE DO

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1, 2017 by David W

Save Every Kilowatt

by David Wang

“The glimmering river sang as it sprinted through the summer forest,” countless poets have written about the beauty of China, depicting elegant scenes of nature… “Heaven-leaking light sparkles from the crystal-blue sky, utopian aroma of flowering blossoms still lingers in the air…” Unfortunately, with the world’s current environmental issues plaguing its environment, such natural beauty may soon become nothing but history. The United Nations have globally addressed this problem: “Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential. Sustainable energy is opportunity – it transforms lives, economies and the planet.” The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon had even led a Sustainable Energy for All in the “Sustainable Cities and Communities” branch to ensure universal access to modern, pristine energy services. And out of the entire world, China has long since been notorious for its environmental damage and pollution levels, the most affected cities reaching up to 264 heavily air polluted days per year (柴静,2015). Studies have shown that coal burning is the main contributor to air pollution, responsible for up to 40% of the deadly PM 2.5 particles in the air. Being the worst health impact of any source of air pollution in China, it has caused more than 366,000 premature deaths in rural areas in the year of 2013; The main source of coal burning is to generate electricity, and being one of the quickest developing countries in the world, China must rely on huge amounts of electricity to maintain its momentum of development. ­­­­­­However, the problem of energy waste has brought the nation more problems than it has ever expected, and more it can currently deal with.

 

This problem calls for extreme urgent action – it has continued to pressure the environmental stability of rural areas that heavily depend on electrical energy to thrive. While some people believe that electricity wastage is not a major contributor to environmental change and therefore should be dealt with after more urgent environmental problems, they fail to realize that the fossil fuel and thermal power plants contribute to nearly 40% of all greenhouse gasses according to the Independent Statistics Analysis of U.S. Energy Information Administration. China’s demand for electricity has evolved over time. After China’s “reform and open” in 1978, technology and industry has started to evolve to ever-higher levels along with its electricity usage. According to the CIA and the National Energy Administration of China, Beijing has used up 7.35 million kWh (kilowatts per hour) in the year of 1978, and 93.7 million in the year of 2014 – multiplying more than twelve-fold. As a matter of fact, China’s electric power industry is now the largest consumer globally, surpassing the United States in 2011 after the rapid growth since 1990 – China takes up more than a quarter of the global electricity usage, reaching 5,919 billion kilowatts in the year 2016. Electricity has evolved and almost become a necessity in our lives Currently, China being one of the quickest developing countries, it requires massive amounts of power to supply itself. Electrical energy takes such an important place in our life it is starting to become irreplaceable. Yet when we use electricity, we are not aware of the consequences it brings to generate it, to transfer it, and to burn it. Thus, the unaware electricity users have continued to contribute to the ever-growing problem of global warming. In fact, the majority of electricity originates from dirty and polluting sources. According to Simon Göß, urban and environmental politics expert, over 54% of all China’s electricity originates from fossil fuels, and 7% are from biomasses or thermal plants: These polluting sources dominate China’s electricity generation. To make matters worse, the use of fossil fuels produces various chemicals, including methanol, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and others (National Energy Tech Lab, 2014). These chemicals are major contributors to pollution and will react with other chemicals to create even more damaging chemicals. Coal pollution became such a serious problem that 420,000 immature deaths occurred in 2007 because of indoor toxic metal poisoning, even higher than outdoor pollution with an annual death rate (Environmental Health Perspectives, 2006). Not to mention, according to Chai Jing, the investigator for “Under the Dome”, 60% of China’s total coal used is unrefined. Usage of such coals amplifies its impact by beyond three-fold and releasing toxic substances like arsenic, fluorine, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, mercury and so on (Finkelman, 1999). China’s desperate necessity for electricity draws it to tap into unsustainable and terrifically damaging sources. This poses extreme threat onto people’s health and pressures the already impaired habitat around us. Some other main methods of electricity generation present in China are Hydro, accounting for 20.1% of total power in the country thanks to the Three Gorges Dam, and Wind, accounting for 9% of the total generation, along with Thermal, Natural Gasses, Bio-mass, Solar and Nuclear only generating 13.7% together.  However, due to the cost of these methods, they are not used nearly as much as the main source of coal, and despite what method is used, they all face another problem that is currently troubling China.

 

While electricity generation brings forth problems, more issues of electricity wastage lies within the very infrastructure of China’s electricity generation system, and more specifically, the horrible utilization rates of the generators and the true effectiveness of the source. It is of upmost priority that people realize the importance of this problem and address it to prevent further energy waste and under-generation. While some may address that a small utilization rate difference wouldn’t make much of a difference and therefore wouldn’t be worth it to consider investment of money and effort into slightly improving it, data and studies have proved that one of the major reasons China’s renewable-energy industry isn’t booming currently is because the generators aren’t working to even close to their fullest potential, where they could generate much more energy. For example, researchers from Harvard and Qing Hua University have found that China could meet all of their electricity demands from wind power through 2030, if the generators were to run to their max capacity (Ecogeek.org, 2009). However, the wind turbines did not generated nearly enough energy to fill and keep up with the remarkable construction of wind power capacity in the country (Philip, 2014). According of David Stanway from Global Energy News, China has wasted 17% of its wind-powered electricity and 20% of solar energy through ever-worsening utilization rates. In fact, “The plunging utilization rates kept 33.9 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) from being delivered to the grid in 2015 from the wind power sector alone.” An energy regulator said, “The equivalent of a fifth of total generated wind power.” In fact, China has the largest installed capacity of wind and solar power. However, they only account for 13.7% of the country’s total energy production mix. (9% wind and 4.7% solar) Due to this, tremendous potential for clean and environmental-friendly power is put to waste through horrible utilization rates, and the capability to replace a large portion of coal power is abandoned, and the environment is put through unnecessary stress from the excess coal burning and processing. Another renewable energy source China uses and depends on is Solar power. In fact, China produces 63% of the world’s solar photovoltaics (PV) (颜培, 2014). It has emerged as the world’s largest manufacturer as of June 2015, second only to Japan with its six biggest solar companies having a combined value of over $15 billion generating around 820 MW of solar PV in 2007 (China pioneers renewable energy, 2014). However, China has a large potential for solar power that currently remains untapped. According to Professor Yin Zhiqiang, President of China’s Solar Energy Society, it is estimated that over 90% of China’s territory can support some form of solar power. Indeed, China is underutilizing the full potential of its technological resources and geographic resources to create clean energy, and instead still focuses on coal to attempt to atone to the missing electricity, but while doing so brings forth great challenges that it will have to face.

 

Of course, China’s renewable-energy industry is not only hindered by the underutilization of the sources, but also ineffectiveness of the actual power grid it uses to deliver the electricity. To fully bring China’s clean energy to another level, attention also needs to be paid towards the actual grid, to improve it. But an ineffective grid system is a lasting issue that will continue to irritate China until the system is revamped, so a one-time investment would be worth it to remove this obstacle altogether. Furthermore, while it is difficult to entirely change the electricity system, it is straightforward and uncomplicated to improve certain aspects of it in order to lessen or solve the dilemma.  “The waste of new energy power is a headache for China as a result of imbalanced distribution of wind resources resulting in reduced utilization and an imperfect grid system,” said Liu Jizhen, academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering. “More transmission lines should be built to make better use of the power generated.” Indeed, besides the reduced utilization, the actual electricity network is also flawed. China is an incredibly large developing country, and a geological mismatch is present between the largest coal fields in the north-east (Hei Long Jiang, Ji Lin, Liao Ning), hydropower in the south-west (Si Chuan, Yun Nan, Tibet), and the fast growing industries in the east (Shanghai, Zhe Jiang) and south (Guang Dong, Fu Jian). China’s long distance ultra-high-voltage electricity transmission lines aims to transport the electricity to the target areas, but however, this system poses threats and has problems. There is already controversy over the UHV grid, as transferring energy across the nation is extremely energy-extensive – By 2020, only 40% of the wind-generated electricity produced in the three northern regions (areas that wind turbines are focused around) would be transmitted across the country to other regions, and instead, using cogeneration with combined heat and power at the user-end is much more efficient, not to mention the harm UHV lines bring to the human body and the huge 270 billion RMB investment that could be easily brought to improve energy efficiency programs and power grid distribution reconstruction (which is argued to be the most vulnerable part of whole power grid). The local governments are focusing on capacity rather than efficiency and utilization, hitting renewable energy targets by building windfarms in regions plagued by low wind speeds and insufficient grid capacity rather than improving the power distribution system and putting the money and effort into better use. Furthermore, taking action to make sure increases in generation and transmission capacity goes hand-in-hand. Disregarding the ineffective of the generators and the power grid and instead building more under-utilized generators or investing in more coal-generators is not the solution. To begin to tackle the problem, both the government and the citizens need to be more aware of the current issue and begin to take action, targeting the problems that is currently troubling China.

 

Electricity companies should focus on utilizing the full capability of the generators and exploiting them to their fullest potential, while improving and building on the electricity net. This way, Beijing can utilize the underused generators and make energy transmission less wasteful instead of building more inefficient and ineffective energy farms or simply building more and more UHV power lines. However, some might argue that it is too much of an investment to renovate the electricity network, and to create entirely new energy farms to replace the old ineffective ones. However, the problem of electricity ineffectiveness will persist until it is effectively dealt with by gradually improving the system, and without resolving this issue the country’s road towards environmental-friendly energy is obstructed. Furthermore, this needs to be done quickly as the country’s heavy dependence on coal has bedeviled the nation with heavy pollution that has led to the damaging of the entire country’s health. The first step towards solving the problem is raising awareness and informing people of the severity of the issue, then targeting the core of the dilemma. The electricity companies have invested in more than 6 billion RMB into constructing new power lines, but they’ve also turned out to be no panacea for the nation’s renewable power distribution bottlenecks (Ng, 2016) . Utilization of the UHV lines remains below expectations [due to] many factors … such as the performance of connected generation plants, constraints in the local power grids, [hydro power resource] conditions, as well as [power] demand conditions,” Hu Xinmin, senior manager at Hong Kong-based industry consultancy The Lantau Group, said in a report. In fact, he even noted that the first three UHV lines constructed in mainland China between 2009 and 2012  has reached capacity utilization of only 21% to 56% in 2014; He also stated even the UHV line linking Hami in Xinjiang and Zhengzhou in Henan province, which sourced as much as 40 per cent of input from renewable energy, had suffered from low utilization since it was commissioned in early 2014, and it was under repair and maintenance half of last year due to damage caused by huge load fluctuations. China is simply constructing more and more UHV lines that are under-utilized instead of fixing up the electricity web to make them more effective.

 

The logical solution is to switch focus and specifically increase the effectiveness, targeting the weak points of the system instead of adding to the maximum capability, which is not utilized in the first place. This way, we can lessen the demand for power through supplying clean electricity, and therefore reduce the need for coal generators. Studies have shown the generators are severely underutilized and to make up for the lost energy, extremely polluting coal-burning generators are used, heavily impacting and savaging the environment. “We believe that electricity exists, because the electric company keeps sending us bills for it, but we cannot figure out how it travels inside wires,” said Dave Barry. That is exactly he issue with China’s electricity waste. Beijing must be more aware, and only with the presence of such awareness will they start to tackle this global problem.

 

Works Cited

Andrews-Speed, Philip (November 2014). “China’s Energy Policymaking Processes and Their

Consequences”. The National Bureau of Asian Research Energy Security Report. Retrieved December 24, 2014

“Chemicals”. National Energy Technology Laboratory. Retrieved 12 July 2014

“China Could Replace Coal with Wind”. Ecogeek.org. Archived from the original on October 15, 2009.

Retrieved 2010-01-31

“China is utterly and totally dominating solar panels”. FORTUNE. Retrieved 29 October 2015.

“China Leading Global Race to Make Clean Energy”. The New York Times. 31 January 2010.

China: Measurements, Health Impacts, and Interventions. Received July 3, 2006; Accepted February 27,

2007)

“China pioneers in renewable energy”. Retrieved 10 October 2014.

Environmental Health Perspectives. Household Air Pollution from Coal and Biomass Fuels in China:

Measurements, Health Impacts, and Interventions. Received July 3, 2006; Accepted February 27,   2007)

Göß, Simon. “Power Statistics China 2016: Huge Growth of Renewables amidst Thermal-based

Generation.” CEE News. N.p., 9 Feb. 2017. Web. 04 May 2017.

静, 柴. “柴静《穹顶之下》之下惊人的数据.” 阿里巴巴. N.p., 2015. Web. 04 May 2017.

Ng, Eric. “China’s Under-utilized Ultra-high-voltage Power Lines No Silver Bullet to Rid Grid of

Bottlenecks.” South China Morning Post. N.p., 14 Feb. 2016. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.

Robert B. Finkelman, Harvey E. Belkin, and Baoshan Zheng. Health impacts of domestic coal use in

China. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 March 30; 96(7): 3427–3431.)

颜培. “Size key to success in solar panel sector”. Retrieved 10 October 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pollution Problems and a Probable Panacea

By Eric Liu

In 2015, 5.5 million people died due to air pollution alone and 1.6 million of these deaths occurred in China (Amos, 1). The Chinese government is attempting to combat the hazardous air pollution problems by shutting down factories and restricting car transportation. Cars with specified licence plates aren’t allowed to be driven on certain days and special events requires that suspension of factories. In addition, the Chinese government is attempting to reduce the amount of coal power plants by increasing the amount of renewable energy sources in order to improve the air quality. And yet with all of these drastic measures that risks the explosive economic growth of China, is it really working?

 

Along with the Chinese government, the United Nations has also been trying to lower the air pollution levels in China through their 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The UN has been attempting to combat international issues such as quality education in the SDG. The SDG that this particular issue pertains to is climate action or SDG number 13. Since 30% of all harmful emissions in the world originate in China (Amos, 1), the UN has specifically been targeting China in order to accomplish their thirteenth SDG goal. But is that enough? The answer lies in the hands of residents of China. In order to combat the severe air pollutions problem in China, the residents of the country’s capital city, Beijing, must cease certain actions in order to improve the air quality both globally and locally.

 

In order to improve air quality, residents living in Beijing must reduce the amount they commute by car. Arguably, cars are the most convenient method to commute from one location to another. Although that may be true, however, the little edge of convenience that cars provide pales in comparison to the ever-imminent environmental problems that car transportation creates. Transportation such as buses and subways are nearly it’s equal in terms of convenience with subway stations and bus stops appearing in every major location in Beijing. Furthermore, other forms of transportation such as bicycles include various health benefits while being more environmentally-friendly than cars. To illustrate the problems that cars create, black carbon is a type of pollutant which is directly related to the likes of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and one of the main contributors to black carbon emissions are cars. Cars are responsible for up to 35% (Liu, 2) of black carbon emissions. By reducing how much one drives by car, one can reduce the amount of black carbon emissions and by extension reduce the amount of cardiovascular and respiratory disease cases. Along with black carbon, vehicles emit vast amounts of nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds in to the atmosphere and is one of the primary contributors to PM 2.5. Small particles such as nitrogen oxide and organic compounds are what make up PM 2.5 (Frank, 5). PM 2.5 is responsible for millions of lung cancer cases all around China and the world. By reducing the amount of individual vehicles used (i.e. cars), then the amount of PM 2.5 is reduced in proportion. Since PM 2.5 levels are reduced, the number of lung cancer cases drastically decreases as well. Evidently from the reasons given above, the logical conclusion is that residents of Beijing must reduce the amount of time they commute using cars.

 

In addition to commuting less by car, residents of Beijing should reduce burning or obtain a more efficient method form of heating. The opposing party may state that during a given season, heating is a necessity in order to survive in colder temperatures. The opposition may further their argument by saying that switching to more efficient methods of heating are more expensive. While those arguments are fully valid however when taking in to account electricity bill, switching to a more efficient form of heating is less expensive in the long term than sticking with heater that is inefficient. While it is stated above that cars are a major emitter of black carbon, residential combustions contribute far more to black carbon emissions with 55.3% (Liu, 2) of black carbon coming from combustions alone. In addition to being responsible for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, the aforementioned black carbon is also a direct cause of various kinds of lung cancers. On one hand, a given resident of Beijing could reduce combustions by not burning at all; On the other hand, obtaining a more efficient method of heating can also lower combustion levels. All in all, these two actions will reduce the amount of residential combustions, thus reducing black carbon emissions and by extension reducing the many health risks that come with black carbon in the atmosphere. In conclusion, residents of Beijing should reduce the amount of combustions by reducing heating or obtaining a more efficient heating method.

 

Finally, residents of Beijing must reduce the amount of beef that they eat. While it is argued that beef is required in a balanced healthy diet for the body to have ample amount of protein; what they fail to realize is that there are other sources of protein such as nuts and beans. It is widely known that beef and steak comes from cow meat. However, what is lesser known is that cows produce toxic fumes known as methane. Methane is a fume that is highly detrimental to the health of humans. Exposure of 20 minutes will result in intense nausea and extended exposure of 2 hours or more can literally result in death (Doyle, 1). In order to reduce the amount of methane emissions, is it a must to reduce the amount of beef that is eaten. The less beef that is eaten, the less demand there is for beef. Because less people eat beef, businesses will stop breeding cows. Therefore, the less demand for the less cows there are and by extension the less methane there is. Thus, we can reduce the detrimental health risk of methane by reducing the amount of beef that we eat.

 

Certain actions such as commuting by car, heating, and the consumption of beef should be reduced. These actions release harmful pollutants in to the atmosphere such as black carbon that causes lung cancer and the toxic gas known as methane. By reducing these actions, citizens can prevent many health risks that these pollutants cause. For the good of both global and individual, harmful actions to the quality of the air must be ceased immediately.

 

Works Cited

Amos, Jonathan. “Polluted Air Causes 5.5 Million Deaths a Year New Research Says.” BBC News, BBC Science Correspondent, 13 Feb. 2016, www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35568249. Accessed 8 May 2017.

Department of the Environment and Energy. Reducing Pollution. www.npi.gov.au/reducing-pollution. Accessed 8 May 2017.

Doyle, Kip. “What Are the Dangers of Methane Gas?” LIVESTRONG.COM, 22 June 2015, www.livestrong.com/article/120550-dangers-methane-gas/. Accessed 8 May 2017.

Ferris, Robert. “China Air Pollution Far Worse Than Thought: Study.” CNBC, 18 Aug. 2015, www.cnbc.com/2015/08/18/china-air-pollution-far-worse-than-thought-study.html. Accessed 8 May 2017.

Frank/AQAG/AQAD USEPA, Neil. The Chemical Composition of PM2.5. 2006. www3.epa.gov/pmdesignations/2012standards/docs/pm2.5_chemical_composition.pdf. Accessed 8 May 2017.

Liu, Qingyang, et al. “Temporal variations of black carbon during haze and non-haze days in Beijing.” Scientific Reports, vol. 6, no. 1, 16 Sept. 2016, www.nature.com/srep/. Accessed 8 May 2017.

“Polluted Air Causes 5.5 Million Deaths a Year New Research Says.” BBC News, www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35568249.

Qiu, Jane. “China unveils green targets.” Nature, vol. 471, no. 7337, 2011, pp. 149-149, Research in Context. go.galegroup.com/ps/dispBasicSearch.do?userGroupName=cnisbj&prodId=MSIC. Accessed 8 May 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Energy Crisis: Watt can we do?

by Curtis Wong

Energy consumption is a big problem, not only in China but all over the world. Approximately 97% of actively publishing climate scientists have concluded that climate change over the years is due to human activity. Studies by climate scientists have discovered that over the last century, sea levels have risen roughly 8 inches (20 centimeters). In addition to the rising sea levels, the temperature of the ocean has risen 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969. The glaciers and the poles have shrunk, with Antarctica losing about 152 cubic kilometers of ice in 3 years (NASA). Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions (UNDP), along with 75% of electricity coming from fossil fuels (Conserve Energy Future). People use energy every day, whether they know it or not. All that energy they use: transportation, lighting, charging, heating, all contributes to the production of fossil fuels, which, as a consequence, adds on to the ever growing problem of global warming. The world has a population of approximate 7 billion people. Most of those people have at least a basic electric system and a means of transportation. As a result, fossil fuels release greenhouse gases into the air, trapping the heat from the sun, gradually heating the world. As a matter of fact, the world’s energy consumption level in the year 2014 was roughly 60 times the world’s energy consumption level in 2000, with a huge leap from the year 2000 to 2003 (indexmundi). As a consequence of the energy consumption from the people of the world, the level of energy consumption has been gradually rising every year. In just 14 years, the consumption level of the world had used 60 times the energy as they had used before. This energy comes from the resources people have used in their lives. If people are to continue to use up resources like this, “by 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable” -Jason Clay. As the population grows, the amount of fossil fuels being used will grow, the amount of greenhouse gases released into the air will increase, adding on to the overall problem. The United Nations have a sustainable development goal about the energy consumption problem, which includes replacing limited and harmful fossil fuels with cleaner renewable energy. They plan to “enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology” by 2030.

 

The people in China should work especially harder for the impact energy usage has on climate change. China is the number one energy consumer in the world. In 2014, China was first in the world for the amount of electricity consumption, consuming approximately 5.388 trillion kWh, surpassing the United States by more than a trillion kWh in a year (CIA World Factbook). Furthermore, in 2016, China still consumed the most electricity in the world, consuming almost 6 trillion kWh. (Wikipedia, Countries by Electricity Consumption). As a consequence, China uses about 24% of the world’s total electricity consumption, while only being one out of the 196 countries in the world. Since China uses almost a quarter of the total consumption of electricity of the world, the people of China should focus on the energy they consume whether directly or indirectly. If the people of China were to decrease their energy consumption, the impact China has on climate change would be significantly decreased. So how can the general public in China help solve the immense problem of global warming by reducing energy consumption in China? They should know how their energy consumption levels impact the environment, and what they can do about it.

 

The amount of energy used in household electricity consumption should be reduced, due to the impact it has on China’s energy consumption levels, as well as the environment. Some may argue that the effect household electricity consumption has on the overall problem is quite small. However, studies have shown that energy coming from heating and cooling systems of houses alone makes up about 20%-30% of China’s total energy consumption. This, in addition with other household items, take up more than one fourth of China’s energy consumption. People use a lot of energy every day in their homes. “sometimes people use so much electricity, the electricity box of their homes explode”, says a local resident of 大栅栏 (officially dà zhà lán; locally dà shí làng) in downtown Beijing. Based on a survey conducted in 大栅栏, 67% of locals don’t even know about the energy problem in China and the world. One of the reasons the household electricity consumption level is high may be because some people don’t know the impact and consequence of the amount of electricity their using. If they were to know, and changed their usage, the ending consumption level would be significantly changed. They should know that the amount of electricity they use that occasionally causes their electricity box to blow up is a problem. China has the greatest population in the world, containing approximately 1.3 billion people (Wikipedia, Countries by Population). China is one of two countries who have a population over 1 billion. If all the people in China were to reduce their electricity usage by a little bit, the overall impact would still be great from the sheer amount of people in China. Citizens ought to use fewer lights in their homes, not charge devices if they don’t really need to be charged, don’t use heating or cooling when unnecessary. These small things combined can create a big impact.

 

Factories emit great amounts of greenhouse gases, so they should produce less. Some may argue that the general public have no control of the factories, and they cannot take any action upon them because they are either in government control, or in control of a separate company. It is true that it would be difficult to directly make industries produce less. However, it would be less difficult to indirectly make them produce less. People are indirectly consuming energy from the things they buy at factories with factories consuming fossil fuels for the production of their products. Most factories consume fossil fuels, which gives about 25% of the total carbon emissions (Harvard Kennedy School). If people were to stop buying as many products developed in factories, the overall demand for the product from the citizens of China would decrease, in turn, decreasing the supply needed for the product. Since the consumers do not buy that product as much anymore, less of that product will be produced, resulting in a lower consumption rate of fossil fuels from factories.

 

China is known all over the world for its problems with air pollution from cars. Albeit, some may argue that cars do not have as big of a source of fossil fuels as factories, emitting immense amounts of smoke and gases every day. However, even though factories consume more fossil fuels, in 2015, China’s Ministry of Environment Protection announced that vehicle exhausts contribute to 85% to 95% of air pollution (English CNTV). As mentioned before, 75% of electricity is produced by fossil fuels, along with air pollution being the main cause of the greenhouse effect. With the ever-growing amount of cars in China, the amount of air pollution gradually increases. The air pollution produced from vehicle exhausts continues to grow as more and more people purchase their own cars. As the number of cars increases, the frequency of traffic increases as well. The roads of many old cities are not big enough for the number of cars people have today. The number of cars in China in the year 2000 was about half of the number a decade later (Charles Custer). The number of cars has increased significantly over the last twenty years, reducing the amount of space cars have on the smaller roads of older cities. The longer vehicles stay on the road during traffic, more exhaust gas will be produced, increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the air. One of the ways of reducing energy consumption and air pollution would be to not always use cars if there are other means of transportation available that do not produce as much exhaust gas, such a bus or subway.

 

 

To successfully reduce energy consumption to aid the ongoing effort to solve climate change, the general public should acknowledge the problem in China and the world, and take action against it. It is clear that simple household items along with heating and cooling poses a great threat to the growing climate crisis. Moreover, the daily use of cars from the people of China adds on to the impact household consumption has already, with the sheer amount of people in China using cars, and the amount of exhaust gases discharged. Aside from the direct methods of solving the problem, the decrease in purchasing items that are not truly needed can reduce the amount fossil fuels consumed when the products are not produced as much anymore. The significance of the effect from these points can positively impact the near and distant future.

 

Works Cited

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CCTV. “Major Causes of Air Pollution in China – CCTV News – CCTV.com English.” China Central Television, 4 Feb. 2015, english.cntv.cn/2015/04/02/VIDE1427945886540180.shtml.

Central Intelligence Agency. “The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency.” CIA World Factbook, 12 Jan. 2017, www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html. Accessed 3 May 2017.

Custer, Charles Custer. “An Overview of China’s Traffic Troubles.” ThoughtCo, 21 Feb. 2017, www.thoughtco.com/chinas-traffic-troubles-687418.

DNEWS. “Earth Could Be ‘Unrecognizable’ by 2050.” Seeker, 20 Feb. 2011, www.seeker.com/earth-could-be-unrecognizable-by-2050-1765179551.html.

Liu, Zhu. “China’s Carbon Emissions Report 2015 | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.” The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, May 2015, www.belfercenter.org/publication/chinas-carbon-emissions-report-2015.

Mav. “List of Countries and Dependencies by Population – Wikipedia.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 1 May 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population. Accessed 3 May 2017.

Rinkesh. “Natural and Man-Made Causes of Global Warming.” Conserve Energy Future, www.conserve-energy-future.com/globalwarmingcauses.php. Accessed 3 May 2017.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration. “Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet: Evidence.” Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 4 May 2017, climate.nasa.gov/evidence/. Accessed 3 May 2017.

UKWIKI. “List of Countries by Electricity Consumption – Wikipedia.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 3 May 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_electricity_consumption. Accessed 3 May 2017.

United Nations Development Program. “Goal 7 Targets.” UNDP, United Nations, 2017, www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-7-affordable-and-clean-energy/targets/. Accessed 3 May 2017.

Wong, Curtis. “Energy Consumption” Survey. 18 April 2017