old school/new school

Let’s see… I finished up the semester with straight A minuses, which is great. I am moderately pleased with my final papers and would really like to get them back so that I can look at the comments on them. I’d really like to get a feel for where my writing needs to be going in terms of graduate research, but it’s hard to do that without the actual papers and feedback. The semester ended at the end of May, and I’ve been blissfully having fun for the last few weeks, though my summer class starts Monday. Seems like the proper time to be reflective and think of what’s been happening.

Over this semester I wrote one short paper, two prospecti, and two longer papers. Rather than make you suffer the more extended reading, I’ll give you the abstracts, just in case someone out there is more interested in my research.

A Comparison of Climate Change Beliefs: Media representation as evidence of cultural belief in China and the United Stated
Media is a source of information for a society which educates the general population through the language of a society’s beliefs. The picture painted by the media differs within the conventions of the respective society, and comparison shows glimpses of cultural differences between societies. By examining the perspectives on global climate change in the United States and Chinese media, this research argues that the understanding of mankind’s place in nature and the place of global climate change in social belief is inherently different, even though the societies both have human centered cultures. While both agree that humans will overcome this hurdle, the method is still up for debate, and the need for cooperation, or even action could serve as a point of dispute in the future.

That was for the Global Climate Change class. This next one was for Environmental Management II.

An Analysis of the Health Impact of Coal-Fired Power Plant Emissions in China
China is a country of great concern on the global scale because of their heavy reliance on coal for energy. This reliance causes high CO2 output globally, competitive with the United States, and set to increase in the future as the economy and standard of living grow. This happens while a great deal of the people in China have to inhale dirty air, experiencing the health effects that accompany dirty air. Coal burning is the biggest polluter in China today, and efforts to diversify from this system over the last decade have not proved effective with rising fuel prices for gas and oil. While the United States model for mortality is ineffective for predicting mortality due to power plants in China, Chinese studies give some insights into possible mortality rates for the urban part of the country. Figures suggest an annual mortality in China of 87,000, and a possible national average of 213,000. At the population and economy’s predicted growth rate, that should mean urban mortality from power plants would reach 154,000 by 2025. This high a mortality rate brings in questions of future socio-political stability in the country, and also may prove a key factor in global climate change policy. This kind of growth pattern is not necessary if proper measures are taken to encourage alternative energy production to encourage sustainable growth. The only limits to China’s growth, in this scenario, are money, time, technology, and political will.

This summer will be devoted to developing an understanding of Biostatistics, which should be fairly exciting to me. I want to know how to work the numbers for this stuff.

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