and the advancement of technology are a top priority in the world
today. Obviously, the world would never advance if production of
all things stopped. However, sometimes modern technology can hurt
the environment. An example is the constant emission of toxic gases
into the atmosphere by gas-powered cars.
were a great invention and have made life much easier, are they
worth the pollution?
Americans hear news on how to save the environment and why citizens
should participate in pollution-reducing practices. How can we make
the world more energy efficient while still continuing a respectable
October 8 Elon
University hosted its fourth annual Fall Environmental Forum. This
year's conference was titled "Roadmap to The Future: Tomorrow
by Design." This day provided some answers on how to make the
world a more efficient place and increase sustainability in all
aspects of life.
blends capitalism, sustainability
a professor at Cornell University,
was one of the keynote speakers at the forum. In a speech titled
"Creating a Sustainable Value," Hart began by explaining
to the audience that a concrete definition of sustainability cannot
that this concept is quite ambiguous and encompasses a wide range
of ideas. "What could be more ambiguous than sustainability?"
He said it
is important for the United States, as a capitalist society, to
find a way to become more efficient in all realms of life. He said
Americans must find a way to use resources more effectively in order
to continue technological advances for the betterment of society.
was largely based on keeping citizens informed and creating an interest
in a sustainable future. "We have to generate a shareholder
value," he said. To do this, lowering costs, reducing risks,
creating a reputation of legitimacy, continually advancing and having
future plans are essential to a sustainable future.
the speakers' presentations on sustainability was an alternative-fuel
vehicle display. Jack Martin, a professor in the school of technology
at North Carolina A&T State University, exhibited his Volkswagen
Golf TDI, which runs off of vegetable oil. The vegetable oil is
used to make a substance called biodiesel,
a fuel that will generate power for any diesel car.
put biodiesel in any diesel car and it will run," he explained.
Biodiesel is a compound constructed out of grease, vegetable oil
and lye. Through a specialized process the three substances produce
this state-of-the-art fuel. Typically the fuel costs about 70 cents
per gallon to produce, but it sells at regular diesel prices.
a representative of Cox Toyota Supercenter in Burlington was at
the conference to explain the advantages of
Toyota's Prius, a hybrid car that combines the use of electric
power with gas power. He said the Prius generally gets between 51
and 55 miles per gallon on the highway, and it creates significantly
less smog-forming emissions than standard sedans.
advantage of the hybrid cars," he said "is reducing emissions."
In fact, it has been claimed that one could drive from Anchorage,
Alaska, to Miami, Fla., a driving distance of 5,200 miles, and produce
less smog-forming emissions than a whole can of air freshener.
a hybrid car at a slow pace, power is generated electrically. When
the car exceeds speeds of 55 miles per hour, it switches over to
a power source that's a combination of gasoline and electricity.
The car is self-charging - no need to plug it in when you're not
driving. The charge comes during the process of driving; when pressure
is applied to the brake, kinetic energy is stored which, in turn,
recharges the battery.
that these cars are being slowly introduced and accepted by the
public, and he expects they will eventually take off in the future.
in the fourth annual fall environmental forum included: a culinary
clash featuring Elon chefs preparing food from local farmers; film
showings; and breakout sessions giving attendants a chance to meet
a variety of people and participate in discussions dealing with
sustainability. The conference was hosted by Elon's Center for Environmental