Back in 1884, the Great Book Cliff mines were discovered by the late George Smith. In order to supply a growing Colorado, George Smith set his intentions on a mine that would satisfy the people’s needs. Eventually George smith unexpectedly discovered a huge vein of coal in a mine fifteen miles away from the Book Cliff Mountains. The mine granted an amazing amount of resources but without the technology to transport the goods the mine was useless. So this led George Carpenter to create a device known as a minicar, or funicular. With this simple advancement and the men at his disposal, they could transport the materials across the Grand Valley a lot easier. Eventually a man named Thomas Carpenter, purchased a mine from George Smith. This mine was dubbed Carpenter after Thomas’s last name. The mine then soon became incredibly popular thanks to Thomas’s innovations with the rail road system, providing efficient and fast transportation. As the years went by, the introduction of many useful additions and services were provided. The mine became a well-known tourist spot with people flocking just to see the heart of the mine. Later on the addition of churches and schools led to a nice community among the mines. As business boomed the resources available slowly depleted, leading to the slow downfall of the mines. Even T. Carpenter at the time grew bored at the now dry mines and decided to leave his mine in the hands of Wyman. Carpenter left to Alaska in the midst of the gold rush. Nearby as the popularity of Carpenter grew, another mine named Cameo came to existence. The town was founded in 1899 at about the same time of the Carpenter mines. Cameo had some great additions that Carpenter wouldn’t have until later on in its life time. At the get go, the same mines had a machine shop as well as schools, churches and about 30 homes available. After the destruction of the Carpenter mines Cameo slowly came to a close. Resources were dwindling and eventually the resources weren’t worth as much. As other booms came to fruition that to let people away and eventually the Carpenter and Cameo mines became ghost towns and a part of our rich history. Even now we can see a hundred years of mining history, in the lonely but fascinating ghost towns, of Colorado.
Waste is an incredibly large problem in our ever growing world. In fact, the U.S.A alone is one of the biggest contenders for waste and overfilled landfills. Over 250 metric tons of waste is generated each year which is quite startling in all actuality. This amount of trash is equal to 61 billion feet which in turn could reach the moon, a whopping twenty five times! (SaveOnEnergy). Folks that’s an insane amount of garbage, now more than ever, it’s crucial that we manage our waste effectively. Because of this large amount of waste, the U.S is faced with having to maintain over 2000 landfills, and that’s not mentioning the other thousands that aren’t in use anymore. In order to address this issue, many would agree that recycling is the next step forward. Sadly it isn’t too effective, sure recycling is an amazing resource that is guaranteed to cut down on waste! But it’s the question of whether enough people recycle, sure there are large groups and programs that help spread the word of recycling, but not many people listen. Most people waste more paper, plastics and metals then they recycle. Up to four pounds of waste is created per pound of waste recycled. (Melissa Breyer) It’s actually quite startling how the waste we generate will affect us, but there is an effective solution that can drastically mitigate this solution with fruitful results. This process of waste recycling is called plasma gasification.
So, what is plasma gasification? Well in order to understand this term we must understand what plasma exactly is. Plasma to put it simply is the fourth state of matter, and makes up roughly 99 percent of matter in the known universe. Plasma is an ionized gas that is formed when an electrical discharge passes through a gas. We can see examples of Plasma in nature, see lightning. Waste such as metals, plastics, and feedstock are shredded into a simple group of its materials. This waste is put into a cylinder that uses plasma torches to heat up the waste drastically. The temperature inside this cylinder reaches over 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This extreme amount of heat tears apart the chemical bonds of these materials, which converts the materials into a synthesis gas (Syngas). The two elements that are primarily created are carbon and hydrogen, two of the building blocks of most fuels and chemicals. The hazardous material that is generated through this process can be turned into slag which can be used to pave roads, and used for roofing. Fun fact, this process has only been used effectively for about thirty five years, beforehand this process was used to destroy waste and provide tar like substances for use. Syngas is also used for many alcohols and liquid fuels. Methanol and ethanol are common gases that are created from plasma gasification, these gases are a basis for synthesis of other alcohols. Also these alcohols can be converted to other chemicals as well. Now we see some of the benefits of plasma gasification. Not only can we produce electricity, gases, alcohols, and chemicals this process is one of the safest and most effective asset we have. This process will unlock the greatest amount of energy from waste, which we can use. Not only can that but plasma gasification be used with hazardous wastes and biomass materials, effectively giving us many options and fuel sources. This would then provide a decreased use of landfills which is a potent danger in America, and this process is environmentally friendly, for this process does not create methane, a deadly greenhouse gas. Hopefully with this information you are now informed to the effectiveness of plasma gasification. Using tools like this can help mitigate the problems with waste management around the globe, in fact places in Asia like japan are already using this process to create a vast amount of electricity for commercial uses. In order to help keep our planet alive, it is crucial to take the plunge into this process that not only is environmentally friendly but quite effective in the long run.
Breyer, Melissa. “Trash by the Numbers: Startling Statistics about US Garbage.” TreeHugger. N.p., 01 July 2016. Web. 01 SFeb. 2017.
“SaveOnEnergy.com.” SaveOnEnergy.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2017.
“The Gasification and Syngas Technologies Council.” Plasma Gasification » GSTC. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb 2017.
Colorado since the 1800s has been an icon for mule deer as well as many other types of wildlife. Colorado has an incredible amount of sagebrush for elk to browse upon and thanks to the Colorado River the wildlife have had plenty of water to suit their needs for living. However since the mid-1900s Colorado has seen wild dips in the population of many species. Mule deer for example has had an incredible amount of swings in their populace. Wildfires have forever affected Colorado for many decades, thanks to the fires many acres of land have been destroyed; meaning that not only mule deer but other species are losing precious land. Droughts, as well have affected the environment. Lack of precipitation would inevitably lead to wildfires, there we see the problem. With less land and water the mule deer population was greatly affected. With large numbers and less food to browse upon the population decreased drastically. Being in close quarters with each other, the mule deer eventually spread disease and soon a great famine overthrow the vast leftover population. Currently as of 2016, it’s estimated that about 400,000 mule deer are alive and healthy; however this number may be large but it’s a drastic dip from the objective population of 550,000 (CPW).
What this statistic says about our ecosystems, you may be asking. The mule deer population may not be in an endangered zone but the statistic gives serious notions that something is awry. While other species thrive, mainly predators other species are on the decline. Most would think that eliminating predators would then increase other species population, while true in theory this decision would host its own set of problems. You see, predators are incredibly important when talking about sustaining ecosystems. Without the predators other species like mule deer would see a drastic spike in life span and population. “Well doesn’t that solve the issue?” critics may argue but in fact the over saturation of mule deer and other species too would lead to even more problems. An overabundance of mule deer would in fact lead to many negative repercussions. With such an abundance of mule deer they would browse upon incredibly large amounts of plants and sage, leading to an inevitable food shortage. With such great numbers the deer would need to eat whole heartedly to survive with each other. Not only would this lead to a problem with the environment we could also see a potential disease spread from the animal. Living in such close quarters with such rapid numbers would indeed spread disease quickly. So as we see the predator theory leads to too many problems, meaning that new ideas must come to fruition.
In Colorado some mule deer populations live dangerously close to highways and in being so close to towns and cities poaching would become a large issue. First off statistics show in Colorado show that a hundreds of mule deer are hit on highways each year (CPW). It may not be a significant amount but reducing the risk of highway fatalities would indeed lead to a subtle but effective growth in the mule deer population. Next a controversial issue will be discussed. In terms of mule deer fatalities poaching is a major crisis that has faced many species for many decades. In Colorado we have changes in hunting policies, via tags for only female elk or hunting is only allowed in densely populated areas. This however is not going to eliminate poaching all together. In the US it is very easy to obtain a firearm of any kind; especially if you are a born and raised American. With mule deer living so close to big towns and cities it would be easy to sneak into an area that mule deer are likely to be around. Most areas like the monument or the book cliffs aren’t prohibited. They may be limited in what areas you may hike towards but still anyone could find loop holes. While we cannot eliminate poaching all together it is crucial that we keep better management of areas in which mule deer are heavily associated in and lastly keep an open and eye and restrict areas to people that don’t have tags for example.
The final piece in the puzzle of mule deer conservations lies in their environment itself. Colorado has always been known for its coal and gas but also Colorado is known for fracking, or hydraulic fracturing. Fracking may seem environmentally friendly but in fact it is a source of pollutants in our water. All living things depend on water to live and polluting the water does in fact not help out the situation of mule deer’s. Thankfully in the past few decades it has gotten better, see the clean water act approved by the EPA. Eliminating fracking is not the answer for that is too drastic and would lead to financial loss. But in Colorado especially it would be very important to improve and increase the usage of renewable energy sources. Not only would this help with clean air and water it would significantly support a reduction in the annual droughts that we suffer from in the westward states. The droughts have in fact created many wildfires leaving destruction in its wake, by taking a step to reduce these natural disasters a chance for the mule deer populace to grow would indeed begin.
In order to have a stable environment and stable ecosystems Colorado must make many changes. By keeping predators around the ecosystems will stay balanced without an over saturation of one species. By reducing poaching and highway fatalities surely but shortly the population will indeed grow. Also by taking care of our precious environment we will see steady growth not only for the animals but for us humans. While me may not be able to eliminate every issue we can start slow and make changes that can provide steady growth in populations around Colorado, it may be slow and take an incredible amount of time but eventually the changes brought forth will lead to a better and stable environment to which ecosystems flourish.
“COLORADO PARKS & WILDLIFE.” Colorado Parks and Wildlife. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.
“EPA in Colorado.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 21 Dec. 2016. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.
EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.
Growing up in the mid 1900’s, Mr. Nash lived an interesting teenage life. For one he found himself carefree for most of his teen years, no pressure, good grades and lots of friends for certain. While living his teenage years Mr. Nash was surprisingly different, despite getting good grades and being stress free Mr. Nash was very off task and talkative. While he wasn’t a trouble maker per say, he wasn’t the greatest saint, but was an average teen just like the lot of us. Growing up Nash had always had his priorities straight, given form the fact that he was raised in a special environment with loving parents. At home he’d always maintain expectations clearly, completing his civil duties and even being a caring son was important for Mr. Nash. As a child and even as an adult Mr. Nash had always loved being outside with the luscious scenery of nature. He’d be constantly hiking with friends and found himself innovating in the world of engineering with his woodworking skills, these hobbies set him apart from most people especially most teenagers of this generation. On a lighter note Mr. Nash loves all American foods. “Nothing beats a good old’ American hotdog”, Mr. Nash exclaimed excitedly. This paired with other meats like steak or burgers gives him a special taste in the world of American culture. When asked about the teenagers in this day of age Mr. Nash replied, “Kids today are no different than the ones I grew up with”. In fact for the most part the teenagers of today fill Mr. Nash with pure nostalgia invoking the image of himself in most situations. “Teens are the spittin’ image of my friends”, he replied. Now in his later life Mr. Nash is proud of his position in education and his loving wife and children. In the end Mr. Nash has changed quite a lot form his earlier years but in all actuality he is still the same person, with a big heart.