Find the words in the article which mean the same.
Energy produced by a source different from mainstream ones; a source of energy that comes from ancient plant or animal remains in the earth; a trial activity; energy produced by a source that never runs out; to arrive at the starting point again; chancy and potentially controversial; having no cost; a motive, a reason to do something; a project or plan with no hope of success; being planned or in the process of development; a deceptive act or plan; to reduce or lessen something; trying repeatedly for success; someone who looks for energy sources in untried areas.
Explain the meaning of the following phrases.
Wean America from; harness an energy supply; spurred by; propel the dream into reality; to have the stigma; a monument to a lost cause; to become the nursery for advanced technology; to carry the burden of past failures; to make the necessary commitment.
Answer the following questions.
1. How much of the energy needed in the United States can windmills provide today? How much could they provide in thirty years?
2. Why were the windmills of the early 1900s replaced?
3. What problems did the windmills of the 1980s have?
4. What features do 1990s models have to correct these problems?
Comment on the title of the article summarizing the information provided by the writer.
5. For Discussion
- Do you think that governments should give companies financial incentives for developing alternative energy sources? Why or why not?
- What problems do windmills have that still need to be solved?
- Do you think that windmills are worth developing in our country notable for its oil and gas resources? Why or why not?
- What are the sources of energy that are used today or that could be developed. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
■ 3.6 E. Environmental Responsibility and Consumer Protection
By Joseph T.Straub and Raymond F.Attner
Environmental preservation, maintenance, and restoration must rank high on any corporation's list of social concerns. The advent of synthetic chemical compounds and materials and of exotic manufacturing processes means that the environment has become polluted. Actions have to be taken to eliminate the causes, and firms that are responsible must be held accountable. With this realization, there has been much environmental progress. Since Earth Day 1970, when Americans first began to "think green":
• Miles of polluted rivers and streams have been brought back to life.
• The number of cities with adequate sewage treatment plants has more than doubled.
• The pumping of sewage sludge into the ocean has ceased.
• Major air pollutants have been considerably reduced.
The business sector must continue its commitment. There are still problems in the areas of hazardous and solid waste and environmental maintenance.
The problem with hazardous wastes—waste materials containing toxic substances—is one common to land, water, and air pollution. According to recent estimates, industrial operations produce more than 50 million tons of hazardous waste each year, an average of 14.2 tons for each square mile of land mass in the forty-eight contiguous states. While generating products that benefit consumers in various ways, many manufacturing processes produce toxic chemical waste faster than it can be disposed of. Farsighted business leaders see this situation and give more than lip service to environmental concerns.
Recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency show that the toxic releases of U.S. manufacturers are falling. What's more, chemical makers that pump out the largest share of these poisons cut their emissions by 35 percent between 1987 and 1992.
One factor that has led to this decrease is the chemical industry's voluntary program to reduce toxic air pollutants below the standards set by the 1990 Clean Air Act. Nine of the nation's biggest polluters, including Du Pont and Monsanto, signed on with the understanding that they could use the technology of their choice. At the same time, the Chemical Manufacturer's Association committed to pollution control. The results speak for themselves.
Besides hazardous waste, there is the basic problem of solid waste generated through packaging, bottling, and product construction. Experience and mistakes with waste disposal over the last three decades have shown that waste cannot be simply thrown away. About 64 percent of the country's growing mountain of waste is paper and paperboard, metals, glass, and plastics.
In response to difficulties with solid waste disposal, organizations have attempted to provide alternative packaging that can help in the decomposition of products. Another area of emphasis has been to limit the manufacturing of new products by recycling,the practice of reclaiming or producing materials from previously manufactured products and using them to make other items. At the present time only 11 percent of solid waste is recycled.
Recycling opportunities exist in all areas of a business. Instead of discarding its cocoa-bean hulls, Hershey Foods Corporation reportedly grinds them up and sells them as garden mulch. Fiberboard and pressboard made from sawdust and wood chips enable economy-minded forest products firms to convert virtually every splinter of a tree into a salable product. In some manufacturing plants, heat from production processes is cycled through the heating system to heat the building. The Adolph Coors brewery once generated most of its needed electricity from recycled waste materials. The cumulative effects of recycling are impressive:
• Mississippi River water is used at least eight times on its journey to the Gulf of Mexico.
• Forty percent of all new copper is made from recycled copper.
• Twenty percent of the glass we use comes from recycled scraps and shards that are melted down and mixed with new material.
Organizations that have committed to recycling are varied:
• Gardner's Supply, a mail order company in Burlington, Vermont, committed to a program that composts grass clippings and leaves for free in the local area. The program has been so successful that it collects 3,000 to 4,000 tons per year.
• Yakima Products, Inc., a car-rack maker in Arcata, California, was unable to avoid using plastic and foam in packing its high-end roof-rack systems. The company created a way for customers to easily mail the packaging materials back—free. It then reuses the foam and polyethylene-shell portions of the container and recycles the outer chipboard.
• The Boston Park Plaza Hotel has become immersed in recycling. Wooden pallets on which food is delivered to the hotel—up to 100 each week—are now returned to the vender and reused. The housekeeping staff makes chefs' aprons from damaged tablecloths. And, guests' returnable bottles are recycled—resulting in the purchase of several new vacuums.