A Credit Card a Week: The Environmental Ethics of Plastics

In an industrialized world, it seems impossible to live without plastics. From food storage to aircrafts, plastics provide benefits that make them an irreplaceable material. However, a consistent increase in plastic production and use has led to a massive plastic pollution crisis. Plastics are produced from non-renewable resources and can never fully decompose. They end up in our oceans, our environment, and even our stomachs (a credit card’s worth per week). Additionally, the massive amount of plastic waste has created a global plastic trade that unfairly places the burden of waste processing on less developed countries that may not be able to support even their own waste. The effects of plastic pollution are reaching a critical stage, and engineers must find solutions to relieve the growing pressure.

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A Bug’s Life: Insects as a Meat Alternative

Meat and dairy production are two of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption worldwide. The environmental impacts of meat products have led to a push to find meat alternatives that still provide the same nutritional value. Part of the solution may lie in the integration of more insects into our diet.

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Ethics of Geoengineering

Until recently, the concept of geoengineering has widely been dismissed as a far-fetched and unethical idea to manipulate the environment. Geoengineering proposals intend to reduce the effects of global warming by manipulating the environment through extracting carbon dioxide from the air or reflecting sunlight to reduce global temperatures. However, as the context of climate change has shifted in urgency, geoengineering has emerged as a potential last-ditch effort to save humanity from climate-induced destruction. Despite its many unknowns and risks, geoengineering might provide a temporary solution to delay the detrimental effects of climate change and prevent the irreversible damage projected by current global warming trends.

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