audibleecoscience Earth Headphones

Audibleecoscience is a database of podcasts on subjects related to global change biology. It is designed as a resource for the general public and for educators looking to assign "required listening" to their students. Reviews of each podcast and links to the original source have been provided by students taking the IB107 class at the University of Illinois. The database is fully text searchable or you can browse on your favorite subject...
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Chinese Family Takes Carbon Challenge

Media Source: National Public Radio
Program Name: Climate Connections
Show Name: Chinese Family Takes Carbon Challenge
Broadcast Year: 2009
Original Link:

NPR reporter Michelle Norris travels to Beijing to learn about the energy use behaviors of the Sheng family. The Sheng family is upper-middle class, and own a comfortable apartment in Beijing, a car, and a villa in the country to which they fly several times a year. However, the Shengs are aware of their ability to inflict damage in using too much energy. They take initiatives in air-drying their clothes, have a compact refrigerator, and have small gas burners to cook with. Over nine years they use on average “100 kilowatts per hour per month” and 30 cubic meters of gas to cook per month, summing up to a yearly 15 metric tons of CO2. In a previous report, NPR investigated a North Carolinian family who made severe cuts to try and limit their carbon output. The Sheppard family ended up with a 14 metric ton footprint, 40% lower than the average Carolinian. However, upon adding their air travel, the Sheppards used 27 metric tons, showing the environmental impact of aviation. The fact that two families, comparable in economic standing, can only produce the same footprint when one is cutting 40% of their energy use shows how much less energy the Chinese use. Unfortunately, this will not always be the case: in a decade from now more Chinese families will have caught up to where the Sheng family is now. The Sheng family will be producing as much as average Americans if not more--unless green energy can be implemented.

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