Student Government funds projects

By Byron Patten - Staff Reporter



Environmental Science classes conducted a survey about the pollution Highline people emit through their vehicles.

Introduction to Environmental Science and Global Environmental Issues students collected data on 10 vehicles and calculate how much fuel each vehicle likely uses in a year and how much carbon it likely emits during that time. This was part of an assignment they were doing in class. 

The survey was led by Environmental Science instructor Jonathan Betz-Zall. 

As a student in 1970, he said he realized his deep passion for the environment when he participated in the first organized Earth Day event. He and some friends organized their own environmental science course because the school had a slim selection of environmental science courses. 

Since then, he has been involved in many organizations which promote peace and justice.

"I read the book Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach, which convinced me that it was possible to reorganize society to respect the Earth rather than destroy it, as our present society does," he said. "I have been trying to create that society ever since, and it is very slowly coming into being."

"Almost all of the vehicles that Highine people bring here burn fossil fuels and so emit lots of carbon dioxide, which disrupts the climate," Betz-Zall said. "In the lab, we will learn just how much is burned and how much carbon is released." 

Betz-Zall has been leading this survey for seven years. In the past, he said, the numbers for burned fossil fuels and carbon emitted have always been huge.

These numbers continue to grow each year, causing the earth's temperature to increase, leading to the domino effect of negative impacts on the planet. 

Betz-Zall said he wants to show his students the impact a single car can have on the planet. 

"These are things people need to know," he said. 

People interested in seeing their automobile's footprint on the environment can look their own car up at fueleconomy.gov. 

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