WYSO

Commentary

Rising Sea Levels

Oct 30, 2014
go_greener_oz / Flickr Creative Commons

Should we be thinking about reserving spots for our great-grandchildren on glass-bottom boat tours of New Orleans and Manhattan? How much could sea-levels rise, and when? Could it reach Ohio? University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha takes a look at the extreme possibilities of sea-level rise in the future.

The Enrico Fermi Nuclear Power plant, on Lake Erie.
James Marvin Phelps / Flickr Creative Commons

Environmentalists have traditionally been very skeptical of nuclear power, but recently some climate scientists have been gaining attention because of their support for nuclear power as a tool to help reduce carbon emissions. University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha is doubtful that this is a constructive path for sustainable energy.

Congressman Mack Flies Around The World In 1951

Oct 10, 2014
courtesy of the Mack family

For today's aviation commentary, Paul Glenshaw has an unlikely story. See if you can imagine this: a congressman risks his life for a self funded world peace mission. The Smithsonian loans an airplane from its collection for a solo round- the- world flight. A pilot makes that flight and does nothing to exploit his achievement. Yet, as Glenshaw tells us, all these things happened, in 1951, to one Peter Mack.

Dan Patterson Archival Collection

The most famous photograph in the world captures the moment manned flight began in 1903. Orville Wright is flying the plane, his brother Wilbur stands expectantly off to the side. It’s a windy day, and the plane is just lifting off the sand at Kitty Hawk. Aviation commentator and photographer Dan Patterson says that one detail from that picture shaped what aviators came to look like.

The Little Dirigible That Could—And Did

Sep 4, 2014

The Wright brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk in December 1903 was a private affair. But America’s first public powered flight wasn’t made by an airplane. In 1904, an unlikely pair of carnival showmen managed a flight that changed not only their lives, but altered aeronautical history.

Dan Patterson Archival Collection

A hundred years ago, the world was racing headlong into war in Europe. Aviation was a new and untried tool for military leaders, and it soon became a powerful weapon.  In July of 1914, it had only been 10 years since the Wright brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk, and and aviation was flourishing around the world.

What is Sustainability?

Jun 26, 2014
photologue_np / Flickr Creative Commons

Sustainability has become a buzzword in contemporary society, but University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha thinks sustainability is a matter of survival,  something citizens should things about in a deep and serious way.

In the dictionary, to sustain means “to keep in existence," also “to support from below”, or “to keep from falling or sinking”. That’s more direct than we often state it.

Our Carbon Dixoide?

Jun 19, 2014
Abby Swann / Flickr Creative Commons

Carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is at a level that is unprecedented in human experience. University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha explains how we know that we are responsible for the excess CO2.

Carbon dioxide, or CO2 is an important natural part of our atmosphere. Right now, CO2 levels are increasing rapidly. How much of this is part of a natural cycle or is it due to humans?  Scientists know how to answer this question.
 

gas pump
futureatlas.com / Flickr Creative Commons

There has been a buzz in the media over the past couple of years about impending US energy independence. University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha has some thoughts on how likely this scenario is.

Many of us have seen or heard news stories predicting that the U.S. will become the world’s leading oil producer within a decade, and that North America as a whole could become a net exporter of oil in two decades’ time. Energy independence — a goal of U.S. administrations since the energy crises of the 1970s — may be within reach.

New Ways of Thinking

May 6, 2014
Mike Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

When thinking about how much we are willing to do to prevent climate change, University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha wonders if we worry too much about economics alone.

Questions and comments often come up when I start talking about renewable energy. They go something like this: “I would like to install solar panels, but the payback time is just too long.” Or, when I bought a hybrid car ten years ago, friends said, “That’s nice, but how long will it take for gas savings to make up for the extra cost?”

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