Author Archives: oma5060


The traditional incandescent light bulb has not changed much over the years, and varies very little from the early light bulbs. In the past having electricity in your home was a huge step forward and the use of electricity to light a house was cherished. But, over the years the way we use electricity and how much electricity we use has changed drastically. Today the amount of energy used in lighting has increased significantly and the usage of lighting has also changed. Even though there have been so many changes and increases in the use of electricity one thing that remains constant is the technology used to make incandescent bulbs, which are still commonly used today. These bulbs are very inefficient, converting only about 5 percent of the energy they receive into light.

But there is hope! New technologies have resulted in energy saving light bulbs, known as CFL’s. CFL stands for compact fluorescent lamp and these work in a similar manner to traditional fluorescent bulbs.CFL light bulbs are as reliable as traditional light bulbs, and they are also longer lasting while still using less energy than traditional bulbs. Energy Star qualified CFL bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. Nationwide, a 60 percent to 70 percent decrease in light energy usage would save as much energy annually as the total amount of energy used by all the homes in Texas. This one small change can have a huge impact on not only the efficiency of your own individual home but also on the environment and can help turn your home into an “energy efficient home.”  According to the Energy Star Website, an Energy Star qualified-CFL bulb will pay for itself in six months and save about $30 in electricity over its lifetime. Also, the United States could eliminate greenhouse gas emissions equal to 800,000 cars if each household in the country replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL bulb, according to Energy Star.

In the past many people have been put off by energy efficient bulbs because of their appearance. However, today there is a wide range and selection of energy efficient bulbs and the traditional light bulb shape has been replicated in addition to a wide range of other styles and sizes. So make the switch to a CFL bulb and save not only money but the environment as well!

Tragedy of the Traffic?

The video above helps to explain tragedy of the commons and how it can relate to life.

Public roads are an example of common property shared by many people. A modern example of a “tragedy of the commons” is traffic jams in major cities. Every person on the road has a mindset of their own and looks out for themselves. The road can be considered a public good that gets overused and lessened in value for everyone.  When everyone decides that public roads are the best way to meet traveling needs, the roads jam up and slows down overall traffic movement, filling the air with pollutants from idling cars. Each individual trying to get to work quickly uses the freeway because it is the fastest route. At the start, each additional person on the highway does not slow down traffic because there is enough space in the highway to absorb the extra cars.  At some point each additional driver brings about a decrease in the average speed and an increase in the amount of pollutants from the cars. Eventually, there are so many drivers that traffic is moving at an exceptionally slow pace. This happens because each person seeking to diminish driving time has increased the overall driving time for everyone. The problem is that individuals acting in their own interests feel immediate gain from their actions. But the losses from the impact of global warming and time spent are not felt immediately. People can get on the highway and drive fast for a while but eventually the traffic will slowdown and the idle cars will produce more pollution than they would have done if they had taken a local road.A solution requires people to collectively make a decision to alter the behavior of everyone, including themselves.

Save the water pt 2.

“In the United States, we are fortunate enough to have access to some of the safest water in the world just by turning a tap. Water is an important part of our daily lives and we use it for a wide variety of purposes The average person in the United States uses about 80-100 gallons of water each day, and the average The United States is one of the world’s leading consumers of water yet we only have 4.52% of the world’s population. According to Scientific American, America’s water footprint measures in at 1.053 billion cubic meters per year (that’s 278,173,171,133.1 gallons).”

Revisiting my last blog I began to think…What if everyone used water like we do in the U.S.? How much water would we need?

322million people use \[ 2.842 \times 10^{6} \text{ L} \]

Of that \[ 1.924 \times 10^{14} \text{ L} \]  is used in agriculture.

Total water per year: \[ 322 million \times  {2.842 \times 10^{6} \text{ L}} = {9.15 \times 10^{14} \text{ L}} \]

\[ {9.15 \times 10^{14} \text{ L}} – {1.924 \times 10^{14} \text{ L}} = {7.227 \times 10^{14} \text{ L}}  \]

To find the amount of recyclable water per person per year:

\[ \frac{7.227 \times 10^{14} \text{ L}}{322,000,000 \text{ people} } = 2.24 \times 10^6 \text{ L} \]

If there are 7billion people in the world… How much water do they need for agriculture?

\[ 4.28 \times 10^{15} \text{ L} \]

And how much for everything else?

\[ 1.568 \times 10^{16} \text{ L} \]

If everyone lived like the way we did in the US

We would use and need: \[ 2 \times 10^{16} \text{ L} \]

Globally we actually use:  \[ 9.087 \times 10^{15} \text{ L} \]

Although it may not seem like a lot of water it really is…. The difference between those two numbers is : \[ 1.09 \times 10^{16} \text{ L} \]

This is more than the total used.

\[ \frac{1.09 \times 10^{16} \text{ L}}{9.087 \times 10^{15} \text{ L}} = 1.2 \]

This means that the whole world use more than double its current amount! Currently at this time there is not enough water in the world to sustain this type of usage.

All of the numbers used came from 







Climate Change the Ultimate Prisoners’ Dilemma?

Prisoner’s dilemma is a game in game theory in which two individuals acting in their own best interest pursue a course of action that does not result in the perfect outcome for both parties involved. The typical prisoner’s dilemma is set up so that both parties choose to protect themselves at the expense of the other participant. As a result of following a logical thought process to help oneself, both participants can find themselves in a worse situation than if they had cooperated with each other in the decision-making process. Below is a chart that helps to describe the classic prisoners’ dilemma.

1111111111 Math 33 blog

Another example of the prisoners’ dilemma could be global climate change.Earth’s atmosphere is a resource that everyone on the planet uses and abuses. Air pollution and greenhouse gases from various industries and transportation increasingly damage this valuable, shared resource. Global climate change has been on the international agenda since 1992 when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was created. Over the last 20 years the issue of climate change has received a lot of international attention giving hope that something will be done, but despite high hopes and universal recognition that something ought to be done to address the problem, little progress has been made. This is why climate change can be considered a prisoners’ dilemma.  Although there are multiple players (countries) with different costs, benefits, and interests, the idea is the same. The best individual outcome for any country would be for them to (defect) continue to pollute while other nations (cooperate) reduce their emissions. This would give the polluting country a competitive advantage over other nations who limits their use of fossil fuels (free rider).

In a traditional prisoners’ dilemma best outcome is for all parties to cooperate because this reduces the total amount of prisoner time faced by the two prisoners. The worst collective outcome would be for both parties to defect causing them each to serve to three months in the model above.  If all countries were to partake in a global cleanup effort, everyone would profit. But there are huge incentives to cheat, especially for the smaller countries that do not emit a lot of greenhouse gases. In order for there to be a significant change in emission rates, big powerhouses such as the US, and China need to participate in the cleanup procedure. Conversely, smaller countries can get away without participating. They can still reap the benefits of a cleaner environment without having to spend the money and effort that the larger countries would need to invest. But if small countries do not participate, larger countries have less of an incentive to start a cleanup operation, because they would be the ones doing all the work. Like the original prisoner’s dilemma, the Nash Equilibrium occurs when all the countries decide not to clean up.



The Grand Banks Cod

The tragedy of the commons can be described as an economic theory by Garrett Hardin, which states that individuals acting independently and rationally according to each’s self-interest behave contrary to the best interests of the whole group by depleting some common resource.

A great example of the tragedy of the commons would be what happened in Canada with their fishing source. The harvest of cod was enormous and for many years seemed endless, but it did end abruptly in the 1990’s after an attempt by Canada to bring it back after a near breakdown in the 1970’s. In 1968 the cod catch from the Grand Banks was 810,000 tons, but in 1974 it was 34,000 tons.

There were many factors that lead to the depletion of the cod fish population in Canada. Part of the problem was the development of more effective methods for netting up codfish. When fishermen first began fishing in the banks they were only able to catch as many fish as their nets and tiny boats could catch and hold but with the creation of new technology such as bottom trawl nets, on boat refrigeration and larger boats the fishermen were able to catch record levels of cod. The dimensions of drift nets became enormous. Not only did these large nets haul in large numbers of fish but when lost they were devastating to the cod population.

Until 1977 the Grand Banks were part of the open ocean where the ships of any country could fish without limit  but in 1977 Canada along with many other nations of the world with coastal boundaries extended its national sovereignty to a 200 mile limit. This created the opportunity to manage and conserve the fish populations of the Grand Banks but in Canada they created subsidies which allowed the country to expand its own offshore fleet to exploit the gap left by the foreign ships.

Canadian fisheries experts advised their government that the imposition of proper catch limits would allow the cod population to recover. They set the limit of Cod at what they thought was the maximum sustainable yield which is a spot where you can take the most amount of fish with the population still being able to grow back. The quotas were set too high continually, so that the country could sustain their fishing market. Eventually the fishing market collapsed because there were no fish left and the population would not grow back.

What happened in Canada is an example of Tragedy of the commons because most fishermen in Canada were fishing from the same bank. They all received a large benefit from getting large amounts of fish at first. (The government subsidies that came from fisherman’s insurance etc.) The depletion of the fish population did not seem like a problem from the start because each fisherman only felt a small portion of the costs related to overfishing. The more the fishermen fished at the banks the less fish there were but the fishermen did not stop fishing because they were still reaping the benefits from the population of fish that was left. Because the fishermen and the government of Canada did not look at the bigger picture and what could happen if the fish population continued to decrease overtime, the fish population became unsustainable and the fish population continued to decline at drastic levels.  Two main problems with the Canadian banks were that the banks were open to all the fisherman (non-excludability) and no reason to cooperate. Because the fishermen and government did not listen to the fisheries experts this created a tragedy of the commons.




How green are electric cars really?

Most people believe that driving an electric car is good not only for you but also for the environment. But is this really true. And what are the negative effects that an electric car can have?

Electric cars have higher manufacturing emissions than normal cars.  Electric cars also use electricity that has its own footprint. “A battery-powered car recharged with electricity generated by coal-fired power stations, it found, is likely to cause more than three times as many deaths from pollution as a conventional petrol-driven vehicle. Even a battery car running on the average mix of electrical power generated in America is much more hazardous than the conventional alternative.”

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors estimate and discuss how amounts of fine particulate matter and ground-level ozone would change if each of the many ways of powering a car were to be responsible for 10% of the vehicle-miles expected to be driven in America in 2020. Electric cars whose batteries were from wind, solar or hydroelectric sources came out cleanest, causing 231 deaths, compared with 878 for petrol cars. Electric cars recharged with power from natural-gas-fired stations had about 439 deaths. But the study also found that if electric cars were recharged ultimately by coal, they would be responsible, for just over 3,000 deaths. The study helped to prove that electric cars are better that gasoline cars if the energy comes from renewable sources or natural gas but not if the electricity comes from coal. Also the study found that the emissions from making ethanol from corn is worse for air quality and health than gasoline.


Electric cars powered by coal produce 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than those powered by gas, because of the pollution made in generating the electricity. They also are greater producers of heat-trapping carbon dioxide that worsens global warming, according to the study by the National Academy of Science (PNAS).  So overall some electric cars are better than others when the power source does not come from coal but to have the least harmful effect on the environment a car who gets the most millage per gallon would also be beneficial. There are many pros and cons when it comes to electric cars but the choice is ultimately up to you.




Oluwatosin Adedeji-Fajobi

Save the Water


Less than 1% of all the water on Earth can be used by people. The rest is salt water or is permanently frozen and unusable by humans. As our population grows, more and more people are using up this limited resource. Therefore, it is important that we use our water wisely and not waste it. The human body cannot function without fresh water and would expire in a few days without it.

In the United States, we are fortunate enough to have access to some of the safest water in the world just by turning a tap. Water is an important part of our daily lives and we use it for a wide variety of purposes The average person in the United States uses about 80-100 gallons of water each day, and the average The United States is one of the world’s leading consumers of water yet we only have 4.52% of the world’s population. According to Scientific American, America’s water footprint measures in at 1.053 billion cubic meters per year (that’s 278,173,171,133.1 gallons).

The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home. About 70% of this water use occurs indoors. In the morning, most people take a shower hopefully and brush their teeth. EPA estimates that 27% of our indoor water usage comes from the toilet. All of this water adds up. If an average shower in the US is 8 minutes long and the flow of a standard shower head is 2.5 GPM, that’s 20 gallons of water just for one shower. Cutting down your shower time to 5 minutes or less can reduce your energy and water output. Also the standard shower heads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM), newer shower heads use anywhere from 2.0 GPM to 1.25 GPM with no change to pressure or flow. The EPA estimates the average household savings when using newer water efficient shower heads starts at 2,900 gallons of water a year, or 370 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is equivalent to 13 days of power.

Conserving water can save energy, because it takes energy to heat your water tank and keep it hot. As you use hot water, more energy is needed. The energy used by the hot water tank likely comes from electricity or by burning natural gas and heating the water in your tank is linked to the burning of fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases. Also conserving water can reduce the occurrence of sinkholes because when natural aquifers run low, it leaves a gap where water once was. In addition to that conserving water can protect our natural eco-system and the animals that exists within them. It’s important to save water so that future generations can have a livable earth.


How the Average American Wastes Water

Oluwatosin Adedeji-Fajobi

Hello Class :)

Hello, My name is Oluwatosin but everyone just calls me Tosin. I’m from New York and I am currently a sophomore here at Penn State studying Political Science and Sociology with a minor in African American Studies. I am taking this course because I need to take a math class and also the topics that we are supposed to learn about in class seem very interesting. Also my friend suggested the class to me. When I think about the word sustainability I think about stability, uniformity, also I think of things that last a long time. When I think of resilience I think of recovering from asset back or illness. Also here’s a link to something i found interesting: