Queen's University

Earth Day

2010-04-22

Earth Day: Queen’s experts

There are several Queen’s University professors available to speak about stories that are related to Earth Day, coming up on April 22.

 

Renewable energy makes good business

Joshua Pearce is a mechanical engineering professor who specializes in solar photovoltaic cells. He also does consulting work and can comment (in non-technical terms) on business and government policies associated with solar power. He feels investing in renewable energy makes good business sense.
Canada Savings Bonds offer a tiny annual interest rate, yet people buy them because reliable investments with set returns are hard to find,” says Professor Pearce. “Energy conservation measures (ECMs) save money. That’s guaranteed. New lighting or better air conditioning systems reduce operational costs, and the savings are as good as money that’s earned any other way. Better actually, since it's tax-free.The cost of such ECMs should be viewed as an investment. Unfortunately, people have focused on the upfront costs of the improvements.”
Carbon dioxide: Everyone’s favourite gas to hate these days
Philip Jessop is a professor specializing in green chemistry. He leads a research group that is trying to find ways to make carbon dioxide – famous for destroying the planet by causing global warming and make it contribute to the environment in a positive way.
"Carbon dioxide is everybody’s favourite gas to hate these days.” says Professor Jessop. "My research group tries to figure out ways to make it contribute to society in a positive way.
Among his discoveries, Professor Jessop's team has recently discovered a way to use carbon dioxide to make the production of cooking oils more environmentally friendly and has received several calls from major cooking oil manufacturers.

Studying the Arctic
John Smol is a biology professor and expert on Arctic environmental issues. He has been traveling to the High Arctic to do research for the past 27 years – long before global warming became a hot topic. 
“In many respects, the Arctic is on the front line of a wide spectrum of environmental problems, not least of which is climatic change. Arctic environmental research is not only a fascinating academic pursuit, but may well be critical for the future of our planet," says Professor Smol.
 
To arrange an interview, please contact Michael Onesi at 613-533-6000 ext. 77513, michael.onesi@queensu.ca, or Kristyn Wallace at 613-533-6000 ext. 79173, kristyn.wallace@queensu.ca at News and Media Services, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
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