In 2007 Wyoming produced 451 million metric tons of coal, one-third of the coal used by the other forty-nine U.S. states. No other state has produced even 200 million tons. Wyoming is also the largest producer of uranium. It ranks third in natural gas production and sixth among the states in oil production. The population of Wyoming is smallest of the states, about 500 thousand, and it burns a small amount of the carbon fuel produced. The Cowboy state provides much more carbon to be oxidized into carbon dioxide and green house warming than any of the states, and most nations. Ironically, Wyoming is known for its megafauna herds of antelope, elk, mule deer, moose and the habitats to sustain these herds. The geography is diverse with large mountain ranges and vast prairies. It is the home of Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park and a World Heritage Park. Wyoming is recognized for large designated Wilderness Areas that by law are not mined or even traveled with motorized vehicles. The world lock on fossil fuels puts Wyoming on a collision course with the fossil fuels resources extraction industries that give the state a vibrant economy and a population quite oblivious to the precipice ahead. Environmental education/natural resources education is rooted in science and can head off the looming disaster. Science, as practiced by the world body of scientists, maintains the respect of not only scientists but also the world population – and Wyoming’s population too. From the University of Wyoming comes a program that envisions reaching public and private school children with the science essential for sustainability. But behaviors must accompany the science to preserve and protect the magnificent natural heritage of our state. This dilemma is shown with a colorful Power Point presentation followed by a discussion.
|Keywords:||Wyoming Natural Resources, Fossil Fuel Extraction, Global Warming, Habitat Depletion, Environmental Education the Solution|
Professor Emeritus of Science Education, President of the Wyoming Association for Environmental Education, Science and Math Teaching Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA
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