Monthly Archives: July 2009

Mantenga la calma al volante y ahorrará dinero

image of traffice on a highwayUn reciente sondeo sobre los hábitos agresivos de conducir en Estados Unidos destacó una amplia variedad de actividades adoptadas por los conductores para ventilar su furia al volante. Algunos de estos malos hábitos incluyen el manejar demasiado cerca de otro automóvil, utilizar la bocina, hacer gestos obscenos, guiar a exceso de velocidad, entre otros. Las grandes zonas metropolitanas normalmente figuran entre los principales practicantes de la furia al volante. No obstante, muchos de nosotros nos hemos topado con estos conductores agresivos independientemente si vivimos en centros urbanos, en los suburbios o en áreas rurales. Mientras espero que nadie me vaya a negar que estos malos hábitos sean peligrosos, ofensivos y hasta ilegales, el mantener la calma y cordura al volante le permitirá ahorrar dinero y finalmente proteger el medio ambiente.

He aquí algunos consejos que le ayudarán a utilizar el combustible más eficientemente al manejar. En primer lugar, mantenga un paso estable al guiar. El proceso de acelerar y frenar repentinamente reduce el rendimiento del combustible hasta por un 33 por ciento. Al mantener las distracciones al mínimo usted puede controlar mejor el paso de su automóvil aún cuando el tránsito es pesado. Otro consejo—vaya al límite de velocidad indicado. Eso parece obvio, pero ¿sabía usted que la eficiencia de combustible se reduce drásticamente cuando acelera más de 60 millas por hora?

Además, mantenga su automóvil en buenas condiciones. Es importante hacer una revisión con regularidad de las condiciones de su automóvil para mejorar el rendimiento de la gasolina. Además no se olvide de mantener las llantas debidamente infladas. El inflar las llantas con el nivel adecuado de presión mejora el rendimiento de la gasolina y la duración de las mismas. También utilice el nivel de octanos adecuado cuando escoja la gasolina para mejorar el millaje. El manual de uso le brindará la información sobre el índice de octano de la gasolina para su automóvil, a menos que sea recomendado por el fabricante, el comprar una gasolina de un octano alto sería desperdiciar su dinero.

Como nos acercamos al fin de semana feriado del 4 de julio, hay muchos que usarán el automóvil para visitar familia y amistades o simplemente para pasar su momento de ocio al aire libre. Considere estos consejos para disfrutar su pasadía y proteger al Planeta Tierra también.

Sobre la autor: Lina M. F. Younes ha trabajado en la EPA desde el 2002 y está a cargo del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Comunicaciones Multilingües. Como periodista, dirigió la oficina en Washington de dos periódicos puertorriqueños y ha laborado en varias agencias gubernamentales.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Science Wednesday: Earthrise – The Picture That Inspired the Environmental Movement

Each week we write about the science behind environmental protection. Previous Science Wednesdays.

I’ve never been terribly interested in space exploration. Though I do remember pictures Earth–our “big blue marble”–from my earliest childhood, I’ve been tempted to think on occasion, “What a waste of money. We have so many problems on Earth to solve.” What I didn’t realize was how those images have inspired me to think of the world as a global community.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn how the first picture of Earth taken from space inspired the environmental movement. I learned the connection while searching for a way to link Astronomy with EPA research for our Year of Science Web site.

The Apollo 8 astronauts were the first to go to far side of the Moon. They had prepared for every scenario except one: the awesome sight of Earth rising on a black lunar horizon. Discovering the scene from their space capsule, one astronaut exclaimed, “Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.” The crew scrambled for a camera. The photographs appeared for the first time in print just over 40 years ago, in January 1969.

photo of a half-earth rising in a black sky over the lunar horizon

The picture became known as “Earthrise” and the image of the world from the perspective of a desolate lunar surface became an iconic reminder of our need to protect the Earth’s fragile resources. Earthrise and images like it are widely credited with inspiring the environmental movement and indirectly the start of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. In Life’s 100 Photographs that Changed the World, wilderness photographer Galen Rowell called it “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.”
Earth seems so big and indestructible from our perspective, and so tiny and vulnerable when seen from space.

Learning this piece of history has given me new respect for the interconnectedness between different branches of science. My first impression was that Astronomy and Earth Science had  nothing in common. Working for EPA’s Office of Research and Development has helped me realize that satellite imaging and data collection play a large role in helping inform scientists in environmental protection and human health. Environmental monitoring once done largely in isolation is now inspiring international cooperation, such as the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS.

It’s inspiring to see that 40 years after the Earthrise photo was taken, science is helping us become a global community.

About the Author: Moira McGuinness joined the Science Communications Staff of EPA’s Office of Research and Development in February 2009. She manages the content on EPA’s Year of Science Web site.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Science Wednesday: Year of Science-Question of the Month

Each week we write about the science behind environmental protection. Previous Science Wednesdays.

For each month in 2009, the Year of Science—we will pose a question related to science. Please let us know your thoughts as comments, and feel free to respond to earlier comments, or post new ideas.

The Year of Science theme for July is “Celebrate Astronomy“.

Just over 40 years ago the image known as Earthrise was published. It was the first photograph taken of Earth from Deep Space.

How does seeing a photograph of Earth taken from Space change your thinking about the environment?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.