Khoj March-April 2008

In India the month of March every year is the time for the annual examinations. Classes X and XII have their Board Exams while other classes have their finals. Khoj will therefore present a combined theme for the months of March-April each year.

The Nobel Peace Prize 2007 was awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC in December 2007. Their body of work focuses on Climate Change, and how it is impacting our lives today…and will do so in future too.

The Nobel Committee has once again related world peace to an aspect other than war. It stated that world peace is directly related to controlling Climate Change.

The Nobel Peace Prize 2006 was awarded to Mohammad Yunus, the founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The Grameen Bank's core objective is to provide micro credit to the poor in an effort to fight poverty. The success of this model prompted the Nobel Committee to relate world peace to poverty reduction that year.

We decided to keep Climate Change as our theme for the months of March-April 2008. To start with we are providing links to speeches by Al Gore and the IPCC Chairman Dr. R.K.Pachauri from the official Nobel Prize website.

Al Gore


It is extremely important for all of us to realise that a little effort by each one of us EVERY DAY can go a long way in making a difference…locally, regionally as well as globally…depending upon how widespread this effort scales up.


A school teacher, for example, can stress on using re-used paper copies in class. This can be easily done by tearing off unused pages from older/previous class copies, compiling all such pages together and then binding them using a thick card board/shoe box board as the cover.


If every child in a class/school takes this up…one can imagine how much impact this will have when consolidated.

In a similar experiment with my Class VIII students at Manava Bharati, Delhi we all saved a lot of paper throughout the year. I kept some points for re-used paper copies…and converted these into class assessment marks. You see, children need to be given incentives to apply learning to actual life. That is what life sciences is all about. And it works…..!!

We are presenting some Energy Conservation Questions below to help children get sensitized. We request teachers and parents to use them as part of their Earth Day - 22 April 08 - celebrations

1. You are tidying up your house in the evening, going back and forth between the bedroom, kitchen and living room, spending five to 10 minutes in each as you sort out the clutter. What is the BEST way to make sure your lights aren't needlessly wasting energy?
a) Keep the lights on as you go from room to room until the job is done.
b) Turn the lights off every time you leave a room and then on again when you return.

2. After all your cleaning you are hungry and decide that a nice hot jacket potato is just what you want. But which is the MOST energy efficient way of cooking the potato?
a) Put it in an electric oven to cook slowly for an hour.
b) Quickly zap it in the microwave.

3. How about heating the beans? Which configuration will get them sizzling the quickest and therefore use the LEAST energy?
a) Hotplate and pan of the same diameter.
b) Pan of bigger diameter than the hotplate.
c) Hotplate of bigger diameter than the pan.

4. You want to really make a significant contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions. Which of these would be of the MOST benefit over the course of a year?
a) Taking the train instead of driving a car.
b) Hanging your washing out to dry rather than using the tumble dryer.
c) Working from home one day a week.

5. Most of the energy we use originally came from:
a) the sun
b) the air
c) the soil
d) the oceans

6. Electrical energy can be produced from:
a) mechanical energy
b) chemical energy
c) radiant energy
d) All of the above

7. Which uses the most energy in Indian homes each year?
a) lighting
b) water heating
c) heating and cooling rooms
d) refrigeration

8. India consumes lots of energy. Which fuel provides the most energy?
a) petroleum
b) coal
c) natural gas
d) solar

9. Coal, petroleum, natural gas, and propane are fossil fuels. They are called fossil fuels because:
a) they are burned to release energy and they cause air pollution
b) they were formed from the buried remains of plants and tiny animals that lived hundred of millions of years ago
c) they are nonrenewable and will run out
d) they are mixed with fossils to provide energy

10. Gasoline is produced by refining which fossil fuel?
a) natural gas
b) coal
c) petroleum
d) propane

11. Propane is used instead of natural gas on many farms and in rural areas. Why is propane often used instead of natural gas?
a) it’s safer
b) it’s portable
c) it’s cleaner
d) it’s cheaper

12. What sector of the Indian economy consumes most of the nation’s petroleum?
a) residential
b) commercial
c) industrial
d) transportation

13. Natural gas is transported mainly by
a) pipelines
b) trucks
c) barges
d) all three equally

14. Global warming focuses on an increase in the level of which gas in the atmosphere?
a) ozone
b) sulfur dioxide
c) carbon dioxide
d) nitrous oxide

15. Solar, biomass, geothermal, wind, and hydropower energy are all renewable sources of energy. They are called renewable because they
a) are clean and free to use
b) can be converted directly into heat and electricity
c) can be replenished by nature in a short period of time
d) do not produce air pollution

16. Today, which renewable energy source provides India with the most energy?
a) wind
b) solar
c) geothermal
d) hydropower

17. Electricity is the movement of
a) atoms
b) molecules
c) electrical power
d) neutrons

18. How much of the energy in burning coal reaches the consumer as electricity?
a) 1/3 (one-third)
b) 1/2 (one-half)
c) 3/4 (three-quarters)
d) 9/10 (nine-tenths)

19. In a nuclear power plant, uranium atoms
a) combine and give off heat energy
b) split and give off heat energy
c) burn and give off heat energy
d) split and give off electrons

20. The R’s of an energy-wise consumer are
1. Reduce
2. Recycle
3. Reuse
4. All of the above
5. Only 1) & 2) above

21. Renewable sources of energy is/are
1. biomass
2. geothermal
3. all of the above

22. Sulfur dioxide is also emitted into the air when coal is burned. The sulfur dioxide reacts with water and oxygen in the clouds to form precipitation known as
1. Acid wash
2. Acid rain
3. Fog
4. Smog

23. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere acts as a transparent blanket that contributes to the global warming of the earth, or "greenhouse effect". Which of the following is not an effect of greenhouse effect
1. Change in our weather
2. rising sea level damaging coastal areas
3. Extinction of lions.
4. plant and animal species to become extinct

24. Which of the following is true
1. China is the most populous country and highest consumer of energy
2. US consumes one fourth of the world’s total energy consumption
3. India is the second largest consumer of energy and also second most populous country
4. Russia is the largest consumer of energy.

25. The decision to replace an incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent is an example of
1. Energy efficiency
2. Energy conservation
3. Both 1 & 2 above
4. None

26. What material do you think makes up most of the municipal solid waste in this country
1. Paper
2. Plastic
3. Metal
4. Other

27. Name the city that implemented first municipal dump more than 2,500 years ago
1. Rome
2. Athens
3. London
4. Paris

28. Landfilling is
1. Planting trees
2. Burying waste when it cannot or should not be burned or recycled.
3. Burning trash to produce steam and electricity and dumping the residue
4. Filling land with wastes to form an even surface.

29) What type of bulbs use 66% less energy than regular lightbulbs?
a) Floodlights
b) CFL
c) NFL
d) Florescent bulbs

30) What percentage of trees cut is used for the world's paper production?
a) 5%
b) 10%
c) 20%
d) 40%

31) Environmentally speaking, why is it good to use mulch on your gardens?
a) Helps conserve water by holding moisture in the earth
b) Makes your garden smell better
c) Uses less energy
d) None of the above

32) You are thinking of re-designing your garden. Which choice of planting is the LEAST eco-friendly?
1. Grass
2. Shrubs
3. Trees

33) How much energy is saved from recycling one glass bottle?
a) Enough to power a 75-watt bulb for 5 hours
b) Enough to power a car for a day
c) Enough to remake that bottle
d) Practically nothing

34) Which of the following is the least environmental friendly?
a) Double-siding your paper
b) Using paper instead of plastic
c) Turning off your air conditioner and opening the windows
d) Only using your washing machine for full loads

35) It's environmentally friendly to leave the tap on while you brush your teeth, true or false?
a) True
b) False

36) At some grocery stores you can get recyclable canvas bags instead of regular plastic bags, true or false?
a) True
b) False

37) Leaves, dirt and other garden waste can be recycled with the rest of the recycling, true or false?
a) True
b) False

38) Recycling bins are always blue, true or false?
a) True
b) False

Answers to these questions will be uploaded in the last week of April 08.

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