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The Jeopardy of Global Warming

Teams of Smith administrators, faculty, staff and students competed yesterday in a game of Jeopardy with a twist. As part of Smith’s daylong Focus the Nation participation on January 31, contestants fielded questions on sustainability and the environment during “The Planet in Jeopardy," a game fashioned after TV's Jeopardy! Following the format of the long-running television quiz show hosted by Alex Trebek, the game was hosted by local commentator Robert Shycon. It took place in the Campus Center Carroll Room. After a hard-fought battle of wits, the Smith faculty team racked up the most points. The event was coordinated by the Office of Events Management.

How is your Global Warming IQ? See how you would have fared with this sampling of clues given during the event. Click here to view all the clues with their answers.

Category: Very Energetic

Clue: Energy resources like wind, hydro, solar, geothermal, and biomass that are replenished in a short period of time and will never run out.

Clue: Energy generated by heat stored beneath the earth’s surface.

Clue: This major polluter accounts for about 17% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Clue: It’s the biggest part of your home energy bill.

Clue: The energy equivalent of flossing your teeth, this often-ignored action saves energy and lengthens the life of your HVAC system.

Running on What?

Clue: An alternative fuel made primarily from soy or palm oil or from recycled vegetable oil.

Clue: For this resource, it’s the point at which maximum production is reached and further production declines as the cost rises.

Clue: A biofuel alternative to gasoline primarily made from corn or sugar cane that requires more energy to make than if gives back when burned.

Clue: Energy from plants or animal products that have been grown  recently.

Daily Double Clue: The United States is the number one consumer of oil, but it ranks below how man other countries in oil reserves?

Think Locally

Clue: Shopping locally, then regionally, or from a business that’s locally-owned somewhere else in the world before you buy from a big-box store.

Clue: The practice of paying a fair price to farmers for their products, rather than leveraging purchase power to drive down the price.

Clue: Selling shares of farm products at the beginning of the season to finance the farming and giving each shareholder a portion what’s grown.

Clue: It may say fresh, but most U.S. produce is picked in this range of days before it reaches your supermarket.

Clue: It’s often only tap water with a pretty label, but bottled water costs about how many times as much as gasoline?

Waste Not, Want Not

Clue: The practice of not buying things you have to throw away, recycling things you no longer use, and composting all waste food and paper so that you move toward reducing the waste you produce to nothing.

Clue: It’s in your facial scrub, it’s 50 percent or more of marine waste, and it’ wounds, strangles, traps, or starves more than one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals every year.

Clue: The controlled decomposition of food and plant wastes into the soil-like material called humus.

Clue: The practice of manufacturing goods without sending anything to a landfill.

Daily Double Clue: It’s the third largest part of the U.S. waste stream.

You’re Getting Warmer

Clue: This theory, now a common term, holds that the amount of the substance in any region is finite, so the rate of discovery must reach a maximum and then decline.

Clue: Water vapor, carbon dioxide, tropospheric ozone, nitrous oxide, and methane that trap heat within the earth’s atmosphere.

Clue: A 1997 United Nations initiative that involved legally binding reductions on carbon emissions signed by 169 countries, but not the US.

Clue: If current trends continue to build on one another, the Artic region may experience its first summer with no sea-ice by what year?

Clue: These may go from rare to extinct because they can’t go any farther north.

Watts That?

Clue: Term used to describe creating energy by conservation, rather then by generating more watts

Clue: The acronym for how much energy it took to produce the energy you get from an energy source.

Clue: A meter that measures the amount of energy that a specific  appliance or device draws so you can identify energy hogs.

Clue: More than 70% of its energy is wasted as heat; what’s left over is what helps you see.

Clue: Coal, natural gas, petroleum, nuclear, hydroelectric, biomass, and imported power are all used to generate electricity. Within five points, what percentage of that generation is wasted and never distributed?


Clue: A logo and label system that tells you whether a product meets or exceeds the U.S. standards for efficient energy use.

Clue: It’s produced without the use of sewer-sludge fertilizers, most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, genetic engineering (biotechnology), growth hormones, irradiation and antibiotics, but it’s not natural.

Clue: This program includes only those that are grown, harvested, and made into products, such as paper, under strict rules.

Clue: You can be silver, gold, platinum, or simply certified according to the standards of this measurement system.

Clue: This substance is more environmentally friendly, available in brighter colors, improves the life span of the printers, makes it easier to recycle paper, is more economic in the long run—and lowers workers’ exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Final Jeopardy Question:

Clue: A change in rules in the 1970s helped save this species, but its habitat, hunting grounds, and nesting areas may disappear within the next four decades.

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