December 9, 2013
Bees mortality rate has been very high. Reasons that have been attributed to bee deaths are mites, pesticides, cell phone towers, poor nutrition but something else may be the trigger for the now famous Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
Scientists from the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified that a specific mix of pesticides and fungicides containing pollen that bees collect, although they have not figure out which one. The researchers spent time collecting pollen from hives on the east coast from cranberry and watermelon crops to feed to healthy bees. They had a serious decline in their ability to resist a parasite that causes CCD. One sample was found to contain 21 different chemicals.
It was also found that the bees that consumed pollen with fungicides were 3 times more likely to be infested by the parasite. This means that fungicides that were originally thought to be harmless is a major cause of CCD. Farmers are going to have to revolutionize their use of fungicides and even pesticides. This includes new regulations and new chemical/chemical combinations that will have to be used. Also, new spraying practices need to be considered, since bees were found to be widely impacted by pesticides in wild and crop plants.
More attention will need to be paid to the habits of bees since they are an integral part of farming around the world. The number of pesticides and fungicides needs to be reconsidered and reexamined to determine their effects on bees and perhaps other areas in nature. It is clear that farming chemicals are hurting bees the very animals agriculture depends on. But it will be a long time before this happens.
CCD has killed an estimated 10 million hives over the past six years. Those hives are worth 2 billion dollars. It is cited that bee populations are so low in the US that it now takes 60% of the countries surviving colonies to populate one crop in California – almonds (California provides the world with 80% total market, worth $4 billion dollars.)
December 9, 2013
Continuing on with Coate’s book I found it hard sometimes to read. His lecture notes really did not help in the smoothness of this book. While he brings up a lot of good points, the amount of citations and zig-zaging of his thoughts did not help.
In this second part of the book, we see more on humanity’s thoughts about nature. We have a tendecy to project ‘nature’ on to ‘nature’. Culture is one step, but the way that we personify animals and plants to give them feeling allow us to expand and explain on the abstract idea of nature. Nature itself is so complex that we have a hard time understanding exactly how to understand it. Our cultures, moods, and behaviors are complex constructs themselves that only we can explain. Even then we have trouble. (EXAMPLE: What is love?)
The other idea that the second part presents is that humanity needs to take care of the environment. It is our origin and we are apart of it. We cannot separate ourselves from a cycle that is on going. There is the issue of the problems we have cause to destroy the fine balance that nature has. Yes, I don’t think there is a way to reverse it, but there are ways that we can fix it. The first would be to change the over consumption of our ways in the capitalistic ways that rules most of the world. Humanity needs to see the repercussions of their damage, but it might be too late to do so.
December 9, 2013
As far as reading this book goes, Nature is well self explanatory in how it is presented. People immediately think of the physical constructs of nature. They don’t think of the other implications the word nature has. It is much more than the physical environment. Nature in the dictionary means so much more.
When people think of nature, they need to go beyond physical means. Nature can deal with personality and the way that a person views how another living thing acts. This idea is infused with how people perceive the physical aspect of nature. Coates discusses many cultures and how their histories have responded to nature and how they have developed. He also defines civilization as a theme and how it deals with it. Christianity for instance is a driving force in the modern philosophy of nature. It serves as the base for Western culture to see assertion as the only way of dealing with nature. Control and redefining was and is the only means for some.
The control is basically a human construct as Coates defines. Culture cannot be without it in the human mind.
November 20, 2013
People thought that sending it away would be low cost and not a big deal but in reality it was very expensive and the landfill stayed in their back yard.
People were opposed to changing the landfill into a Waste-to energy plant because of the unsightly smokestack, possible emissions and flows of garbage filled trucks still in their city. Opinions?
Garbage Patch for Days
Dr. Marcus Eriksen like Mary Crowley’s story of shock and wanted to change the world.
After reading her description how do you feel about plastic?
Plastic in our lives
- Half the oxygen we breath is made from microscopic phytoplankton
- All the pesticides and fertilizers etc go into the ocean won’t dissolve in water so they cling to the plastic which fish eat and then absorb
November 20, 2013
Chapter 7 – The Trash Trackers
-Much like agriculture is there something to be said for local disposal if done responsibly
-Is it really recycling if a ton of fossil fuels etc. are used to get the trash to a place where it can be “recycled”
-How can people and communities work to recycle responsibly and efficiently
Chapter 8- Decadence Now
-What does our garbage tell us about ourselves?
-Does this public surge to recycle etc. mean that we as a society are on the downswing?
-What would our garbage look like if we really spent the time to recycle ourselves and use everything possible.
Chapter 9- Pick of the Litter
-Does art made from trash draw attention to our worlds need to be less wasteful
November 20, 2013
This article really surprised me as I heard of the anti-vaccination movement years ago but assumed it was just a fringe thing that died. As it turns out it has gained support to the point that from 2011 to 2012 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) became epidemics in some states because children have not been vaccinated. Many people like myself were vaccinated as children, but now that I’m an adult the vaccination has typically worn off. Even then, because no one got sick from the disease people like me have still been ok. The wave of vaccination refusals however has caused non-vaccinated people to get the disease, which has then spread to adults whose vaccinations have worn off. As it turns out it may become prudent for people to start getting re-vaccinated for the diseases they were protected against as children.
The reason I was surprised to see this come up again was because I thought that the majority of the reason for refusing vaccines was because of the fear that they could be connected to Autism. Once this was disproven I figured the issue had gone away. Finding out that it has only gotten worse makes me wonder about how we can deal with the issue of certain people becoming a danger to others because they refuse to get vaccinated. Should this be a question of public safety? Rights? Or is it instead an indicator that the way we disseminate scientific knowledge and teach it is currently flawed?