Second Half-Environment and Society- Robbins et al.

I thought the second half of Environment and Society provided more information than the first, and the topics were much more interesting to me, therefore easier to understand. I really liked this book because it gave me viewpoints about things that are harmful to the environment that i never really thought about before like french fries, but also talked about plants and animals that are affected due to the careless nature of humans.

Ch. 9- Carbon Dioxide- they do really well discussing the issue of carbon dioxide in the air, and the importance of the effects that it has all over the world. While living in London this past summer, it was easy to see smog very often due to the cloudy nature of the city. Although I lived in central London where there are not nearly as many factories and plants as office buildings and shops, there is still a huge impact on the environment from the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced from the incredible constant amount of traffic. While crabon dioxide is a necessary part of the environment (plants need it live and turn it back into oxygen), we are currently producing it in too large of quantities all over the world.

Ch. 10- Trees- Deforestation is a large and ongoing problem, because as i noted about the carbon dioxide chapter, we are already producing way too much CO2 for the existing amount of trees to change to oxygen. What happens when we cut down large amounts of trees? We are stuck with an even greater amount of CO2 in the environment. But this is not the only problem with deforestation; we are trading a beautiful natural world for our own luxury, and ignoring the fact that we are hindering extremely bio-diverse areas while doing so.

Ch. 11- Wolves- I am not really too interested in wolves, so I didn’t really get too much out of this chapter, or care about it very much. I do however find it sad that wolves are marked as scary and evil creatures, when they just do what they need to do to survive like everything else on earth. Why do we label them so harshly and try to kill them, when we should be looking at everything that we as humans kill every day?

Ch. 12- Tuna- I personally do not eat meat of seafood, so this chapter helped me to feel a little better after reading the next 2 chapters. For once in this chapter, I felt that I wasn’t responsible for the ongoing issue with catching excess tuna. If less people ate tuna, would it help the crisis because they would lower the amount of tuna that they catch and let go to waste, or are people like me the problem; If I ate tuna, maybe so much wouldn’t be wasted…..

Ch. 13- Bottled Water- The phenomenon of bottled water has had an enormous harmful impact on the environment, as everyone knows. As I sit here and type out these notes with 2 other people at my table, I see 3 plastic water bottles also on the table, one in front of each one of us. However, I will only sit here and feel bad for so long before I will go buy my next bottle of water out of personal convenience. Not only does bottled water create an enormous amount of waste (many of the empty plastic bottles either do not get the chance to be recycled or are not even recyclable), but it also adds to the problem of the scarcity of fresh water around the world. What I got out of this is ‘put the bottle down and turn to the tap’.

Ch. 14- French Fries- I eat a lot of french fries- potatoes are my favorite food and the base of my diet, and I would have to say that french fries probably make up most of the potatoes I eat. I have known for years that this is an unhealthy habit for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, but i have never really stopped to think about the impact that the amount of french fries consumed by the world can have on our environment. When analyzing very closely, french fries can lead to deforestation in order to find sufficient land to grow enough potatoes to feed the demand of the world, plastic is often used as packaging for the french fries when they are frozen, oil and other forms of energy are used to run the machine and actually fry the potatoes, and to top it off, french fries are normally served in paper bags or small paper cartons. Wow, we really do waste natural resources and produce a large amount of waste with french fries!!!

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