Book Reactions: Meadowlands

December 18, 2007

Tim Rosendaul

 

A very interesting book that I enjoyed a lot.  It’s interesting to talk about the Meadowlands being a place of wilderness when it’s been polluted on for years by the local industry from New York City.  Some people call this place a wilderness because of the diverse life it supports in its unique habitat.  I think this book should be a main stay in the class because it gives people a glimpse that wilderness is not always something that you perceive it to be.  This book opens your mind to a wide variety of places that could be considered a wilderness.


Nature, The Unsettling of America, Breakfast of Biodiversity and Lawn People

December 6, 2007

Nature:

This book was necessary for the course syllabus because of its historical perspective on nature. Coates develops the history of the environment from early culture hearths to present Western ideals. It is very comprehensive on different theories and time periods that affected human’s use and view of nature. It was a hard and slow read, but helped connect themes from other books to one another and understand the background behind other novels perspectives read in this semester.

The Unsettling of America:

I enjoyed reading this book. Barry is very passionate about he small farmer’s lifestyle and disproves of the newer way of life. He goes in detail about the historical change or shift from one form to specialization. He develops the agricultural development in America and how it has changed with the influence of the economy, technology and the government. It is interesting to hear how this change has affect society, in negative ways, like economically and how it has changed society’s view on the small farmer like Barry.

Breakfast of Biodiversity:

When people set out to “save the environment” they are generally talking about preserving what they still consider wilderness, ie: the rain forest. Reading a book about the rain forest and the current problems at the time is therefore crucial for a class like this. There is ongoing destruction with multiple culprits and this book I feel gives a sense of hope, unlike some of the others. It concludes with possible solutions for change and ends on a positive note.

Lawn People:

This book takes a look at what suburbia has done to our culture. It has examples of people that remain using lawn chemicals to produce a green front yard, even though they are aware of the dangers it could cause to their family and the environment. Unlike some of the other books, this novel addresses issues that we all face on an everyday basis. Most houses have lawns accompanying them and this novel shows how the maintenance of lawns and the use of lawn chemicals is a question asked by most residents of the U.S.

-Julia F.


Meadowlands, Desert Solitaire and Red

December 6, 2007

Meadowlands:

The Meadowlands was a great book to start off the semester. It shows that one person’s wilderness is another person’s swamp; Robert Sullivan finds his own wilderness and freedom in NYC’s dump yard. Wilderness is dependant upon your perspective. I was unfamiliar with the area of the meadowlands, so personally learning about the massive territory the meadowlands takes up, just miles outside of NYC was interesting on its own. This was a fun read, with various excerpts from the quirky people Sullivan meets and befriends during his journeys.

Desert Solitaire and Red:

Edward Abbey and Terry Tempest-Williams both observed the same wilderness of the Utah desert, but were written in completely different ways. Abbey remarks on his experiences alone in the desert and his love for the nature around him and describes how he becomes one with the nature by the end of his summer. He is very negative toward everyone that visits the land and possible ruins its beauty. Much of his novel is written in this negative tone and he continues by describing American’s disrespect for the land they live on and nature as part of the “American culture”. Tempest-Williams is written in a more passive and abstract way, filled with imagery. She examines the meaning of “red” the color and the spirit of the people and animals living near Moab. However, she also fully discusses the government involvement with the land and the need to protect this wilderness. Overall, I enjoyed both of these novels, especially in comparison to one another and thought they individually added different qualities to the class.

 

– Julia F.


Meadowlands, Desert Solitaire and Red

December 6, 2007

Meadowlands:

The Meadowlands was a great book to start off the semester. It shows that one person’s wilderness is another person’s swamp; Robert Sullivan finds his own wilderness and freedom in NYC’s dump yard. Wilderness is dependant upon your perspective. I was unfamiliar with the area of the meadowlands, so personally learning about the massive territory the meadowlands takes up, just miles outside of NYC was interesting on its own. This was a fun read, with various excerpts from the quirky people Sullivan meets and befriends during his journeys.

Desert Solitaire and Red:

Edward Abbey and Terry Tempest-Williams both observed the same wilderness of the Utah desert, but were written in completely different ways. Abbey remarks on his experiences alone in the desert and his love for the nature around him and describes how he becomes one with the nature by the end of his summer. He is very negative toward everyone that visits the land and possible ruins its beauty. Much of his novel is written in this negative tone and he continues by describing American’s disrespect for the land they live on and nature as part of the “American culture”. Tempest-Williams is written in a more passive and abstract way, filled with imagery. She examines the meaning of “red” the color and the spirit of the people and animals living near Moab. However, she also fully discusses the government involvement with the land and the need to protect this wilderness. Overall, I enjoyed both of these novels, especially in comparison to one another and thought they individually added different qualities to the class.

 

– Julia F.


Meadowlands, Desert Solitaire and Red

December 6, 2007

Meadowlands:

The Meadowlands was a great book to start off the semester. It shows that one person’s wilderness is another person’s swamp; Robert Sullivan finds his own wilderness and freedom in NYC’s dump yard. Wilderness is dependant upon your perspective. I was unfamiliar with the area of the meadowlands, so personally learning about the massive territory the meadowlands takes up, just miles outside of NYC was interesting on its own. This was a fun read, with various excerpts from the quirky people Sullivan meets and befriends during his journeys.

Desert Solitaire and Red:

Edward Abbey and Terry Tempest-Williams both observed the same wilderness of the Utah desert, but were written in completely different ways. Abbey remarks on his experiences alone in the desert and his love for the nature around him and describes how he becomes one with the nature by the end of his summer. He is very negative toward everyone that visits the land and possible ruins its beauty. Much of his novel is written in this negative tone and he continues by describing American’s disrespect for the land they live on and nature as part of the “American culture”. Tempest-Williams is written in a more passive and abstract way, filled with imagery. She examines the meaning of “red” the color and the spirit of the people and animals living near Moab. However, she also fully discusses the government involvement with the land and the need to protect this wilderness. Overall, I enjoyed both of these novels, especially in comparison to one another and thought they individually added different qualities to the class.

 

– Julia F.


Lake levels nearing records lows

December 5, 2007

Posted by Jeff Alexander

 

Lakes Michigan and Huron are nearing record low water levels and some experts believe it’s just a matter of time before they dip below that dubious mark. Water levels in Michigan and Huron, which are technically one lake, briefly dropped dipped below the record low on Sunday, according to federal monitoring data. That reading, from one gauge on Lake Huron, was not a record because it has not been sustained over a one-month period — yet.

“The one-day reading was significant because it shows we are close to breaking the record,” said Cynthia Sellinger, a hydrologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.

Lower lake levels widen beaches but hurt the shipping industry by forcing freighters to lighten their loads to avoid running aground. Plunging lake levels can also parch coastal wetlands that support fish and wildlife.

“One of our researchers studying wetlands around lakes Michigan and Huron has seen four of the six wetlands he monitors around Saginaw Bay dry up,” said Alan Steinman, director of Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Center. “Those wetlands are now dry lands.”

Lower water levels in Lake Michigan will likely have similar effects on some wetlands along the lower Grand River, parts of Muskegon Lake and White Lake and Pentwater Lake, Steinman said.

http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2007/12/lakes_michigan_huron_nearing_r.html

 

-Julia F.


Greenest Condo in the U.S. Opens in Portland

December 5, 2007

PORTLAND – Residents began this week moving into The Casey condominiums, on track to be the first multifamily residential building in the United States to receive LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of green building. 

The Casey is a 16-story building with 61 luxury homes in the heart of Portland’s Pearl District, steps from art galleries, restaurants and boutiques. The building incorporates a comprehensive array of sustainable features including solar panels, a green roof and the extensive use of recycled-content and sustainable materials such as wool carpets and FSC-certified wood flooring. It also has a host of energy efficiency features including sophisticated waste heat recovery ventilators in each unit that help the building achieve a 52 percent energy savings over code. 

“The Casey is a bright green building, which means it sacrifices nothing in terms of either sustainability or lifestyle,” says Mark Edlen, managing principal of project developer Gerding Edlen Development. “This will be our third completed LEED Platinum building and we’re pushing beyond Platinum to develop buildings over the next four years that generate more energy than they use and consume more waste than they produce.” 

http://www.enn.com/business/article/26389

-Julia F.