Environment and Society Response

Right away the book lost credibility with me.  It started on page 14 saying that 4 million people lived in Phoenix, AZ, and not even half a page down it said that only 1.5 million people lived there.  The fact that it read like a textbook didn’t help it keep my interest for long either.  The questions that it asked about an areas ability to hold people were the same as I have had for a while now.  I feel that there are areas in the world that humans are not meant to live in, especially not in the numbers that are there.  Phoenix, AZ is one such example, as well as just about every other desert region out there and tundras.  Essentially, very harsh landscapes that don’t supply enough of the right things needed to live comfortably.  Where the author talks about geometric growth and impact also convey the same type of thing.  That more people=higher demand, which leads to a depletion of those sources faster than they can be replenished.  I do agree that the harsh conditions in such areas can, and have, led to greater innovation, but I feel that the negatives outweigh the positives in such regions.  The mention of the Prisoner’s Dilemma made me realize how true it is, that people will work harder for immediate small gains rather than collaborate for a greater gain down the road.  Such as what some markets do, in that they will quickly expunge the entirety of their natural resources rather than work with someone to keep those sources around for a much longer time span.  A fair amount of ethics topics came up too, but most if not all of them we have brought up in class by now.  Politics and economics merging throughout history was a valid point, because it’s true.  If there is an economically valuable resource, than the government will likely take action to protect it.  The topic of women’s education and women’s rights seemed to be forced into the book.  I agree that a majority of the environmentalist leaders ten to be women, but I also know that men are a sizable portion as well.  Heck, I’m a man and an advocate for environmentalism.  So the mentioning of that seemed unneeded.  Aside from all that, Part 1 made some good points, it’s just that most of it I was already aware of.

In Part 2, I also was aware of the various impacts of carbon dioxide emissions, the fluctuation in the number of trees and their role in global warming, and of the wolf topics.  Many of these have been brought up either in this class, other classes, or I have seen on the news or other source.  The Uranium discussion had several things I already knew from doing a report on it over the summer, but also one thing I didn’t already know, which was that nuclear weapons were constructed before any nuclear power plant was.  The issues with tuna fishing didn’t really keep me interested for long, because I don’t like the taste of fish.  I was unfamiliar with all of the environmentally related subject matter in the lawn care section.  So much so that I felt overwhelmed by it.  This was not the case with the bottled water section, as I felt that I knew enough about the subject matter to get through it.  The biggest point it made in my opinion, even though I already knew it, was that it is often no safer than drinking tap water.  I found the entire french fry section to be comical, mainly because if the subject matter and the mention of the Russet Burbank being “the perfect fry potato”.  E-waste I agree is a difficult matter to deal with.  The materials do not degrade easily or quickly, and so are difficult to dispose of.  Overall this section contained a large amount of information that I was already aware of, and so I was able to quickly get through it despite being like a textbook.

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