Ellen Sizer- Blog Post 1



This isn’t a news article, but I trust this website and this article discusses an environmental issue of waste that has perked my interest since taking ECON GEOG.



My name is Ellen. I am junior Geology major with a minor in Fine Art. I am an avid traveler, animal rights activist, and enjoy photography.



This article deals with the same issues my team had dealt with and discussed before, during and after our trip to Chile. Many of the topics discussed in this article were discussed with my team. These topics include: the meaning of wilderness; spirituality in wild places; land preservation; deep ecology; and cultural imperialism in terms of imposing the American culture of environmental preservation on other places.


My consistent thoughts on these themes relate similarly to William Cronon’s understanding of wilderness and the discrepancies placed on the meaning and understanding of “wilderness”. Both Cronon and I share the belief that humans should preserve, conserve, and value the environment they are around-nonhuman or manmade. “To think before you act” so to speak. Additionally, we judge similarly on the fact that concepts like wilderness and modernity should not be separated and one should not be weighted with higher value than the other. Cronin did not explicitly agree on this point, but I think that this claim is not far off from his ideals. Lastly, Cronin and I both have love and distaste for narrative. We both seem to realize that narrative has a huge impact on the actions and the ideals society place on a particular environment. In other words, how we describe something has a major impact on the social norms are distributed and what our environment looks.

In general, I thoroughly enjoyed this article and part of me wishes I read before I read Meadowlands, because this book seems to put Cronon’s arguments into context and into practice through Robert Sullivan. Sullivan’s artistic, jumbled, and spontaneous nature of writing weaves together stories of the many unique and burly characters he met and describes in what many now consider a “wasteland” on the edge of of bursting and bumbling cityscape. Through Sullivan’s exploration of the Meadowlands he puts into practice what Cronon strongly encourages the human race to do which is appreciate and value the environment we do have and to not idealize the one we did have. Through Sullivan’s interviews, landscape adventures, and extensive historical research it is clear to say that many of the Cronon’s arguments about wilderness are evident. For example, Cronon and Sullivan both describe that historically land was that was unattainable for monetary value was a waste. Many investors put their efforts into making the Meadowlands a land of monetary wealth but most if not all projects failed. The view of the Meadowlands now as a dump and toxic wasteland is not so much a failure on the meadowlands but on the historic tendencies for humans to conquer and utilize for humanistic purposes. Even though the Meadowlands might actually be a toxic swamp, the narrative and social ideas society portrays onto a landscape play a huge role of how the land is treated and viewed by the general population. In this case, the landscape is viewed very poorly.




I have been trying to coordinate with Chartwells through my previous executive position Veg Club and through my newly elected position in WSCA to make a new location on campus that serves vegan and vegetarian food explicitly. This ongoing project could be combined with the project assignment in this class.


As my current article suggests, I am into waste. I am fascinated in e-waste particularly. I might want to continue the cellphone recycling campaign listed under previous project. I was part of similar project in middle school and again in high-school. It was to bring awareness of the materials that go into making a cellphone that destroy gorilla habitats.


A project brought up on the Chile trip was trying to make all TIPIT grants set aside money for carbon offsets due to major travel accommodated with most trips.

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