Week 3 Post – Emily


A new paper was just published last week exploring the idea of coastal wetlands being a major new Carbon sink.  Coastal wetlands tend to store a lot of Carbon in their soil, where it can stay for millions of years as long as the soil is not disturbed.  This is in contrast to the forest ecosystems typically thought of as major Carbon sinks because these ecosystems tend to store most Carbon in tree biomass.  However, this Carbon gets released whenever trees die and start to decay which is on a much shorter time scale than any Carbon that would be released from soil.  The article mentions that Coastal wetlands are a great “blue Carbon” sink but never really say what “blue Carbon” even is so that is something I am still a little unsure about with this idea of a new major Carbon sink.



I think it might have been just me, but I personally felt like this book didn’t stick with the same stance.  At first it seemed very against humans and all influence they had on the environment and then it seemed to switch over to almost satirizing the whole environmental movement. There were a few spots in the book where they mentioned that thinking humans were the cause of environmental degradation was completely hypocritical and ridiculous. I really didn’t enjoy that aspect of the book in that I couldn’t tell if I agreed or felt attacked by that they were saying.

However there were a few ideas I thought were pretty interesting, notably the idea that we tend to put our own comfort and happiness aside so that future generations may be comfortable and happy.  We have a tendency to ignore those who need food and land right now because future generations will also need food and land and we can’t take that away from them.  I think this was particularly interesting to me because I always tended to think that way: we should preserve the relatively untouched land we have so that future generations can enjoy the untouched land just as I have.  But Bruckner does make a good point.  What if these future generations either 1. Don’t care about the land 2. Need it for food in order to survive or 3. Don’t ever even exist.  Then what was the point of causing harm to all of the people here now? I think this is a difficult idea to deal with but I’m glad I am now able to at least acknowledge the other side of the argument.

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