Environment and Society & Current Event


My current event this week is about an experiment involving growing new human tissue on plant cells.  It has been a challenge to try and find a vascular system that can deliver blood to regenerative tissue.  To solve this problem, researchers stripped a spinach leaf of its plant cells and then pumped a fluid meant to imitate human blood through the plants vascular tissue.  This method has also worked with other plant species, but researchers think that the spinach will be best for cardiac tissue and even cultured a beating human heart on one leaf.


The second half of this book dealt with issues like lawns, bottled water, tree rights, and french fries.  The section about lawns reminded me a lot of what we read in part 2 of Nature.  Nature described how important lawns were to Europeans in the Renaissance period and Environment and Society described how important they are to Americans.  I’ve always thought it was really weird to make some grass outside your house a point of pride.  It’s just grass.  It’s not even interesting to look at.  I feel like the upkeep of the house is way more important that the upkeep of a lawn considering you actually live in the house.

The bottled water and french fry sections are sort of similar to me.  They both explain how humans make terrible choices daily when there is something better they could choose right in front of them.  Not only that, but they are pressured into making those bad choices because it is marketed to them like a good choice.  It is really hard to know what to do when the media is telling you something is good and then 5 years later you find out it’s the worst thing ever.  Even worse is that even when we do find out, people still believe the media.  I think the fact that McDonald’s is the largest purchaser of potatoes says something about America.  American simply don’t care.  They don’t really have to, so they simply don’t.  That really sucks.

I thought the part about giving trees rights was pretty interesting.  I know we talked about it before in class, but we never really made a decision.  It is a hard decision to try and make.  I initially thought that trees didn’t necessarily deserve rights (besides making sure we have enough of them) because they don’t have feelings.  But then again, how could I possibly know that?  There could be a study 5 years from now showing that they do.  I also recently learned that plant produce heat and need to be warm enough to stay alive.  This seems obvious in retrospect, but it really gave trees a more human quality to me than they had before.  I think it would be good to extend rights to trees considering we need them for oxygen and they don’t grow that fast.  Honestly, what would we do without them?

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