Wolves and Commodities

Environment and Society part dos

Current Event:

https://www.thedodo.com/bear-wolf-alaska-hunting-sjres18-2324704518.html

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People want to kill hibernating bears. I know this doesn’t have a direct contact to the environment, but it is one of those news stories that makes you question the human race. Also this story is similar to the wolf chapter. These hunting tactics are barbaric, cruel, and most notably, cowardly. It reminds me a lot of the story by Ernest Hemmingway, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”. A man and his wife go on a safari hunt because Francis was unable to shoot a lion on a previous trip and his wife remarks on his lack of courage. On the most recent trip in this story, he kills a Buffalo right before it charges him, but his wife “accidently” shoots Francis in the head and kills him immediately following the charge. In my opinion, this story has many interpretations, but to me, it reflects the little courage it actually takes to kill a lion, because in the wild, lions sleep a lot and hunt when they are hungry, because in wild environments, they do not have predators. So, when people kill lions, it is cruel for one, but also takes zero effort because the lion is not expecting it. Just like the bear in hibernation, you are taking an aspect of a bear’s natural cycle of life that is extremely venerable  and exploiting it, much like shooting a lion in its natural habitat. The cruelty of this world sometimes amazes me and surprises. I might be naïve, but this legislation getting passed surprised me a lot, because I thought more humans would be concerned about the animal’s well-being rather than the hunter. But, that is obviously not the consensus.

——

“Adam Ruins Everything”: Electric Cars Aren’t As Green As You Think

The Carbon Dioxide Chapter especially the remarks on the rise of industrial production that a created a directly related rise in carbon-depend economy and society reminded me of the college humor video located above featured on the Trot show, “Adam Ruins Everything”. This video basically pokes fun at “green freaks” who feel they are doing their part by buying “green” products such electric cars, recycled paper plates, and other “green” products. However, part of the greenhouse epidemic is consuming such products. The main concern in the video was buying a new car that is completely gas free while still owning a functioning car. It is worse to buy a new car than use what you have. Part of this problem to the greenhouse gas problem is rooted in our capitalist and carbon crazed society. Companies and their products exploit this desire to help the planet buy selling “green” products. However, the best thing to do in that situation, is to not buy more things. It is not an individual’s fault for the greenhouse gas emissions. Companies make it seem that it only takes an individual to make a difference, but really it takes large corporations that you are buying those recycled plates from to make a change and individuals can make that change to happen.

 

The Wolf chapter very much reminds me of my current event about shooting bears while they hibernate. The end of the chapter talks about the social construction of the wolf vs masculinity.  Similarly to the hibernating bears, humans (hunters) are using inhumane and cruel hunting tactics to kill wolfs. And for what end game? Not always to eat, but a bigger agenda was at play. There is a tie between the social constructions we put on society that is also placed on our view of wolves. For many centuries, masculinity was embodied through a gentleman hunter that is righteous, lives in solitary, and is merciful to the hellish and savage wolf.  The view of wolves is a social construction and “For centuries, negative construction of wolves fueled an extreme hatred toward hem and this hated was manifest in a terrible slaughter that went nearly unquestioned by society as a whole.” Now, we have view wolves as a more wild and preservable creature. This change is inspired by our understanding of nature as a social construction. In this case the societal images of nature is conserved and preserved.. Enter the wolf. There is less slaughter of them today, but it seems that other species have take their place. Enter the bear. Is masculinity so fragile that it needs to be validated through the slaughter of something vulnerable? It seems that the shooting of bears while hibernating reflects the fear some men feel that their masculinity is being muddled by change in a more gender-fluid and accepting social climate. It is less about the view of the bear in society than it is about the view of masculinity or the lack of a view of masculinity in society in modern times.

 

Water has become a privatized commodity. It is ridiculous. Not only has plastic use and production increased significantly from he 1930s. All drinks are in one time use plastic bottles. Not just water. Therefore, increasing the waste due to plastic’s specificity and inability to be recycled easily in most areas. So, not only does water increase the space of our landfills, it represents wealth. Or in more general terms, it represents choice. There is a choice to buy water or just use the tap. I have learned that if you see something as a health benefit or scare people with germs, the product will do increasingly well. Water is one of those commodities. Where tap is not contaminated and bottled is fresher and cleaner. Which might be true, but not in a major impactful way to one’s health. People who live in the Global North generally have more of a choice between what kind of water they want while others are less affluent to make this choice. It is strange to me that something like water, a basic and rational choice to have in one’s life that we have to choose where it comes from when water is so easily accessible through tap water or wells. Water itself is a scarce resource, but I mean it seems weird that we bottle it. I rarely use bottled water and when I do it is a foreign in concept and I feel shameful. But that is beside the point. Water has become a commodity like everything else and it makes me upset.

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