Environment & Society Notes Part 2
In the second half of the book, the authors change their focus to real world examples of problems that are currently being faced and the dilemma humans are running into. I found these topics to be the most interesting to be because they relate back to the type of work I want to do to try and help solve the issues the best way possible. The most common things people think of when they think about global climate change is carbon dioxide, CO2. This was an interesting chapter to read because I never really thought about how much of human development is completely tied in with carbon dioxide emissions and the complexity of the debate. With the industrialization of nations, the economy and society of the place became tied to carbon dioxide emissions. As global countries try to lower the amount of carbon dioxide emissions, some might participate and agree in environmental “agreements”. Those mutual agreements will benefit those countries who participate but those countries that do not participate their emissions still has an effect on everyone. Some countries benefits end up having other countries riding on the benefits of others . The carbon dioxide debate shows how intertwined human interactions are to the environment with money and politics also playing a role making the issue extremely complicated.
One of my favorite stories in environmental issues are of the wolves of Yellowstone. The story I had always known was that wolves were eradicated from the park until they were reintroduced years later. After the reintroduction, the landscape and biodiversity of the park changed due to the wolves playing a critical role in the food chain, trophic cascade. The story remains a favorite but after reading this chapter now see the social construct that helped lead to the change in perspective of wolves and some of the issues present due to their reintroduction. Human growth has pushed the bounds of natural habitat of various species including wolves. There are many players involved in wolf conservation as wolves are a predator that could harm a human while at the same time they are considered required in the environment. There is also the economic problem with those who raise live stock and wolves potentially killing their lively hood. People have also adjusted the way they view wolves from hunting them almost to extinction to becoming much loved by most people. As I am finding with most environmental debates, everything is intertwined and there is no single solution to the problem.
Overall, this book highlights some of the many complex issues that are ongoing in the environment. It helps to show many of the pieces of the puzzle and explain the complexity of the debates. Many of the issues I relate to from a biology background and never considered the extant of the economic or political ties that are also associated.
Current Environmental News
A recent study indicates that the vibrations felt when horseback riding lead to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system which could improve learning in children specifically in memory and problem solving. It have been seen that horseback riding have many physical and mental benefits. When looking at the cognitive researchers saw an improvement in ability to perform behavioral tasks but less of an improvement on arithmetic problems. Further research is required to understand if the benefits could also be gained from interactions with more common pets.