Environment and Society, and Canada

March 29, 2018

Environment and Society by Tobbins, Hintz, and Moore was an interesting analysis of various aspects of the world. With chapters on wolves, trees, e-waste, and even uranium, it provides a solid source for just about everything. One point I found interesting were the arguments that population growth is causing problems – or is it? In Europe, the growth of population has (eventually) led to a repopulation of trees. However, the medical industry creates huge amounts of waste just to keep people alive… and the medical industry is a product of our modern society. With this industry, we are living longer which means more people are on the earth at a time, even if birthrates stay the same.

I also found the Cap and Trade section interesting. Without reading about its effect, I had a negative opinion of this system. I felt that it would turn into some huge bank scandal where a group hoards credits and loans them and it would become something like the Big Short movie. However, it seems they are relatively benign (for now, as far as we know) and actually produce more positive effects than a simple forced lowered emissions.

In the tree chapter, I learned that coffee can be grown in the shade of other trees, in its traditional production style, which allows for a natural forest to live around it. Essentially, it is a forest with mainly coffee, along with many other organisms typically found in a forest. This type of harvest does not produce as much yield as conventional farming, however it is extremely better for the environment. And so people must choose between higher priced coffee or cheap coffee that comes at a price…


In the news, Canada is trying to make ends meet for the Paris Climate Agreement (which uses a cap and trade system), but the plans it is setting are not going to get it on track for the goal. Additionally, Canada seems to think it is going to trade some of its excess with the US, even though Trump has been adamant about dropping out of the Climate agreement, meaning Canada could be in big trouble.



Environment and Society – Caroline Hamlin

March 28, 2018

Environment and Society is an overview of the diverse conceptual tools and traditions for thinking about, explaining and addressing the environmental challenges we face in the contemporary world. It provides an introduction to the environmental challenges and how we can mitigate through foundational theoretical ideas with everyday examples. The book also utilizes compelling, conversational language to expand on theories, history and scientific topics. Using this method, the author was able to make the text accessible to a diverse audience.

Bioremediation and Environment and Society

March 28, 2018

Environmental News: Bioremediation of Petroleum Contaminated Soils by Bacteria, Fungi, and Plants


Environment and Society: A Critical Introduction, is a great introductory resource for analyzing the ways that environment and society exist in relationship to one another. Part one includes methods for thinking about and defining various parts of the environment-society relationship, covering topics such as ethics, population, risks and hazards, and the market. I enjoyed the exercises at the end of the chapter that encourage application of concepts introduced in each chapter. I engaged with the ‘What is your ecological footprint’ exercise, and found that if everyone lived like I did, we would need 3.2 Earth’s… I’d like to improve that. I would also enjoy spending additional time going through this text in greater detail for a better understanding of the topics introduced.

Blog post on Environment and Society

March 28, 2018

I found environmental and society to be an interesting read. It was a bit all over the place as I felt the authors were trying to cover too many things. It is definitely a dense book with a lot of content. The book is not exactly great or exciting but it raises questions and answers them adequately. In the book, the authors discuss how economic markets can have a certain impact on the population and I think that is an excellent way to come up with explanations although the answers we get might not always be correct.

The book covers a lot and could attract a different kind of readers but at the same time, everyone may not agree with the theories and answer this book is trying to answer about environmental ethics. Personally, I liked the examples that were used to connect questions about ecology, environmental challenges, climate change and how the authors explained the scientific, political and economic reasoning behind these problems. To conclude, it wasn’t one of the best books I read but it definitely helped in giving me more perspective on environmental problems.

Environment & Society

March 28, 2018

There seems to be no conceptual aspect of the environment-society (human-nature) relationship left out in this text. Disciplines spanning from environmental ethics to political economy are presented in what I found to be a very clear manner.

Being a science major I am quite used to examining dense textbooks and drawing the information I need from them. Since this book was written in a very similar manner I was able to more easily grasp the information and think deeply about it.

My favorite parts of the book were chapters containing information on economics and environmental ethics. I am not very familiar with economics and its relation to nature, and greatly appreciated them shedding light on this. By doing this they helped give me a better idea of how economics effects our environment, issues within frequently used economic systems, areas of improvement, and polices/practices being implemented to conserve and in some cases preserve landscapes and resources. Needless to say, this chapter gave me some information that lead me to begin to question capitalism. Is it really the most effective system? Can we conserve resources when our market constantly depends on the production of new goods and services? As of now I don’t know.

This was my first time hearing terms such as social ecology and deep ecology (from environmental ethics). I have not delved very deeply into why the majority of us treat nature in the way we do, and when I read that social hierarchies and exploitation of humans influences our treatment of nature that made so much sense! DOI!

I loved this book and it gave me a good deal of topics to think further about and more productive ways of thinking critically about them!


Environmental Interest!:

I am very excited to start looking further into environmental ethics and found this book written by John Muir (“The Eight Wilderness Discovery Books”) and was thinking of beginning there!

Week 11 Post- Matt Yung

March 28, 2018

I found Environment and Society to have an academic view of the world and it sparked a few philosophical questions for me. It made me question how we view welfare systems, our daily consumption and ways, if necessary, of limiting the population. Robbins also discussed a market system based on environmental impacts to try reducing our pollution. I believe our economy today, in accordance with the EPA, has emission regulations for some industries. Current legislation limits the amount of pollution either an individual machine can release or for an area such as a factory. After Congress initially passed this legislation, there was an issue that made its way to the Supreme Court over whether the EPA can decide if it applies to individual pieces of equipment or to factories as a whole. Since the EPA is an administrative agency, they have the discretion on determining which it applies to. I believe they have historically measured it by factory but I reviewed an article earlier this semester about how the EPA might change this policy. I don’t think it is effect today and I am worried that it will not be effective for the foreseeable future since the EPA is part of the executive branch, thus the president chooses some of its members.  


Seaweeds Shelter Calcifying Marine Line from Acidifying Oceans

Seaweeds have chemical microenvironments on their surface for organisms which are at risk from a decreasing pH in oceans. The research was published in a journal called Functional Ecology discussing CO2 levels and the impact on oceanic ecosystems.


Week 11 Blog Post – Beau Forester

March 28, 2018

Environment & Society reads more like a textbook than an actual book. I didn’t necessarily enjoy reading this at all. There was an argument made that wars, famine and disease are all natural ways of limiting population size. I think while this is true, it just doesn’t seem very effective (at least in terms of just looking at America). Overall I really just did not find this very interesting at all, and although I could see how this book seemed useful, it just isn’t captivating enough.


Environmental news:


Week 9 Blog Post – 03/28/18

March 28, 2018

Environment & Society:

The book starts with a discussion of population, and especially overpopulation. When an area is overpopulated a few things can happen to bring it back down to a healthy population. Those are war, famine, and disease. Disregarding war, famine and disease happen to other populations to limit their expansion. This is normally done to keep the remaining population healthy. In a way, government programs, like welfare, are a way of fighting the natural ways of limiting population. Also, to extend the number of people that could live together in an area, we should practice more restraint, and actually use what we need.

Environmental News:

Greenhouse gas emissions actually rose last year by 1.4% across the world. This is comparable to adding 170 million cars to the road annually. These emissions are rising the most in Asia. China alone was responsible for 25% of these emissions. If a difference is going to be made, it needs to start with Asian industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Just one continent cannot not be responsible for two-thirds of the emissions globally, and take this problem lightly.

Article Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/22/climate/global-energy-demand.html


David Rich

Week 7 Blog Post – 03/07/18

March 8, 2018

Eating Animals:

Several people have tried to convince me to become vegetarian before, but Eating Animals made me consider it more than anything else. The impact of the meat industry on climate change alone is scary enough to consider declining my desire for bacon. Jonathon Foer also discusses the possibility of eating dogs, because of the amount of dog meat thrown out every year. This idea is disgusting to me, but Foer makes a good point. If we can justify eating pigs, which are just as intelligent as dogs, how can we justify not eating dogs. This is something I have never contemplated before, and truly opened my eyes. He goes on to ask how we would defend ourselves if a species saw us as we saw fish. This is also terrifying, because I don’t have a good reason why they shouldn’t.

Environmental News:

Spring is showing up earlier the further North of the equator you. It is estimated that for each 10 degrees North, Spring will arrive four days earlier. This is three times faster than other studies have indicated. This is a long term increase in heat. People have been tracking this for the last 86 years. It is unclear how this change in Spring’s date will affect the species in these areas.

Article Link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180302090950.htm

Eating Animals – Caroline Hamlin

March 7, 2018

Jonathan Safran Foer began his story by describing his grandmother’s favorite dish, chicken with carrots, even though as a vegetarian he presumably cannot eat it anymoresomething that seems to cause him some distress. Throughout the book, he presents the conflict between cultural traditions involving meattraditions he wishes to shareand his ever-developing views as a vegetarian. One of the greatest difficulties with being a vegetarian, he suggests, is the disruption of table fellowship with those who eat meat.