the sixth week

September 26, 2018

Nature – the second half 

The Patheon and Pagan water Deities around gardens during the Renaissance

Thetis - Wikipedia

(Thetis, Salt-water Nereid and Achilles’ Mother)

Virgillian Pastoralism – he romanticizes and simplifies the lives of shepherd, also uses it to contrast urban and rural, and as a political framework.

Hobbesian vs Anti-Hobbesian, nature needs culture vs nature is harmed by culture

“Nature as a blueprint” – “French and American physiocratic ideology of agrarian virtue” – “never mentioned by environmentalist critics of the Enlightenment”

Environmentalists who are critics of the enlightenment or critics of the        environmentalists?

picturesque vs. sublime of the Romantic Period

american landscape painters from 19th century - Google ...

Wild, Wild West | The Modern Gladiator



Project Update!

I am meeting with Janelle and Jay Leard of Innovative Organics Composting on Friday, Sept. 28th at 12:45 pm! I will be presenting a map of the Delaware Farmers’ Market. I’m very excited!

More Good News! 

The EPA is proud of North Carolina’s air quality! They think that they can stop requiring vehicles to be emissions tested by the end of the year. They are only concerned with Vehicles from the late 1990s and early 2000s, but pre-95 and more recent vehicles usually pass their emissions tests with flying colors.

My only concern with the no longer requiring emissions tests are that emissions can change with a car’s age, no matter what year it’s from. Also, it’s a deregulation coming from the EPA itself, which is especially scary under the current administration. It should also be kept in mind that North Carolina is going through a lot after the hurricane, so it’s unclear as to how much of this is falling through the cracks because there are more pressing matters right now, and how much of it is really just okay.

The good news is that the article didn’t put out a sense of ‘we’re not monitoring this because we don’t care,’ but a genuinely ‘this is so clean we can rest assured that it will be fine.’

Clean Air Act Permitting in North Carolina | Permitting ...

Read the original article here.


Environmental news

September 26, 2018
  1. Study: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative boosts economy as well as environment

The news that I read this week has to do with efforts to clean up the Great Lakes in the US. (Not to be confused with the Great Lakes in Africa) This initiative has helped with cleanup of the lakes, but also rivers leading into it. One of the coolest accomplishments, in my opinion was the removal of 6 million pounds of invasive Asian carp from the Illinois River.


September 26, 2018

Nature pt.2

Well, I found that this reading seemed about as dense as the first section of readings from this book. That proves consistency with the author, which is good.

I thought the back and forth between nature and art as a whole to be an interesting topic, particularly when talking about gardens. Gardens are so interesting as our personal means of having a little bit of nature in our lives. The human desire to conquer and control nature is astounding, as is evidenced by people having pets and gardens. While this may be a harmonious relationship at times, there will be things that people cannot control. They may have plants that die, or a pet who makes a mess, but in the end, that is because it’s not always natural. Does nature have to be untouched by humans to be considered ‘nature’? Or not?

Week 6

September 26, 2018

Nature – pt. 2

Ch. 6

This chapter basically just went over the phenomena of the landscaping, and the it’s effects on perceiving nature. This is mainly dealing with the wealthy, those who can afford to shove their idea of what nature is, or should be, in their backyard. I’ll be honest, I did not think that the art and aestheticism played such a role in gardens. From people like Newton and Bacon, who have a very manicured, pristine sense of what a garden should be. A good quote I got from this chapter, regarding Thomas Jefferson’s view of nature, “wild and unmodified environments did not constitute nature. Wilderness was the raw material out of which nature is fashioned-,” which if you ask me just sounds dumb.

Ch. 7

This chapter focuses on intellectual views on nature over time, specifically focusing on examples from Hobbes, Rousseau, and Darwin. With Hobbes, we are told that in the state of nature there is nothing but evil, debauchery, and a lack of nobility. Meanwhile, Rousseau reads this in conjunction with the number of “discoveries” by Europe of indigenous cultures, and thus the idea of the idea of the ‘noble savage’ is born. These ideas, specifically on the state of nature and the conflicting viewpoints that nature supports spirituality and a deep connection with the earth (Rousseau), and that being in nature supports savagery, and is a complete antithesis to progress and the intellectualism of humanity (Hobbes).

Ch. 8

This chapter focuses on the political alignments alongside nature, and environmentalism. While many may think that being Eco-conscious is a very leftist point of view. But oh no! Coates lets us know that the right has some green in it. Citing examples of war-time Britain, and the arch-conservative female lobbyist groups that protected birds, because feathers were very ‘in’ at the time. They however employed sexist methods, “on both sides of the Atlantic worked to arouse a sense of shame among their fellow women by playing on their maternal instincts,” to draw support from other women. Additionally the mentioning of the green movement within the Nazi party was very interesting, just reiterating that even bigots/dumb asses/racists can find a way to justify care for the planet, due to their “racial superiority.”

Ch. 9

Coates ends the book on a note of recent developments in nature thought.He covers a few topics, from bio engineering, to the research and knowledge gained from animals in the past 200 years, postmodernist thoughts of nature. I found his comments on postmodernist thought interesting, specifically for it’s points against environmentalists, and the reactions the us as a society have to natural tragedies. I can think of the Gulf oil spill more recently, but he details just the reaction our country had to the Exxon spill in Alaska in the 80’s. Boycotting Exxon, the poor animals affected being broadcast, and the books critiquing the incident while painting a picture of doom and gloom for the future, much like Bruckner’s arguments in Fanaticism of the Apocalypse.

Current Event

More headaches as Florence’s waters overtake toxic pits and hog lagoons

concern about environmental damage mounted after days of pounding rain left two dozen hog farms seeping waste, 3.4 million dead chickens and turkeys, widespread mandates to boil drinking water, and workers trying to prevent coal ash waste from leaking out of a landfill.


farm. NC. 2018

With Hurricane Florence having excessive rainfall, many manure lagoons, coal ash pits, and wastewater has flooded many towns, leaving a black lagoon-esque view of the North Carolina coast. Essentially, these toxic fluids have infiltrated the drinking water, so government officials are advising that all water must be boiled after it is consumed. Farms have been affected, with over 3 million in loss of chickens and turkeys. Ash coal pits, and manure lagoons have been flooded, containing toxins and many minerals. The company responsible for them, had some pits that were unlined and open-air. The effects of natural disaster are awful, but for real just keeping pits of this literal shit is stupid.

Nature-Week 2 Reading

September 26, 2018

The last chapters of nature were rather dense to get through, and although I enjoyed the history lessons from the book I found the final chapters dry and difficult to swallow. The book lost its fantasy and become a textbook as I read what others thought. Granted there were still many nuggets of text I did find enjoyment with I did not enjoy the last part of the book.

Some of the nuggets include,

p 110 the statement that nature is frameless and offers more scope for individual imagination because it has not been deliberately created.

I really enjoyed this statement because it put into words why many enjoy nature, it is frameless not created for a purpose to use humans, it is simply created to be.

p 126 Nature, nonetheless, has meant far more over the last two-and-a-half centuries

This statement is true and rung a bell that made me cheer, many people have tried to connect to nature to romanticize it in poems and ballads, even in stories, but nature is frameless and the romanticism of it hinders the true appreciation of it. If it does not meet the standards of the poems we read we often say, this is not true nature it has no value to me. We do this because we have a different expectation, instead of nature as the Frameless entity it is, we expect it to be this unending symbol of beauty, and the world breaks when they realize nature is many things but not just beautiful, it can be deadly, ugly, harsh, and stomach churning.

p 149 Ecology, she declares, cannot put man first, as Marx clearly did.

Further reading into this part we see the idea that is still in place today, nature has no value unless we deem it valuable. History has shaped nature’s identity so much, when asked what nature is we can often trace t back in history to where it was first stated.


The wild iceberg scheme could help sustain the world’s thirstiest populations


cold foggy freeze freezing

Photo by Pixabay on


A Middle East engineering company is talking about hauling icebergs to areas experiencing droughts as a way to alleviate the severe shortage of water in the area.

Although this plan sounds great to me, do we really have enough ice in the world to do this or will it encourage the people to continue to be wasteful with the water since there is still ice left on earth. Also it will be bankrolled by private investors at the cost of 60 million USD.

Nature Part 2

September 26, 2018


I thought that this book as a whole was interesting even if it was dense and at times hard to read. It was interesting getting at least a surface level understanding of the history of nature as it is seen through a human lens. It is very interesting to me how peoples mindsets about nature have shifted so drastically, and almost frequently, over the ages. And as expected, as peoples attitudes towards nature changes so does how they view and subsequently treat it. If it is seen as an eye-sore then people will change it, but if it is seen as God’s creation then it will be protected.



Scientists found Big Bird and he weighed up to 800kg(1763.7 lbs) and was 3 meters(9.8 feet) tall making him the Worlds largest bird. The Vorombe titan(aka ‘Big Bird’) is part of the family Aepyornithidae which is a family of prehistoric flightless birds that once lived in Madagascar.

Nature Part 2

September 26, 2018


Part two of this book focuses briefly on a wide variety of ideas and philosophies that have been argued since the beginning of our history. The view a society takes on nature can drastically warp the way that society develops. On page 104, it is said that the European colonists/colonialists shared a more negative view of nature, and so it was easier for them to disrupt the existing ecology to make room for their own settlements. Now after all the destruction, Americans have grown to think of the land they inhabit as God’s country or “nature’s nation.” I can see how this is ironic, however; I don’t believe that it is wrong for Americans to want to love the land their ancestors destroyed. This change in mindset signals a positive progression towards treating our home and the other inhabitants of it with respect.

It is also worth noting that this second half talks much more about Eastern philosophies after a long first half of discussing western philosophies, although there is still plenty of that in the second half as well.

I thought that “the greening of socialism” on page 152. It was extremely thought provoking and even antagonizing.  The writings of the green anarchists really bash American culture and capitalism, arguing that capitalism is inherently environmentally unfriendly. Perhaps this is true to some extent, but to believe that capitalism is inherently evil, one would need to believe that mankind is inherently evil as well, which they could also believe.

There is a long dialogue about working-class engagement with nature  on 162 that exaggerates this idea of scientific socialism, and how science can prove that the working class should be in charge. Essentially that communism favors nature and the proletariat. This claim is reinforced by Derek Wall’s collection of green source materials that attack right-wing or even moderate beliefs. He argues that environmentalists on the right cannot be green. These are some really bold claims and I disagree with most of them. It doesn’t help that the book feels like a textbook. In the end it is pretty interesting and opened my eyes to some new perspectives.


University of Copenhagen researchers have discovered a surprising tactic of pathogenic bacteria when being attacked by antibiotics: hibernation.


Unfortunately I have decided to pull the plug on the deer haven seed project and move forward with a watershed community outreach project with the help of Janelle and the city. I plan to meet with her Friday afternoon.