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.

https://environment.einnews.com/article/463141618/z-kSa0pu6WJ2DfSV?lcf=zT1XVVohirR5uFr-mllzNdJPNZiL3N7VvIO7NE4nHtM=

 


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.


Reading

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.

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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

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/how-hauling-icebergs-could-help-sustain-world-s-thirstiest-regions-ncna898036

 

cold foggy freeze freezing

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

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

Reading

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.

News

zslnamesworl

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 2

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.

NEWS!

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

https://www.enn.com/articles/55571-infectious-bacteria-hibernate-to-evade-antibiotics

PROJECT UPDATE:

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.


2nd half of “Nature”- Brianna Graber

September 25, 2018

Book thoughts:

Quotes/topics worth discussing:

  • Pg. 114 “Amenity” —> discuss thoughts on the word and what qualifies as one
  • Pg. 127 Nature being good or not
  • The greening of socialism
  • German Green phenomena
  • Pg. 178 Designer animals
  • Old and new nature
  • Darwinism

Overall, I think the second half of this book was not as vivid as the first part. It was intensely dry but had good viewpoints from Coates. I appreciated the historical references and examples from eras of history. I feel like the second half did not have as many specific textual examples/quotes from and era and it was more comparisons of nature, new nature, old nature, pastoral views, etc.

My favorite chapter was chapter chapter 9 because it talked about real issues in the present world and past world. It gave issues like global warming, animals and souls, talked about ecology and the new and old nature. I think this chapter (possibly, other than the animals future thing) plays a huge role in today and is a huge ongoing topic(s). It is also something we have been talking about from day 1 in class. I also think this chapter had a lot of “pullable” quotes to discuss on the topics I mentioned above.

I also think chapter 6 was also important. The thing that stood out to me the most in this chapter was Clare’s environmentalist views through his poetry. It went from dark to darker back and forth. This shows that the ongoing argument of what nature is is even in poetry. Clare does an interesting job at illustrating this in his deep thought.

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 6.37.13 PM.png

 

Project update:

This week was rather slow project wise. I met with Janelle last week and we discussed writing a TPG and the new process of the project now. I will write a TPG and work on order and putting in the storm drain nets. Then I have to do  research with my grant. I have research questions formulating and in the works right now. I am also working on a mini project proposal for the professors I am meeting with.

The step that I am working on right now is getting in contact and setting up a meeting with 3 different professors to ask for help on my research provided I get the grant. All three have responded and I am setting up times with them. I am also going to Mingo Park tomorrow with Janelle to take pictures and measurements on the drains.

News:

Neon fishies

In the Brazilian Archipelago of St. Paul’s a “dazzling” and colorful fish species was found. It’s name is Tosanoides aphrodites. the males are bright pink and yellow. and the females are spotted orange. It inhibits rocks and reefs in the “twilight zone” approximately 400 feet down. Scientists also found a six gill shark that was ten feet long near the camera they used to see the fish. The fish was found in twilight ecosystems that are actually unique.

 

Ancient mice

In tropical caves near Queensland, two ancient species of mice were found in tropical caves. The fossils were from Webb’s short tailed mice and Irvin’s short tailed mice. Scientists say these fossils can help predict environmental changes over time. Findings showed the caves went through a local extinction period of rainforests close to 280,000 years ago.


Week 6 – Coates’ Nature part 2 + Environmental News Item

September 25, 2018

Thoughts on Nature:

The rest of this book continued to bring up various good points about nature and the ways in which we communicate through nature. While the book overall has not been the most exciting and was oftentimes boring and slow, I still enjoyed Peter Coates’ point of view on the matter. I specifically liked chapters 6 and 9, with 6 discussing our views of nature as a landscape and a work of art and 9 bringing up issues with nature in the future. I think that both of these chapters were informative in the sense that we see what we want to see in nature and can discover the art found in nature in our own individual ways, and that in order to preserve this art we must look toward the future and consider the earth’s well-being.

Chapter 6 most definitely analyzed the historical context of nature and how much we have shaped its definition, as well as how we’ve changed the landscape. It discusses Native Americans being forced to leave their homes behind in order to preserve nature, along with the poetry of John Clare that shaped the way we view today’s radical environmentalism. The ever-present dichotomy between landscape of leisure and landscape of work was a heavily discussed topic of choice considering it is necessary to realize the drawbacks of having such a system. There is a passage from the book that connects to this topic and portrays the difference between work and play:

“But the new parks, besides being larger than their predecessors, were more than just hunting grounds. Grazing, hay-making and timber harvesting were increasingly prominent in functions by the seventeenth century, and deer were often killed for food rather than sport. … Whereas the designation of a Royal Forest in the Middle Ages grafted deer and deer hunting onto existing land uses such as grazing and tree-cutting, park creation – ever since the establishment of the first Norman hunting preserves – involved a mixture of physical displacement and annulment of users’ rights based on common law. … During one raid, they uprooted the boundary fence (pale) and recently planted walnut and apple trees. Not only villages but also productive farmland, roads and other public rights of way were obliterated.” (115)

Chapter 9 was a decent way to conclude the book. I appreciated the thought of treating the earth as a single organism in the hope to convince people that it is a living, functioning being that deserves to be taken care of and respected. It is important to assess the damages that have impacted the planet thus far, and Coates does a good job of addressing these issues.

Overall, I did not despise this book, but I did not particularly care for it either. It was extremely wordy and oftentimes difficult to read. However, I did appreciate Coates’ viewpoints and enjoyed reading a few of the chapters, but other chapters were extremely boring. All in all, not a bad read.

 

Environmental news item:

Cat-Born Parasite May Prompt People to Start Businesses

Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite that infects cats and rats, may subtly prompt people to start businesses. Research has shown that those infected with the parasite are more risk-prone, similar to rats that get infected with the parasite as well (rats will walk right up to the cat showing no fear due to the pathogen infecting their brains). If people with T. gondii are willing to take more risks, then this may extend to decisions about whether to start a company.

Related image


Shayla Scheitler – GEOG 360: Week 6

September 24, 2018

Reading: Nature (part 2)

  • Human attention to aesthetics of nature led to altering nature into appealing fixtures, & development of detailed architecture.
  • “As capitalism besieged the natural world, nature was increasingly defined as these places ‘where nature was not.”
  • “The price of a comparatively small patch of landscape beauty & composure might include more extensive ugliness & environmental dislocation elsewhere.”
  • Romantic ideal of resuming contact with a re-enchanted nature + the emergence of ecological science = the sprouting of interest in the status of nature to us.
  • “The belief that people are free by nature but enslaved by man inspired a range of causes from medieval peasant revolts to the 18th century anti-slavery movement.”
  • “The reasoning that, if nature is good, then human nature must also be good was hotly debated…”
    • Discuss ‘human nature’ versus ‘nature.’ 
  • Similar to Fanaticism of the Apocalypse in the sense that it addresses the radical environmentalists who believed that humans were burdens to nature.
    • “….approached history as a foul deviation from nature’s original plan for liberty, equality, & fraternity.”
    • Primitivism – idealizing nature before commerce & industry.
    • Do you think this attitude can be compared to older generations’ reluctance to technological advances?
  • “To me, high mountains are a feeling, but the hum of human cities torture.”
    • What does this mean?
  • “….for transcendentalists, human spirituality was the element of highest value in the universe, leaving nature as a conduit, a raw material to assist the human spirit in its quest for perfection”
    • Do you think this was evident earlier in human history, or that it was a development of the Industrial Age?
  • Also addresses the debate of human superiority.
    • “Thus at every step we are reminded we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature, but that we, with flesh, blood, & brain belong to nature & exist in nits midst.”
    • How do people argue that we’re superior to other organisms?
      • Imagination
      • Souls
      • Communication
      • Language
      • Cognitive thinking
    • What is your stance of human superiority to nature/other organisms?
  • Environmentalism affected by social class, political positions, & economic values.
  • Social justice environmentalists’ “goal is to redeem the city by re-conceptualizing ‘nature’ & ‘the environment’ as people’s ordinary daily living, working, & playing spaces. The desired outcome is an idea of nature that includes people & their activities & redefines environmental problems so that they become inseparable from issues of socio-economic deprivation & racial discrimination.”
    • Environmental racism.
  • “…they argue that woman’s biological functions & nurturing responsibilities heighten their sensibility to suffering & give them a natural role as planetary protectors & housekeepers.”
    • How does this make you feel? Can you find any truth in this statement or is it just blatantly sexist?
  • “Nature also justified Nazi views on sexual orientation, racial purity, & women’s status.”
    • How did you interpret the section talking about nature & Nazis?
  • “There are no shared, universal threats – different groups privilege those confronting their own particular interests.”
    • Difference in our interest in environmentalism versus 3rd world countries.
  • “….we underestimate nature’s capacity to recover from such catastrophes.”
    • To what extent do you believe this to be true?

Environmental News:

New battery has potential to convert carbon dioxide from energy plants into a solid mineral carbonate, which would ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions, & thus global warming. Te battery is made from lithium metal, carbon, & an electrolyte.

Project Updates:

Possible date/time – Wednesday, October 5th from 7pm-9pm.

All materials collected & sanitized.