Placing Animals

November 28, 2018

Apologies for being out at ER during discussion***


The reading began dry and not really engaging, it was a hard textbook style opening, but that aside the book was interesting.

I enjoyed that animals were put in a more important role than simply a food source or lesser being than humans. In the begining it states animals are another nation, our boundaries are not consistent, animals are central to people’s existence, and our location and culture defines what animals are to us. Our geography plays a central role in what animals mean to us, whether we use them as food, companions, or items of worship.

Animal human interactions have come to the forefront as political and social groups bring animal’s treatment to the table. To simply say whay is right in our culture is right for all cultures would be ridiculous, just because one culture has a more social relationship does not mean all have it.

Our use of animals  for livestock is not only from economic stand points but also from the geography of the land. If you live in the desert you will likely keep goats and other short hair animals, you will not have sheep or animals not suited to the climate.

I could go on forever about this book but it brings to the table many notions that people find hard to swallow, it provides arguments and facts about why we feel the way we do regarding animals we have a deep attachment to as a companion. It emphasizes the line is not clear cut and geographically is different due to many factors, therefore animals cannot be divided into livestock and pet, there is not solid line.


Female Penguins at risk due oceanic conditions


first the turtles, now the penguins when will the maddness stop.

Magellic Penguins travel during the winter to feed, this means scientists know very little about this time in a penguins life.  Río de la Plata plume carries a great deal of nutrients into the coastal waters, making them very productive feeding grounds for the penguins, this plume when weak is easier for females to feed and provides them with better nutrients. The question is what happens when the winter is not fruitful, does it affect the females breeding ability and the reproductivity of the penguins?






Week 13

November 19, 2018

Reading: What we try to think about when we try not to Think about Global Warming- Stoknes

Thinking- Denial yo

Doing- How people are taking action

Being-Change the way you think

I thought this was an interesting book, as it went through the psychological processes that people go through, not only in the ways they process climate change, but in other topics throughout their daily lives. Environmental racism is an issue that leaves people of color in areas that are more susceptible to poor environmental changes, but that is through design and gentrification. Why else do people ignore global warming? Passive and active ignorance. It seems like doomsday is upon us and it may be futile to take any action now, so you might as well live your life the way you want to. Or you may not be aware of the changes that are taking place. How do we make people aware and more active? It’s a slow change in culture. The easiest way to start is by economics. If people can take steps to save money in one way or another, they will be incentivized to make minor life style changes. The root of climate change may be denial, but large scale changes won’t happen without motivating people on a large scale.

Current Event: New Zealand Asks Travelers to Help Protect the Environment

The government of New Zealand is asking travelers to go a step further and to take care of the environment on their visit. If visitors take the “Tiaki Promise” they promise to be good stewards of the environment during their stay. It isn’t just ‘dos and don’ts’ but rather guidelines that ask visitors to consider the relationship they have with the environment. There is ample information on this new initiative, not only on New Zealand’s tourism website, but here too.

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Awaroa, Tasman: Situated deep in the Abel Tasman National Park, this secluded area at the top of the South Island was bought by thousands of Kiwis as part of a crowd-funding campaign so that it would stay open to the public. (CNN)

Project Update: Janelle emailed the head of Buildings and Grounds a couple of times about meeting him to see if we can get approval for the installation of this rain garden. I fully intend to write a small grant or two to have it built before graduation, but it has to be approved first. Back-up plan is to build one near Philips, but in the mean time keep buggin’ B&G.

Week 13

November 14, 2018

What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming: 

I wanted to start out by saying that I really enjoyed this book. Stoknes does a good job of powerfully conveying his points without the use of endless statistics and graphs. Rather, he offers his unique commentary that is provoking, yet light. The book’s strong focus on psychology was also cool for me to read about as a psychology minor. As a business major, I really enjoyed the introduction of the book where he describes his experience in the board room. Many people were uncertain that global warming was happening, and others chose to be blissfully ignorant to the long-term consequences of climate change. In the United States, it is common for many businesses to become stuck in a short-term mindset. This is generally discouraged, especially in China and Japan, where having a long-term mindset is required to succeed at the cultural level.

The 5Ds were very interesting. Distance, Doom, Dissonance, Denial, iDentity are the barriers many individuals construct to deflect the consequences of climate change or to prevent themselves from becoming worried. The best way to make people aware of these issues is currently through social media. Telling emotional, compelling, real stories related to how climate change is affecting our Earth. The next step is to support the message with positive emotions, and then find ways to make climate-friendly behaviors simple. After trying these communication strategies, effective campaigners study the feedback from the public to improve future strategies.

I have lived in the middle of Wayne National Forest my whole life, but even there I cannot directly observe the consequences of climate change. Personally, my distance from climate change was the hardest barrier to overcome, especially with my surrounding wilderness acting as a blinder. Stoknes is correct in saying that we are, at all times, fully immersed in nature. There is no escape. The only thing I think he did wrong was single out western cultures. While western cultures are the most individualistic, they are not solely responsible for the acceleration of climate change, nor are the the only ones with climate-unfriendly behaviors. It is important to highlight the fact that the world has become a lot smaller with the help of technology, and undoing the damages of climate change will be a global effort if it is even possible.

Overall, the two main themes of this book seem to be acceptance and awareness. Many people actively deny climate change for economic or political gain, others run from the issue to avoid depression. At the same time, thousands of people around the world lack the proper education to understand the scope of the issue, and usually due to both physical and mental distance, climate change is avoided.

Environmental News:

Bionic Mushrooms

Researchers have taken an ordinary white button mushroom from a grocery store and made it bionic, supercharging it with 3D-printed clusters of cyanobacteria that generate electricity and swirls of graphene nanoribbons that can collect the current.


What We Think About when We Try Not to Think About Global Warming

November 14, 2018


Part 1-Thinking:

  • Figure 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 are very interesting to think about. This is a great discussion point.
  • Denial and Stoknes description of the topic in variations like passive denial. “Passive denial is more on the indifferent, unresponsive side” (pg 17). I think this point describes a lot of society. People around the world know the issues going on, however they choose do deny them or keep moving on with their day basically.
  • Psychology:
  •  Self interest- Drive to spread ones genes through sex and offspring not just “me, me, me”
  • Imitation- This concept is entirely true. For example the phenomenon of using water bottles or not using straws. Or, recycling becoming a bigger ordeal than just a few people recycling. The concept of something becoming “cool,” per say. I feel as if this happens a lot in younger generations like college campuses.
  • Risk- I like this quote…” When it comes to evolutionary risk perception, the evidence is clear that people tend to disregard problems they cannot see or feel” (Pg. 33). I also like the paragraph on pg 33 that talks about the brain and its engineering.
  • Genes and Destiny- “Genes are all about what worked well in the past, but their current expression is now shaped by language, technology, and culture” (Pg. 34).
  • Figure 5.1 on page 59
  • Pg 76- Hiding from ourselves, lessons from psychotherapy…This was an interesting bit to read when it talks about denial and resistance.

Part 2-Doing:

  • The power on social networks:  Quote from pg 96…” Peer behaviors is one of the strongest predictors of green behavior and attitudes and issues like littering, energy, and water use” (pg  96). I think this is a strong quote that definitely relates to social networking not in a sense of “togetherness” but more or less kind of “copying.” This relates back to the part on imitation from part 1.
  • Make it simple to Choose Right (pg 124) This passage was important to me because I feel as humans it is easier for people to take action on something like changing global warming and talking about climate change when ease is associated.

Part 3-Being:

  • Chapter 18- “Hope.” This is a strong word. The author says ” We must have hope!” (pg 217).
  • Pg 195, 196 – World views. All the bolded words like immersion. Discussion point.


As of right now, I am still waiting to hear back from submitting my TPG. As it takes 4-6 weeks to hear anything and/or to make it through round 1, it has only been 2 weeks so far. Other than waiting there is no further update on my project as I have to have the grant to do anything else.

Environmental News:

Plastic Microfibers in fur seals feces

In South America, plastic microfibers have been found in sea animals feces like the fur seal. This discovery was made from a research team at the University of Georgia. This team suggests examining feces from pinnipeds to look at environmental microfiber levels. If you look at the samples, they are invisible to the naked eye, however the microfibers are still present. The samples looked at showed 67% of animals examined contained these microfibers.

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New Hope for White Rhino’s

Scientists suggest there is new hope for the extremely extinct white rhino population. The hope comes from the lesser known, less extinct southern cousin of the rhino. Its genes could be used because millions of years ago, even though the two species diverged, they used to share genes in times of cold and arid temperatures. This shows genetic proof of contact between these two similar species and may be able to save them!

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November 14, 2018

What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming

This book really got away from me and I didn’t get a chance to touch it. I literally glanced at the pages and from what I picked up, it’s very cool and I promise to catch up over break.




Environmental News: The EPA is Almost Back to Normal!

In 2016, the EPA was infiltrated by climate change deniers and other people not concerned with the environment. That being said, most of the action taken by the EPA as of late has been rolling back previous regulations.

It was very surprising for them, but also very good news, that there has been new policy implemented! The new policy is aimed at reducing NOx emissions from big trucks like semis/18-wheelers (depending on where you’re from). This was actually pitched under the Obama administration, but is just now being honored.

The bad/could be bad news is that it is just now happening under the Trump administration, so there are still some examples of very important deregulation involved, such as on board diagnostics or annual engine checking. The good news is that this is the first time since 2001 that the EPA has reevaluated their standards for NOx gases, so I’ll take it.

Beware The Unmarked 18-Wheeler OST

read the article here”

Project Update:

I’m going to collect the data I need this weekend and Monday. Wish me luck 🙂 ❤



Shayla Scheitler: GEOG 360 – Week 13

November 14, 2018

Reading: What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming

I really enjoyed this book! It’s very unique from our other readings and I think there are some skills learned in the book that can be applied to outside of the classroom, or even in future classes. I did feel that it was dragged out. Some points were touched on several times. Some notes:

  • I related to the times the author referred to eco-anxiety and depression because I’ve definitely experienced that as an Environmental Studies major. It’s a huge weight that’s carried with me and sometimes it’s really hard to motivate myself to try to help the seemingly hopeless.
  • “Our thinking is too short-term and our behavior too self-interested to turn around rapidly enough to avert runaway climate change in the coming century.” I definitely have seen evidence of this attitude and have always thought it’s better than not caring at all.
  • I really liked the quote talking about how countries are so invested in maximizing their wealth that they’re not concerned with tackling climate change because they find there is little to be gained from participating in green movements.
  • Bringing up the fact that there’s so many groups in the population that care about climate change but do not have a voice was very moving. A lot of families can’t afford to participate in eco-friendly things.
  • “But when it comes to the facts of increasing climate disruption due to our human impact on the earth, there is an ethical obligation to respond.”
  • “When the weather us unusually hot, people get concerned about global warming. In cold spells, concern wanes.” I’ve definitely been around people who feel this way. People really do think if it’s not hot 24/7, global warming isn’t real.
  • “Jewish investor Yosef Abramowitz sees the failure to transition to a more sustainable economy as an act against faith in shared human responsibility.” Yeah, that’s basically like if you don’t wash stray dishes in the sink just because they’re not yours, and the dishes pile-up.
  • “The more we let death- and even the threats of extinction- into our soul, the more we can appreciate the current vitality of life in its many forms.” Yep, seeing the Great Barrier Reef die off but admiring the little life that is left is a great example of this.


Environmental News

22 arrests in climate change protest in the UK

Protesters blockading the offices of the UK's energy department

The demonstrators blocked entry to the energy department offices in London by lying chained together on the pavement, while some glued themselves to the doors of the department building.

“Change comes when people are willing to commit acts of peaceful civil disobedience. Fifty people in jail for a short time is likely to bring the ecological crisis into the public consciousness.”

The protesters want cabinet members to ‘tell the truth’ about the seriousness of the environmental crisis and to set up a People’s Assembly of ordinary citizens to decide priorities for reshaping the economy so that protecting the climate becomes Number One priority.

For this particular protest, they were aiming to cancel projects that will increase emissions in the UK, like fracking.

I love the ‘extinction rebellion’ shirt.

Weak 13 – Genaro

November 14, 2018

What we think abt. When we try no think abt. Global Warming

‘What we Think About’ was interesting, the thoughts conveyed about society in relation to global warming were refreshing. This was due to the lens of commentary Stoknes uses in the book; the rationale, and responses global warming deniers use, and the failed attempts of activists to change their minds. Stoknes uses two definitions of denial, specifically “active” & “passive.” With active denial, you basically have people who are aware of the facts, but actively try to suppress or dismiss them as false–i.e. Trump–through a response to a certain area of there life would be negatively affected by admitting to truths, and how they would have to abide by things that don’t line up with their beliefs. Those who cannot envision a future affected by anthropogenic climate change, due to a lack of awareness beyond one’s own personal sphere, most specifically the geographic northern nations.

The second denial is passive. This is when someone is aware of the facts, but views the issue as out of their hands. Unchangeable. Indifference. Stoknes uses this definition to implicate those people who are not educated on the intricacies of the global climate change, or those who are not activists. Those people who don’t know what to say, so they echo that of general consensus. Stoknes references white South Africans during apartheid, as an example of passive denial, which works, but systematically oppressing non-whites, and global warming are very different issues entirely.

Towards the end of the book, Stoknes discusses “eco-anxiety”, and the effect it has on indigenous groups and minority groups, as opposed to the greater white population. Combined with the environmental racism the rose to prominence in the early 1900’s. While people were able to live in urban environments, they may be geographically separated from resources of need, through barriers of interstate highways, placement of industrial facilities right on peoples’ doorsteps. The effect of global warming and environmental detriment is much more apparent to people who are already affected by issues of disappearing water sources.



Climate simulations project wetter, windier hurricanes

At the Berkley Lab, researchers have been running simulations, based on hurricanes that have happened, to project the precipitation and wind speed of future hurricanes. Researchers based models off of 15 previous hurricanes, and ran them through simulations, based on factors of air and ocean temp., humidity, and greenhouse gas concentration. They ran simulations on these hurricanes; if they took place pre-industrialization, the current climate, and a third that tests for the maximum difference, a climate 3-4 degrees warmer. What they found was that through their simulations, rainfall and wind speed would increase in the future if climate change continues on it’s path. However they do not know if the behavior/movement of hurricanes will change, or how much on an increase we will see in rainfall (great flood 2.0?).


average percentage increase in rainfall in scenarios 4.5 & 8.5 (Credit: Berkeley Lab)



Week 13

November 14, 2018

What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming

This is probably my favorite book of the semester. Not only does it present facts in an easy to understand way but Stoknes uses psychology to help us understand why these facts do not convince, or even push away, people. The problem does not have to do with the facts but with how they are delivered. People are not responsive when told that they are to blame for climate change, instead it fosters a feeling of resentment and ultimately denial to make them feel better about things they feel they have little to no control over. Instead of attacking people on the ‘opposite side’ we need to make actions towards climate change mitigation sound more appealing, fun even. Stoknes takes an optimistic view towards todays climate dilemma and how we still have a hope to reverse the effects before it’s too late while most of our other books have either been strictly fact or doom and gloom.

Environmental News

‘Rare’ Jellyfish Not So Rare


Rhizostoma luteum was first discovered in the Strait of Gibraltar in 1827 and then never again, until 2013 when scientists identified it in the Mediterranean. Using phylogenetic analysis scientists have confirmed sightings of Rhizostoma luteum since 1827 under different species. It turns out that they look similar enough to at least 3 different species in the area that during the 60 years of ‘no sightings’ they were just being misidentified.

Week 13 – Stoknes’ WWTAWWTNTAGW + Environmental News Item

November 13, 2018

Thoughts on What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming:

“We know that climate science facts are getting more solidly documented and disturbing year by year. We also know that most people either don’t believe in or do not act upon those facts. It forces the simple question: Why?

I think that people are so despondent to climate change for the same reasons we have discussed other times in this class: it doesn’t seem to be directly affecting anyone as of now, so what is the point of caring? We don’t go about our daily lives feeling impending doom of climate change. We hear the facts, we’re told that we should be worried, but it doesn’t have a direct impact on my life as of now, so who cares? I think this viewpoint is the common thought process of most people, and frankly, it’s a little disquieting. I’ve heard time and time again that the effects of climate change won’t be that detrimental until a hundred years from now, at which point the current generation will be dead so it won’t matter. But what about your kids’ lives? Grandchildren? Do they not matter? It’s disturbing, to say the least, that most people only care about themselves and not the future generations of humans to come.

This book generously answers this question in multiple ways. For starters, it’s difficult to convey information to people without sounding over-dramatic. Is it better to distill fear in the public and tell them that climate change is serious, or is it better to talk about climate change like it’s a casual topic? We have talked many times in this class about how climate change seems to pose as a problem for someone else to fix. If we treated climate change as a hazard, then perhaps more people would be willing to go to preventative measures to decrease the effects of climate change.

Overall I really liked this book. Stoknes brings up many valid points about climate change and how people handle this topic. I also think it’s interesting that he’s both a psychologist and an economist so we hear his perspective from two different fields as opposed to just one or the other. There is generally a bias that can result from being exclusively one profession over another so it seems interesting and beneficial to the reader that he’s both. I also think that his book provides simple, positive strategies for climate-friendly behavior, which is really beneficial to anyone from any background reading this book.


Environmental news item:

Should parents be allowed to use gene editing to determine the sexual orientation of their children?

New research from a genome-wide association study is providing insight into the biological substrate of sexual orientation. This could lead to the control of deciding sexual preferences of future children. While this may seem futuristic, many countries are already edging towards embracing gene editing as a tool for altering the human blueprint. Japan, for instance, is set to provide a legal basis for gene editing in embryos as early as 2019. With no law prohibiting selection against or for specific sexual preferences yet in place, it remains possible that prospective parents may one day be able to choose or alter a future child’s sexual preferences. Pretty messed up, huh?

Week 12

November 11, 2018

Placing Animals:An introduction to the geography of human-animal relations by Julie Urbanik

It is interesting to put our human-animal relationships into words. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ scenario. Animals that are pets are given certain protections that wild animals are not, which are given different treatment from zoo animals, which are given different treatment from farm animals, which are treated differently from species to species and purpose to purpose. So what do humans want and how do we classify animals? In short, it’s complicated.

There are laws that vary from country to country and from state to state. There are also cultural norms to consider. Eating beef is common place in America, but to do so in India would be blasphemous. Guinea pigs are beloved pets in the US, but delicacies in certain places in South America. So essentially, on our relationships with animals is a big fat it depends on cultural norms and environmental concerns, too.

If an animal is considered endangered or threatened, there may be laws put in place to protect it from being hunted. That being said, the enforcement of those laws may vary on a lot of things. If the animal in question is hurting farm animals or crops, it may be loosely enforced, the same goes for if the endangered animal is believed to have medicinal or healing qualities when certain body parts are harvested, such as horns or fur.

Overall, I really liked this book. I thought it was interesting and I’m glad that it brought up the fact that geography has a huge influence on how we view and treat different animals. I also thought the closing to the book was very poignant: “Animal geography has given you the tools to “see”animals; their invisibility for you now can only happen by your choice. It is up to you to determine what kind of human-animal earth you want to experience in your time here.” (pg187)

Environmental News

Black Fungi protect Wood from Rot

It seems counter-intuitive, but there is a kind of black fungus that doesn’t make wood rot. Normally, fungus behaves in such a way as to digest dead wood, or be parasitic towards trees. But a certain species of fungus, Aureobasidium, has been found to protect wood when impregnated with oils. The theory for the wood not rotting is that the black coloration blocks UV light and the fungus’s presence keeps other fungi from attacking the wood.