Rise of the wolves, currently stabilizing

August 31, 2019


If there’s any interest i do have after the world of renewable energy it is more than likely , wolves. With GreyWolves also being on the IUCN Red list of Endangered Animals, this news is huge. According to state officials, the latest wolf trend’s for Wisconsin’s wolves report shows a stabilization of the population from April 18′-April 19′.

Based on this data wolves seemed to have reached a suitable habitat statewide, however there are still persistent issues. Due to wolf populations extending southwards they have encountered less forest cover, more agriculture and people. This has also reported a slight increase in the number of wolf packs and wolves killed last winter. Another cause to some dwindling numbers is vehicle collisions and illegal killings as well.

it is also believed that while the wolf monitoring network hasn’t changed and their count isn’t sufficient. Individuals find the population’s measures and currently being used measures however to be stable. The currently available counts are also the minimum counts done under the Wisconsin DNR.

Sustainable Utopian Cities

August 29, 2019

Re-Imagining Life on Earth

Introduction to the meaning of “utopia”

Want to Escape the Modern World? 9 ‘Utopias’ that Really Exist article by C. Gregoire

History of the Greenbelt Cities in the U.S.

The New Deal in the Suburbs; A History of the Greenbelt Town Program 1935-1954 book by Joseph L. Arnold (272 pages)

The mechanics of transforming into communal sustainable living

Re-imagining the Utopian: Transformation of a Sustainable Lifestyle in Ecovillages original research published by S. Hong and H. Vicdan (16 pages)

Military Ecocide

Trying to End the War on the World: The Campaign to Proscribe Military Ecocide article by P. Hough (12 pages)

Hypothetical sustainable solutions to urban problems

Experimental City: The Sci-Fi Utopia That Never Was article by Z. Mortrice

The Experimental City documentary (1hr 36m)

Environmental News

August 28, 2019

This article I found particularly interesting because I absolutely adore large animals and have been so worried about what global warming/climate change is doing to impact these creatures, so finding this article was great. The beginning talks about elephants in the Congo and how they are able to trample vegetation, knock down trees and create openings – resulting in more slow-growing and dense-bodied trees. The article later mentions that if these elephants were to go extinct that those slow-growing trees would begin to face competition with the fast-growing species and the above-ground biomass would decrease by 7%, also represents 3 billion tons of carbon or 14 years of carbon emissions in the UK. With just under 100,000 elephants living in the central African forests, and declining fast, I found this read a very good and eye-opening to just how vital organisms and animals like the elephants are to our lives on the planet earth. 
Berzaghi et al., “Carbon stocks in central African forests enhanced by elephant disturbance.” Nature Geoscience, 2019.

Project Ideas

August 28, 2019
  1. Begin composting/eliminating waste.
  2. “The Trash We Pass” 
  3. Help the community: creating a weekly schedule and going to surrounding parks, schools, and a simple walk around a neighborhood and picking up trash. Perhaps reaching out to Stratford Ecological Center and volunteering each weekend?

Cronon/Meadowlands Notes: Madison Valentine

August 28, 2019

The Trouble With Wilderness; or Getting Back to the Wrong Nature:

I found it interesting that Cronon seemed to almost be making the opposite argument for what the wilderness (there is nothing natural about the concept of wilderness) is than the arguments we were making in class. He stresses that nature is very much intertwined with man. He says “The removal of Indians to create an “uninhabited wilderness”- uninhabited as never before in the human history of the place- reminds us just how invented, just how constructed the American wilderness really is.” In class we tended to use words such as “pristine”, “untouched”, and “unknown” but Cronon’s argument is that the wilderness is anything but those things and a social construct. Cronon points out that the stretches of land and water that we consider to be wilderness in the United States such as Niagara Falls, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and more have become tourist destinations-again, the opposite of what we would usually consider wilderness to be. This piece made me rethink the somewhat stereotypical views that I held about nature and wilderness and see it from a different perspective.

The Meadowlands:

“… making a reverse commute to the already explored land that has become, through negligence, through exploration, and its own chaotic persistence, explorable again.”

“32 square mile wilderness, part natural, part industrial, that is 5 miles from the Empire State building, and a little bit bigger than Manhattan.”

-These lines made me feel a little naive, just as the Cronon piece did, to think that wilderness automatically meant “pristine” and “untouched” because in this case, what was once inhabited/industrialized, has turned back into what we would consider wilderness.

…When humans arrived in the meadowlands, in about 10,000 B.C., and went from leaving huge piles of oyster shells to dumping increasingly poisonous waste, from homes, from workshops, then from factories. At one point very recently in history, the meadowlands was the largest garbage dump in the world.

-In class when we were analyzing the different definitions of wilderness I couldn’t really visualize a place in nature that those words would represent but I feel like those words might describe this place well. However, at the same time I couldn’t help but to picture the meadowlands as somewhat beautiful but with a tragic past (and present).

-Despite the meadowlands not seeming like the ‘ideal’ place, it seemed as though the people he talked to about it that lived there or had some sort of relation to the meadowlands took a sort of pride in this place.

-I found it interesting towards the end of the book when Sullivan met with two men, Don Smith and Bill Sheehan. The two men had essentially the same goal in mind, caring for/restoring a place that they both showed quite a bit of love for, but yet were still against each other.

-Overall, it honestly made me think “How can so many bad things happen to one place?” It was kind of depressing, like the meadowlands just can’t catch a break. I wonder why more people aren’t curious about this mysterious place, I know if I lived near there I would want to explore it and try to better understand it. I hope one day the meadowlands will catch a break.

Mahnoor’s partial thoughts on “The Trouble with Wilderness” and “The Meadowlands”

August 28, 2019

The Trouble with Wilderness:

This also happened to be my first reading for Environmental Politics and Policy with Dr. Kay last fall and I enjoyed reading it for the second time for this class. I remember the first time I read it, it really shook my worldview and re-framed how I thought about wilderness… or so I thought. On the first day of Environmental Geography, a whole year later, the word “wilderness” still stubbornly conjured up images of pristine, green, beautiful landscapes. Clearly I need a prescribed dose of Cronon on a recurring basis to fight my deeply ingrained stereotypes.

The idea of wilderness as a “wasteland” or a place to be shunned to against your will still just seems foreign to me. Logically, I understand that even my current conception of  wilderness entails fear, desolation, and chaos so it can’t be that absurd to think that not too long ago those stereotypes were at the forefront of people’s minds.

As Cronon points out, the major shift in perspective becomes apparent in the nineteenth century, overlapping with the Industrial Revolutions and the abolishing of slavery (i.e. the prominent, albeit insufficient, expansion of individual liberties), and following the Age of Enlightenment.

My main question is why did we develop romantic notions about wilderness and the concept of “the frontier” to begin with? What sparked that change? I know that Romanticism is well-documented as a reaction to the Enlightenment era and Industrialization, that it was seen as a “return” to something, but as Cronon suggests about the idealization of wilderness, it may have been the creation of something new altogether. Personally, I think that as people began moving from farms to factories, as their daily busying tasks began to be automated away, as they suddenly had more time to focus on themselves as individuals, and as their societies grew increasingly secular, a psychological void was created. And in order to fill that space or bridge that gap, they/we felt the need to create a space for transcendence and “wilderness” fulfilled that purpose. Religion just didn’t cut it anymore.

As for the Western frontier concept, I still can’t fully comprehend what it is and where it comes from. The desire to dominate? challenge oneself? self-actualize through blood, sweat, and tears? Maybe only the mythic masculine individualist can answer that.

The Meadowlands

A general thing I really liked about this book was the human or storytelling element, it made it a much easier and digestible read. I think the author’s undying interest in the “urban wilderness” that is the Meadowlands is fascinating because it is an area that is so often overlooked or looked down upon by those passing through or living there. He almost carves out something intriguing from an inconspicuous and unsightly slab of concrete through this book. The book took so many random twists and turns that I’ll only focus on a few of the things that struck me.

First, the idea of “progress” on page 19-20 interested me. I think, akin to the concept of wilderness, “progress” culturally has positive connotations and Sullivan challenges that (maybe unintentionally?). His whole journey is almost an illustration of where our progress will lead us – digging in dumps for our forgotten past. New York City is considered one of the most progressive states in the nation and it stands on the shoulders of mutated meadows, toxic wetlands, generations of dumps, and literal corpses. The Meadowlands could easily be confused for a dystopian novel.

Another thing that interested me towards the end, in the Trapper and the Fisherman, was the antinomy between Don Smith and “Captain Bill” Sheehan. I found myself jumping between their different perspectives as they refuted each other’s arguments. I agreed with Smith when he said, “we broke it so we should fix it” but I didn’t agree with his idea of perhaps “improving” it as humans see fit or aiding the “image” of it. And I agreed with Sheehan in that we shouldn’t impose human values on the nonhuman world, and that it possesses inherent value, a deep ecological point of view; however, I couldn’t align myself with his almost “frontier-ist” attitude and his perspective on “land stewardship.” One thing I liked about both of them was their willingness to share their knowledge with others so more people could come to respect the Hackensack river, even if their idea of “environmentalism” doesn’t match up with mine.

Sembcorp India Gets $100 Million For Renewable Energy, Commissions 200 Megawatt Wind Project

August 28, 2019

Link to article: https://cleantechnica.com/2019/08/26/sembcorp-india-gets-us100-million-for-renewable-energy-commissions-200-megawatt-wind-project/

India for a few year has already been on the forefront of advancing its idea’s in the world of renewable energy to begin with however i bring much bigger news than what has been recent.

Singapore Based firm’s Indian branch known as Sembcorp India has managed to infuse a $100 mil in its indian subsidiary.

In the state of Gujarat itself it has begun a 200 megawatt wind energy project which further adds to a 250 megawatt project in the state of Tamil Nadu. As a company it now intends to bring online the balance 50 megawatt capacity and the 300 megawatts of capacity secured in 2 different auction level’s

However as it is looking for investor’s for acquisition purposes it seems to have also run into issues. Due to the current lack of enthusiasm in the current investment sector of Indian Businesses the company as an IPO is biding its time with the Indian Market, while alot of its competitor’s have already dropped out.