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- week 1

September 19, 2018

Peter Coates gives us a history of the view of nature by the western world, complete with its history. He blieves that the history of our perception of nature reflects human thoughts and he does an amazing job in justifying it. He denotes five categories of nature throughout history, physical place, the essence of nature, nature as a Phenomena, as inspiration or a guiding principle, and as the conceptual opposite of culture.

Although this book was very academic and very text book like I did enjoy pieces of it. I enjoyed learning about the history and how our view of nature has changed. I especially enjoyed learning about the Norman forest law for medieval times, when I took a medieval literature class the royal forest was made to seem like such a nature preserve that only the best game would inhabit and that only the best nobles could hunt within it. When the laws fell the forests were plundered, making me think of the unsoiled forest becoming more modern such as many forests today are.

Another part I found extremely interesting was at the start of chapter 4, when “mankind experieced a decisive alienation from nature between the Renaissance and the scientific revoltuion” p65. THe point made seemed to be that humans no longer found nature valuable if it was not valuable to them. This is like the approach we have taken today, nature is not valuable to us unless we charge for parks, harvest its resources or have some form of monetary gain from it. How many trees have fell within forests because it is over crowding, when it is likely there is a demand for the wood, and they find “crowded areas” removing larger trees, to give smaller trees “space”. On Page 69 many people within the Renaissance time period wanted to figure out how things worked and better them for humans, to make the world in which we live better in some way, but who can do it better than mother nature herself.

 

Environmental news

Unprecentdented ice loss in Russian Ice Cap,

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180919144910.htm

This ice cap went from sliding 2 inches a day to more than 82 feet a day, which is very alarming, as it is in a higher lattitude. The ice cap is drastically thinning and moving at a higher rate than anything seen before, they believe this might indicate that the polar ice caps will soon follow the same trend.  Instead of a slow response to the warming of the globe, the question now is, if they do how follow this trend how much will sea levels rise, and how much time is there to prepare and reduce the chances of this happening? The study brings the idea of rising sea levels much closer to home than previous studies.


The Fanaticism of the Apocolypse- Ashley

September 12, 2018

This book I found extremely abrasive, it might be that I need longer to understand why he says the things he does, or it might be that he is a quack of a person whom barely has any thoughts of his own if the excerpts are any indication.  I will agree that at times environmentalists are prone to a type of pessimistic misanthropy, many believe that everything would be better if we humans disappear over night. One thing that really caused me to grit my teeth was the comparison of the carbon footprint to the orginial sin, thtat the earth is eden and we continue to sully her.

“Man is a cancer on the Earth…a throwaway species”(13)- this sentence from page 13 insighted so much distaste for the book, we are naturally prone to not want to be called a throw away species that is worth nothing. When we as humans devalue ourselves that is when we should be afraid because it is our acceptance that we cannot change.

“When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth’s bioshpere will be allowed to return to its former glory” p 14- this part was hilarious to me, not only because it is vastly impossible but it would not yeild any results for many years. Some quack thinks this is really the best idea for saving earth? I could come up with a better idea as a child, this was equal parts funny and dumb.

 

Plutonium Fears at a New wild life preserve

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/22/new-us-refuge-rocky-flats-plutonium-toxic

The site was once used to manufracture nuclear weapons,  and even though it was almost 20 years ago many worry about how effective the clean up was as it was completed in 1/6th of the time orginally estimated to be needed. The site was labeled as a superfund site, meaning it was harmful to the environment and the surround populations, it was cleaned in 10 years by an independent contractor who charges 7(bn) much less than the 30(bn) estimated. Schools have already forbade field trips in order to protect their students and many are in protest of the opening, although the Wild life officials assure its safe. Perhaps this is our own modern day Chernobyl fields?

 

 

 

 


Environmental news- new hope for endangered species, starting with the Gopher tortoise

September 5, 2018

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180904150401.htm

This article talks about head starting turtles , which is the process of raising turtles in captivity and then releasing them once they are a couple years of age. This protects them from predators early in life and offers a higher chance at living to age and reproduction. This is currently being implemented in Georgia, and has shown high success rates. Perhaps Zoo’s around the world could begin head start programs for many endangered species.


News: Is Eco-Friendly Unmanly?

January 24, 2018

Is Eco-Friendly Unmanly? The Green-Feminine Stereotype and Its Effect on Sustainable Consumption

Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 43, Issue 4, 1 December 2016, Pages 567–582, https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucw044
Published: 04 August 2016
search: eco-friendly feminine
search: eco-friendly masculine

Current Event: Daniel Delatte

November 15, 2017

Current Event:

The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs might not have been so destructive had it landed elsewhere. The location that it hit had rocks loaded with hydrocarbon. The release of these rocks unleashed 100 trillion tons of TNT. If it were to have landed on some  of the 87% of land elsewhere, they might still be walking today. 

https://www.livescience.com/60898-asteroid-struck-unlucky-spot-doomed-dinosaurs.html

 


What we think about-Niemeyer

November 13, 2017

 

I thought this book was interesting and gave a good look at the psychological view of acceptance of an idea from different perspectives.  I am a big proponent of looking at an argument from all sides and understanding where the other person is coming from, I am also a big proponent of having people understand scientific findings and believing in the scientific process, so I think that this book does a good job of showing why we should understand all sides and why it’s hard to convince people of climate change.

There were a lot of good points brought up about climate science, like that it is alarming, and therefore hard to take, but is also presented in a non-urgent manner, because it is presented as 25 years+ in the future, that it’s going to affect things that aren’t necessarily directly us, like the ocean, rural desert areas in other countries, et cetera, we don’t directly see or feel it happening, and there are often comparisons of temperature and weather as opposed to climate when non-scientists discuss climate change, and the studies and information given are presented in scientific terminology that the general public doesn’t understand and therefore questions.  This is something I see in everyday life, I know a lot of people who don’t really care about climate change or don’t believe it’s real, and they don’t care to listen to me explain it, or look up more information, or vote based on environmental causes, because they have heard what the media has said, that it isn’t a big or immediate problem, that there is large debate as to whether climate change is real, and that it’s not just hippies trying to change their ways.

Another interesting thought is that people see that the science and models are changing over time, and instead of the general public grasping that this is just in terms of numbers, and not the overall conclusions, and that this is a progression of science, not proving that the previous conclusions were wrong, but rather adapting them based on the most recent information, and the belief that because of these changes climate change is just an exaggerated media story, not something to really consider in everyday life. This hits home a bit, because many of my relatives watch the news 3 times a day on the same channel, with the same information being spit at them, and I can specifically remember my dad and brothers having an argument about the number of scientists (97%) who are in consensus about the existence of climate change and human impacts on climate change, and my dad consistently repeating, “I’d have to see that number” or “I haven’t heard that number, I’ve heard more like 30%”, which is what he’s heard from his news sources, and therefore it is true, so I understand how hard it is to try to explain to someone who isn’t “in the science world” and how polarizing the different sides are.

I also thought it was interesting that the book described how it is difficult culturally to show that you care about something like climate change when it isn’t the cool thing to be doing and you are the only one and you have to explain your views to everyone and most of the time they don’t want you to have a good answer so they don’t have to question their ethics and idea base.  This is something I have come across since deciding to be vegetarian, there are a certain group of people who just don’t question it, a certain group of people who try to avoid it like it’s a big deal and that I’m trying to shove it down their throats, so even if they asked about it I would automatically be wrong, and then there are a few people who are genuinely curious, despite not necessarily understanding my point of view, or not thinking it will change anything.  I come across the same sort of responses from the same people when I try to talk about recycling, driving cars, wasting food and I can definitely see how it can be hard to be the first one in your group of peers or family to care about the environment when it isn’t cool.

 

Environmental News:

http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53127

 

For the first time in 3 years global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuels and industry are projected to rise by 2% by the end of 2017.  This is after 3 years of relatively flat emissions.