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?

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181107130253.htm

 

 

 

 

 


Environment and Society

October 24, 2018

This book is a textbook, which per usual makes it very dry and hard to power read, but we all manage.

In the introduction the term rewilding was used to describe human interaction in an attempt to return earth to its unsoiled beauty(p3). This is interesting because we humans have input attempting to reintroduce long gone animals to the area, perhaps the best choice would be to create the foundation and let nature take its course, natural selection would again happen and the area would be restored without excessive human interaction. Although many texts discredit Malthus’s geometric growth doomsday idea this book embraced it and said it is plausible to happen, we have to hit a cap eventually. The green revolution has helped to delay this by producing more crops, but this inturn costs more water. The author made some great points that really struck home, one being that if we think about environmental problems as hazards we are more likely to rationally think through the incident and consider the risks that it brings. ANother thing he really put into a better context is how wilderness and nature is a social construct, it only has that meaning because we are told to be this it must be like this or within this or that. Without the social construct wilderness could be your yard or your home, if you deemed it so.

All in all this book gave me a headache, but also provided a couple of really strong points. It was a hard read but interesting at times with the comics and the small blurbs of information I found interesting.

 

Environmental News

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181023130447.htm

The Himlayan Gold caterpillar fungus comes to fruition when a parasite enters the host caterpillar body, and eats the inside, it then sprouts from the head like a unicorn horn. It sounds majestic and people use it as a natural viagra, but increase in winter temperatures and demand for the fungus has put it in a precarious state. If the over harvesting continues there are fears another more envasive parasite will make its home within the high reaches of the Himalayas. Most of the market is created through illegal trading so cracking down on this will be hard, but well worth it. Besdies who likes eating a parasite and a fungus! Ew!


Eating Animals (try 2)

October 24, 2018

Eating Animals was a book that gave me pause, as someone raised on a farm I have always understood where meat came from, most of my childhood consisted of raising meat animals and then their subtle disappearance. As I grew older I watched Food INC and seen the horrible conditions many animals go through before being processed for our consumption. This book caused me to think about all the horrors again, but it did not push me towards being vegetarian, I do not often think of the animals treatment when buying from a grocery store, but this book has caused me to reconsider.

Although the book brought to light a pulling task of being vegetarian for a few days or in certain circumstance to mititgate ones impact on the earth, I cannot fathom doing it. I am more aware though of the meat I will be buying and plan to find a local farmer to buy from within reason.

 

Environmental News

New fish found in a fish auction!

The fish called an Opah was noticed to have many different characteristics including, eye,fin, and spot sizing, this was orginally thought to be one single specie,but following recent testing it has been found that there are several new species! All of this determined from a fish auction in Hawaii when someone decided to look a little closer at the fish!

 

https://www.enn.com/articles/55656-clues-at-fish-auction-reveal-several-new-species-of-opah


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.