Hey all! I am not sure who still follows the blog anymore but I thought this was really relevant.
A close friend of mine is doing a volunteer opportunity through SAHA Global. This is the company (or like) that we one discussed about in class. They take the means for clean water to Ghana communities. They start by aiding in fresh water availability then they make sustainable businesses for local women to run. Below is her story and more information about the program. If anyone has any resources to help her cause… (does not have to be money) that would be amazing. If you know anyone who would find this cause worthy of time or funding please contact Tara! Thanks!! I hope everyone is doing well.
This class has been very different than classes I have taken in the past. Instead of constant testing, we had a very relaxed climate. At first I thought that this would make it hard to learn, but I found that the relaxed atmosphere led to me feeling comfortable enough to really let the topics sink in. Instead of memorizing for tests I learned because it was interesting. I chose to take this class because I am extremely passionate about science and the environment. In this class I learned current issues as well as the science behind some of the bigger environmental issues. Lastly, I learned the connection of nature to religion something I did not see as a correlation before hand. This along with the interesting topics, really made this class enjoyable for me. Thank You everyone in the class and Kevin!
In today’s reading about the privatization of water we spoke about private companies driving water resources in many developing countries. I definitely do not see this as a good idea. I understand that for many countries it is the only way they see possible to get water to the people but in the long run all I can see is the negatives. For example, in previous readings we saw globalization and the private markets effects on developing countries in the area of coal mining. Will these international trade agreements go to the same extremes with water? Will international industries be able to punish countries for utilizing their own resources such as water which is vital to life. Will international trade be selfish enough to kill people for their own business solutions? I think that a government approach is the ideal, maybe even working with private companies to get things started. But as seen in the previous example it is a tricky deal.
Another idea to think about is how developed countries use their water resources. For example, The United States, Us, is wasting perfectly good drinking water, for examples to flush down the toilet. The idea of a hard water system is extremely expensive, but I believe this is only the case because it is done rarely and current water management is not set up for filtration on site. But what if it was? What if we took the water we drink, routed the water that was wasted to the showers and baths, then routed the water wasted from the shower to flushing our toilets. Then after toilet water waste was use, of course the toilets would be separated, a nozzle which use specific amounts of water depending on the waste, and then the water was filtered on site. Maybe not at each individual home but per block, apartment building ect, and then used to water all plants ect? I know it means a lot of change but look at how much money would be saved. Also, how much water would not be wasted.
In the picture above we see some of the arguments against Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Foods. This is something that I am glad we will be touching upon in class. This is because I really haven’t decided where I stand. … Continue reading →
The attached picture is an “old school” version of what education should look like, specifically higher education. It used to be that college was a place for men to come to get an education in order to become a clergyman, … Continue reading →
The last chapter in the text “Grounding Religion” is titled Place. Why wait until last to talk about place and its interconnection to Religion and the Environment? I think this is because although it may be one of the most simple of the connections, it may also be the key to starting change toward environmental responsibility. For example the local food movement, a movement that positively affects many areas of human importance. Local food generates cash in a low market, heightened awareness of the local environment, and better understanding of a grassroots movement. But how? Local food generated economic profit by keeping money within a place and brings awareness to an environment, “to live is to live locally, and to know is first of all to know the place one is in.”
The idea of place has begun the start of two movements, Phenomenology and bio-regionalism. Phenomenology “examines the human experience and perception of the world” while bio-regionalism “is concerned with the authenticity and integrity of places in rapidly modernizing, urbanizing, globalizing world.” The book goes on to explain the effect that globalization has on taking away the real sense of place. As the world becomes more and more similar by muddling of culture and people, place decreases integrity.
I am not sure if I agree with this thought process, I see globalization as a positive for a sense of place. It is not until you see new places that you can appreciate your own. This idea of space is entirely based on how we as humans interpret it. By better understanding multiple places we can have a closer connection to place. This connection to place can be religious, and is often seen this way. This Is why I think the environment is so important. To me the environment can bring a sense of peace and in a way be its own religion. To worship ones place is to bring together religion and the environment.
Attached is a cool video of some of the most beautiful places one can go. I see it as a connection to the environment and my personal spirituality.
The attached link is up to date article on the issue of metal mining in El Salvador. This issue was a case study used in today’s reading but was a little outdated. The issue is still today in debate.
90% of the drinking water in El Salvador is polluted and this is after a stop has been out on all metal mining. Outrageously it has been found the the drinking water supply has 1000 times the amount of Iron as it should and 9 times the level of suitable CYANIDE Levels. This is just outrageous. How can people sit by and support this type of mining when such a direct correlation to pollutants to valuable resources is so visible. This has to be one of the most outrageous examples of global capitalism looking over the needs of the local people. It is very sad to see such a valuable resource such as globalization used in such a negative way. In this case the corporate identities are using the agreements signed through globalization to undermine the needs of the local people.
I don’t believe this lawsuit will pass and on the bases of one fact. The country itself is not allowing any companies to use this type of mining, in reality the government is trying to ban this type of mining all together. Although this successfully stops the stance of the trial it proves a very sad point. Globalization can be very negative. If companies such as pacific rim continue to use international trade agreements in such a matter, in my opinion globalization will have failed.
Globalization itself is a tool. This tool can be extremely positive. It can be used in helping the poor, expanding economies, and connecting more people religiously and for uses of environmental justice. But it is sad to see how much it can be manipulated to a mass market. If this lawsuit does go through, it is sending one horrible message. International trade policies trump local government regulation. Just ask yourself this, How would America feel if China forced us to devastate our land for their profit?
I think today’s reading is one of the most thought provoking of all past reading. Instead of giving us his straight forward opinions we are asked questions that lead us into the right direction. By coming to these conclusions on our own the writer makes us feel like we are the one who came up with the idea in the first place.
I think it is very interesting, the way the writer portrays human nature that of other animals. For example, “Through humanity the earth finds its voice. But we in turn are merely raw material for others: The microorganisms that thrive in our bodies while we love, the bacteria that feast on our flesh after death, the plants that draw nutrients from out bones would be entitled to believe that God created the human race to serve other needs. Also he has a unique sense of view because of such religious ties. Just as humans see other animals as being an addition to our existence, and in many religious here for only our human needs, bugs may see us as something made just for their existence. This idea isn’t one we have spoken about in class even though we have spoken a lot about the place of other animals in nature and even our own existence in nature. We have talked about how religion plays a role in how we see ourselves but isn’t it true that we could look to the environment for the same thing?
Often we see people taking trips into nature in order to facilitate “soul searching.” The study of natural sciences is looking into the environment to find answers.
Attached is a recent article from the Chicago Tribune on Typhoon Haiyan. I’m sure this is a very popular subject for this blog because of its massive toll on human life and financial displacement. I chose this current event because it so closely related to my movie review An Inconvenient Truth. This movie was released quite a few years ago and a lot of people believed it was ploy for popularity, but here we see that this issue is not one that will not go away. As time goes on climate change increases and we see increased weather destruction such as Typhoon Haiyan
The Typhoon itself is devastating the Philippines right now. It is estimated that 10,000 people have died, along with at least 2,000 missing. A staggering 60000 people are displaced by the storm and some have lack of vital resources. 432.97 Million dollars has been put aside for rehabilitation of the land and people by the local government. But, why does this matter to us American’s? Well besides human compassion, this event is very reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina here in the United States. Much like here a large addition to the devastation in the Philippines is due to how unprepared the people were and the lack of preparedness by the government. Something we specifically saw when the levies broke. The residents of Tacloban were swept away by a “wall of water” which has been assessed to be caused by lack of city planning for such a storm.
This subject of abnormal weather is one of great importance. We will continue to see devastation and loss of life if we do not start preparing for the physical changes that will be caused by global warming. Maybe even more important to combating our effects that cause weather change is our ability to prevent as much as possible the effects of these storms. This might be obtained by better land management, human understanding, and Government regulations. Big weather catastrophes like these are not just an issue to the people they affect but the world. As long as climate change is in effect we must work as a globalized community in preparation for disaster.
The Movie I picked was “An Inconvenient Truth”. I picked this movie because it was easily accessible (on netflix) and also a movie that I hadn’t seen in a very long time. Although Avatar is a great movie I have seen it multiple times. So in “An Inconvenient Truth” previous presidential candidate Al Gore takes the viewers along a journey all set up by slide show. I had seen this movie when it first came out but I was young and did not have the knowledge I have obtained in the last three years as an undergraduate. Truthfully when I saw this movie the first time, I had believed what a lot of people at the time did and that was “How do we know the climate change is at human fault?” and “isn’t it natural for temperature spikes”.
Watching this movie now I see the manipulative nature of the media and politics. With what I now know about environmental issues I see that the problem of climate change is multifaceted. There is no straight right and wrong. In class we have spent a lot of time on this issue and vitally so. No matter what political group you belong to we can see with scientific fact that climate change is an issue we need to think about. Ignoring this issue will not help any of us, even those who truly believe it is not important. This is because environmental issues are economical and political.
An Idea we have touched on quite a bit is the idea of responsibility. As human beings, as a nation, and as a worldwide community, what is our responsibility to future generations? How will the world be if we do not change? Al Gore explains that this issue is worldwide and I definitely agree. He goes into depth about the science behind global warming and its effect on current day weather. No matter what nation it is obvious that extreme weather is in affect. The most current and close to home is the increase in hurricane strength. As the earth warms, the water warms, ice breaks and melts, and water level rises. As a hurricane comes closer to shore the warmer water increases its power, and even here in the United States catastrophe occurs. This causes loss of life and extreme loss of money and property.
Another idea that is very lightly spoken about is population increase. We haven’t spoken too far in depth in class on this issue but it is extremely important. As populations rise, more people are hungry, less have fresh water, and land is vital. Unfortunately, if global warming continues as predicted and unchanged then land will be lost. The melting of the glaciers will increase the sea level and this will cause drastic loss of land, as shown in the movie. Cities such as New York, half of the state of Florida, and seaside communities such as Monte Ray would be covered in water. Not to mention Greenland would be melted.
These drastic changes in land, resources, and lifestyles are something we as a world community need to address. We need to decide if it is fair to leave this world we have entered hotter, more dangerous, and unsuitable for future generations. These big questions are something we have been ignoring as a nation for a long time. This is the main theme of the movie and although not agreed by every environmentalist none the less brought the issue of global warming to the forefront. The movie itself put the idea in the media and pushed local and national governments to not avoid the subject.