April 23, 2007

The treatment of Women and the Land

I wanted to start off by apologizing for not having the last few blogs up on my page until now. My parents got divorced about a little over a month ago and i have been trying to maintain my studies and deal with that at the same time. I also wanted to truly thank Lisa for her patience and support through all of this.

There are some people in the world that Tempest would decribe as the type to not really care about nature and in turn not care about women. They treat them both as if they were objects. She makes a good argument that relates men to the cause of problems with nature and they treat women the same. I can see this in many people that i know but it is a tough generalization to make about society as a whole. There are males who think they should dominate over both nature and women and there are also those who are act the exact opposite. From the current situation of society dealing with environmental issus, this concept is apparrent. We treat nature as on object to serve us and take advantage of its resources. These type of people are causing a major problem in trying to preserve the environment. Tempest really shows that through a women's eyes, the treatment of the environment can be drastically improved. Women straighten out the mistakes that men make from time to time because they act in a more concerned way towards things. Women should be recognized more in the environmental movement.

The most beautiful place in the world

After a long day, the most comforting place to be is in my room. I find it to the most beautiful place in the world to me because of many reasons. It allows me to escape the chaos of life when i need it most. If i go to class and then to work it ends up being a very long day and to be able to come back to place that gives me security really helps me to relax and escape. It is a place for me to be alone and reflect on my life.

With my parents recently getting divorced, it really gave me an opportunity to reflect on things that have happend in my life. It allowed me to establish who i truly am and and what i stand for as a person. This process has taken me weeks to deal with because of the hardships of dealing with this and maintaining my studies. Each and every night that i have been here on campus i reflect on the day and things in the past. Having this place to call my own and to be able to just relax when i need it has helped me to find who i was and who i have become as a person.

Nature and the connection with happiness

I can relate my life to what Olson was talking about. I have lived in small towns most of my life. I was always involved with nature whether it be camping and the local state park or just going to a park. Moving to minneapolis has been a very different experience for me. I lived up here until i was 5 years old but it didnt create a distant connection to start out. I have always been the type of person who loves the outdoors and being in nature and it has made me a little nervous being in a big city like this. I have felt a sort of disconnection from nature. I am not just saying it i have felt like that part of me is missing since the start of the school year. The days that we have had break and i have gone home, i go back to some of the places that i know and feel that connection again. This summer will be a great experience for me. It will allow me to be able to regain the connection because i will be working as a day camp counselor and will be able to be around the nature that surrounds my town.

environmental impact as a result of my actions

When this prompt was given, i really began to think about what things i was doing to harm the environment and what i would do to alter by behavior. Since i do not have a car on campus i have been able to cut down on using gas and damaging the ozone. Before coming up here i used my car nearly every day. Personally this is one thing i can cut down on once summer starts and i have a car. Another thing that has changed for me is the food that i eat. I dont mean healtier eating but more natural foods instead of processed ones.

Its hard to sit here and type out a blog entry because it feels like these changes have bee happening with being in college. My resource use has decreased and not having a car reduces emissions. The way that i am living now has been much more easier for me and it feels like something i could keep going with.

principles by which nature works

When reading the articles by Carson, Moore, and Boyle, i thought about the things i learned in high school history. For the united states, we have been using our land to fit our needs since first settling here. There have been several events in the past that really show that we “accommodate ourselves to this planet.� One major example is the Dust Bowl. Farmers across the nation were not taking care of the land and as a result of the poor treatment of the land, farmers were forced to move off there land because the soil was is such bad shape.

Society has paid very little attention in keeping the planet from becoming worse. As the need for resources increases, the quality of treatment given to the environment decreases. With population increasing the need to tear down land for homes increases. The same thing applies with oil. We are in great need of it yet it destroys the ozone layer and contributes to global warming.It just seems that with the comfortablility that people have in their lives, it would be hard for them to change a little, or even at all.

March 8, 2007

Global Warming

In today's society, global warming has become a hot topic of debate. Although there are some people that think there is no global warming, scientists generally feel that global warming exists. Not only does it exist, but it is found to be a problem in the future that needs to be dealt with today. Having a strong knowledge of science, I see that global warming is a future problem that needs to be dealt with today.

Although it is very unlikely that the damage done to the ozone can be reversed, the movement towards lowering emissions and pollution would help to slow the process of global warming. Also alternate fuels can be used to lower emissions. It is these types of things that could lead to the slowing down of global warming. Also, with more awareness about global warming, society can understnad what is happening to the planet and what can be done to prevent problems in the future.

There is one interesting thing i would like to add to the end of this blog. During one of my science classes in high school, there was a video we watched that stated the universe was expanding. The expansion of the universe causes a decrease in the temperature. I find this curious because although the planet is getting warmer, it has been said that Earth will become colder and colder over the years. This of course wont happen until millions of years from now due to the small effect of the expansion.

March 5, 2007

Grizzly Man

My apologies for not having this up any sooner. I ran into many porlems trying to save and finally i am able to et this online.

Before watching this movie i thought of it as a boring documentary about some guy who did something. As i watched it i realized that this guy was like anybody else. He was trying to find purpose for his life in a meaningful way. He saw a part of the world in danger and took it upon himself to not only protect the bears and foxes but to live among them. Although it is a little strange, i respect him for that. His passion for the animals was so strong for him to live with them for as long as he did.

There were a couple things that really stood out when watching the movie. The biggest thing was his personality. Whenever they began to show a clip from his life, there was no way of telling how he was going to act. He went from " I love you" to the animals to cursing out the people who apposed him to yelling for rain. His emotions were at time unpredictable. The other thing i noticed were some of the interviews. Some of the people thought he was dumb for trying to protect the animals. They acted as though he was only making things worse which was upsetting to hear. Although people disagreed with him i found to be a great person to make sacrifices that he did to help the animals.

February 22, 2007

Is it really food?

One idea that mainly comes to mind that ties in with genetic engineering is what happens to food. Although stem cell research and cloning make it into the headlines, our food supply should have us worried. As i talked about in the previous blog, genetic engineering can be good or bad. The thing is, there is very little known about the effect of genetic engineering over a long period of time. At this website, it is shown that a good portion of crops are being genetically engineered. Various pesticides or genes to make the crop last are being added.

Since there is very little knowledge about long term effects, it currently doesnt make those safe. Here is another example. The article linked here talks about the fast food chain Taco Bell. I was actually quite disturbed when i read this because i love eating there. Kraft foods, the company that makes the taco shells for Taco Bell, had to recall the taco shells because "after
tests confirmed they were made with genetically engineered corn that isn't approved for human consumption." To make it even more upsetting here is a list of products out on the market that are genetically altered. There are organic food areas in nearly all stores so avioding that is possible

I know these things may be slightly distubing but scientists have the right idea. There are some good ideas that can arise from this. For example, vitamins can be added to food to improve healthiness. Once more testing is done to make sure foods are safe, then genetically altered food can be called food. Otherwise there is the possibility of causing new allegeries, infections, etc. I recommend highly browsing the internet about genetically altered foods. Since i first read about genetically modified foods two years ago, i have payed more attention to what i am buying at the stores are far as preservatives or anything to "improve" the food.

Genetic Engineering

My apoligies up front for being one behind. This blog along with the one tomorrow go along with my reseachh paper slightly so i have been analyzing these topics much more. Throughout the brainstorming process i thought of various examples for either science or religion with enviromentalism. I ended up remembering one of the things brought up in class about genetic engineering along with a research paper i did in high school.

The topic of genetic engineering, people would think, would be apart of science. However, religion plays a role in a sort of balance to prevent chaos. Im sure you have seen the movie Gattaca. If not, i highly recommend it because it is an amazing movie. Gattaca shows what they world would look like if people were genetically engineered. It doesn't sound that bad....does it? Sure you could be born with a high intellegance but so could everyone else.

For those who do not know what genetic engineering is, it can best be explained with insulin. Yes, it is the medicine for diabetes. In order to create it scientists use genetic engineering. They take a strand of DNA that gives the code to make insulin and implants it into bacterian DNA. When the bacteria multiplies, so does the DNA strand. From here the bacteria can produce insulin to be collected. For other code, it may be removed and placed into the thing desiring that trait.

It sounds like a good thing from everything i have said so far but the things that can be done with genetic engineering can be pointless. For example, an article at http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,54399,00.html tells of a rabbit that was genetically engineered with jellyfish DNA to make it glow. Don't get me wrong, of course a glowing rabbit would be a great pet to have but it is going way to far. That is where religion comes into play. With religion involved in genetic engineering, then scientists can only be regualted to doing things that could help mankind ( although i do wish there were glowing rabbits). Anyways, religion can help to play a role to regualte and control genetic engineering so our world does not end up like Gattaca.

February 8, 2007

Dark Matter

For those who know a little about science, you may have heard of something called dark matter. Dark matter is matter that exists in the universe that is not seen by humans and therefore is not taken into consideration. The enviroment that surrounds us has become the dark matter that surrounds society. Most people think they recognize the natural world. Nature to most people is the wilderness or a lake. When driving somewhere and seeing a family of deer, a person sees that as nature. Nature has become a vision in people's minds. The truth is, the enviroment is a major factor in all of our lives. The cars we drive, the paper we write on, even the medicine we have, it is all from nature. We take these everyday things for granted and forget where they came from.

Just like dark matter, it exists. However, they are both unseen by people except nature can be noticed. Society, as a whole, worries that we dont do enough for the enviroment. For example, fuel emissions are a major topic today. Scientists have proven that gas that vehicles give off contribute to the destoying of the ozone. People worry that something needs to be done as they fill up their car. By looking at all the little thing we come into contact everyday, a person can not only realize the importance of the little things that come from nature but they can also pave the path towards a better world to live.

The following link is for anyone who is interested in leaning a little about dark matter:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter

This next page has information about the ozone:
http://www.atm.ch.cam.ac.uk/tour/

February 2, 2007

Dillard's appreciation of detail

I just wanted to apologize for not having this blog entry up Wednesday because I wasn’t able to pay for the material until today. I didn’t want to put together a blog if I wasn’t able to read the material before then.
One thing I noticed right away when reading the section of Annie Dillard was her ability to describe everything around her. After reading this, I can honestly say that this reading was the most detailed out of any others that I have read. I could see what she was describing with ease because of all the details. An example of her writing was the section where she said “In summer’s low water, flags and bulrushes grow along a series of shallow pools cooled by the lazy current. Water striders patrol the surface film, crayfish hump along the slit bottom eating fish, frogs shout and glare…� The way that she describes the environment she lives is very well done. I make the assumption that she really appreciates where she lives. She puts a lot of detail into the little things that she notices. Whether it is the sound of frogs, the movement of the creek, or everything else, she makes sure to describe them with great detail. Overall, I get the impression that she appreciates the little things in life. The things that most people do not take time to look at, she sees great beauty and magnificence in them. These little things can be a great thing to have in a person’s life. It could help to get away from the chaos of everyday life and just maybe may bring a little joy.

the follwing link is to a biography of dillard
http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~sparks/dillard/bio.htm

January 24, 2007

Thoreau's Experiment

The goal of Thoreau’s experiment was to show that even though people think they feel alive, they are not fully alive. In order to conduct the experiment to his fullest, he moved into the woods and started a life, away from civilization. He believed that a person needs to break away from their “reality� and open their eyes for the first time. To an average person, to live a full life was to get an education, get married, start a family and get a good job. This seems like the ideal way to live life to nearly everyone. However, the purpose of the experiment was to prove that using only the essential, a person can live life to the fullest and finally open their eyes. Why use the woods as a place to live his life? Thoreau states in Walden� that "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.�

Learning to appreciate everything was very important to him. An example would be the chapter Reading. He talk about reading a book as detailed as the writer did. To be able to understand the intent and the point the author was trying to get across would cause a person to better understand and enjoy reading. This concept is applied to a much bigger picture. By living in the woods, it would give him the understanding of what he feels is important in life, allowing for him to open up his eyes and be able to live a happier and understanding life. The intent was to tell the world that each and every person should not have to live by the standard put in place by society.


The following link is to a historical page about the life of Thoreau and includes a section of the years he lived in the woods:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_David_Thoreau