April 25, 2007

Idealism or realism?

Sure we all want to believe we can all change for the better and that everyone can have a heart and help each other out. But the realism is that we haven't changed the way we act since the dawn of man. We are all in college not for the benefit of society but so we can work jobs we are interested in, make enough money to live comfortably. None of us want to work at McD's the rest of our lives. Our actions are determined by self interest. Man by nature is greedy, if it were possible to change than maybe communism would have worked but as we can see, it didn't do so hot. If we want people to change there has to be something in it for them, and for most people that something has to be have real value, not emotional value. We need to appeal to self-interest to breed motivation. Instill morality behind the movement so that it sustains itself into the future. To think we can get the world to change on morals than we are just hurting our own progress, people living paycheck to paycheck in an old beaten down apartment in a nowhere end of town don't care about the beauty of the woods and what might happen if we cut them down, they care about their next meal and if they can live through a medical bill. Appeal to man's innate being and plant a seed to grow into the morality of our minds.

April 20, 2007

Women seem pretty mad

Maybe men do treat women and nature in the same fashion, but i didn't really like how it was approached in the text. Seemed like a feminist rant blaming men for all the problems. It is like as if men are out to screw everyone over, feminist seem to just rag on men all the time but when men rag on women they are terrible people. I don't enjoy the double-standard out there when it comes to this subject. It is to much of a generalization to say that men treat nature and women the same. Women drive cars, use electricity, do pretty much everything men do when it comes to environmental destruction. Why even try and throw blame around and just deal with the problems as a unified race and not two sexes.

April 11, 2007

Dreamscape

A sharp-peaked mountain towers above, painted green by the forest clothing it's sides. A dark blue river widens as it rushes recklessly down the mountain and into the valley, falling off cliffs and tumbling down the rocks. The air is warm, not the oppressive heat of a mid-august afternoon, but the type of warm that is just right for a t-shirt and shorts. The wildlife go about their business with no concern for my observing eyes. I sit on a knoll and watch as water tumbles down the side of a cliff and into a crystal clear pool at the foot of the drop.

April 6, 2007

Olson's sanity

Olson suggests that a connection with nature stabilizes us mentally. Part of me sees truth in this, sitting on green grass watching the clouds go by or just chilling out by a river is extremely relaxing and centering. When we are surrounded by concrete and steel all day and don't see what we come from it can be hard on the mind. We live by a man-mad schedule and push ourselves to hard. Before civilization we lived by ours needs, hunted when we were hungry, slept when we got tired. Now we sleep after we stay up to late doing calc homework which fries our minds and then wake up to early to a buzzing alarm clock to go to chem which sucks. Maybe that;s just me but id rather go to bed when it got dark and wake up with the sun. Go steal some chicken eggs for breakfast and go hunting for lunch. Just be natural and relax. But that's not to say that living natural isn't stressful, but doing things that you know are primal and not just a job or work or just class gives us meaning in life.

March 21, 2007

Adaptation, not the movie

So the readings this week address the issue of accommodating earth. In my youth and subsequent feeling of invincibility, although most of that has vanish, i usually do things according to their pleasing factor. Most people in our culture are looking out for themselves. But if we mess with nature enough she's gonna bitch slap us back to the stone age, or possibly just one age back, hard to say really. I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. There really is a message in the readings we had, we can't just abuse our habitat and expect everything to be ok, but the plain and simple is that most people just don't care to much. Let me make an analogy, probably a pretty bad one, but here it goes. The titanic, before that thing sank like a brick no one thought of putting enough lifeboats on a ship to save everyone. Kinda went by first come first serve, and then the whole thing if you were rich you were the first to come. But when it sank and a lot of people died a pretty crappy death, people started realizing they had a concious and that maybe we could throw enough boats on there to save everyone. So until nature comes out of nowhere with a right hook i don't see much change happening, which is sad but inevitable really. When has the human race done anything about something until after it kills a lot of people?

March 7, 2007

Earth's Fever

To the answer to the question of global warming is a sticky issue. There is no doubt that there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and it is obviously due to human industry. The second article of the readings was arguing that the average surface temp. of the earth has increased. But this point isn't even debated by the majority of the scientific community. I don't know many people that think that the carbon content of the atmosphere hasn't increased or that the avg. temp isn't up a half degree or two. But what the real issue should be and what i don't think is being talked about enough is the real effect that this temperature increase will have. Oreskes barely touches the issue, but Lindzen claims that the experts he has talked to say that the earth and the human population could readily adapt to a change of 1-2 degrees of temperature increase. Even if the carbon dioxide levels doubled in the upcoming years how much would our avg surface temperature increase? The current models for these extrapolations can't be seen as truth. Even some of the models, according to Lindzen, can't even correctly predict what has already happened. Global Warming is happening but what is the impact going to be on our population? Can we do anything to seriously curve the trend? Our climate isn't a simple matter and trying to understand it is a mammoth task. The global warming debate, in my opinion, should move away from proving temperature increase but focusing on its impact on human civilization.

March 1, 2007

The Grizzly Man

Pretty nuts guy, but it was really cool how those foxes just chilled with him. I liked what that native guy said, we don't go into their territory and they don't go into ours. That made the most sense to me, you can't really just go live with Grizzlys or eventually you will get killed. And i guess that is what he wanted, I don't know what good came out of what he did but he felt it was his calling. I do think that it was a very religious experience for him, He said the bears had rescued him from alcoholism like they had a spiritual power over him. He wanted to become the bears but it isn't possible, just as much as a bear could be a human. We are all different animals and have our different places in the environment. He had developed some pretty amazing social skills around the bears, Being able to get that close to them and making them move away from him. But it was only a matter of time until one had enough or just didn't care anymore. The views of Alaska were awesome, I would love to go camping there but not really hang out with bears anytime soon.


bear facts

February 21, 2007

Righteous crusaders

In the Crichton article he made references to things that the western world pushed to change that probably didn't need to be changed at all. One example is the DDT banning. It reminds me of when people with comfort in their lives think they know what is best for people that live nothing like them. Too many people blindly follow their beliefs without regard for the real impacts of the people they are trying to "protect". in the case of DDT it was a big hoopla that DDT was causing cancer in birds, but the real issue was that DDT was helping kill disease carrying insects and aiding the fight against disease in 3rd world countries. Are people really more worried about birds than they are about fellow human beings? Without DDT millions of people die of preventable causes just because a bunch of people in America thought that it was a big crime that MAYBE DDT was thinning the shells on bird eggs. But that is just one instance. People that are well off usually think they know what is best for other people but how many of those people have lived in a grass hut in the middle of a dense jungle? Not to many I'd assume. This is usually the problem with people with fundamental beliefs, they get behind something they think is right and will never accept or listen to another point of view or even solid evidence. They blindly push for their cause without regard for the consequences of their actions. I liked his point that people have an irrational view of nature, going to the local park isn't nature. Being in the middle of the rockies without a cellphone is nature. Nature isn't forgiving, it has no respect for us and is easily capable of destroying us if we don't learn to respect it.

February 13, 2007

Religion and Enviorment

It is good to see that the Christian community is mobilizing to defend nature. Although this isn't anything terribly new it is good to see that there is change. I saw Jesus Camp, a documentary on evangelical Christians, and it scared me. I know that all Christians aren't that crazy but this one Woman was teaching her kid that global warming wasn't true. Instilling anti-environment ideas into todays youth will only further the problems facing us today. Now i know Genesis and it does say God created earth. Why would a Christian think they have domain over it? It seems like there are way to many coalitions and organizations about the same issue, what is so hard about consolidating? but then again Christians have always had that problem, there are about a million different "Christian" churches. But having a view that humans rule over this earth is pretty ignorant, it is obvious that we have the power to destroy our environment but is it a good idea? I could walk out of my room, down the hall and beat the shit out of someone I know, but I don't. Firstly because it would just be mean, secondly it would destroy a relationship, and probably more than one. It's about being in good graces with the people you live with. So we should try and be in good graces with the environment we live with.

Christian Environmentalists

February 7, 2007

Magical Perception

Abram talks about nature as the people of Bali view it. He draws upon the idea that our view of nature is formed from our interactions with it and the way we were raised and educated in respect to nature. Even a cultures religious views reflect their view if nature. We are raised in homes separated from nature, indoor heating/ AC. Our water is run through a modern system of filtration and cleaning. Our waste products are flushed down pipes and we pay other people do deal with them. In our educations we are taught physical sciences to help us explain why things happen in nature that would be a total mystery without the aid of education. But if you look at the evolution of religion you can see the views of nature changing throughout the development of civilization. The very first religions were based on polytheistic ideas. A god for every force of nature and every thing bad or good that happens to people throughout there lives. Early man viewed diseases, famine, earthquakes, droughts all as dealings of the Gods because they had no other way to explain these occurrences. As societies gathered in cities and slowly defended themselves against the ravages of nature, religions evolved to reflect this. In our society today God rules over us in a moral sense rather than controlling every aspect of our lives. Although the Zoroastrians were the first monotheistic culture and that was in like 1000 BC, so maybe this all breaks down, but I'm pretty sure the whole gods for the forces of nature thing makes sense. An article on shamanism(wiki)

January 31, 2007

H & E in jest

I enjoyed the way Dillard descried the frog scene. To me it makes me realize that we sometimes think of nature as a poorly drawn picture by our 4th grade siblings, complete with grass a tree and a blue sky with squiggly clouds and smiling sun with a possible set of aviator sunglasses. But really it is a complex set of laws of survival. The frog doesn’t really care that it is in danger of getting its insides liquefied and sucked out. Do frogs even feel pain? I doubt it. Sorry to anyone in PETA but frogs just don’t care. Are we all just frogs waiting around until the proverbial giant water bug does the same to us?; Maybe not, it probably wasn’t a good analogy in hindsight, it’s 20/20, or so they tell me. But my real point is that Nature needs to be respected, it’s been around way longer than us and it has a plan, and it executes it with deadly precision. Annie really paints the picture well in her literary pursuits. I liked her imagery; it really reminds me of running around out near the lakes around my hometown. Nature is cruel, but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, my English teacher in 11th grade told me that after I declined a prom invitation, which I felt bad about. I think Annie presents the view that nature is a medium through which we learn more about ourselves and our certain place in this crazy world. Cycles of life and death, no matter which path we take we end in the same place, the ground. But when we just use nature as a tool we have the tendency to abuse it, we need to live in symbiosis with nature. But that’s just me and I could be wrong.

and a link for your enjoyment.

January 25, 2007

uplink..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walden

January 23, 2007

Thoughts on the life of nature

To understand Thoreau's decision to live in nature to find himself one must look at nature. Nature is the essence of deliberation. No time is wasted by the fur tree. It's existence is merely to grow and die, spreading its seeds in hope of forming more trees and in time a forest to herald to its ounce meager existence. The wolf thinks not of the sunny days to come or the times to see his family and chat with friends over a game of cards. The days pass for the wolf only to hunt and breed, to feed his hunger and bolster his species' population. After a time one mimics his surroundings, adapts to the lifestyle of his environment. To be surrounded by deliberation, to sleep, live, and breath it's constant effort to survive. This encompassing lifestyle leads one to his bare essentials in life and the beautiful simplicity of life. The Village is bustling creation of man. The politics of civilization erect a barrier to the deliberation of life. Although the Village does provide man some amenities, protection from nature, care to the sick and weak. But to be pampered is only to forsake nature, to cut away its hold on man. The strong survive when protection is lost, the weak perish when nature is in control. This unforgiving tendency serves to tear man away from his wants of the world, his vises. To strip man down to his animal instincts but to free his mind from the turmoils and squabbles of life. To free the mind to contemplate the deepness of life itself. Life deceives the mind with its visage of simplicity. But when stripped down to it's skin Life shows its complexity and ultimate beauty. The life of the woods is the life of simplicity but in turn the key to complexity.