April 20, 2007

Blog Entry #14

I can see why the author believes the way she does, however, I feel as though it is unfair. Assuming that she grew up in the south for a majority of her life, I can see why she would think the way she does. As unfair as she portrays men in a very generalized way, I assume the same generalizations about the south. I have come across people that have been some of the nicest people, and also some that are "proud" to be racist. No offense meant to anybody from the south, however, the culture down there is very different than that of say Minnesota. Since we are generalizing, and although it is unfair, we know how much Americans love their guns. Would they be willing to give it up for safety issues across the country? Most likely not. For environmental reasons? I believe most definitely not. Look at the majority who voted for Bush. Although I believe that stereotyping is unfair, it seems that there is a reason for it. If a majority share the belief or act a certain way, it is natural for us as people to make assumptions from that point on. If nothing else, many times stereotypes have at least a shred of truth to it, but not always. I do also believe that there is a closer connection with most woman and the environment than with men. This belief is coming from the fact that women give way to life, they have children. As hard as guys try, I am told, that we will never understand the magnitude of bearing a child, which I agree with. Views on life differ in gender, even if it is very slight. So was Ms. Tempest correct in her argument? I don't she was completely right, but her argument is definitely justifiable.

April 12, 2007

Blog Entry #13

I thought Edward Abbey's style of writing was interesting. The words that he chose to use in certain places caught my attention. However, for some reason, after reading the comment on how the modern appliances, at his time, were essentially in thanks to Hitler for starting the war, I was a little turned off from the piece. Although it may have been true from his perspective and from a historical perspective as a whole, the way he almost seemed to acredit him didn't sit so well with me. As much as these authors that we are reading want us to live in more accordance with nature, I think that for our generation, it will be more difficult for us to. The recent changes in the past 50 years have grown at such an exponential rate that I don't believe the writers of the older generation could have possibly forseen it. The changes in the last 20 years, quite possibly may have taken 50+ to accomplish before all the technological advances. I believe that the idea of having a close relationship with nature is a great one, however for our generation, just the awareness and the willingness to do little changes at a time are a big step. The older we get, the more responsibilities we attain, both for our lives and for the environment, and sometimes these choices will be dictated by human nature, greed.

April 5, 2007

Blog Entry #12

I believe that we need to have a certain connection with nature in order to have some type of happiness. I think just to be out in nature for a few days, getting away from the everyday commotion that we deal, can help "freshen" up a person's attitude. I know it has for me at times. There definitely is a connection between nature and human beings. We are a part of the whole picture, hence we are a part of the good that comes out as well as the bad that comes out of what we do to the earth.

With the population growing so rapidly, it seems that it will be harder to keep more areas undeveloped. The fear seems to be that we won't have nature left to connect with, and it seems to be a reasonable concern. Population is something that we will have a difficult time to fully control, as there are aspects beyond our reach. I believe that in today's age, we have an issue dealing with overcrowding. Too many people in small areas tends to lead to high stress levels. I don't believe that the biggest issue of people unhappy today is because of the lack of connection with nature, but a compilation of issues altogether.

Blog Entry #12

I believe that we need to have a certain connection with nature in order to have some type of happiness. I think just to be out in nature for a few days, getting away from the everyday commotion that we deal, can help "freshen" up a person's attitude. I know it has for me at times. There definitely is a connection between nature and human beings. We are a part of the whole picture, hence we are a part of the good that comes out as well as the bad that comes out of what we do to the earth.

With the population growing so rapidly, it seems that it will be harder to keep more areas undeveloped. The fear seems to be that we won't have nature left to connect with, and it seems to be a reasonable concern. Population is something that we will have a difficult time to fully control, as there are aspects beyond our reach. I believe that in today's age, we have an issue dealing with overcrowding. Too many people in small areas tends to lead to high stress levels. I don't believe that the biggest issue of people unhappy today is because of the lack of connection with nature, but a compilation of issues altogether.

March 29, 2007

blog entry #11

Taking a closer look at my own life, I realize that I cause a lot of garbage as well as cause pollution. Many things that I buy have some type of box or cover that I tend to just throw away, especially plastic things. I believe the biggest impact I can have as an individual is to make sure that I recycle as much as possible. I do drive as well, however in this day an age with the distances we are required to travel to get to school and work, it is very difficult to cut down the amount that I drive. The bus is a viable option, however, with a hectic schedule, it would just add more stress to my life, which I would prefer to do without. There are many things that certainly can be done on an individual basis, but it seems that unless you are concious of trying to pollute less, there will always be something that you throw away, or use that pollutes the environment. We are in a technological era that requires the use of fuels. Everyday there is something that I tend to throw away as garbage, even if I know it is recyclable because it is convenient. This is the kind of mentality that I believe I should change. On an individual level, I know that there are other things that can be done, but realistically to me, recycling is the biggest change I feel that I can make in my daily life to help out with the environmental cause.

March 19, 2007

Blog Entry #8

According to Carson, she states that there is a reciprocal relationship between people and nature, essentially cause and effect. I agree with her line of thinking in that we need to respect the “principles by which nature works". We need to respect the principles, but in today's society it is easier said than done. I believe that we need to have a better understanding of these "principles". We need to understand that what we do today will effect those that come after us. One thing I believe is needed to proceed with this line of thinking is understanding that we, people as a whole, are a part of nature, not exclusive from it.

People today are in a rush to accomplish goals that are set. Technology drives us to achieve things at rates never thought possible. With everything faster paced, including the pace of life, nature almost seems absent to many people. Today's younger generation seems to think that the world is put in place for us to use and take advantage of and do not think of repercussions down the line.

March 8, 2007

Blog Entry #7

Out of all the articles against global warming, I thought this was probably the best argument we have read up unitl this point. Lindzen backs up his ideas with so many logic explanations that it is a persuasive argument. Also, knowing his background and expertise in the subject alleviates some worries about the validity of his statements. His explanations are so in depth, in comparison with the other authors read, that it almost doesn't seem like there should be an issue to debate.

As persuasive as it is, however, I still believe that we are in danger of global warming. Personally, I have no expertise in global warming, but with all the different factors to consider that were different, say 20 years ago in comparison with today, an accurate, consensual study to prove or disprove it seems to still be a bit away. Living in Minnesota for my entire life, I have seen the winters get warmer and less severe as the years go by. It is possible that the earth is just in a fluctuating weather pattern, but the changes I have seen, although they may not be true, keep me thinking that the earth is warming.

March 1, 2007

Blog Entry #6

This movie had me fairly disinterested at first. But as the movie went along, the different lifestyle of Treadwell reminded me very much of Steve Irwin, the croc hunter. The croc hunter's passion for wildlife seemed to echo in this movie. Although Treadwell is a very "interesting" character, his intentions and his dedication to the wildlife is something to be admired. He seemed to have a charm to him when dealing with the grizzlies.

I was a bit surprised with all the people on the documentary who seemed to call Treadwell crazy. Not surprised that they called him crazy, but surprised that their comments were recorded. I guess it was to show the differing view points, but it seemed a little disrespectful to call him crazy when he is no longer with us. It takes a special breed to do the things that Treadwell did. To go out into the wilderness with no companions, just living out in the wilderness for months at a time, is incredible. It's a shame that through his death, he made more of an impact in his field of work. Hopefully for him, that impact will continue to be felt for many years to come.

February 21, 2007

Blog Entry #5

This was a very long article. He seemed to jump here and there with ideas. He raised some interesting points on the parables that Jesus taught. One that Jesus was first and foremost a writer and two, they are messages intended for people to think deeply about and to apply in their own lives. Because of the length of the piece, I felt as though it was very disconnected at times to me. The language was a bit more difficult to comprehend, but his ideas were interesting. His comparison of religion and environmentalism through word association grabbed my attention. Comparing the likes of "recycling" and "resurrection" as well as the harms that both religion and environmentalism can cause through much of what seems to grow off of people's fear that they are doing something wrong and that eventually they will be punished for it.

I was left a bit confused after this point as he goes on to talk about Greek gods and tree sitters and the weather channel. I was left with the impression that he was connecting science with his theme but the jumps seemed disconnected to me. It may have been due to my lack of attention towards the end of the piece. All in all, in the end we are a part of nature that exists as a whole. whether or not we were destined to be at the top of the food chain or whether we evolved to it, without nature and the world around us, we are without life. Who knows which way is the right way to live? You can only choose to live the best way you think you can live, whether that includes taking care of nature is up to you.

February 14, 2007

Blog Entry #4

This piece grabbed my attention because of the impact of the issues in the piece are still being discussed today. This piece shows the power of religion and the effects it can have on issues in today’s world. The piece describes how the rise of environmentalism came about in great part due to strong religious influences. I was a little dismayed because the author seemed to hope that Bush’s connection between the environment and his faith would help the cause. As we see events transpire today, it seems that Bush could care less.

Another interesting point that was made in the article was the skepticism of environmentalism to religious circles, especially those of Evangelical beliefs. Not that they are bad, it just seems that religious beliefs are the hardest to persuade one way or another, very stubborn to tradition if you will. It appears that without the religious support, the environmentalist movement would have had a hard pressed time against the corporate world. However, it also seems that some blame is due to Christianity. Lynn White Jr.’s statement intrigued me the most. “By destroying Paganism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects. The faith of our fathers, which set man above the beasts and flowers of the field, also set in motion 2 millennia of environmental degradation.

February 7, 2007

Blog Entry #3

Lisa Couturier’s piece “The City’s Laughter?, was the probably the most enjoyable read so far in the semester. Her experience in the book relating to New York was very intriguing. She seemed to describe both the aspects of how we perceive nature versus actually assuming we’re part of it. Her reflection of her humble beginnings in New York was gross but interesting. Living with cockroaches doesn’t quite seem like my idea of living with nature, but the way she explained her own understanding of the situation in New York, allowed me to see a different perspective of “city life?.

She seemed to find connections with “the nature of New York?, with her daily life. She mentioned how the cockroaches were able to tell her when the trains were coming. These kinds of connections that she made in the piece, helped me think a little differently and open my mind to how connected to nature we really are.
The line that really hit me was when she said, “There are many languages spoken there. And though one of them is not ‘wildness’ in the way it may typically be defined—as nourishing nonhuman diversity—there are, nonetheless, remnants, sparks, holdouts, representatives, entities, beings, subjects from the wild, species clinging to this landscape.? To me, this line essentially solidified her idea that we are all connected with “nature? regardless of how aware of it we are.

January 22, 2007

Blog Entry 1

I believe that Throreau chose his sojourn into the woods because living out in the woods brings you closer to nature. What I mean by closer to nature is that, you get to step back and enjoy the beauty of life. You see everything from complex, large animals to the smallest little insects. The world seems to be a bigger place. Without technological distractions, you are allowed to notice things you would typically be blind to, such as the morning dew in the morning, or the fog over a pond. If one were to work off the earth to live in the woods, that person would appreciate everything much more than one who just purchases it.

Life in the village has many social contacts. There are many distractions that take you away from living life to the fullest. There are responsibilities such as providing for a family, maintaining relationships between many people on a consistent basis, and whatever pleasures that can be attained after these responsibilities are kept up. It is true that people need to socialize, which is similar to the need for an animal to mate. However, people become so wrapped up in their daily activities or plans that they don’t take the time for themselves to just think about and enjoy life, according to Thoreau’s ideal for living life.

Where but the woods, away from human contact, can one actually connect with the world that the person is a part of? According to Thoreau, “nature is deliberate?. In nature every little organism has its own special characteristics and one main goal, to survive. Survival is the most basic form of living. If finding food to eat is your main “job?, one’s outlook on life would totally change. This humbling experience is one that people can only get from escaping the vigorous rituals of daily life.