Archive for April, 2010

“Here it comes!” “Global warming!” Ahhh!

Posted in Environmental Security, Natural Disasters, Popular Culture, Risk & Fear on April 28, 2010 by jessicabarranco

After talking about security, and questions about fear and power, I wanted to share this link with everyone.  This is how I feel about the environment sometimes, so I hope that this episode of South Park will help answer any lingering questions about global warming.

Please enjoy!

Click on: Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow

Episode 908 (Original Air Date: Oct 19, 2005)

A GLOBAL WARMING STATE OF EMERGENCY is declared in South Park. The world’s largest beaver dam breaks and floods the adjacent town of Beaverton. As the victims wait for help to arrive, everyone in South Park tackles priority number one: who is to blame? Only Stan and Cartman know who’s really at fault.

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Final Thoughts

Posted in Climate Change, Religious Roots on April 28, 2010 by ajtriplett

We’ve had lots of different topics, lots of different readings, and tons of discussions about eco-collapse.  What is the cause?  How can we change it? What does the future hold?

Well, this is my idea— ethics.  I think the way we (Americans)  treat our little section of the world falls back on our ethics, or lack of.  Over time which we don’t have, we need to change our ethical view.

Ethics–a system of moral principles

If we start to raise our children with a different set of ethics that actually incorporated a positive worldview, things WOULD change.  We would raise our children not to immortalize people like Britney Spears, LeBron James, and Paris Hilton.  Instead they would know about Wangari Maathai and John Muir.  Images of pollution-free oceans and flourishing summer garden would fill our heads instead of Kate Gosselin getting voted off Dancing with the Stars. People would start to care about how we live.  Religion would change— everything would.

Patience, persistance, commitment– that is what Wangari believes.  The problem with that  idea–time.  Time is not our friend.  Will it be too late if we change our ethical view?  Will it be too late if we are patient, persistent, and stay committed?  For some ecosystems it will be too late.  An although by changing our ethics now we are only postponing the inevitable ending, it’s worth a try.

When It’s All Said and Done, I Want It to be Over: Final Blog Post

Posted in Natural Disasters, Post-Apocalypse, Risk & Fear, Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 by cjreevesii

As I sit here writing my last blog post, I am reminded of all of the others that not only I, but my classmates have written before. A various range of genres flooding my thoughts, but all pertaining to one specific subject: eco- collapse. During my time in this class I have learned a lot about what makes our world go round, and if I may correctly say, what will eventually make it stop turning altogether. However, after everything I have learned from this class, two questions continue to pop in mind. Is the earth really going to end? If so, why are we trying to stop it? Although I understand that we as humans are selfish and would love to preserve our time spent controlling every possible element of the earth we can, I myself think that it would be better to let the earth die.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone want the earth to die? Surely that would mean the death of all mankind dying with it. Well, I will tell you why. After much reading (thanks professor Ray) and discussion on what direction our planet is heading, I have determined that the conclusion is not good. Surely after all of the war, pollution, extinction, deprivation, death, global warming, natural disasters, (and the list goes on) the earth will be a ball of flames, born anew out of ashes, spinning without us. Although this may seem a bleak and out willful future, I believe it will ultimately do the earth more good to continue without us. Honestly, it’s no secret that we humans have done nothing to help restore the balance in the world. More accurately, we are almost always the cause of any bad thing happening on the planet, and sadly we do not seem to see the error of our ways.

Alan Weisman, the author of The World Without Us, gives us an astounding realization of our behaviors when he says “Every four days our population raises by 1 million. Since we really can’t grasp the effects of the numbers, we will crash and burn just like other species have done in the past.” It’s clear to see that from our own destructive ways we are harming the planet more every day. Would it be so much of a stretch to think that we humans could have one act of selflessness and ‘take on for team earth’? Surely we all know that the earth can go on without us. I would even venture to say that it will do quite better without human influence misguiding its path.

Well, from my perspective, when it’s all said and done, I want it to be over for us humans. Although I am eager to see just how many other share my opinion. Weisman seems to think that no matter what (even if the human race becomes extinct) we will never truly leave the earth alone. He ended his essay (which I will leave you with as well) with these last haunting lines. “Or even one day-long after we are gone, unbearably lonely for the beautiful world which we so foolishly banished ourselves- we, or our memories, might surf home abroad some comic electromagnetic waves to haunt our beloved earth.”

We won’t be back

Posted in Climate Change, Natural Disasters on April 28, 2010 by ajtriplett

Rebecca Solnit’s article Judgment Day in Copenhagen brings up some great points– but these are all points we’ve heard over and over and over.  Our leaders, the ones we elect to run our great nation, are being blinded.  Well, I wouldn’t even say blinded, more like ignorant, stupid, greedy and so many more words of choice.  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Obama, and every other Joe Schmo who says that something must be done about climate change and they are the ones who are going to do it are full of crap.

Like Solnit stated, the agreement that was discussed in Copenhagen suggested that we limit the temperature increase to about 7 degrees F.  Really? I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that limiting 7 degrees will still destroy the environment. Although the temperature increase would be over time (by 2100), that 7-degree increase will kill the coral reefs, devastate farms, make the Amazon non-existent, and cause a slew of other problems.  Why can’t we make drastic changes now?  Make carpooling and recycle mandatory.  Limit the number of cars people can own. Force square footage limits on the houses people build…. I know this is just the tip of the iceberg for solutions, but something major needs to be done.

and I feel fine

One of the comments a reader made on the Solnit article back in 2009 was about 9-11 and how  leaders across the world  “were all one, and would stand together against a common threat; yet tens of millions around the globe are now facing death by starvation and disease due to climate change, and those same governments can’t even agree to an agreement.”  Ding ding ding!!!!  Major disasters will continue to happen, people will continue to die, landscapes will perish until we just blow up.  The people who can really make a difference in the world—those who can make laws—need to do it now. Today.

Solnit said there are no superheroes but us….. superheroes aren’t real……

Charles’s Job IV

Posted in Climate Change, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 28, 2010 by Conor

Charles watched his screens, observed his computers, interrogating their square faces, watching for ticks and twitches that would hint at a hidden truth his instruments could be hiding from him. Finally satisfied that the world was still fucked up beyond his stone chambers, he turned and walked to the nursery. As he walked in, he looked up to track the simulated sun as it passed across the ceiling. The ceiling, actually a giant screen, ran a program that simulated the passing of day and night and it was seasonally sensitive. During winter, the photoperiod was shorter, the night longer, and the ambient temperature of the room dropped a few degrees. Even though it wasn’t in the original programming, Charles eventually rewrote the program to include clouds, snow, rain, all with a simulated appearance on the man-made sky. He would spend hours in there, watching as the clouds floated across the ceiling, looking for shapes, trying to ignore the fact that it was on a loop and every twenty minutes, the same shapes would crawl above him. Although he could program the ceiling to simulate storm clouds, to make it seem as though he was looking up into a pouring sky, and even as the recording of rain drops throwing themselves into the soil played over the speakers, his face still remained dry and he didn’t feel the tiny liquid bombs exploding on his forehead, on his closed eyelids, the flowers of H20 blooming from their tear shaped buds across his cheeks and the shrapnel and spent petals rolling down his face finally leaping from his chin towards the soil. Nothing touched him, though the phantom memory of rain did brush his skin, phantom spray from a childhood sprinkler. Despite the absence of rain, his cheeks were still wet when he opened his eyes.

Charles continued through to the second chamber of the nursery, partitioned off by one revolving door immediately followed by another. As Charles passed into the gene nursery he stood and waited for his eyes to adjust. In the previous room the light was changing constantly but here it was a consistent low, red glow bathing everything in an ominous light. The sound was just as different. Where as the patternless, chaotic patter of rain filled the previous room, this one was filled with a deep throbbing. When Charles closed his eyes he always felt as though he was inside a giant bass drum. He opened the cabinet in the corner, donning gown and mask and gloves. Charles stood for a moment and gazed down the gene nursery, more like a wide corridor than a room. On each side of the room were vats, the size of trash cans, filled with a clear liquid. The vats nearest the door appeared to be empty but as he walked down the room the contents changed. A small dot, or speck for the first few vats, then larger and larger objects. As he progressed down the room, each vat was filled with a more recognizable shape. A fetal curl, the neck, bent as though in prayer, a thoughtless lump asking forgiveness for sins not yet enacted. Moving down the aisle, toes became distinct, ears, a nose, after a certain size umbilical cords tethered the fetuses to nourishment, which was precisely regulated. After passing to the rear of the chamber, he turned to the last vat. A fully formed human male, his DNA donated by healthy Government employees that had passed the genetic screening. He had Charles’s nose. And Dr. Daniel’s mouth.

Charles wheeled over a stool, locking it in place so that it wouldn’t skitter out from under him as he brought his fragile son into the world. Charles unclasped the grips holding the glass womb in place and manipulated the hinges attaching it vertically to the wall, extending its support arm like a boom, bringing the second to last human he knew for sure was alive to a rest, a few degree from horizontal. Opening a vent in the base of the container, the amniotic fluid began to flow into the drain in the floor, a torrential flood of viscous goo. As the last of the fluid drained out Charles gave the base a sharp twist, unlocking it with a wet click, letting it fall clattering to the floor. Instead of reaching in to grab the new-born, he simply let it slide slowly out of the tube that had been its home for the last nine months, the amniotic fluid turning the beaker into a slide. As the child’s weight settled into his hands, he pulled a rubber ear cleaner out of the cradle, squirting two quick burst of air at each nostril, and immediately this bundle of cells, this wet bag of miniature organs, tiny bones, and enormous potential, began to wail. Charles wrapped him in a blanket, and held him close. Leaning in to the baby’s ear, Charles chose his words very carefully.

“Hello Kael, my name is Charles. I’ve waited a long time to meet you. Welcome to the New Earth.”

where isTerminator?

Posted in Climate Change on April 28, 2010 by briannichols

 

Rebecca solnit’s article “Judgment Days in Copenhagen” portrays how a summit on climate change includes only the polluters and not the people affected by the pollution.  For example, she states how “Danish police became increasingly brutal as activists from everywhere, representing the poor, developing, and most affected nations, the Arctic, small farmers, indigenous nations, and the environment demonstrated” (Solnit 5). While inside only government and big business went through negotiations. Whose voice is not heard here? Solnit answers this question by clearly showing that it is the same people who have always been marginalized as governments and corporations work together to increase their profits. Solnit asks where are the heroes like Miles Dyson, in the movie Terminator 2, who recognize that he engineered the death of humanity with his creation of intelligent machines and so attempts to get rid of them for the benefit of humanity (Solnit 3). She cites how  Arnold Schwarzenegger was sent to the conference by the “Climate Action Reserve [which] is backed by Chevron and Shell” and suggests that Schwarzenegger is cyborg like advocating for lower greenhouse gas emissions but not so much as to affect industry profit. Solnit, then, suggest that there can be no real solution to climate change without considering the voices of those who are affected by it.

Just a thought…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 by rudweiser

Lets quit being hypocrites and actually do something about the environment. Here’s some helpful tips for going green.