Author Archive

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.

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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……

It all comes down to The Lorax

Posted in Climate Change with tags on April 7, 2010 by ajtriplett

Over the weekend I was looking at Dr. Seuss books for my daughter.  The Lorax!!!  Why didn’t I think of this before! If you haven’t read it or need a refresher, do it now…… The Lorax

I wish I would have came across this sooner.  Reading this story made me go back to my notes on Diamond, factors that lead to failure, and root causes.  This is such a good example– I had to share.

  • Before the problem arises— The Once-ler is a man that saw the beautiful Truffula Trees, but, like Diamond suggests, the Once-ler was desensitized to the possibility of disaster.
  • Failure of  perception—-The Once-ler cut down one Truffula Tree, created a Thneed, and thought that would be the end of everything.  WRONG.
  • Radical behavior— The Lorax came and warned the Once-ler what was happening,–the Brown Bar-ba-loots, Truffula Fruits, Humming Fish, and Swommee-Swans were all sent away because one tree turned into several and the once plush environment was now bleak and dead.
  • Why no solution—- By the time the Once-ler cut down the last Truffula Tree, he did feel guilty, but it was too little too late.

This story is us, America, the world in a nutshell.  Like the Once-ler, we exploit beautiful habitats until there is nothing left.  We see it going on in front of us, but think….. If I don’t do it…. someone else will.

I also think it’s important to point out all the environmental literature out there for kids.  The Lorax was published in the 70s and today the TV is filled with environmental thinking for kids…. Dora the Explorer, The Simpsons, Sesame Street and tons more.  Being smart about how we treat Mother Earth is being pounded into their heads.

Even with this information being shoved into our faces from infancy, will it actually make a difference?  I like to think so.

Whodunit–Wedunit: Disease is Necessary

Posted in Environmental Security, Natural Disasters, Risk & Fear with tags , , on February 3, 2010 by ajtriplett

Disease and illness is all around us.  Black Death, Swine Flu, Mad Cow Disease…. what do all of these say about us? Are we pushing our existence to the limit?

David Arnold asks these questions and more in The Problem of Nature: Environment, Culture, and European Expansion.  When discussing epidemic diseases he asks if these natural disasters are more culturally or environmentally influenced.  Killing some twenty million in Europe alone, the Black Death was devastating… or was it?

Starting in 1346 and returning every ten to twelve years, the Black Death took a toll Europe’s population, but allowed the surrounding environment to grow strong again.  The declining wolf population had a chance to rebound.  The wetlands and forests were able to recover.  Due to the lack of able bodies to work, people were forced to come up with new way of doing things—technology advanced.  Would these things have happened if the plague remained with the rats and didn’t jump to human hosts? 

The Spanish Flu of 1918 hit hard—killing an estimated 40 million people. 

In the small village close to Nome, Brevig Mission was nearly wiped out by this virus.  Of its 80 members, 72 died because of the flu.  In his book, The Forgotten Pandemic, Alfred Crosby states, “Spanish influenza did to Nome and the Seward Peninsula what the Black Death did to fourteenth-century Europe.”  Research has shown that in this case, the disease originated in birds and mutated to infect humans.  Is this Mother Nature way of saying back off or else?

These disease, as horrible as they are, I feel are a necessary cycle.  Not only did these epidemics give the population a little break, but forced humans to make advances in medicine and technology.  With today’s vaccinations an epidemic that is comparable to the Black Death or Spanish Flu will be hard to match, but eventually one will come and ease the pressure we are putting on our environment.