Author Archive

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.”

The Death of Adam

Posted in Environmental Security, Popular Culture, Religious Roots, Risk & Fear, Uncategorized on March 1, 2010 by cjreevesii

It seems plain to me that one of the reoccurring themes in my 418 Eco- Collapse course is how devastatingly man has continued to ravish the planet. However, one type of man in particular seems to be getting a lot of flack now-a-days: the framer. When I think about the last couple of novels and essay’s I have read, I can’t think of one that does not point its sullen finger at the farmer for some sort of deprivation or other. Over the past two weeks in particular, I have had the pleasure to sink my teeth into the delectable fruit of two great works: Silent Spring (selections) by Rachel Carson and The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. Both of these books relate in grave detail why they think framers are to blame for the amount of environmental damage that has been caused upon the earth. They showcase real life events such as the “dust bowl of 1930” and show us figure crunching data of how farmers raping the land are to blame.

Well, if convincing readers to agree with their accusations is their goal, I will admit I’m slowly being convinced. But, don’t take it from me. Listen to the experts who say that non-sustainable farming practices hurt public health, drain small communities, abuse animals and pollute the environment according to a 2 and 1/2 year research performed by Pew and Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health[1]. This report highlights how modern day farming can harm everything in its wake. It can impact species by creating drug-resistant bacteria strains. It can pollute the planet. It also can damage the soil, but most importantly it can be harmful to you as well.

There is a phrase I heard some time ago that goes, “Think globally; act locally,” and nowhere is this rationale more appropriate than in your everyday life. If these local farms are that destructive, are we all falling susceptible to the “costs of human illnesses caused by drug-resistant bacteria associated with the rampant use of antibiotics on feedlots and the degradation of land, water and air quality caused by animal waste too intensely concentrated to be neutralized by natural processes[2] ?” What happen to the days of the natural farmer that authors such as Edmund Spencer would idolize?

This brings me to my last and final point. The original farmer was the first man to walk the planet. We know him today to be called Adam. Appointed by God, it was his job to ‘teal the earth and grow living things (plants).’ If that was the case, how did we come so far from the beginning of a pure motive given by the direction of the Divine, to now irrationally destroying the earth?

If we continue in this pattern of destruction, I will caution to ask is it time to kill Adam?


[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/29/AR2008042902602.html?wpisrc=newsletter

[2] All quotes were used from www.washingtonpost.com from the article Report Targets Costs Of Factory Farming  By Rick Weiss

Checkout this BBC documentary about sustainable farming below

Can Corporations Kill Us?

Posted in Atwood, Climate Change, Environmental Security, Popular Culture on February 15, 2010 by cjreevesii

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately, and one question keeps popping into my mind. Can corporations kill us? Well, I guess I should clarify my question. I wouldn’t want anyone having nightmares of large skyscrapers with red, gleaming eyes hiding in their closet, waiting for the right moment to pounce. I guess what I’m asking is; can corporate interests and actions harm the environment, and ultimately us? Today we know that corporations, for good or bad, are major influences on our lives. For example, of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporation led countries while only 49 are countries; based on a comparison of corporate sales and country GDPs[1]. In this era of globalization, people are becoming more aware of the motives of multinational corporations, and corporate-led globalization is being met with increasing protest and resistance. Most commonly we see this form of resistance in books like Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, and Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. But it is not these books however that peek my interest. In general, it is the call to question why so many individuals believe that corporations can be conclusively harmful.

To try and reconcile this question, let’s first begin by looking at the major industries corporations make their home turf (such as the auto, mining, pharmaceuticals, oil and chemical based industries). All of these are major areas in which major countries are run, and because these corporations hold so much power over these critical resources, is it unreasonable to ask that they be held to some extent accountable for what is happening to our world? Recent years have witnessed increasing importance on corporate social responsibility, especially as concerns about climate change are becoming main-stream. There have been criticisms of corporate social responsibility from ardent free trade capitalists and anti globalization activists/environmentalists alike. But seeing no change of major companies towards a greener way of living, one question still remains. Do corporations have a moral obligation to society? If so, how far does their moral obligation extend?

One major “high flying” executive believes corporations should be held to a higher moral standard then is accepted now. In a recent interview with CNET News, Cisco Systems’ CEO John Chambers gave the following answer when asked what role corporations should play in making the world a better place.

“I believe that those who have been successful are obligated to give back to those who have been less successful. That’s what my family believes. That’s what I believe. That is what Silicon Valley believes. When Cisco first started, Hewlett-Packard helped us a lot. I was a little company then, and after a year and a half I finally had the courage to ask (because I was afraid that if I asked they might stop): “Why are your top executives spending time with us?” And they said, “Because it’s the right thing to do. Helping others is the right thing to do[2]

Although many perspectives are trying to make corporate behavior more responsible when it comes to ethics, working conditions, environmental sustainability, etc, are we moving in the right direction if one of the corporate elites can take a stand and confirm that the general populaces concerns should be the concerns of corporations? Or could it be that corporations will continue to placate us with pretend solutions until we eventually run this planet dry of resources?

Whatever the conclusion, the debate is just getting started, and it looks like we’ll all be right in the thick of it. So grab hold of the nearest bandwagon and settle down for the longest ride of your life.

Check out this unique video on consumerism and how that affects our planet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gltbXhzako&feature=pyv&ad=2781146759


[1] http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2009/gdp408f.htm

[2] http://news.cnet.com/Good-for-business,-good-for-society/2008-1036_3-6212067.html

Will Any of this Even Matter? by CJReevesII

Posted in Climate Change, Natural Disasters, Popular Culture, Religious Roots, Rhetoric on February 3, 2010 by cjreevesii

Colonialism, slavery, rampant advertisement, and propaganda: in 21st century America, do these words ring a bell to you? Well, they do to author Robin Morris Collin. In her article “The Apocalyptic Vision: Environmentalism and a Wider Embrace,” she talks exactly of these issues. More simply, it is her argument that “footprints” of western colonialism have led to the environmental injustice that we are facing today. She makes the claim that in areas of highest economic poverty and racial minority, we see a higher decline in the use of governmental resources to maintain a healthy living environment. She also ascribes to the affirmation that a monopoly of land held by rich governing powers proves useless to the mass majority of indigenous and impoverished peoples around the world creating a dense barrier of environmentalism inequality. So, what is the answer to the steep decline of our economical environmental crisis? Why the Apocalypse of course, and Author David Arnold thinks the trajectory of the world is leading us precisely in that direction.

In his book, “The Problem of Nature,” he relates how historians have paired the vastly stacking evidence of impending doom with current cultural beliefs in order to point the finger at apocalyptic rhetoric; that the natural disasters of modern-day occurrences just happen to be the prophecy’s of Judaeo- Christian text. However, other critics, such as Sut Jhally claims, much like Collin that the end of the world will be a forced act beat down by human nature and our insatiable appetite for industrial conquest.

In my opinion it will be both. We as humans have chosen to run down the sands of wealth this earth has so graciously given us. In doing so, we help to create our own end and fulfill the Biblical prophecy of the world’s end.

So only one question remains; when it is all over will any of this even matter?

Check out Sut Jhally’s video on Advertising & the End of the World by clicking the link below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdpucXyZNCM