For my video response, I did the same routine as last time. Type Going Green into Youtube.com and browsed through until I saw a video that looked worthwhile and serious. Most videos I looked at where mainly people asking others how they were going green, images set to music, people giving tips on how to go green, and so on. Not much to really write a response to; but for the sake of it I’ll try. The video I watched was called The Benefits Of Going Green For Companies By Green Profit Solutions. It was set to the song Feels Like Today by Rascall Flatts and featured a montage of images describing and showing how companies could do their part to go green and if a majority did go green, what kind of effect that would have on the environment. Not a bad video and with good intentions but it assumes the finer details of going green will be left to the companies; which they should be. The video, as you may guess, targets companies big and small to cut back on emissions and waste. I would venture to say that regular joe can even learn a bit from this video. Chances are though that regular joe works for a company that may have seen this video and it may decide to follow it. Thus joe may be to tired from going green at work to bother with his house. Maybe, who knows.
Well, first off from seeing the site, I don’t think one would need a house like that in the Caribbean. Its warm enough that all you need is a small shack. This site seems to be seeking an audience that is rich and has money to spend on lavish get away homes in the tropics. It is nice to know that there are houses available that would help preserve the natural beauty of the are though. By using solar power, of which there is a lot of in the Caribbean, there is no harm whatsoever to the environment except in what may occur while building the house. Which I’m guessing is the main point of the houses. It’s just that you would have to visit there often enough to make it worth while or move there. The site proposes to build better, more efficient homes, while providing work to the local people. All in all, the website itself seems pretty effective. It claims to provide efficient houses in tropical areas while supporting the local economy. All of these are good intentions in their on right. They have sponsors, which is nice, but I’m failing to see how much it would cost to build your own house down there. I’m going to guess it’s a fair amount.
Besides thinking that this article goes on and on, there is a highly debated issue here regarding the future of the river. One side is the fisherman who need the river as pristine as possible for the salmon. The other, farmers and the hydroelectric dams. The article points out the various tributes and cons of all three jobs that center around one river; and how the river cannot sustain all three without being poisoned or depleted. People that were interviewed said that it could escalate into some nasty fights between the different interest groups. Each side has their own arguments and counterarguments to most of the arguments against their arguments. It was at the part of the article that it started to become a history lesson that you may say how is this relevant? Don’t get me wrong, I like history and the quote says, “Those who do not know history, are doomed to repeat it.” The Native Americans that were inhabiting the area were moved off during times of the gold rush in the area. It is relevant to the point when land was being given back as the Natives in the areas have a voice in what is being decided. The article was intended to target everybody I think. It seems to be an example of how everyone from the farmers and fisherman all the way up to the corporations can agree on something invloving them all.
As I was reading Alan Weisman’s Nothing Wasted, Nothing Gained, it felt a bit like something out of a science fiction movie, Much like Lord of The Flies, but far more civilized and productive. The point of the article was to say that living in a zero emissions environment is possible and people can live such a life happily. Sorry to say that would not be possible in todays world. It would be good thing in quite a few ways to convert to such a liftstyle but many would be loath to give up what they have, namely quick access to anything and electronics everywhere. This article was aimed at supporters and people who wouldnt mind living in a way as described in Gaviotas. I think another target demographic is skeptics who said that this can’t be done on a massive scale. Gaviotas has proved that a small population can do it, but say an entire metropolitian area? The article never mentioned what is done with the human natural waste, i.e. sewage. Also, by bringing back the trees that had thrived from a time before, they were essentially replacing one ecosystem with another. If I wanted to research more into this topic, I would research the experimental town itself and see how they did as compard to a regular town you or I live in.
First off, I will admit I read this article off of a humour website, just trying to get different angles on things. I’ve talked to a friend about this site and he says the writers of the site in question, Cracked.com, actually do their research on the articles they write. Th article in question is named Five Ways People Are Trying To Save The World(That Don’t Work). Through out the article are links that go to websites with appropriate credentials for backing the article. Each sub-article is a couple of paragraphs in length and the style of writing and analogies used are short and to the point. basically, this is geared more towards people who are younger or bored and work and have a quick few minutes to kill. Which is to say, many college students and office workers. It seems that the author presents the issue, then leaves it to your own devices as to whether you want to pursue the topic being discussed. This I believe, also implies that the article targets the younger crowd; who at that age, do not like to be told what to do. If I had to specify, the piece was aimed at people who mean well but were misguided in the go green movement. Another nice thing about the site, at the bottom of the articles there is a list of other articles with similair topics that you can click on and also read.
Guerrillagardening.org is leading a movement in making use of neglected land for growing corn, lettuce, flowers, and basically any type of plant. The word has been spread very well about this project; many people in the U.S. and Europe have invested time into it. There are different ways to contribute, such as donating money and equipment, or finding unused soil and planning a gardening day. For people participating, the website allows you to post pictures and information on your projects, this allows more publicity for the project overall. Another way the site puts itself out there is through social networking sites such as, Facebook, and Twitter. The press has also spread word of Guerilla Gardening, which caused controversy and support for the risky project.
The downside to this organization is that it is illegal to take land that does not belong to the people. Although I would not see why the authorities would stop such a good cause, there is always a possibility that they might. Guerilla gardening makes our streets and buildings less bland. It also allows people to learn more about cultivating the land. By exploring this website I have been reminded how valuable every area of land is. It’s very vital to keep up not only the looks of our environment, but also the health. There has been many successful “troop digs” for the program, the high rate of success only strengthens them. More people should support this site, as it helps the citizens feel that they did their part in taking care of our environment.
Shishmaref, Alaska, which has been inhabited over four hundred years, is facing the possible relocation of their village due to drastic erosion. Shishmaref is not the only place suffering. The people of Alaskan villages cannot let erosion change our lives. The natural process of erosion eats away at our river banks, hillsides, and quite frankly our lives. Graves have fallen into lakes, houses in places like Shishmaref that used to be a safe distance from the water are now only yards from falling in themselves.
Living in a small village I have seen first hand how erosion could be fought. In the 1990′s cement blocks, held together by cable, were put on one of our river banks in order to preserve it. This has made an immense difference; the beach is still wide enough to play softball on in the summer, and to provide a place for the locals to park their boats. The cross country team is even able to train on the beach because it was saved when the people took action. If it were not for the cement blocks the wide beach may not have been so wide any longer. Another example of success story when dealing with erosion is the village of Noatak, Alaska. In Noatak bags of cement were placed at the bottom of a hillside that was eroding very quickly. These bags have saved this spot of land from falling into their slim river. The fact that the people of Noatak decided to do something about the erosion goes to show that other villages can too. These stories go to tell that erosion is not impossible to fight.
Not only does the changes in land mean adaption, but it also means unneeded work, loss of money, and sorrow. In my village graves that were once on a hillside are now in the lake below. Many of the graves that fell were retrieved and reburied, but this took a lot of work. The permafrost not but a few feet from the surface makes it a very backbreaking job to dig a wide grave deep into the ground. No one should have to bury a loved one twice.
The rivers are always changing due to erosion. A lot of times places we used to travel to are unavailable when a channel is blocked off by fallen land. It is true that the native people are very good at adapting, but there is a great need for villages to take action. There are many examples of success in stopping erosion in vital areas. I believe that the villages that are greatly suffering from eroding land, should not give up, but instead they should take action for their land.
(2006, December). Human and Economic Indicators: Shishmaref. Arctic Change. Retrieved September 24, 2011, from http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/detect/human-shishmaref.shtml
The article “Who Wants My Biofuel?” written by Rebecca Buckman brings to light the true cost of producing biofuel. Not only does it take almost a dollar to convert $2.70 of soybean oil, there is still the cost that is takes to produce the soybeans and to extract the oil to be converted. Another cost that may not have been brought to the attention of the public during the push for green-fuel is the loss of produce that used to grow on the land that is now being used to generate the raw material for biofuel. Government subsidies have also been paid to companies to encourage production of biofuels. What costs have we really accepted in order to produce green-fuels? After reading this article I feel there is little hope when it comes to finding a happy medium between saving the environment and the cost.
Although, I agree with the need to find an environment friendly fuel, I don’t agree with the idea that it should be found at any cost. We as a country need to take a step back and begin analyzing were we want to be in next 50 years and create a plan to get there by backwards planning. We try to make quick fixes all the time and end up trying to play catch up when it either doesn’t work or it has a negative effect, like costing additional resource to create biofuel. When quick fixes don’t have a lasting effect on a small scale how can we expect them to be the saving grace for the environment. They eventually cost more money, time, and effort to correct the outcome.
The discussion on commercial fishing in Alaska has continued to expand as more discoveries are being made in the western Gulf of Alaska. The primary topic that has gone up for grabs in the past year involves many fishing audiences, especially sport fishermen: bycatch salmon in Alaska. When fishery operators reported over 40,000 bycatch salmon in 2010, this subject became a quick hot topic. With a new fishing season under Alaska’s belt, nervous researchers have been searching for change in their reported numbers. Although fishermen are trying to decrease the number, bycatch king salmon continues to cause much distress for researchers who report on the salmon run because of the lack of information they are able to receive from the fish caught, the change in pace of the salmon returning home, and the decrease in numbers of newly spawned salmon.
With recent bycatch numbers hovering around 20,000 fish, a large percentage of fish are unable to be researched. These fish remain unidentifiable to fishery observers who are interested in finding the origin of the salmon’s journey. Researchers are concerned that a portion of these salmon may be from the endangered stock in the lower states, but without absolute verification, researchers have no way to stop this from occurring. According to an article in the Anchorage Daily News (2010), “king salmon tagged from endangered stocks such as the Upper Willamette and lower Columbia rivers have been found before in the Gulf of Alaska.” Because of this previous discovery, researchers remain concerned about the effects of this high numbered bycatch. This alone may cause significant damage to the endangered population.
In addition to the changes the bycatch is making outside of the waters, the numbers have also effected a change of pace under water. Fisheries manager of National Marine Fisheries Service, Josh Keaton, was quoted in an article posted on the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife News Bulletin (2010). He stated, “It’s the highest salmon season catch in the Gulf of Alaska since 1991.” The number of bycatch in 2010 exceeded the limit of 40,000 kings, hitting over 54,000. This drastic number is taken directly out of the Gulf, minimizing the salmon run. From the ten percent of salmon originally returning home, bycatch is decreasing this percentage, causing the run to shrink in size. While bycatch is difficult to prevent due to the constant movement of fish, these high reports may prompt the Department of Fish and Game to place certain restrictions.
Hand in hand with the effects on the salmon run, another large issue is occurring. A much smaller percentage of salmon are spawning new eggs. Therefore, this creates a larger problem as this percentage is relied on to resupply the salmon population. Thousands of salmon are being pulled out of the waters within weeks, diminishing the number of spawned salmon for future seasons. This alone becomes a primary concern for sport fisherman. It was reported in the Anchorage Daily News article (2010), mentioned earlier, “an estimated 24,878 fish [were picked up in] 12 days of fishing.” With numbers through the roof, it can only be imagined what future salmon runs will look like; less salmon are spawning.
Fishery managers will continue to do everything they can to decrease the number of bycatch salmon. In the meantime, bycatch remains a problem in Alaska. The scarcity of data from salmon caught, changes in the journey home, and decline of newly populated salmon are all consequences to this devastating obstacle. Sport fishermen remain on edge as bycatch reports come through the media. These numbers alone may be their only glimpse to see what the next season may bring. Josh Keaton remains positive when he says, “Hopefully it means a lot of kings are out there to be caught and they ran into a big pack of them.” At the point, hope and positivity is what Alaska sport fishermen need – hope that a better season is ahead of them.
Record Bycatch Of Salmon In Gulf Of Alaska Sparks Concern: Impacts On PNW Fish Unknown. (2010, December). The Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife News Bulletin. Retrieved from http://www.cbbulletin.com/402831.aspx
Pollock trawlers’ king salmon bycatch in Gulf almost triples. (2010, October). Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.adn.com/2010/10/24/1517044/bycatch-of-king-salmon-by-trawlers.html
Industrial Animal Farming: The Wave of the Future Will Eventually Crash.
Alan P. Mitchell
University of Alaska – Fairbanks
Industrial Animal Farming: The Wave of the Future Will Eventually Crash
As the population in the United States increases, so does our demand for inexpensive and easy foods. In today’s society, we want our food right now and without work or great expense. Industrial animal farming groups in the country have been more than happy to supply our ‘need’, but at what cost? Although the government and the greedy find Concentrated Animal Farming Organizations (CAFOs) and Industrial Animal Farming production acceptable and necessary in current times, they cause more problems for the future because of the lower quality product, the amount of toxic waste produced, and the elimination of the independent farming industry.
The mere mention of animal farming may give some the picture of a storybook rancher with hundreds to thousands of acres of farmland, pigs in corrals, chickens in dozens of coops, cows in pastures, and peace. However, times have changed and likewise the manner how these animals critical to the meat and general food industry are raised. Cows and pigs once having room to walk, lay down, and move as they wished, are now kept in stalls and cages, shoulder-to-shoulder, head-to-tail, with the others. They are practically force fed chemically treated, pesticide sprayed corn and grain and then injected with antibiotics to counter the effects of the lacking natural environment. The antibiotics injected into the animals have been linked to antibiotic resistant bacteria. Walsh (2009) notes the Institute of Medicine estimated in 1998 that antibiotic resistance cost public-health system between $4-5 billion a year. Runoff from Midwest fields contributes to an approximately 6,000 square-mile oxygen and sea life depleted area in the Gulf of Mexico known as a ‘dead zone’.
There are nearly 400 similar dead zones around the world. In order to produce more high-fat and high-calorie foods, we are destroying one of our leanest and healthiest sources of protein from the fishing industry losing an estimate 212,000 metric tons of seafood a year in this area alone. These consequences are not only known by the government, but are supported and paid for by state and Federal government as well. With the takeover of corn crops, IAFP and CAFOs have created monopolies and are in full control of the industry that is a regular staple of the American and world-wide way of life. Government subsidies are given and long-term contracts are created supporting their further development, while the money to watch over the environmental affects and pay for regulator and inspector positions is often short-funded, if done at all. In some reported cases, the government has refused to address these extreme levels of toxic waste for years. Duhigg (2009) quoted one anonymous EPA official as saying, “We were told to take our clean water and clean air cases, put them in a box, and lock it shut… these polluters are some of the biggest campaign contributors in town…” .
The National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (2008) acknowledges although the IAFP brought tremendous increases in short-term farm efficiency and affordable food, the formation of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIAP) in 2006 was due to the recognized serious unintended consequences of the rapidly developing industry. Members of the Commission were greeted by some industry representatives with open hostility; other members were threatened with withholding of research funding for their college or university.
Projections by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimates that from 2008 to 2018, the number of farmers and ranchers will decrease eight percent and the number of crop growers will decrease five percent while the number of farm/ranch/agricultural mangers will rise six percent; gloomy numbers for the future of the independent farming industry. PCIFAP (2008) brings back the caution President Dwight Eisenhower once gave against the “unhealthy alliance between the defense industry, the Pentagon, and their friends on Capitol Hill.” Now, we are seeing an unhealthy alliance between commodity groups, industry paid academic institution scientists, and their friends on Capitol Hill.
The rise in the IAFP and CAFOs is like the rise of an air current or ocean wave: as it travels, the entity on top of the wave rides high, feeling elated, maybe untouchable, while everything below it is churned up and displaced until finally the momentum of the wave breaks and what goes up eventually comes down. This should be a great concern for a country already suffering losses in its once world leading industrial and financial markets – a quick fix meant for the short-term will never hold, especially when more is expected from it in its immediate future without it being given time to rebuild. This act, already causing crisis to the national health system and local communities, will take the food industry to the same demise unless people take a stand and demand specific improvements and timelines. Enough has been said on how the industry is seemingly ‘better’, Duhigg (2009) “When I look at how far we’ve come… we have a lot to be proud of.” We must look not to the next quarter-term, but the next quarter-century. Without corporate America being held accountable, we are allowing once fertile and strong farm land to dry up and/or become poisoned with the toxins being used to medicate a once strong, but now broken industry.
“Catch the wave!” No thanks, I’d rather walk.
Duhigg, C. (2009, Sept 12) Toxic Waters: Clean Water Laws Are Neglected At A Cost In Suffering, The New York Times, Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (2008). Putting Meat On The Table: Industrial Animal Farm Production In America. Retrieved from National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production website: http://www.ncifap.org/bin/e/j/PCIFAPFin.pdf
United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition, Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Managers. Retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics website: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos176.htm
Walsh, B. (2009, August 21). Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food. TIME. doi: 0,9171,1917726,00