Kathy Freston wrote an article named “Vegetarian is the New Prius.” Walsh’s article discusses environmental risks involved with mass production of livestock. The article takes a new look at an old problem. The problem is global warming and the production of greenhouse gases.
Her article examines how people are very aware that driving large trucks and Sport Utility Vehicles and consuming fossil fuels produces volumes of Carbon Dioxide. However, what many people do not realize is that the production process of raising, butchering and transporting consumer meat products actually produces more carbon dioxide as well as more harmful greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide.
Freston’s article provides numerous statistical facts to back up her position on global warming. His article is easy to read and although it contains statistical data, it does not overpower the reader with too much data. The article is well written and does not preach to the reader. The article merely informs the reader of the dangers of the mass meat production processes and provides alternative ideas on food consumption such as vegetarian diets.
Additional investigation into this subject should include data concerning the volumes of greenhouse gases produced and whether or not this is limited to mass production facilities. Information regarding the greenhouse gas production at small scale meat animal production facilities and private farm production. Also, numbers regarding the volume of forest land being destroyed in order to provide farm land would be useful.
Overall this article is well written and leaves the reader wanting more. This would be a good topic to continue to research.
The online periodical The Guardian has an interesting article called “German blue chip firms throw weight behind north African solar project.” This article is written by author Kate Connolly. This article discusses the upcoming plan for numerous European firms to construct large scale solar energy facilities throughout North Africa. These facilities would generate solar electricity and then via large transmission lines, ship the energy throughout Europe.
Connolly’s article contains interesting data that shows the vast amount of energy available throughout North Africa. Just a fraction of this energy could be harnessed and used to power most of Europe.
This article provides only an introduction to this energy project. Further questions to be considered could include the issues in constructing these solar facilities in countries that are currently racked with riots and violence. Are these sites going to cause issues with local tribes or populations? What sort of protection are the transmission lines going to need? Will these facilities provide energy to local populations and cities in Africa or will all energy be shipped to Europe? This article brings up numerous interesting questions that could be investigated.
This article is well written and very interesting. It would be nice to see additional data and further investigation into this subject. This article brings up questions as to why the United States and other nations have not considered investing in this type of green energy. Small scale facilities do exist in the United States but nothing to the scale as the proposed facility in North Africa. Overall this is a very interesting article.
Bryan Walsh wrote an article for Time Magazine Health called, “Getting Real about the High Price for Cheap Food.” The article discusses the environmental effects of mass production of consumer meat products. Mass production of meat produces high volumes of waste which can easily enter waterways and eventually make its way to the ocean where it kills off vast numbers of wildlife. In addition to this waste the concentrated living conditions of the animals to be butchered is equal to animal abuse or neglect. If a family pet was kept in these conditions it would be considered animal abuse. Because it is a food animal it is considered okay.
This article also covers an issue that is commonly overlooked when looking at this particular issue. Where does the food for the butchered animals come from? The corn used to feed this concentrated high number of livestock is commercially grown in farms across the nation. To get a high enough yield this corn crop is often fertilized and modified to produce high volume. Not only does this process damage the land but runoff can deposit pesticides and fertilizers in waterways which in turn damages the ocean.
This article is very interesting and well written. Walsh adds enough statistical data to back up his ideas but not so much data as to confuse the reader or become boring. This is a well thought out article which brings to mind concerns and fears about buying meat at the store again. This is an interesting and terrifying topic.
The website http://www.terracycle.net is an interesting website dedicated to recycling items that were previously sent to landfills. This website provides methods of collecting and sending this waste to be recycled, remanufactured or reused. Interestingly enough the teracycle company was started by a college freshman back in the early 2000s and is now a multinational fast growing company. It just goes to show that anyone can make a difference.
Other aspects of this website that are nice are the counters at the top of the screen. There are three counters. There is a counter showing the number of members collecting trash, the waste units of trash collected and the amount of money raised for charity. These counters show that change is possible. At the last count http://www.terracycle.net had nearly 27.5 million members that had collected around 2.2 billion waste units of trash and contributed nearly $3.7 million dollars to charity! That is a pretty decent record for a company started by a college freshman.
Terracycle.net also has incentives. Trash collectors can receive cash or points for every piece of trash collected. Trash collectors can get paid to collect everything from candy wrappers, use cell phones and cereal bags to plastic bottle and outdated digital cameras. The possibilities are endless with this company.
The website is well built. It is easy to navigate and interesting to read. It is visually stimulating yet it does not overpower the viewer with too many color schemes and flashy advertisements. The website’s counters show the viewer what progress is being made as well as providing an optimistic outlook at recycling, which is a losing battle with today’s wasteful society. Overall it is a great website and a great project.
The movie “The Future of Food” was both very interesting, and extremely terrifying. The film delves deep into the world of biotechnology and the gene manipulation world of vegetable crops. The movie discusses the moral and financial shortcomings of big corporate companies patenting vegetable seeds that they have genetically manipulated.
The movie follows several farmers through their struggle big corporate biotechnology companies. It discusses how innocent farmers are attacked and sued by these large companies for patent infringement when out of control genetically modified vegetable begin to grow on their property. As terrible as this scenario actually is, this seems like a plot from a cheesy 1950s horror movie. But in reality this scenario is playing out all over the United States as hundreds of farmers find themselves in the crosshairs of big biotechnology companies and their runaway genetic experiments. As if this wasn’t bad enough, these large biotech companies are churning out genetically modified vegetables at an alarming rate and shipping them off to our neighboring countries and effectively spreading these genetically modified vegetables across the globe.
The video further discusses the physical harm some of these genetic experiments can cause people in the form of severe allergic reactions and other physical ailments. In addition to the dangers in these plants themselves, chemicals needed to contain these herbicide resistant vegetables are more dangerous than most chemicals used in the past. Genetically modified vegetables once concocted to grow faster and bigger and be herbicide resistant are now being fought with super-powerful defoliants similar to the Vietnam-era Agent Orange.
On top of all this these vegetables are breeding with traditional vegetables and their growth is quickly spiraling out of control. These genetic vegetables are quickly taking the world down a dark and dangerous path that could lead to no vegetables at all.
This video portrays the horrors and dangers of modifying our food to make it grow faster and bigger. It shows the dangers of eliminating the genetic diversity of a plant species in favor of one genetically modified super vegetable. This video is well filmed and edited and easily understood by the average person. The movie is not preachy or overly scientific. It is in this simple informative manner that the viewer finds the terrifying reality that is the world of genetically modified vegetables that are finding their way onto our dinner plates.