Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stewards of the Earth







It's about time I wrote a little about the environment. Check out the video above. It's truly an inspirational speech. Severn Suzuki  is known as the girl who silenced the world for six minutes when she gave a speech in 1992 at UN Earth Summit in Brazil. If you want to read the speech instead, follow this link:http://ssjothiratnam.com/?p=747

I wrote this a couple years ago based on a book and some articles I had to read for a class. My writing style has changed since then as have some of views on this matter. In truth, I'm optimistic that an alternative energy source will be found (shale gas, water, solar energy...).  Still, check it out.

According to the book The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler, the short-term benefits of our economy’s insatiable hunger for more is nearing its end, since there will be nothing left to consume. Greed and ignorance have blinded our country from the consequences of our actions. It has motivated people to exhaust the earth’s natural resources faster than it can be replenished. The technological advancements and seemingly never-ending discoveries have disillusioned the population, leading them to believe that continual innovations will rescue them from any crisis, such as Peak Oil. Pollution and the extinction of about 30,000 species a year have been attributed, in part, to the lack of attention we pay to our actions. The only savior to prevent the crash of this “flying civilization” (Reference from Ishmael) is caring enough to appreciate and understand biodiversity, the ecosystem, and working in unity with one another to ensure a future for ourselves, our animals and trees, and future generations. 
 Fuel allowed for the comfortable lifestyle society has come to know and love. Unfortunately, that fuel is running out. Modernization drank away half of the world’s easily accessible oil supply. The economic growth resulting from oil placed an enchantment over the population. They believe that their luxuries could never end. However,  according to The Long Emergency  “consumer culture will die” because they are dependent on cheap oil.  The remaining oil will not only be more expensive to extract but will require more energy than is worth expending. Any other form of alternative fuel, such as natural gas and coal, are not sufficient enough to run even "a substantial fraction of the systems we run on.”  Cars will eventually be reserved for the upper class, and other forms of transportation will be obsolete. Society will become more localized and more dedicated to conserving their resources, especially when the process of food production will be altered since food producing industries cannot run without oil. As bleak and disconcerting as this sounds, "Goods News for a Change" by David Suzuki (an environmental activist, academic and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation) and Holly Dressel (best-selling author of Good News for a Change and From Naked Ape to Superspecies). provide enlightening news to overcome corporate externalities.
    A sustainable, comfortable way of life is attainable through working in harmony with nature. The continual ruin of our forests grows as the traditional, natural methods are forgotten, while everything is practically run by remote control without realizing that it is exhausting the soil. In our current society, business comes first. Many are ignorant of the depletion of aquifers and water tables, basically the depletion of our finite resources. Cities, such as Germany, have proven that it is possible to live as luxurious a life as we do now, while protecting the environment  by having such things as water-conserving toilets and gas meters to moderate how much energy we use.
            Few realize the extent of damage human activities inflict upon the environment. The World Scientists Warning to Humanity is a bit extreme, but the overall tone stresses the importance of moderating our “current practices.” If humanity complies with the “What We Must Do” section suggested by the appeal, then we can understand how to “adequately manage our resources." The in depth description of the “critical stresses,” such as stratosphere, ozone depletion, exploitation of ground water, deforestation, and so on provide the reader with a better more informed perspective of the type of stresses we cause the environment. In agreement with the Hiedelberg Appeal by Michel Salomon “the greatest evil which stalk our Earth are our ignorance and oppression." Overall, both suggest that we need to change “our stewardship of the earth” in order to progress, develop, and in order to “overcome major problems, starvation, and worldwide disease” resulting from our ignorance.
Check them out:
World Scientists Warning to Humanity: http://www.ucsusa.org/about/1992-world-scientists.html
Heidelberg Appeal by Michel Salomon: http://www.his.com/~sepp/policy%20declarations/heidelberg_appeal.html


Also check out David Suzuki's award-winning tv show, The Nature of Things
Here's a preview:


Creative Commons License
Sand-Dollared Cataract by Sofia Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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