Archive for October, 2011


   Sometimes we humans think too anthropocentrically and deny the fact that we live in an environment. I am not against wanting growth in human living standards, or the use of our resources, but I think we should limit ourselves to the point where whatever we use we can replenish. After all, we appreciate the environment because we gain something out of it. We want to conserve it because it is our home, and our source of life and well being. Problems arise when we can’t give back what we have taken and we start to worry because we will soon run out of resources to use.

  But what happens when we don’t all think like this??

 

  

(2)                                                                 (3)

 

 

We need to understand each other and reach an agreement where we are all happy.

 

The Problem arising in the building of Jabulika Mine

 

 

   We see different points of view between the aboriginals and the Australian government.

The aboriginals

 

   The aboriginals in Australia have been in the country before the British colonists dating approximately 4000 years back. This is what they say: “They say we have been here for 40 000 years, but it is much longer – We have been here since time began. We have come directly out of the Dreamtime of our creative ancestors”. (1) They are formed by diverse tribes, and live all around the country mainly in New South Wales, and Queensland.

 

The Mirrar and the Kakadu national park

   The Mirrar live in the northern part of Australia amongst other peoples of different tribes, and they are the ones that legally have jurisdiction over their territory. This means that they have the responsibility to take care of the other tribes, and their lands. The specific area where they live is inside the Kakadu national park, and covers an area of about 20000 square kilometers.

Their point of view

   They believe that the lands should be preserved the same way they have always existed since part of their culture is to maintain the same place their ancestor have lived in. There are other reasons for which they oppose the creation of the mine such as the toxic waste that harms the environment and brings possible health consequences to the people. There are also some very deep spiritual reasons such as the specific places where their ancestors live which can only be spoken about by specific people during certain times. Invading this territory would mean the destruction of their history.

Anthropocentric, ecocentric, and biocentric points of view

   An anthropocentric point of view of this situation would only focus in the gains for the human being, meaning that if the problem is addressed from this point of view, the mine should be built and completely exploited as long as it lasts no matter what happens from the environment. A biocentric point of view would focus on the gains for the human beings all together along with the rest of the living and nonliving things that surround us. If the situation is taken care through this type of philosophy, the Mirrar would be taken into consideration, and the creation of the mine would be either altered or put into doubt. An ecocentric point of view would worry about the wellbeing of the whole environment, and certainly would not approve of the creation of the mine whatsoever.

My Point of view

 

    I believe that the mine should be built only if there will be some type of agreement with the Mirrar people, and the creators of the mine. Clearly the economic impact will be beneficial to the people of Australia, and potentially to the people of Mirrar, if jobs are provided to them. Only if this is able to happen then I agree upon the building of the mine. In the case that no agreement occurs, I believe that the Mirrar people should have their land respected, since it is of much sentimental value to them.

In a Nutshell

 

  As Human beings we are greedy, but we also have been blessed with the intellect to appreciate such things like honor, ethics, and values that make us greater animals than the rest. The economic impact of the mines is great, and we can`t deny that, but our values must go first, and our respect towards humanity must prevail.

 

 

References

 

 

1 “The Mirarr Oppose the Jabiluka Mine.” Welcome to the Mirarr Site. The Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation, 15 Sept. 1998. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. <http://www.mirarr.net/jabiluka.html>.

2“Google Images.” Google. CaJoh, 4 Jan. 2009. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. <http://www.google.gr/imgres?imgurl=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_NOXa1CXNsxg/SWDzBXWKgwI/AAAAAAAAD1M/uo1HNzRh-JM/s400/culture+clash.jpg>.

3“Cultural Differences Gifts.” CartoonStock – Cartoon Pictures, Political Cartoons, Animations. CSL Cartoonstock. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. <http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/c/cultural_differences_gifts.asp>.

 

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The following terminology will be used:

Ecological Footprint:

The impact of a cumulative area of a certain  productive land and water that provides the resources that a certai population consumes and recycle or dispose of their waste.

Carrying capacity: 

 The maximum capacity of a species that a given enviroment can sustain.

Overshoot: 

To overpass the earth`s capacity to sustain us. It is a global deficit where we surpass the eaths productive capacity, and consume all ronrenewable resources.

Country EF (hectares per person)  Proportion relative to world average Proportion relative to world area available Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita – 
 
Colombia 1.9 0.61 0.73 9800
 
China 1.84 0.59 1.03 7600
Bangladesh 0.6 0.19 0.33 1700
United Arab Emirates 15.99 5.16 8.98 40300
Uruguay 4.91 1.58 2.76 13700
Burundi 0.75 .24 0.42 300
Australia 8.49 2.74 4.77 41000
Nepal 1.01 0.32 0.57 1200
Ireland 9.43 3.04 5.3 37300
World Average 3.1 1.0 1.74  
(3.1/3.1) (3.1/1.78)
Venezuela 2.88 0.93 0.93 12700
Indonesia 1.48 0.56 0.83 4200
Greece 5.58 1.8 3.13 29600
Sierra Leone 0.73 0.24 0.41 900
El salvador 1.55 0.5 0.87 7200
Your personal footprint see below      

 

My Ecological Footprint

If everyone on the planet lived my lifestyle, we would need:

 

= 2.77 Earths

 

 

I am above my country`s ecological footprint in all aspects. In carbon, food, housing, and goods. I am clearly one of the most resource consuming people in my country.

 

The Ecological footprint of Bangladesh is 0.6. It is clearly lower than my own, as well as my own country`s ecological footprint. The reason behind this is that Bangladesh has a very low GDP which also means it has a very low production and few factories in comparison to other countries. Also the population of Bangladesh is very low which means that the consumption of all resources is low in total.

 

 

(in global hectares)

Footprint

Country Average

Carbon Footprint

12.83

7.94

Food Footprint

9.16

9.45

Housing Footprint

4.87

2.94

Goods and Services Footprint

16.64

8.94

My total footprint

43.50

29.27

(in global hectares)

Footprint

Country Average

Cropland footprint

4.94

3.34

Pastureland footprint

12.71

8.78

Marine fisheries footprint

9.32

6.48

Forestland footprint

16.52

10.67

My total footprint

43.50

29.27

Number of Earths

2.77

1.86