Category: Ecology


The Three “E”s

 

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    Energy, Economics, and Environment, are the three “e”s that are interconnected and play a special role in this new world. The economy depends on energy, and the environment supplies it. If the environment can no longer supply this energy that the economy needs, there occurs a collapse where the living standards of many people are affected. In the year 2010 most known oil reserves reached their peak production point, meaning that every year production will be lower. (1) We are starting to live the moment where our economy is deteriorating due to smaller amount of energy that our environment can give us.

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      “Discoveries of new oil fields peaked 30 years ago, and since then we have been extracting and consuming more oil than that we have been discovering” (1)

Mr. Chris Martenson and his Idea

 

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    Mr. Martenson is a father of three children and a Scientist. He graduated from Duke and obtained a PhD specializing in Neurotoxicology. He wanted to teach, but after sometime switched his profession and obtained an MBA in finance from Cornell. He worked his way up to high paying positions and was able to live a wealthy life in Connecticut. He now lives in a small house in rural Massachusetts where he dedicates his life to raise awareness about the recent environmental problems, and to self sustain himself as well as possible. (4)

  Exponential growth and depletion of resources

  

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      Mr. Martenson emphasizes that the rate at which resources are demanded and consumed are increasing at an exponential rate, but the rate at which the resources are becoming available is decreasing. This leads us to understanding that we are coming to a doomsday, where the resources will not be enough for all of us, and eventually end. He explains how this can be either a problem with a solution, or a predicament with an outcome. We are no yet sure of this answer, but surely we would like this to be a problem with solution. The most important relationship to understand in what he says is the three “e” relationship where most of the things that happen in our world economically and even politically and socially, are linked to our economy, and the economy relies on the resources to function. If our living standard goes down, as well as our economic situation at the moment, most probably there is an environmental link to such an issue.

   This show us how the environment has given us the ability to live the life we have lived for many years, but now it cannot give it back to us since we have abused it. The days of our punishment by nature are coming and we might be living them at this exact moment.

 

 

 Sources cited

1.Withgott, J. & Brennan, S. (2010). Environment: The science behind the stories. 4th Ed.San Francisco: Pearson Education.

2.http://www.oil-world-2011.com/wp-content/uploads/List-oil-reserves-in-the-world-1.jpg

3. Chris Martenson.UKcrash videos 1-6

4. Martenson, Chris. “About Chris Martenson – Chris Martenson – Change, Chris Martenson, Community, Family, Investing.” Chris Martenson – Information on the Global Economy, Environment, and Our Energy Challenges. Real Estate, Oil, Community, Homes,

    Biodiversity makes our world beautiful

   It is also referred to as biological diversity, and it means the total variety of living organisms in a population including their genes, and communities. Our world is full of more than 100 million species including a big number of uncategorized species. (1) It makes our world richer yet sadly human intervention in natural habitats cause the extermination of many of these species.          

  The Thylacine (4)

How did the Thylacine go extinct?

  The Thylacinus cynocephalus, or dog headed pouched dog, was a large marsupial carnivore. It is more commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger. It was of a sand brownish color with stripes from head to tail. It had short and stiff legs and tail, and had a thick short hair of about 15mm. (2)

   We have proof of fossils and aboriginal paintings that indicate the existence of this animal around Australia and New Guinea, and date an age of about 2200 years. They had a varied preferred habitat. It ranged from the dry eucalypt forests to the swamplands. When Europeans arrived in 1803, they were abundant and widespread. (3)

   This animal was constantly hunted since they were seen as a threat for sheep and other small animals. The habitat that they lived in was also incredibly reduced by humans. Hunting along with negligence and lack of care towards these animals lead to it extinction on September 7 1936 when Benjamin, the last thylacine, died in the Hobart zoo, Tasmania. (4)

 

 We humans are responsible for the extinction of this animal. Now there is nothing we can do to revive this animal for this process is irreversible. The best we can do is learn from our mistakes to ensure correct animal protection techniques that prevent animals such as the Thylacine from becoming extinct.

 

Works cited

  1. Withgott, J. & Brennan, S. (2010). Environment: The science behind the stories. 4th Ed. San Francisco: Pearson Education.
  2. “The Thylacine – Australian Museum.” Australian Museum – Nature, Culture, Discover – Australian Museum. Australian Museum. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. <http://australianmuseum.net.au/The-Thylacine&gt;.
  3. Service, Wildlife. “10 Recently Extinct Animals.” Top 10 Lists – Listverse. Stephoo. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. <http://listverse.com/2009/07/25/10-recently-extinct-animals/&gt;.
  4. “DPIW – Tasmanian Tiger.” Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. Dpiw. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. <http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/webpages/bhan-53777b&gt;.

   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??

 

  

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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>.

 

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

  The understanding of our own human nature will help us in the creation of the most efficient system of harmony between fish and fishermen. I would like to make two things clear first. We humans are greedy and ambitious by nature, and this is not necesarily a bad thing, depending on how it is manipulated, since life would be absolutely meaningless without incentives and desires. We are also egocentric creatures, meaning that mainly we care about ourselves more than others. Be it good or bad, this is the way we are and there is no arguing about it. I explain this to prove that the solution towards the overfishing in certain areas, which leads to “the tragedy of the commons” is best addressed by the separation of private sea lots for fishing is rather than having government regulate the fishing. Once a person has his own sea lot he will be responsible for its well being since it himself snd only himself. Now the owner has an incentive to mantain and preserve his area so he can have a steady production and growth rate year round. This of course in a big scale leads to a “common” improvement which manifests itself more as a “phenomenon” than as a “planned goal” for the common well being. The second option would be the intervention of government by imposing restrictions and regulations in order to control the fishing rate. this might work to a certain extent but will never be as efficient as private ownership. Government institutions all around the world, due to the big amount of power they hold, are in a very high risk of becoming corrupt, badly administered, bureaucratic, populist, and extremely ambitious organizations. Many things can go wrong by imposing government regulation. Among these are the fact that officials, although they shouldn`t be, could be bribed for allowances by the fishermen, that the government abuses its power and decides to make a fishing business far bigger and with more advantages than the common private owners, and that through this business bureaucracy grows through unneeded employees, which in consequence also hurts the economy. These are only few of all the malicious possibilities governments can think of arranging for their own benefit. I believe the only reason we might all tend to favor government in these issues is the fact that we forget that behind what wee see as “institutions” are people just like us with the same motives and ambitions. It is clear now that if we understand ourselves and others we can all receive mutual benefits without going against our nature.

Luis`s profile

  I am a business administration major starting school as a freshman. I am taking an ecology course this semester, and for this reason I am writing this blog as well as becoming more invloved in enviromental issues localy and around the world.

   This blog will raise awareness concerning possibilities of solutions of current enviromental problems, since I beleive that once we understand the problems that surround us, it is better to start thinking of solutions. I will be most interested in writing about alternative energy in this blog because i believe it is the way out of harmfull combustion that hurts our atmosphere, and because the exploitation of nonrenewable resouces such as oil can be very dangeruos and have negative effects upon the enviroment that might be triggered indirectly and unwillingly. Such an example is what happened recently concerning the “bp” oil spill in the gulf of mexico.

   So you know more about me, I was born in Caracas, Venezuela. A beautifull green city in a valley 1000 meters above sea level surrounded by inmense green mountains whose peaks are about 2000 meters above sea level. The temperature is fresh all year long, and all around the city there are high places with breathtaking views. below is a slideshow of some pictures of the city and its surrounding mountains (Please note that hte video is not made by myself). Also, I am adding a clip of angel falls (the longest waterfall in the world) which is in the unique tepuy region of the amazon in Venezuela.

Hope you enjoy!