Author Archives: alcro1

Response to Blog Prompt: Water Scarcity

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Water is by far the most vital resource for mankind. Although it is widely known that without water there is not life the disparities in how people view and treat water is astonishing. In developed nations the thought of water shortages most likely never crosses their mind while in developing nations it is a constant worry as to where their water will come from. Many developing nations still have high infant mortality rates and the majority of these deaths are caused from dysentery, a disease caused by dehydration. The sharp contrasts between how rich and poor nations view water must be targeted and remedied before any improvements to water treatment can be successfully implemented.

People in developed nations have to come to the realization that there is only a limited amount of fresh water in the world and humans and other creatures need it to survive. Developed nations have become fat and lazy and are blinded to this one truth. Our wasteful lifestyle that we have accommodated ourselves to allows for the perpetuation of improper worldviews and as a byproduct improper treatment of the world around us. Laws are definitely necessary in order to address water scarcity issues, however for me the question remains what comes first? Changes in worldview or policies.

Activities that unnecessarily employ vast amounts of water, such as fracking which can completely remove water from the water cycle, should be eliminated. Regions should be growing crops that are adjusted for surviving in the conditions of the region. The Green Revolution, which had a laudable goal, was foolish because it forced people to grow foods that required large amounts of water in an arid region. To tackle water scarcity there is no large scale solution you must approach each nation differently and each region within each nation differently.

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Response to Prompt 3: Animals Rights and Speciesism

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If there is no sharp division between humanity and animals, as Peter Singer would like people to believe, then humans and animals would be equal. More specifically it would mean that animals and people deserve to be treated the same, there would no longer be a separation between animal rights and human rights they  would just be rights (I don’t know what they would actually be called since this is completely hypothetical). I can understand wanting to improve the lives of animals but I cannot agree that making animals and people is the best course of action. However it is clear that something must be done to bridge the gap in morality between animals and people.

I do believe that animals shouldn’t be forced to be exposed to unnecessary pain just as humans especially at the hands of insignificant human interests. Wanting more sheen in your hair does not justify the deaths or irreversible crippling of animals. However I do not agree with Peter Singer and Tom Regan that all animal experimentation must come to an end. It is not the ideal tool but it is the best option. Many of our strides in medical treatment could not have been made possible without the benefits of animal experimentation and this is why I don’t believe we can completely forgo animal experimentation.

This is a little off topic but it is interesting to me how much people have invested in promoting animal rights when human rights may be internationally known but they have not been internationally adopted. There are still ‘crimes against humanity’ all over the world and they have yet to be fixed. How can people expect to bridge the gap of equality between species when we are still dealing with inequality in ours? I always think about the phrase “Charity begins at Home” which basically means you cannot do good elsewhere until you’ve done good at home.

Peter Singer would have us view humans and animals as equals to the point where if you had the choice to save a person or a dog you might pick the dog. I personally cannot support this due to my belief that you should always help your fellow man and it is unfortunate that this negatively effects other species but I don’t think we can afford relinquishing animal testing.

Blog Prompts Round 6 Response Post to Prompt 1

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We have built massive barriers of concrete and steel in a vain attempt to separate ourselves from nature. The fact is that we are always going to be an integral part of the processes that keeps earth alive; it is only ignorance that allows people to believe that nature and mankind are separate and that we do not even need nature for our own survival. I personally believe we have a connection with the earth but not in a religious romanticized sense. This does not mean I do not believe that we cannot love the earth, for me it is similar to how we love our homes. I just think our connection with earth is more along the lines of how we fit in the ecological puzzle.

Since we are a part of the processes our actions, as a species and individual, affect the earth, which have led to environmental degradation. We do strongly rely on “education and communication” to enlighten people of their effects on earth but we routinely forget that religion holds significant weight in forming a world view for people. Religion is really just another form of education and another medium for communication. In class we had a reading that went over our effects on water. In the reading there was a short passage about the Ganges River and how traditional education was ineffective at getting the people to realize that the river is polluted. Instead it would be more effective to come from a religious point of view and say that “Ganga is our mother, and our mother is sick” to get people to begin taking care of the polluted river. If we truly want to educate everyone and persuade them to make sweeping changes to their daily lives in an attempt to reduce the rate of climate change we must come to realize the benefits religion has in helping us reach this goal.

 

To be intrinsic means to belong naturally, to be essential. If we hold onto this definition then yes we do have an intrinsic connection with earth. Can we turn it on and off? No we cannot it always exists no matter how faint or weak the connection may become due to our increasing reliance on technology. We may delude ourselves into believing we are separate from nature and earth we may even believe we no longer need nature. However we will always be connected with the earth, it is not something you can just turn on and off it is always on, and the sooner we come to realize that the sooner we can begin to start fixing our mistakes.

 

 

In response to Prompt 3: Justice Week 5 blog prompts

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In Peter Wenz’s essay, Just Garbage, he coins the phrase “Environmental Racism” which means that racial minorities are forced to be exposed to disproportionate shares of environmental hazards. It is clearly evident that people experiencing economic adversity are forced to share a disproportionate amount of waste exposure; you never see a bourgeois neighborhood next to a landfill. However I do not think the predicament of the economically challenge can be attributed to a form of racism. The fact that racial minorities are usually the group stricken by poverty does not mean that racism is a culprit. If anything the current economic situation stems from the old racist traditions that America once had but are now largely expunged from society but the situation is not in itself racist. On the other hand I do agree with Wenz that the burden of toxic waste is disproportionate and that something must be done to remedy the situation.

 

Many economically stable or well off groups have succumbed to the disease of affluence, which basically means that if they have the money then splurge a little. This mentality furthers the belief that they have worked hard for where they are and therefore deserve to be picky with what they surround themselves with, which includes factories and landfills. The irony from all of this is that these “eyesores” are instead place near the poor even though it is the rich that allow the existence of these hazards to perpetuate yet they are not forced to deal with any of the consequences of their lifestyle. This even exists on a macro scale where developed countries dump wastes in poorer countries because the citizens of the rich countries refuse to have the waste stored where they live.

 

I feel that people must be made to realize that their lifestyle decisions can have consequences more far reaching than they can imagine and I know many people will refuse to accept it. People need to start taking responsibility for their actions (this applies to countries as well). Many people refuse to allow nuclear waste to be stored anywhere on U.S. soil but the fact is that it must be stored so where does it go? To some poor country that cannot even produce electrical power for its own people. Governments are going to have to tell people that if they want this then these are the consequences they must deal with and that they cannot shove their problems onto someone else.

Week 2 Response to Prompt 3: Romanticism

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The real obstacle that arises is not necessarily whether or not humans can find a middle ground between to the two extremes, anthropocentrism and environmental romanticism; it’s the elimination of both ideologies.

Anthropocentrism seems to be an inherent instinct to insure the survival of our species. Anthropocentrism is basically the belief that humans are the most important species and are vastly superior to all others. There is no consideration of the welfare of other species there is only consideration of how those species best suit our needs. The Anthropocentric ideology seems to be natural: our survival as a species should be put before that of the rest. It is a blatant fact that humans are superior to animals, I’m not supporting anthropocentrism, but let’s face it we are not on the same level as the other animals in the animal kingdom, we are superior. This can be attributed to whatever you want it can be our sentience, consciousness, or moral code; I however attribute it to our intelligence which has allowed us to create technological wonders, which furthers the view that we are superior. Technology has now become a vital part of life around the world. It has allowed us to far surpass our physical bounds and it is technology that will continue to push us forward and is the ultimate solution to saving the environment.

Environmental Romanticism on the other hand believes that it is technology that got us in this mess and that we must forsake our technological wonders and become retuned with nature and live in harmony with the environment. Romanticists are correct in the fact that technology has gotten us in this current environmental quagmire we find ourselves in. The main reason we are in an environmental quagmire can be attributed to our explosive population rate, higher population equals more consumption of resources. The only reason our population increase has gone unchecked can be attributed directly to technological innovations; first came the agricultural revolution and then came the invention of modern medicine. The two main things that keep a species population in check, food and disease, were left shattered by our technological advances. It is believed with further technological innovation the higher the population will be therefore increasing our negative effects on the environment.

Both ideologies hold truth but there is no way that the environment can survive with just these ideologies. We must come to realize as a whole species that we may be superior to other creatures but we will never be capable of maintaining our own existence without them and the ecology that arises from their interactions. And that technology is here to stay and that it is most likely our best bet for saving the environment.