Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Plan B Journal

What I consider the most important environmental concern would be Climate Change and the Energy Transition section of Plan B 4.0. I think this issue is important because the earth’s temperature is rising and it is reshaping the earth’s ecology and geography such as declining oil production and causing agriculture to be out of sync. The best way to work towards a sustainable solution as an individual as well as a society would be to stabilize the climate and in order to do so we need to stabilize the population, eradicate poverty and restore the earth’s natural systems. Sustainability plays a role in the solution since Plan B is not based on what we have done in the past but what we need to do for the future; and yes, these solutions are taxing yet we have gotten into this mess so it is our responsibility to get ourselves out. In other countries, such as China, cancer is now the leading source of death due to a growing concern of coal and air pollution. The air is so bad over in China that locals have to wear masks to avoid breathing in the toxins in addition to black lung disease and birth defects is very common. The cold reality is that China is becoming richer and sicker.

Where I would want to live if I had a choice would be in the city of Dubai. I like living in warm climate weather all year around and I believe that Dubai would be a great opportunity for me in terms of experiences, cultural diversity and employment. I feel that living in an environment like Dubai will allow me to enjoy an outdoor-centric lifestyle and not have to rely on indoor air conditioning as much as the average household would. Also, since Dubai is such a populated city that public transportation is very common so this will save me on gas and the environment from consuming oil. Dubai is full of activities, events, services and facilities that I would be constantly out and about; thereby, diminishing my use of resources within my home and as a result contributing to sustainability. Some barriers I may come across to living this way would be the expense of living in such a high quality city as well as sacrificing comfort to live in such a populated city. Still, I plan to overcome these barriers by working hard in the job that I have now and saving as much as I can. Furthermore, getting around Dubai is challenging as well as potentially dangerous so I might try to find a place to live right outside the city so that I can avoid any hazardous accidents or stressful situations.

Land Remembered Journal

I chose the character Tobias. He became rich after cattle herding and later an orange grove which was very helpful for the environment. However, after the ‘skeeters’ attacked him. Miami Billie, an Indian medicine man, temporarily healed him. Tobias eventually died from being too weak from the cold to fight malaria. Before he died he tried his hardest to save the orange groves which means he truly cared about the environment. He didn’t want the oranges to freeze. We can tell that Tobias had sense of place in his orange groves. He felt safe there and felt responsible for them. Even in his last moments he fought to save his orange groves from freezing.
The legacy he left behind is that you have to fight your hardest to save the environment and sometimes go out of your comfort zone to help make a difference. I selected this character because I liked that he was wealthy but also selfless. He valued his orange groves more than the profits that he got form them. He did it for the fact that the orange groves were beneficial to the environment. I also like how passionate he is. He is so passionate that he continues to care even when his death is slowly approaching from the malaria. I admire his perseverance and passion and I think that is something that we all need to have. We need to gain passion for the environment and find ways to take that passion and mold it into something beneficial. The future generations were thanking us if we start acting now. It’s time to start getting passionate and stop being selfish.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Koreshan State Park Journal

The forces that drove the founder to develop his ideas were his narcissism and delusional thinking. Dr. Cyrus Teed and the Koreshan Unity Movement was a very interesting time in history. He believed that woman and men were equal during a time where that idea was not normally agreed with. This is how he charmed so many women into joining the Koreshan movement and following his ideas. This was a deviation from established scientific knowledge. The illumination was when Dr. Teed claimed to see God and that God was a woman. He said the beautiful woman, God, which he saw explained to him the earth and that he would explain the symbols of the bible for the scientific age. The concept of the concave earth was a concept that the earth was not round, and this has obviously been proven wrong by science so his ideas were a deviation from established scientific knowledge. The success of the community was obvious. They imported all sorts of plants, some useful and some useless. They also had many profitable businesses as well that made them extremely successful. Dr. Cyrus Teed believed that women and men were equal and he also believed that everyone should be celibate which eventually led to the end of his Koreshan movement. Some weaknesses in the community would ironically be the increasing prosperity of the group. His communistic way of life was also a weakness. Younger members gradually began leaving the following.

                I initially thought that this tour was interesting and the story was very captivating. However, now I think that the whole thing is completely weird and I do not understand it at all. The Koreshan state park is beautiful and is definitely a great place to take a colloquium class or even have a fun day with the family or friends. The history in the park is very extensive and interesting. The whole Koreshan movement is a huge part of the history of southwest Florida / Estero. I really enjoyed this field trip and I think it was a good trip to end the class with. However, I left very confused about the entire story and what went on there. I think that maybe Dr. Cyrus Teed was a bit crazy and I would have definitely not listened to him or been one of his women. It’s also funny to me that people even listened to him. He was claiming to be the chosen one and be re-born as immortal. It’s all just a bunch of crazy talk. However, he does keep me interested to say the least.  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Downtown Journal

             Fort Myers is a beautiful city with hidden history. Besides its booming tourism industry and beautiful beaches Fort Myers is known for many more interesting things. The downtown historic district displays the many historic facts and stories that many who visit or hear about Fort Myers would not expect. Fort Myers was the only one of the 12 southern states that was a union and was formerly a military base as well. Thomas Edison spent many summers in Fort Myers along with Edison Ford known for Ford Cars and Harvey Firestone an industrialist. Fort Myers also stole their yacht slip from the much larger city in Florida, Sarasota. This was a huge economic accomplishment for the city. The city was looking to attract more wealth and boost its economy. The city government addresses environmental issues well. Bay Street is now a developed land but it used to be all water. The small economy of Fort Myers can make it challenging to preserve historic landmarks. For example, the one building we saw that has been debated about being taken down for the past ten years.
            My favorite part about the tour was when we went down the hall the used to an outdoor mall but was recently closed off due to city building regulations. The theater really fascinated me. One of my favorite things to do is see Broadway Shows, regular theater performances or anything artsy. I’m a huge city girl so seeing that area of downtown Fort Myers gave me a whole new appreciation for the city that I’m currently living in. I’ve been here for the past 3 years from Washington DC and I haven’t really enjoyed it that much. The beaches are nice, and the weather is lovely but something was always so boring to me. Now that I know Fort Myers has a deep and rich history my opinions have changed a bit. My new favorite place in Fort Myers is downtown and I really do plan on going to see a show and walking around the shops. I love places that feel like home, and I feel like I may have found my sense of place yesterday as we walked around downtown. I really want to go back and walk around some more. It was hard for me to walk the whole time because of a recent leg pain I’ve been having. The field trip mostly helped me find a sense of place around here which I’ve honestly had trouble finding. My homesickness has really hit me these past couple of months and being in a “city like” environment really helped me cope.

Journal - Goodall

             I've been thinking about this for a while and I agree with Jane Goodall that there is hope and it is never too late but everyone needs to start having that mentality if we do want to make a difference. People are so negative about they environment when they should start being positive. I think that instead of saying how much humans have destroyed the planet we should say that humans really make the planet beautiful in their own way. In certain ways humans are to blame for destroying the planet but I don’t think that most humans were aware that they were. I think that humans thought that with technology that we were improving the planet. However, now that humans have been educated I think we realize that not all technology is beneficial now. I think that environmentalists should try to take a more positive approach to the issue rather than shame the people who are less educated about the earth and the destruction humans have caused. What I’m trying to say is that not all people have the opportunity to take a colloquium class and learn about all these things and I do think that needs to be taken into consideration. 

            Animals have killed people before, so I completely understand why humans kill them out of fear. If I were in a situation where I felt harmed by an animal I would probably kill it too. However, humans can’t use fear as an excuse to kill animals for food, or poaching or anything that kills animals for the wrong reasons. The relationship between Jane Goodall and the apes taught me that humans and animals can live in peace and humans don’t have to kill animals for food, fun or any other reason. There is hope for this planet. We can find ways to restore the earth to its natural beauty. We haven’t destroyed it yet; we still have wildlife, nature, and our health. We just need to take steps in the right direction and help reduce of ecological footprint. Coming together is the first step in a very important process. Without hope, none of it will be possible. There is still hope, and I believe its our individual responsibility to find out what gives us hope. The teaching by Goodall fits into our courses learning outcomes because our goal is to have intelligent conversations about nature, life and everything that comes with that. Jane Goodall is saving the chimpanzees and that’s something we can all talk about. Yes, a chimpanzee is just one type of animal, however, it is a foundation for the beginning of a movement. Once we find out what gives us hope, maybe we can choose our own animals to talk about. We can find reasons why that animal is beautiful and why we need to protect this earth so all animals can live a healthy and beautiful life. I don’t want to live in a world where animals don’t exist. The world is not just for humans, we need to love all types of life and we need to start by loving the earth that we all inhabit and share.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Florida and the Everglades Politics- Colloquium Journal

Over the years Florida has changed in so many ways. Due to global warming and climate change, which is now a banned word in the state of Florida, Florida and the everglades have changed drastically and it’s not for the better. David Orr said, “Whatever our feelings, however ingenious our philosophies, whatever innate gravity tugs at us, we must finally choose between life and death, between intimacy and isolation.” Personally by this I think he means that no matter what tempts us to remain selfish, we must ignore the temptations. We must find out ways to protect the planet and that starts by us taking steps to reduce our ecological footprint. Once we reduce our impact it will become a better planet. Our legacy will not be that we destroyed the planet; it will be that we fought to save it. A land remembered, by Patrick Smith, was a great book that depicts what life was like on earth. The book is a fantastic way to help us visualize what needs to be done to save the planet.

The politics surrounding the Everglades affect me drastically. I’m in the hospitality industry and tourism rates completely effect my industry in ever way possible. People from around the country visit southwest Florida to see the everglades, go on airboat tours and see the beautiful wildlife that the state has to offer. If global warming and the greenhouse effect that humans have accelerated through selfishness damage the everglades then my industry will be hit hard. Less people would want to visit Southwest Florida if the Everglades were suddenly gone. The government has even considered banning people from the Everglades completely because they’ve been destroying it. The group that presented about the Everglades showed how people leave behind waste, such as bottles and plastic. They also have been leaving behind nails that fall out of the wood they use in their bonfires. The nails are extremely harmful to the wildlife in the Everglades. The nails could potentially get stuck in the bottom of the foot of the animals leading to infection and maybe even death. Gators and Florida panthers are some of the few animals’ lives that are in that path of destruction. Florida panthers are endangered. Humans have been putting them in a deadly path by leaving garbage, nails and other things in the Everglades instead of picking them up and recycling them or taking them home.

Silent Spring and the Obligation to Endure - Colloquium Journal


                    Silent Spring and the Obligation to Endure by Rachel Carson is the topic my group had for our group presentation. Carson shares beautiful ideas about the world, how we’re destroying it and how we can save it. She said, “No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world. The people had done is themselves.” Carson means that we constantly are looking for other things to blame beside ourselves for the terrible conditions we have created here on earth. We are destroying the environment. Humans are taking advantage of the earth’s limited resources and selfishly using them for our benefit. Think about how many times a week you fill your tank with gas, or how many water bottles you drink on a daily basis. Things that we take for granted everyday are the things that are destroying this planet. We will be leaving behind a disastrous life for future generations.
            Carson believes that ‘time is the essential ingredient’ and that now in the modern world we don’t have enough time. We need to use whatever time we have let to try and start making changes in our lifestyles to help protect the earth and help it flourish as the beautiful place it once was. It’s not fair for us to waste time and resources selfishly while we inhabit the earth. We need to make time to find ways to reduce our impact and ecological footprint.
            Carson talks a lot about pesticides. In our presentation we told the class about many different types of pesticides, like DDT and some other deadly ones. Too many farmers are using pesticides in their crops, which is not only damaging the earth and infecting our soil; it is putting those farmers at extreme risk of sickness and death. Inhaling and being around pesticides like DDT can lead to serious health issues and death. Farmers have been willing to use these pesticides because money is the motive. They believe that if they don’t use these pesticides they wont have a successful harvest because of all the invasive bugs and other species eating away at their crops. The chemical war can never be won and all forms of life will be caught in its crossfire. There are many alternatives to pesticides, which is what I talked about in my group presentation. One alternative that I truly believe in is getting up and ending the laziness. Get up and fight to save your groups with your own two hands instead of spraying pesticides. It takes more time but it is more effective because eventually the animals and insects will build immunities to your pesticides and be unstoppable.