Gloria’s Sources for the Effects of Choosing to be Vegan

Editorial:

www.nytimes.com/2019/12/31/dining/flexitarian-eatinglessmeat.html.

The New York Times article is rather relatable as the author Melissa Clark has dealt with the struggle of deciding whether to go vegan or not.

Podcast:

Veganism and Climate Change

The Deliciously Ella podcast specifically talks about the consequences-deforestation, increase in greenhouse gas emissions- if humans continue to meat.

Visual Text:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZWzNfOpbCQ.

The TEDx Talk combines all three rhetorical structures (ethos, pathos, and logos) into a very effective speech.

Kaitlyn’s Blog

Within the last decade, records report that it was the warmest temperatures on earth. The rise in natural disasters worldwide is a direct result of climate change. The countries that are affected most by natural disasters are the less developed countries that are struggling to support and grow their economy. In 2018, a drought hit South Africa and left 45 million people in need in 14 countries. Due to the drought that they experienced, farmers could not and still cannot produce and grow crops which results in a rise in the price of foods and leaves millions of people in hunger. This drought began in late October of 2018 and is still occurring to this day. Within the past year, there was a little rainfall, but it was not enough to grow enough crops to produce enough food supply for everyone in need.

As seen in the pictures above, South African countries suffer their worst drought in history. 

While other countries who are more economically stable than these 14 countries that are being affected by this drought, did a poor job in trying to manage how to help them adapt and get them back on their feet. The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator stated that “We need to move to a system where we act much earlier on the warning signs of drought and hunger so that we can cut response times and costs, and reduce deaths and human suffering”. The solution to seeing the extreme damages of climate change is to have international organizations ban together to support those countries in need. I am studying International Business and this issue addresses how little international business and organizations are acting on helping countries that are most affected by climate change. Measures could have been made prior to the situation getting this far. This critique has world organizations at fault in their failure to help the situation before it got to this extent. Climate change is not one country’s issue, rather it is affecting all of us in society. A solution to preventing this from happening again would have world organizations teams that specifically look into every case and try to find a plan that adapts to the situation while trying to correct and limit further damages to the earth.

https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/analysis/2019/06/10/drought-africa-2019-45-million-in-need

YUYE SHI BLOG

In order to protect the earth’s environment and safeguard its own interests, China implemented a large-scale garbage classification and recycling policy since 2019. Taking Shanghai as an example, starting from July 1, 2019, they divided garbage into recyclable garbage, hazardous garbage, dry garbage and wet garbage. The government uses apps and QR codes to scan citizens’ garbage. Those who fail to sort will receive a corresponding amount of fine, in contrast, those who do well will receive a corresponding amount of bonus.

With relatively sound policies, recycling in Shanghai seems to be doing well. However, when I asked my friends at a college in Shanghai whether they would sort their rubbish according to the rules in college. The answer I got was, “We stopped sorting garbage a long time ago.”

In my mind, college students are always the first team to accept new knowledge and new things. Most young people today are much more environmentally conscious than other age groups. What is the reason to let everything rushed in front of the college students passive work? I’ll take a closer look.

In the investigation, I found that this college is not doing nothing. In the article on the campus public website provided by my friend, I found that this college has set up 8 recycling stations on the campus (as shown in figure 1). Each recycling station also has an intelligent self-service recycling machine (as shown in figure 2). These smart self-service recycling machines can help college students sort garbage, and college students can exchange their recyclables for money.

(figure 1)(figure 2)

In the students’ dormitory, the school has set up the dry and wet garbage bins (as shown in figure 3), so that students can directly classify the garbage in the dormitory life. After the students have simply sorted the garbage in the dormitory, they then sorted the garbage and threw it into the garbage bin marked with recyclable garbage, hazardous garbage, dry garbage and wet garbage (as shown in figure 4). If the steps are so simple, why did the university’s students stop sorting garbage?

(figure 3)

(figure 4)

 

Through further chatting with my friend, I got the truth. In the eight garbage collection stations set up by the school, the garbage sorting is done very well. However, the classification of the four large trash cans that are most commonly used outside each dormitory building is not good. At first, the students and the faculty were serious about sorting the garbage. Later, they found that the university’s disposal of the garbage they had already sorted was very bad. This made them feel that even if they took the time to sort the garbage, it would end up mixed up when it was taken away by the garbage truck. Gradually, they are no longer active in garbage classification. My friend also emphasized that people are still unfamiliar with the classification of garbage, and dry garbage and wet garbage are often confused.

Overall, the implementation of Shanghai’s garbage classification policy has not been particularly successful. From this case, we can see that people’s lack of knowledge of garbage classification and the school’s lack of a unified recycling system lead to the slow failure of garbage classification. Therefore, I think the garbage classification policy in Shanghai is still not mature enough, and the Shanghai government should further change the garbage classification policy in view of this problem.

Bamboo-based buildings in the Dominican Republic

I come from an island called the Dominican republic. It is not very innovative, aware of the effects of climate change, or up to date on more sustainable strategies. However, I was surprised when I came across an article that said that, “a versatile architectural technology created by a Cornell design professor has been adopted by sustainability-minded students to build bamboo-based hurricane- and earthquake-resistant structures where they’re needed most.” The technique was not only sustainable as the Dominican Republic has 1,000 varieties of bamboo that could bring the cost of construction down while also creating a much stronger and resistant structure.

Bamboo-based build brings safe classroom to Dominican Republic

I was amazed by this initiative and sustainable solutions for the past years, Dominicans have completely disregarded the importance of sustainability and why we should apply it.  Aside from that, so many impoverished Dominicans will benefit from the new design structure.  Not only is it less expensive, but it will also be more resistant to earthquakes and therefore if the country is hit with a natural disaster, they will not loose their homes. Many poor communities of the Dominican Republic are stuck in the never-ending cycle of poverty because they spend all the money they have on their houses and many times end up losing them because of natural disasters like cyclones and earthquakes. This invention is revolutionary for a small country like my own and I am eager to see it be implemented in the construction of new houses and schools around the Dominican Republic. Furthermore, the inventor even said, “We didn’t want this technology to be just for the rich to enjoy, ‘Elliott said, noting that the Punta Cana resort offers vocational schooling for children of its Haitian employees.” Hopefully in the near future this structure will also be made in Haiti so that they can also benefit from all the sustainable and affordable features it has.

Bamboo-based build brings safe classroom to Dominican Republic

https://phys.org/news/2016-01-bamboo-based-safe-classroom-dominican-republic.html

Connor’s Post

Last winter I took a research trip to the Bahamas with some classmates and a couple of teachers. My intention for the trip was to have a relaxing getaway in a tropical location and enjoy the week off from school, but over the course of the week I began to see the ocean in a different light. The first day we got there I was overwhelmed by the amount of information I had to process whether it be learning different types of fish species to how to swim blindly under water with nothing but a scuba tank. The daily routine would begin with a three mile run/swim at six in the morning, then would transition to classes focused on marine biology, and would end with a scuba lesson. Since we would spend all day either in the water or on the boat, I began to appreciate the ocean and its inhabitants as we traveled from location to location glancing upon numerous different species. My favorite part of the trip was having the opportunity to work with turtle researchers on placing something called a turtle cam on baby turtles because there is little research done on younger turtles who’s mortality rates are slowly increasing.
Though it was very exciting to be able to work in the field with research professionals, I couldn’t help but get sad every time we would speak about the current state of the natural world. Every time our group would go on a scuba or research trip it got continuously harder and harder to find a certain species or the overall biodiversity of the spot would be much less than they were in previous years. On some scuba trips I would only see half of the corals still standing, making them look like a barren waste land. Invasive species like the lionfish eradicated some of the reefs that were once plentiful and full of life. One snail named the queen conch, which is crucial to the local ecosystem, is going extinct due to over-fishing and is predicted to be gone in the next two years. It was astounding to me that even though conch is on the verge of going extinct, that government regulations have still not been put in place to protect them, and that the snail is still one of the most popular items on every menu on the island. This trip made me realize the cold hard truth that in most cases a consumers themselves cannot change the way a business runs, but only through strict regulations and policy can something be accomplished. Consumers are not the ones that will change the ingredients in sun screen to help safe coral reefs simply because not enough individuals are educated on it nor will most of them put the effort into trying to change their habits. The best way to make an impact in this day in age is through advocacy and policy. One of the best things one can do to help improve the environment is voting in a leader who will make those changes rather than be ignorant. If we spread the word on how urgent this situation is and educate those who are uninformed then we can work towards encouraging leaders to take big steps in making this world a greener place.

Gloria’s Blog

When I was eight to ten years-old, climate change was not as prominent of an issue. It is because of environmental advocates like Greta Thunberg, who have given climate change so much social buzz. In class, students often say “climate change is an issue” and do nothing about it. The fact is “humans” are so ingrained in using resources such as oil and plastic.  For instance, I have to drive my car, how else will I get to school or work? If I bike it will take too long. If I take the metro or public bus, then how will I get to destinations not on the transit route? My point is these  “alternatives” to driving a car are not practical.   I mean we all know “humans” are emitting ten times the amount of carbon deemed necessary. I think the power is in the hands of corporations, the newer models do not have to run on gasoline, instead make them all electric. Even when I head into Starbucks for my usual cool lime refresher, I would always use a plastic straw and cup. If I remembered to bring a reusable cup then I would use it, but oftentimes I would forget. This happens because we live in such a “fast-pace” and “convenient” world.

For the most part, I have taken classes on environmentalism. All of which are relevant. In biology, there are discussions on species going extinct. The question I would always think of is the affect of climate change on personal health. There are tons of studies from the World Health Organization (WTO) and National Institute of Health (NIH) stating the increase in carbon emissions will increase air pollution and lead to an increase in the number of lung cancers. If “humans” will not change their habits for the sake of animals, then do it for health? Maybe when looking for a new car buy the electric one. Such efforts will work. Now at Starbucks, I no longer have to drink from a plastic straw.

Alan Tran Blog

A little bit of background info on how I got interested in Environmentalism. Environmentalism was not an issue for me when I was growing up. I lived in a suburban area in Maryland (DMV area) and the property was mostly full of grass and a couple of trees. My backyard was a small green field that was surrounded by fences. The animals were mostly consist of small birds, rabbits, and squirrels (even occasionally foxes and deer). My neighborhood was mostly clean and healthy. There was rarely any piece of paper, plastic bottle, or metal cans on the ground. Of course, there are a lot of leaves on the grass, but they come from the trees that change during the season. For the last couple of years, the weather has been strange. It has not been snowing a lot (if it has it would usually be late in the season) and there has been drastically hot and cold temperatures. I knew there was something going on. I did not have any interest in science until high school. I took Marine Biology in high school and watched films such as The Cove and Blackfish. I saw how horrible it was for marine life to live in such polluted waters. Whether the pollution is oil spills, human involvement, and plastic trash. I also took AP Environmental Science (unfortunately did not pass) and learned a lot about renewable energy, invasive species, the ozone layer, and nonrenewable energy. Renewable sources such as solar and wind power. Nonrenewable energy such as coal and petroleum. Invasive species such as kudzu vines and zebra mussels. I also read a lot about worldwide pollution in the news: countries such as USA cities, China, India, Mexico, Russia, Japan and many others. It makes me a little sad to see lots of negative greenhouse gases emitted around the world. Right now, I am taking Asian Studies as my major and I want to somehow incorporate my knowledge of environmentalism and mix it with information about East Asia (China, Korea, Japan). Whether if I have to translate languages, look at foreign policies, think of possible solutions, or travel there myself. I won’t deny that climate change is happening and there is no way to go back. Though, I am very optimistic that if all humans come together as a community, then we can change the world.

sources (movies):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cove_(film)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackfish_(film)