Saturday, May 3, 2014

Week 15 Making a just and livable world

1. Please choose one of the items (A-D) below and discuss what the author suggests for a better human-environment relationship.  No more than 4 students/item.  Count how many have already posted on an option before you choose yours. 

2. Then, write about something that you will take away from this class. What got your attention? Are there things that you might do now as a consequence of what you've learned? Are there ways you might think differently about the nature-society relationship? 
 A.  If you'd prefer to read, choose two of these short articles by an editor of the journal Jacobin and a grad student at Yale in Political Science.  

B. Ted Talk by William McDonough.  Architect and designer, McDonough is known for the Cradle to Cradle design concept. His colleague Michael Braungart, a chemist once said, "Sustainability isn’t enough. To destroy a little less doesn’t protect anything." This is similar to the water pollution regulator's comment on wetlands -- each year more is taken from the total wetland landscape and then it's gone.  

       C. Ted Talk by Jane Goodall.  "Chimpanzees, more than any other living creature, have helped us to understand that there is no sharp line between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom. It’s a very blurry line, and it’s getting more blurry all the time.” (Jane Goodall).

D. Ted Talk of Frances Moore Lappe discussing her book, Eco Mind. Reading this author's work on food and hunger as a high school student made me decide that the only ethical thing to do would be to eat lower on the food chain--to become vegetarian. Frances Moore Lappe's last few books have been on hopeful examples of eco-friendly living. 

Cool videos: Penguins hunting! And check out this amazing video of an osprey fishing! This is one of the birds that was brought back from near extinction by banning DDT. Like the bald eagle, the bioaccumulation of DDT up the food chain and into these predators made their eggshells more fragile. When the bird would sit on its eggs, they would break, destroying the next generation.  The image below is a human-made osprey nest platform created as part of conservation efforts to encourage reproduction.