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Danielle Hurley
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Professor Greer's talk is great. I'm very pleased that I go the chance to hear it as I have been unfortunately unable to fit her Climate Change course into my schedule. What stuck out to me was her discussion regarding why we should care about the modern temperature increase when data indicates that it's occurred before. We should care b/c of this "we." We care b/c of us, us humans! Professor Greer showed a slide including various pictures of the Earth exploding or being depicted as a ticking time bomb. These pictures are very unlikely, she explained, for though there will be "losers" there will also be "winners." The Earth will be just fine without us, but it's us humans who won't be so fine if we don't take the data and the observations seriously. That's a great point. Me, I'm always thinking about climate change in terms of how its effecting our environment, sure humans are and will be effected but I don't tend to think of us as often b/c it seems as though so few consider the plants and the animals and the soils and the oceans. Still, there are those who don't consider climate change at all and are therefore not only ignoring the aforementioned, but humans as well. Though the Earth has experienced times of "extreme" cold and "extreme" warm via shifts over hundreds of thousands of years, humans weren't here then. We didn't and most likely will not be able to handle these shifts if we continue to contribute to the magnitude of the shift that could occur. To paraphrase Professor Greer, the dinosaurs didn't get hit on the head by a meteor, the dinosaurs died b/c of climate change; I, for one, do not want humanity to have the same fate.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2015 on Climate Talk at Jolly Green General
Of the numerous take-aways from this article, what stuck with me was the clear necessity for separate disciplines to work together, especially in these conservation situations as this one concerning MPAs in Tanzania. As Alejandro mentioned, well-intentioned policies that require peoples to alter their behavior may not sit well and the officials and/or authorities imposing these changes may be seen as an “enemy.” While there are many facets to the tense atmosphere that tends to develop between the two parties, these researchers definitely highlighted a huge chunk. As previously mentioned, this policy is well-intentioned. It is aiming to provide the natural environment, in terms of the fish population, some well-deserved attention in response to the anthropogenic exploitation that has occurred in this area which has led to a diminished, unhealthy population. However, while those living on and near the coast of the bay turned MPA are not being forced to relocate, they are being displaced in another sense. The villagers unwilling to trade in their gear and fish legally are choosing to do so, perhaps, not necessarily because they directly oppose the effort that creating the MPA supports but because they are doing what is in their best interests and, really, to survive. The latter is emphasized by a quote from a villager, previously mentioned in a comment before mine, in which “[a Tanzanian fisherman] undertook gear exchange but now uses his mosquito net to catch fish because he “can‘t protect against malaria when you are hungry” (24). Therefore I find the researchers’ detailing of the inequity of the policies and regulations to explain the behaviors of villagers according to their proximity to the bay versus agriculturally productive land completely logical. A first look at this MPA initiative has me sighing with a ‘finally, the natural world was considered rather than solely the interests of the human population.’ Yet, it’s still not quite right. This time, it was just the fish and man was left behind to struggle. Had individuals, such as the authors of this paper, been consulted regarding the best way to successfully implement an MPA so as to promote the fish population without detracting from the livelihood of the individuals who depend on the fish, diminished population or not, in that bay, have known only to fish from that bay, and have few options other than the fish in that bay, the plan could have had more promise. Coming up with a conservation plan and telling fisherman they cannot fish anymore and to become farmers will not work in anyone’s favor if parties do not work congruently to ensure that these fisherman have the necessary skills and resources.
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2015 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Though I'm sure individuals' WTP for fish diversity, coral cover, and turtle sightings has more to do with individual satisfaction and less to do with existence value, I like to think that because these attributes are in fact high on individuals' lists for a optimally satisfying dive that perhaps they might recognize the existence value. In any case, I found the study's results interesting and hopeful nonetheless. It reminded me of last spring term when Heeju returned from Belize and told me about her experience and the research she helped with. It sounded great. As she mentioned in her comment, her time in Belize found that tourists are Willing to pay more than what they currently do to support coral reefs. I wonder if this would be true for fish or for turtles and if tourists would willingly and knowingly pay either via a portion of their ticket price or some other way to support these species. What about non-divers? Would they be just as willing? I'm now interested to know whether tourists, in general, would be -honestly- willing to pay to support funds for fish, turtles, corals, etc. even if they weren't planning on SCUBA diving or guaranteed a siting or any sort. Could they still find satisfaction in this?
Toggle Commented Jan 28, 2015 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
After reading the section "Freedom to Breed is Intolerable" from Garrett Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons, though I at times found his language harsh, I agree with him. I think about our world's overpopulation every now and then and, while I am frustrated by it, I see few solutions. Hardin suggests, as many others before me have pointed out, that we reject viewing the ability to reproduce as a right because it is one that has been abused. When a child is "on the way," most individuals or couples or families consider whether they are financially stable - "Will we have enough money to buy enough food...pay for clothes...pay for colleges...provide the best opportunities..." Such thoughts are surrounded by an individual's/couple's concern as to whether they might have enough money. But what they don't think about is whether there will even be enough or any resources to purchase. Sure, it's pretty uncomfortable saying that along with Hardin, I believe reproduction should be controlled. After all, it is often a personal decision and regulating that would be argued against as quite invasive. But if we don't start thinking about appropriate and of truly effective strategies to control the ever-increasing human population, there may not be any more human population. And that could come sooner rather than later. Hardin wrote this piece in the 1960s and we're in the 2010s. Though education regarding this issue has increased since Hardin's time, there are few effective changes that have been made. So, how should we go about changing how man approaches reproduction? Command/control, moral suasion, economic incentive? Probably a bit of them all. Again, it's uncomfortable arguing that an individual's ability to breed should be controlled and regulated, but that doesn't mean it's wrong.
Toggle Commented Jan 22, 2015 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
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Jan 21, 2015