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Caitlin Kaloostian
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In all honesty, I took Professor Greer’s Climate Change course my freshman year in order to determine whether climate change exists or not. While in high school I heard both sides of the issue, but never studied the facts in their entirety until I came to W&L. During her class, I learned countless reasons as to why climate change is real and can be proven through scientific means. It was interesting seeing her lecture again and re-emphasized the knowledge I had gained last year. From my point of view, the summary of her climate change lecture is that there is a rise in global temperature due in part to natural occurrences, but more drastically from anthropogenic sources since natural sources (ie: weathering) cannot account for such dramatic changes in temperature. Also, although the oceans are adept at functioning as a carbon-sequestering unit, we are still pumping CO2 at phenomenal rates into the atmosphere and thus altering a natural system that should be transitioning into an icehouse. Professor Greer illustrates with a climate model that the Earth was cooling, but dramatically began to warm during the postindustrial era and has continued ever since. Although the temperature is not the highest it has ever been, there is cause to worry since it is a deviation from a natural system in which the responses are unknown. Being from Miami, Florida I worry most about the rise in sea level and the potential for an increase in the presence of mosquitos, which are already a serious issue during the summer.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2015 on Climate Talk at Jolly Green General
For tomorrow’s class period, it would be interesting to converse about the economic value of ecosystems and subsequently how the loss of habitat, biodiversity, and ecosystem services limit anthropogenic prosperity. Society relies on ecosystems in order produce/consume goods and services. Without all vital ecosystems, I can't help but wonder what will become of our current way of life.
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2015 on For Thursday at Jolly Green General
Although I commend the management of the Mnazi Bay Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park on its intentions to provide for sustainable fishing practices and permission to fish within the protected bay, I can’t help but show concern for the villages that depend on fishing as an important resource. In the paper, I noticed the MBREMP not only focuses on sustainability, but also that of the people’s economic welfare. However what worries me is the fact that villages where fishing is least important have benefited from livelihood projects while the livelihood projects in villages where fishing is truly important fail to compensate for the loss of legal access to the fishery. To be honest, I don’t see how fishermen in canoes with small nets can equate to more pressing matters concerning commercial fishing enterprises. I agree with the gear exchange program, where small mesh nets are traded for larger mesh nets, but I fear benefits to induce compliance can only go so far when someone’s livelihood is on the line, especially if they have family to provide for. If sustainability is to be attained for the long term, all villages in question need too be on equal footing.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2015 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Hardin rejects the prospect that enhanced technology for food production will allow an indefinite increase in population when he states, "a finite world can support only a finite population." It sounds as if he believes society can’t grow simultaneously in both material quality and population. Also, according to quantitative data, both factors cannot be maximized at once. Throughout his essay, he establishes that, "the optimum population is, then, less than the maximum." However, I believe society would have difficulty in freely choosing to limit population, which would pose unintentional issues along the way. For example, something must limit reproduction whether it’s the government, or the individual conscience. Although this can mean sacrificing the freedom to continually procreate, it may also present more important freedoms otherwise not able to surface. This said, it would also need to be a global endeavor, for a handful of individuals aren’t going to make the huge impact we may need in the near future.
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2015 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
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Jan 20, 2015