After hearing discussion from other classmates, I realized that I had been exposed to sustainability more than most. I always had assumed that everyone had the same knowledge as I did on the matter but I was wrong. So far this class has opened up my eyes to how education on sustainability and practicing it is necessary. We are lucky enough to have a class dedicated to it but others are not as lucky. However, as we learned in The 11th Hour movie, we are all about to be very unlucky because the earth is reacting back to what we are doing to it. One thing I found really interesting is that everyone always says “we are killing our planet” but in reality we are killing ourselves. This was my epiphany for the week and I have already told this to multiple people. I thought that The 11th Hour was very informative and more people should watch so that we can start spreading sustainability education now.
If it weren’t for the Easter Island heads I would not have known anything about Easter Island. What is fascinating about this article is that it relates to present day. Easter Island is a small version of the word today. A main point was with deforestation. When the people of Easter Island cut down all their trees it greatly affected food production and spiritual health. I think this is a warning sign and example to us. The article also uses the word “irreversible” when speaking of damaging their environment. This word has so much weight. Right now we cannot reverse much but only alleviate it. The Easter Island article reminded me of my high school biology teacher. In the article, the people were growing quickly and using more resources just as the human race is today. My biology teacher believed that you and your partner should only reproduce children to replace yourselves. This means each family should have two children. If a family would want more children, it would be best to adopt. The growth of our population is frightening as we learned about the increase from JFK to present day in The 11th Hour. I think we need to think about this when family planning.
I read the Fashioning Sustainability article and I felt that it gave statistics to things I was already aware of. The production of cotton uses high amounts of water, making hemp a great substitute for it since it does not. However, the United States produces a lot of cotton, providing a multitude of jobs for Americans. Decreasing cotton production would be bad for the economy so people are reluctant to do it. Another negative part of this is that hemp is not fully federal legal to grow in the United States because of it misuse in drugs. On the bright side, Colorado and a few other states are able to grow hemp now because of state laws. I think this is going to be really great because hemp is good not only for textile use but also for fuel. It is encouraging to see that some changes are being made. However, I wonder how much will it take before we start to see results. I feel like we are moving slower in sustainability than the time we have left before things get worse. I am wondering how this could get sped up so that we aren’t at such a time disadvantage. Perhaps education now will be a good place to start. I also think that the government needs to step up to the plate. While they are already doing things, more regulations could be put into place. This could be another place to start by lobbying.
Overall, I am excited to learn more about what we as students can do. I am also excited to reading more articles that could help me have intellectual conversations with people about sustainability.