The entirety of this course was very engaging in terms of application towards real life issues. Sure we take many classes that teach us about ways to use and dispose of textiles and/or other waste producing elements tied into our industry but none to the extent as this course. My passion for environmental sustainability has always been present but as an individual person in the middle of Oklahoma, we know that our impact no matter how hard we try just simply won’t be big enough to create the utmost change in the environment. One way that I learned I could impact the environment through more than just my daily motions and actions is through spreading awareness. Keeping not only myself but the people I surround myself with aware of the negative impacts that can occur through simple things we use or purchase and how we dispose of it really is key in pushing forward this change we so badly need. Awareness can be powerful when reaching those who want to listen, there are many people currently in our society blinded by many lights due to what is sometimes said in the media by our government. What our government is doing is hiding the idea of environmental degradation from a large number of people not only in America but around the world. Since people fail to educate themselves with science and the truth, they choose to listen to what people say on tv and tend to believe that they have research to back up every word, even if in reality they don’t. So I think that from now on it really is my duty to help open the eyes of those around me by educating them with the information I know about how our planet is and can quickly deteriorate right in front of our very eyes.
When reading about taking sides with clashing views in sustainability, Paul Krugman provided a brief history of market-based and command and control approaches in environmental economics. He recommended that cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and carbon tariff as some of the best market based approaches in order to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. There was so much I learned in this passage about how the regulations in societies can conflict with the objectives of sustainability. The main question for us was “Does the market work better than governments at transitioning to sustainability?” My opinion is that the government hides a lot of crucial information to the public because they are making large profits off of industries that cause immense harm to our environment and they know. They will not stop these industrial industries that impact our environment because a lot of these places are producing our daily essential needs like gas, food, materialistic items, etc. It’s very difficult to try and get people to open up to the idea of a revolutionized future without industrialization due to the skepticism behind it all like the funding, support, and regulations. I think that we really do need to stay very aware especially in our society today and everything going on with certain elected official because certain people want to cover up all the negative effects that will affect us and our future just because they happen to be making money and it creates a cycle of income and daily function for our modern day economy. As stated in the 11th Hour, this is a cultural problem we face. Our minds are constantly manipulated into a “new” way of thinking. With that being said, I think that it would be very hard and will take a lot of time before we can put an end to something causing productivity but also degradation.
Watching the 11th Hour was very assuring to me and my beliefs of the reality that is occurring to our planet. This now is honestly one of my favorite films and is definitely one that I will be showing and sharing with my friends and family. That is also a step towards spreading awareness, I think many people in my life can benefit from watching and learning. There was a collection of quotes that was said towards the end of the movie really stuck with me and had me shook, “when we talk about “saving the environment” in a way it’s misstated because the environment is going to survive. We are the ones who may not survive, or we may survive in a world we don’t particularly want to live in.” This really took me back because in reality, it made me realize a simple truth that I hadn’t thought about before. This made me think about the ways that I have thought about “saving the planet” when in all reality, we should be saving ourselves and the environment is an addition to progress. This also relates to something that was said which also stuck out to me intensely and that was that we tend to separate ourselves from nature and there is no way possible to be separated from nature, that has simply become our very own American thinking disorder. I agree with this statement because I think that we all have at one point or another been guilty of getting too invested into our social lives that we take for granted and even somehow detach ourselves from our biggest friend, mother nature. Ending in some final thoughts, I can safely say on behalf of myself that after this course I will certainly be able to think a lot more deeply and logistically about the ways I can change my own footprint on the planet as well as those who surround me.