A New View on Environmental Degradation

What do you think, is poverty responsible for global degradation? The topic for this week’s class as you may have guessed is analyzing whether or not poverty is a cause to the environmental degradation we are facing now and could affect our future. This week for class I was assigned to read the “yes” side of the argument along with the other members on my team in order to come up with an overall consensus to explain to the other side as to why poverty could be a cause. While we were discussing I contributed with the class the idea of deepening poverty and how it realtes to this side of the argumnet. Essentailly deeping poverty affects the environment because according to the author the poor are given jobs that consist of unsustainable practices that cause a major strain on the land they are. This is seen when it causes them to use up all the resources in that area and as a result they later have to relocate to another area and use up all those resources and the cycle continues, until one day we could eventually run out of resources.

It is through this reading that I was able to understand the author’s point of view and in personal view I can say that I agree with him to some degree. I don’t think the poor themselves are to blame but that because of the unfair distribution of wealth our economy faces, the poor are forced into these situations and as a result have caused an effect on the environment. And I don’t know about you but when thinking about the causes of environmental degradation I never thought to recognize poverty as a possible cause. I have always seen problems such as deforestation, overproduction, and pollution to be causes of environmental degradation, so for me it was informational to see another perspective and possible cause. A major takeaway, I took from this reading was seeing what other countries have done to improve living standards for the poor and these practices could be put into practice in the United States and slightly tweaked for our society. 

As I have continued my journey in mindfulness, and hopefully you have to, this week for my mindfulness activity I chose to do something different. This week I choose to sit outside on the porch swing and listen to music while observing my surroundings. I felt that through this exercise I became more in tune with things around me that I normally don’t pay attention or realize on a daily basis. Sitting there I realized that students walking by are constantly on their phones or listening to music that we have adapted to block out the natural environment, I also noticed that a lot of us college students have become lazy in walking to class and instead ask friends to drive us to class. Which I am slightly guilty of but for the most part I walk to class everyday because I tell myself it’s my exercise for the day.  

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