In my break out groups when we talked about the fall of Easter Island, we all agreed that the fall of the civilization was due to not only the limited resources that the Island provided, but the way the people consumed the resources. Their society and culture demanded more usage of resources than the Island could lend, which led to the desertification of the Island. Even though I agreed with this, I attempted to analyze what happened in a different way. I argued that some wanted to conserve their resources, but because of the rivalry between tribes, the leaders ignored their people’s wishes. I also considered that possibly the people were aware of what was happening, but there was no way to stop the usage of the resources, much like our problem today. We are a lot like the Easter Island people, we have grown and evolved into a complex civilization. Having electricity and running water in the United States is common and expected. When something breaks, often we choose not to repair it, and instead dispose of the broken buy a new one.
What I wish I could have asked my group, was what they thought about nuclear power as an alternative source of energy opposed to wind and solar power. While wind and solar power is much less harmful to the environment, both are unreliable and expensive to produce. The amount of energy that would need to be produced to support our country and maintain the lifestyles we are already accustomed to, is just not possible with wind and solar power alone, but if we replaced fossil fuels and added nuclear energy, maybe we could begin to correct the problem.
One of the things that I took away from last week’s topic, was that humans are not separate from nature. I think it is very common for us to think that we are separate because we do not live in the outdoors but in houses that we build. Most of the things that we use from day to day are things that humans have created and refined, but the things we make we still make from nature and natural resources. Now when I look around my dorm, I see my desk that was made from wood that came from trees and curtains that were made from cotton that was grown in a field somewhere. I also found it interesting that the amount of kids with asthma has increased. After learning this, I shared it with a family member who is a first grade teacher and she agreed that she has seen more and more kids with asthma in most recent years. I find it interesting that the younger generations are having to pay for what older generations have done and keep doing.
Our topics over the last week have gotten me interested in things like alternative sources of energy, decreasing asthma problems in young children and appreciating what nature has afforded me. I have had interesting conversations with family members and friends that I would not normally have about their views on issues and how they think we should better preserve our earth.