Poverty = Environmental Issues?

This week’s class assigned reading and discussions definitely was quite shocking to read and hear. I was assigned the YES argument about how poverty is one of the main issues for environmental degradation. To be honest, before I read the reading I had no idea what “environmental degradation” meant. When I started reading I quickly learned what it was. My initial reaction when I saw the YES arguments title “Is Poverty Responsible for Global Environmental Degradation?” I was a little taken back. After having a better understanding of  what “environmental degradation” is, I was inferring that the author was simply just going to try to blame this major issue on poor people and communities. I had no background knowledge and while I kept reading my mindset and thoughts quickly changed. The author stated that poor communities are forced to go into unsustainable practices such as farming on marginal land or forestry because they cannot afford more sustainable productions. Without funding or a stable economy, the poor cannot do any sustainable practices. These unhealthy and unsustainable productions lead to soil degradation and erosion. Also I learned that with rapid population growth in poor communities and negative economic growth causes the poor to go down even farther. With a higher population, there is more stress on manufacturing and production which causes to use more natural resources. One question we were asked to answer in class was whether we think corporations should be involved and help the poor. While my initial answer was “yes,” I am not so sure anymore. In class, a fellow classmate answered the opposite of me and I really liked her answer. She thinks corporations should not be involved because based on history, once a large corporation gets involved lot of the time they expect something in return, they start controlling people, or use the situation to their advantage. It was nice to hear from someone who had a different perspective and I honestly now agree with her. She made such great points that I did not even think of. Based on this, I am happy to see how my thinking has been changing and growing. I think the discussions in class have been reshaping my thinking because I get to hear others’ thoughts and their perspective on the topic we are discussing in class.

Moving on to my last topic, meditation. In class, we have been doing a couple miniature meditation sessions and I love it! With everything going on and the circumstances I think the meditation sessions have been such a nice touch to class. I honestly feel calming and better after. This past week my dog, who was my best friend, passed away. I was feeling so down and lost. I am grateful to be able to have only online classes because I was able to go home and be with my family. But when it came to doing my classes alone in my room I was so anxious and had millions of thoughts running through my mind. I decided that perhaps this could be a good time to try the 10 min mindfulness practice. Right before class for most of the week I sat down and did a 10 min mindfulness meditation session and I think it has helped me with the grieving process. I have felt more at ease, less stressed and anxious. I will definitely continue to do some mindfulness practices in the future.

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