Last year I moved to Charleston from Myrtle Beach. I had to get used to the changes that I needed to adapt to, and it wasn’t a quick transition. I am still working on living on my own, having roommates, and living in an area that is condensed. By being “condensed”, I mean that I am not used to everything I need in walking distance. This has been very convenient, but I am also used to driving everywhere I need to go- whenever I please. I live off of Coming Street, which is very busy and it’s hard to find parking. So, whenever I do make the leap to get in my car and go, I struggle to find a parking spot when I return back home. There are many struggles that come with parking and driving here. Therefore, I have been trying to refrain from it. In the beginning of my move, I would drive to get food on King Street, or order delivery because that area is over a mile from my house. Sometimes I did not feel like walking or riding my bike, so I just took the “easy” way (or what I thought). When I realized that it was not only difficult to drive around here, but more trouble than it’s worth, I began to walk to class, the store, and anywhere else I needed to go. Not only was this good for my health and my wallet, but also for the environment. I learned this, after I found out what my ecological footprint was, and looked in the details. Transportation was the 2nd highest thing that was impacting my footprint, which justified my change that I had made recently. Driving is not good for the environment because it run on fossil fuels, which in exchange, release greenhouse gases. We talked about global warming in class, and I knew that this was a huge part of why the Earths environment is not in the best shape. Knowing that I can change something about my everyday life that I thought was so hard at the beginning, has now become easy and enjoyable. I have been driving a lot less than I was last semester, and it feels good to know that I am doing something that can help the environment. Despite when I don’t feel as active as I need to be, it hasn’t been that hard with driving everywhere. The only time I do drive is when I go to the gym, because that is in West Ashley. If you live downtown and ever have that morning that you feel like you just don’t want to walk to class or the store, think about the exercise, fresh air, and the environment. It might not seem like a huge impact, but when you get into a routine, you will notice how much you really used to drive. There are multiple benefits to walking, and being a Public Health major, I feel like it is something I should advocate for more. I have been driving when necessary, not convenient- and I intend on keeping my car parked more often.
I did a blog post on media analysis because I find it very interesting when information is presented in an enjoyable way. This allows the audience to use their imagination to create an explanation of what is being displayed. I choose to further review this advertisement image that depicts sustainability largely. This certain advertisement does not include text or a subtext, I feel its main purpose is to allow the audience to come up with their own interpretation behind what is being shown. This image has a logo of a panda with WWF written under it. This is the company who produced this ad and a conservation organization. WWF stands for World Wildlife Fund, which is an organization that promotes nature and wildlife sustainability. Their mission is to not only to save natural habitats and promote actions to stop global warming, but also to save animals in these habitats that have been affected already. Showing the nature and wildlife devastation that is occurring is what one of the goals of this ad. Another goal is to show nature as the thing that provides life being slowly killed off. The trees are shaped as a pair of lungs, which lungs are known to provide air and sustain life. The deteriorating part of the lungs represent the nature being killed off. Humans need their lungs to provide air to the rest of the body to keep the body’s functions working. The air in the lungs keep the brain working. This is a perfect example of how nature works just like the picture represents. If one part of nature starts being negatively affected the rest of nature’s “body” will start having negative effects. These effects are but not limited to extinction of animals and climate change. The value, I feel, that is represented is keeping up the source of life alive and healthy before it is too late. This relates to a lifestyle that is silently suggested which is maintaining a healthy atmosphere limiting global warming effects. The point of review represented is devastation will eventually take over if we do not find a way to sustain our natural habitat. The questions I had about this image is what exactly has happened to the part of the trees that has been destroyed, and where is the location supposed to be. I want to know, has fires or just global warming caused the trees to die. I found doing a media analysis very interesting due to the room for abstract thought from observing. I really enjoyed being able to come up with my own story as to what is trying to be shared through the image. This media analysis reminded me of the in-class activity we did where we walked around the room observing and writing down what we thought of the multiple pictures around the room. When analysis this image I used some of the methods from class. I wrote down what I noticed in the picture and what it meant to me.
The drought in Cape Town, South Africa is one of the world’s most pressing issues currently. The residents of Cape Town are quickly approaching a day where the city is officially out of water. Locals of the city are receiving approximately 25 gallons per day from the city, but soon will only be receiving just 13 gallons. These numbers are standards set by the World Health Organization for emergency situations. As the citizens continue to rush towards the ‘Zero Day’ they are beginning to prepare for just 6.5 gallons of water per person, per day. To make matters even worse, according to the Mayor of the city, over 60 percent of the citizens are remaining to abuse their daily water amount.
This photo shows citizens waiting in line to receive their allotted water for the day. The reservoirs are filled with rain water, but the town is experiencing its worst drought in a hundred years. Just two years ago, these reservoirs were at amazing levels, at nearly 80% full. However, today they sit at just over 15 % full. The levels of these reservoirs drop every day that it continues to refuse to rain. The rising population of the city is another concern for Cape Town. Over the past ten to fifteen years the city’s population has increased 33%, from roughly two million inhabitants to three million today. This increase in population is causing even more issues for the city’s officials. As the mayor said, too many of her citizens are using too much water every day. As the number of people that inhabit the city increase, the problem of the abuse of water usage gets worse and worse. Cape Town has actually been awarded for their efforts to combat this issue in recent times. In 2014 Cape Town was awarded the adaptation implementation at the C40 awards. The C40 is a group of cities attempting to combat climate change internationally. Cape Town received this award for its extensive efforts to make water more available to its citizens. However, their award-winning efforts have not been enough to withstand a drought of this magnitude. Another factor in this wicked problem is the African government. Despite this being a growing issue for months in the second largest city of South Africa, the African National Congress has been slow to respond. The city of Cape Town has only received $1.5 million to help find some solutions, and they only received this money in August of 2017.
I chose this article because of the interesting relationship between two of the biggest focuses of our class so far. The population growth of Cape Town has presented a serious issue for the city. The relationship of the growing population, and the humans effect on what is occurring is evident. Humans are being too wasteful of their resources, and the number of humans continues to increase. The city only has about two months of water left, so this is something that should continue to be in focus of the media in the weeks to come. If you are interested in reading more about this, follow this link: https://www.npr.org/2018/01/23/579784235/drought-stricken-cape-town-braces-for-water-to-run-out-in-april.
In this blog post I will be discussing my presentation on Sea Level’s Rising, specifically in Delaware, and how this is effecting our Earth through climate change, ice caps melting, and our use of emission. As we all know, global warming is not a myth, but something happening right in front of our own eyes, and global warming has many different effects that could change the way we see the Earth in 20-30 years, and will most likely affect our next generation. An article that I would like to mention is by Penn State, and this article gives a great understanding to what global warming is, how it is specifically affecting Delaware, and how we can prevent some of the aftermath that will come of our sea level’s rising (I will link the article below!). There is also a news article I will link that talks about how Delaware specifically is being affected by the sea level’s rising, including a video on what our Earth could look like if all of the ice melted. Although it is very unlikely that all of our ice caps will melt, it is still interesting to watch the video, and see how some of our beloved cities (including Charleston), would be underwater or have land compensated for because of the sea level increase.
So to continue with our current discussion, I think it is important to also mention what global warming is, and what some of the reasons our ice caps are melting. Global warming as said by the google dictionary is, ” a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect cause by increased levels of carbon dioxide, and other pollutions.”. I will be focusing on the gradual increase in the overall temperature of the Earth, because this is one of the main contributions to why the ice caps have began to melt. With our Earth’s temperature increasing, our oceans are also getting warmer, which is what causes the ice to melt. Ice melting is a large contributor to sea level’s rising, because our ice caps are starting to lose density, so water that should be frozen is now being put back into the ocean, which concludes in our water’s rising. A fact from the Penn State article shows that in the years 1993 to 2008, we have increased sea level by more than one and a half times the amount of water increased in just those years. This shows us that our waters are increasing at the fastest rate yet.
In this image (above) you are able to see the contrast between the Average Global Sea Level Rise since the Industrial Revolution, and a bar graph showing the Climate-related Contributions to Global Sea Level Rise. The first graph (left) shows us that our sea levels have increased about eight inches since 1880 because of the loss of ice on land, and with the water expanding due to the increasing temperatures. In the second graph (right) you see that there are two bars, one showing thermal expansion, and the other showing the melting land ice, both studying from 1972-2008, to 1993-2008. As shown, when the thermal expansion of the water became to rise slightly, the inches of melting land ice went up dramatically, showing us that 52 percent of sea level rise comes from our ice caps, and glacier melting.
To bring this back to the specifics of the article, places like Delaware have become majorly affected by the sea level rise, since they have a low lying topography, making them higher at risk for flooding, and possibly going underwater in total. In the state of Delaware lies a town called Lewes, which has had a 16 inch increase in sea level, making simple rain storms cause flooding, and putting land underwater. With the rising sea level, town Lewes is having to take extra precautions to flooding, including making higher barriers, so the entire town does not stay flooded. Unfortunately, because of the increase there has been predictions that show there could be a five inch increase in sea level, and for areas like this, it could cause evacuation, and major conflicts for living stability.
One of the most asked questions regarding climate change, or rising sea levels, is how we as citizens can stop the progress of damage that is being done to our Earth. One of the best ways we can reduce this is to lower our emission, which includes gas, and radiation. Some simple ways to do this could be through carpooling, lowering gas consumption, recycling, using less hot water, and burning less fossil fuels. All of these things are something we as a society can begin to decrease, and we could possibly see a great change in our earth’s environment, atmosphere, and overall temperature.
Lastly, the ice caps, and glaciers melting is not only harming humans, but our wildlife as well. One of the most popular species that comes to mind when we think about extinction due to polar ice caps would be polar bears. Below are many different pictures showing the unfortunate events that can happen to polar bears when they are not able to find ice to live on, and how they are starting to starve to death, because they are not able to obtain food. This world was theirs before it was ours, and because of that we should take extra care of our wildlife, making sure they are not being compensated due to our human footprint, and the negative impact we are making on the Earth.
To conclude, our sea levels are rising to an extent where we are being forced to take action. Our wildlife, and land are being compensated due to the fact we are losing ice caps, glaciers, and destroying our Earth in ways that are becoming noticeable to society. There are many ways to help reduce this, but all together one of the most important things we can do is recycle, and lower our emission, so that we can begin to cool down the Earth again. If we reduced our emission we could possibly cut between six to twenty inches off of our sea level rise, and lower the overall temperature of the Earth. We must also learn how to adapt to this rise, and start funding more programs in order to solve this problem!
Video links/article links that are very helpful, and talked about throughout this blog post:
Search, “What the Earth would look like if all the Ice Melted”, on youtube.
A personal change that I considered changing was to eat less meat in order to live more sustainably. Prior to this attempt of this lifestyle change, I never realized how much meat I incorporated with my diet for a protein source (chicken) and how much red meat (steak) I eat weekly. So, for the past week, I decided to cut out meat from my diet, and instead of seeking poultry for protein, I substituted that source of protein with pinto beans and black beans. I’ll be honest and say that I am not a huge “bean person.” This substitution was probably the most difficult aspect that I had to adapt to, because I never liked them in my childhood because of the texture of the beans. Meat generation is a standout amongst the most ecologically dangerous enterprises on the planet, in charge of huge measures of water use, ozone harming substance outflows, pollution and territory annihilation. You have three possibilities daily to enhance the strength of the planet, by diminishing your meat utilization you can decrease your ecological impression.
Eating privately sourced products of the soil additionally brings down the measure of fossil fuels used to transport nourishment over long distances. Which leads into what I want to continue to make different changes in order to enhance the way of living more sustainably. I want to try next to change where I get my fruits and vegetables; attain produce locally. Eating less meat, or just cutting it out like I did, will help with your health and energy levels tremendously! While I just cut off meat completely last week and being an active meat eater prior, I struggled with not thinking about eating meat. I would have a tendency to constantly have a craving for meat, but consciously knew I couldn’t because it would mess up my recording of how the week of not eating meat felt like. So for me, as you can tell it was pretty hard. Like I said before, looking to beans and nuts for protein solely was a huge change for me and by the end of the week, I did get used to the texture and taste better. An unanticipated benefit was that the change in diet made me feel more full for a longer period of time than did certain meats (nutrient-dense foods). An unanticipated challenge during this diet would have probably have been fighting the impulses to get meat during the duration of the week.
In my experience, I would like to stick to this change in moderation because it did make me feel good. I do not think that I will be able to cancel out meat completely so drastically, but I do think that gradually I will be able to reach that point by controlling portion size to having like say 4oz of meat a day, and then gradually leading to weekly, monthly, etc. My advise to others contemplating a similar change, is that you can do it! And the fact that this simple change can do so much good to yourself and the Earth just make it all much the better! Also, if there is anyone like me, that the best way to do this is eat meat in moderation and gradually diminish in the timing you feel comfortable with.
Climate change is a very large problem that affects people and animals around the world. Keeping up with your ecological footprint, and looking at it as a way to further your own health while also furthering the health of the environment not only around you, but also around the world is very important. One somewhat easy change that is mutually beneficial is changing your diet from processes goods to local goods.
Consuming local food is very important for different reasons. The first reason eating local instead of process goods is it is healthier for you. Although it might cost more and be harder to find local grown crops and meat is a lot healthier to consume. Processed food has hormones and chemicals that help it last long enough to get to your table. This has been proven to influence human health. Not only are you getting weeks and sometimes month old food, you truly never know what is in your food or who has touched it. The perk of eating local farm raised meet or local farms is that you know where it comes from. Your food isn’t just cleaner but taste better since you are eating it sometimes within days since it has been harvested. I want to start eating only local foods to better my health and the environment.
Another reason that eating local farm raised food is a positive thing is that it helps support local businesses. This is very important economically; I believe that it is really important to support your local businesses because they use less preservative and usually take better care of their animals and the environment they produce their crops in. It also is good for the environment due to the fact that they don’t have to ship out there goods, resulting in less carbon monoxide going into the Ozone.
The final and most important reason is that it will help lower your ecological footprint. Stopping the use of large farms and leaning towards local farms helps lower many major problems that human induce. It would lower the amount of pollutants due to pesticides and other harmful chemicals large-scale farms use.
After eating more clean for the past week I have realized many things. I realized that I am not accumulating as much trash as I have previously. I feel better due to less hormones and chemicals entering my body and I feel like I have actually helped make a small step towards lowering my neglect of the earth. Some challenges I faced are that it is hard to find affordable local food. The prices are higher but I believe it is worth a few dollars here and there. Another challenge is that it takes up more time, so I can see why people don’t do the switch over to local foods, but I believe it is really important. I believe that if everyone did this, the world would be in a better place, not only usage wise but also economically, which appeals to most people.