extra credi

My opinion on Genetically Modified Organism


A genetically modified organism, according to dictionary.com, “is a an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there. Note: A high percentage of food crops, such as corn and soybeans.” This includes many different thing, and is a very popular topic of arguments between scientist, big corporations, and the consumers.

If you look back approximately 50,000 years ago when humans began shifting over to agriculture you can see where this all started just at a more basic way. Over the past 50,000 years people have been selecting the plants with the biggest fruits or the ones that look the best. This selection has lead to all of the major cash crops around the world. If you just for example look at the modern day corn plant or maize it look nothing like the wild ancestor it use to be. The teosinte is a small about 2 feet tall plant that produces seeds that resemble modern corn, but from selection over the past 50,000 years we get the approximately 5 foot tall corn plant that produces huge seeds. I use this example to just explain that we have been genetically modifying organisms since we became modern day humans. Today we just expedite that process. Scientist select genes that code for large fruits and instead of waiting multiple generation for the change to happen they can infuse these genes for the first generation expresses it. This cuts back the hard work of selecting and breeding plants, which takes a very long time. We also selected for the animals we have today in farms and in our homes.

There is a negative side to this though. The Genetically Modified Organism business is very serious, with people patent the genes that they use, which I completely agree with due to it being a 47.5 billion dollar market (World of Corn 2018). The problem lies when companies start infusing our food with preservatives that haven’t fully been proven not to have any negative side effect. This has the government to blame due to us not using the Precautionary Principle. Sometimes these preservative have negative side effects and the people who consumed them have no way of knowing what they have just eaten. I believe we should test thing immensely before allowing its use but the big companies lobby against it for obvious reasons.

I believe the only change we need is to label Genetically Modified Organism and to educate the people the possible side effects. I also believe we should follow most of Europe’s Precautionary principle in order to keep our citizens safe, but besides that I believe it is very useful to Genetically Modify Organisms to skip the hard manual labor and time to create the same organism through natural selection.



Works Cited


“World of Corn.” World of Corn 2018, www.worldofcorn.com/#us-corn-at-a-glance.

Extra credit

The coyote “problem”


Due to the rising population of humans all across the world, species are starting to get pushed out. When species attempt to live within the human society they are always targeted. They usually are targeted in ways that are truly unsustainable and unethical. One species that has seen this since the beginning of human expansion is the coyote. The coyote has recently gotten a lot of attention in the United States, this has lead to many extreme actions to take place. When you think about what a coyote can actually do that causes all this negative publicity nothing really comes to your head, but in 1990 183 pet were killed in the United States, and those were just the documented ones (Connolly 1995). But those numbers are nothing compared to the money that they cost farmers. In 1990 9.9 million dollars of damages were done to just livestock alone in the US. 52,000 lamb were killed by coyotes in that year as well (Connolly 1995). But what are people doing to stop this? They trap and poison them or in places like South Carolina they create a bounty program.

The bounty program is the main point that I want to focus on. In South Carolina they tagged 16 coyotes and if you kill one you get $1000 dollars and a hunting license. Sounds like a good idea right…. No. This has been proven not to work in may places throughout The United States. The best example is Michigan. Michigan once had a bounty, which lead to the population to increase. This really doesn’t make sense to common people but when you look at it biologically of curse the population increased. With lower competition the more successful the breeding pairs were. So why is South Carolina trying the same thing? I have no clue. I believe the whole this is just a major waste of money. Michigan had to reintroduce the grey wolf to lower the coyote population. So why don’t we introduce our once native Red Wolf, because they are now on the brink of extension.

It is very interesting to see that the South Carolina DNR don’t truly understand ecosystems or even systems in general. The one thing you have to know about systems are that they are all interconnected. This just shows because due to people forcing out the panthers, and the red wolves we suffer from the problem that we do today. Instead of adapting to the problem we need to mitigate it. We need to go back to where the problem started and that is when the human population rapidly increased.


Works Cited

Connolly, Guy E. “THE EFFECTS OF CONTROL ON COYOTE POPULATIONS:      ANOTHER LOOK.” Digional Commonsdigitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewconte       ntcgi?referer=  &httpsredir=1 &article=1035&context=coyotesw.


Event Blog: Charleston Farmers Market

Event Blog: Charleston Farmers Market

The events that I went to and still continue to go to is the Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square. The farmers market has become an every Saturday routine since I came to Charleston. The Farmers Market doesn’t only have the best vegetables, fruits, and meat but it has a whole bunch of other things like artwork and crafts.

The Charleston Market is the go to place to get any local product. I believe it is very important to buy local because you are helping the livelihood of farmers in our area and also helping the environment due to lessening the traveling the products do. I wrote about this in my first blog but the market has helped make it easier on me to keep my promise to try my hardest to eat local and healthier.

The people at the market are a major positive as well. You can meet so many nice local people who have helped me to eat healthier by giving me recipes and tips on how to cook different healthier ways. I also think it is really important to thank the farmers who produce the food for our country, because with out them most Americans would not have access to the food we have today. The people at the market also tell me where I should eat based on who has the freshest foods and just tips about living in Charleston in general.

The food at the market although sometimes more expensive is unbelievable. It always taste so much better than store bought produce. The fruit is always fresh a juicy, the vegetables always taste fresh and the meat is farm and grass raised unlike most meat today as we learned in the documentary “Food Inc.” Although I do know that meat isn’t a necessary part of my diet I do have it occasionally usually only from the Charleston Farmers Market and local farmers.

This event lines directly with almost everything that we have talked about in class. The Charleston Farmers markets help reduce my ecological footprint in many ways. It has taught me how to eat healthy so I do not have to endure heart disease hopefully. It has allowed me to help support local businesses and farmers, which helps Charleston economy as a whole. It has exposed me to more organic products, which allows me to support farmers who do not use harmful internal pollutants. It has also help me to keep up with my goal I posted about in my first blog. The Charleston Market in Marion Square has changed my life and I do believe that it has changed other peoples as well. It is an event that helps me tie together the things I have learned from the make up and effects of micro-plastics to the importance of supporting businesses that operate with the triple bottom line mindset.

China Strives to help the Giant panda

The giant panda has been seen as an unofficial mascot of china. They live in bamboo forest, which are threatened by china’s rapid population growth and industrialization. The loss of habitat along side with poaching has caused the panda population to decrease. China’s government is stepping in by creating national park. This will not only help pandas but also the people living in and around the new park.

The Giant Panda is in the bear family and are one of the only completely herbivore bear species. They live in bamboo forest in the western most part of China although historically they could be found all over china. Each panda has a large home range, which makes the fact that bamboo forest is on the decline a major problem. There are only 1,864 pandas left in the wild and 300 in captivity. Due to an extremely slow reproductive rate, it makes every panda very important. China strictly controls all of the pandas in captivity and in the wild. Poachers are a big problem due to them having such a volatile population. The introduction of the new 1.5 billion dollar state park will allow the population to grow. The park will be around 5 million acres, which makes it two times the size of Yellowstone. The park will also provide the 170,000 people who inhabit the land new job opportunities. The area now is struck by poverty and theses new jobs act as another driver for the national park. It is going to be built in the Sichuan Province, which allows gene flow throughout the panda population. They are hoping to be finished by 2023.

I believe that this is a huge step in the right direction. This can help not only the pandas but also the people. I know for governments to invest in state parks there are always alternate motives other than conservation. The 170,000 poverty struck people who will have new job opportunities paired turning a poor area into a tourist hotspot, makes it a better investment for the Chinese government. The addition of the new panda territory will be a long-term success in my opinion. The one question I have is how will the park run when there will be a small population of pandas initially. I understand 50 years down the road that it will be a must visit place once a steady population is present.

This all comes with the responsibility we have as people to conserve species that we have affected. The use of national parks is very usefully for governments and people who live around it. I believe with people focusing on lowering their ecological footprint, lowering the population and establishing designated areas to make sure species are safe from extinction are important if we want our kids to see the Earth as we see it today. The use of national parks have been useful in helping endangered species like the bison and the grey wolf, it will be interesting if the giant panda can also be a success story.


Press, The Associated. “China to Build Massive $1.5 Billion Panda Conservation Area.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 Mar. 2018, www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/03/08/world/asia/ap-as-china-panda-conservation.html.

Tesla’s environmental innovations

One of the worlds leading car manufactures is also one of the worlds most ecofriendly companies. When you think of car companies you probably think of Ford, GMC or even Honda, but the company that is leading our way into the future is Tesla. Tesla is a car company known for their ecofriendly rechargeable battery, bit they also have invented many different things that make them extremely ecofriendly. Tesla’s company is a perfect example of a company who is aware of the triple bottom line.

The most common thing that comes to mind when you think Tesla is their cars. While still achieving 5 star safety ratings, they are completely run on electricity meaning very little emission of fossil fuels and green house gases. While this isn’t a complete no emission of green house gases it is a step in the right way. One way they limit it is by running their cars on one hundred percent electricity, and the use of solar panels at their recharging station also helps limit emissions. Their car is a perfect example of Tesla thinking of the triple bottom line. Their cars are affordable, better for the environment and also offer a good profit line for the tesla company itself.

They are also producing other non-car products. The founder and CEO has founded a reusable rocket that was built for under half of any rocket ever before. He also has just recently reveled Tesla’s Semi which would lead to taking away some of the least fuel efficient cars being taken off the road, while also saving companies millions in gas, due to being electric. These things also help support the triple bottom line and make it obvious that Tesla is at the forefront of ecofriendly manufacturing.

They have also come out with solar panel roofing that looks extremely similar to normal roofing, while being much more durable. They are also affordable due to the money you would save with the electricity bill. This could help make solar panels available for more than just the wealthy. This has been a common theme through out Tesla’s business plan, making ecofriendly products more available for the common person. This all relates to the idea of the triple bottom line. They are attempting to make the best solar panels for the people while also keeping their profit line sustainable.

The triple bottom line is a concept that people around the world are pushing. It is a framework where a company focuses on the People, their Profit, and the environment. I believe that this is extremely important for companies around the world, and for a company like Tesla to be so successful both economically and environmentally it can be seen as a framework others should follow. With the world changing at the rate it is now it is not only going to take ecofriendly companies but also eco friendly consumers. People need to invest in solar panel roofing and electric cars to help make our way of living more sustainable for the future.

Eating Local

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.