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You may see adds on TV, that say “send money to Africa” or some other country of interest. These adds are created by people who want to help others. They try to make you look at the world and its issues through compassion. With the medium of television, social media, and the like, people have had the ability to connect more often, and more effectively. With them, we can see more clearly the issues in the world around us, and hopefully, try to solve them. In my opinion, never in human history have we had such a large problem, and such a large means to solve it than we do right now. As governments and policy makers look at the details of bureaucracy, healthcare, taxes, what have you, sea levels rise and those developing nations go under water. The largest emitters are not the ones who bear the brunt of the issue (Clark). Those effected by climate change seem to not be covered in the media. The media covers the things that are obvious, that are statistical and photographical; the people starving and dying of disease. They can only cover the massive hurricanes like the recent typhoon in the Philippines, not the longterm trends. Climate change is the silent killer more so than any disease in human history, and possibly in the history of life. The great irony is that solving climate change is not a selfless act to preserve the environment. The environment will survive, it will come back with new life, but humans won’t unless they adapt. Solving climate change is the salvation of the human race, and those that accept it are looking for solutions, that need to be found. To coordinate international cooperation, foreign and international policy regarding climate change needs to be addressed. That is where change will be made on a world wide scale. Science is the key to understanding the world’s problems, and policy and cooperation are the lock and the  door to solutions.

The key to addressing a problem is first understanding it. To do this, we will look at the global carbon cycle (see figure 1).
As shown, carbon in the air is processed by plants to produce oxygen. This is called carbon fixation (a redox reaction, see figure 2).Environmental Policy Essay 2015~Draft III~Intern Version copy

CO2 + H2O + light energy —> CH2O (stands for a simple carbohydrate) + O2.(Green) (Figure 2)

As shown above, through the process of photosynthesis energy is converted to, and is stored in the form of, carbohydrates (represented by CH2O). Carbohydrates are then converted into useable energy in plants and other forms of life, by the reverse process (with energy instead of light energy, see figure 3). The carbohydrates may also be used as is, or in other reactions, to  create complex structures i.e. plant cell walls, etc…(Green)

CH2O (stands for a simple carbohydrate) + O2 —>. CO2 + H2O + energy.(Green) (Figure 3)

Through the process of decomposing, carbon is released again into the cycle. In some cases, the carbon is trapped in the ground, and over time due to movements of the dirt and soil, is compressed in the earth to form fossil fuels. A major contributor to climate change is the burning of these fuels i.e. coal, natural gas, oil, etc… which results in the anthropogenic production of green house gasses. Currently, we produce so much CO2 that only 40% of our output can be processed annually by the environment, through this cycle.(Green)

This system is being put out of balance by climate change. The amount of CO2 the climate can support is being exceeded, and consequences are clear. The IPCC’s (Which stands for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recently published fifth assessment report shows the scientific consensus and concern. A summary by Gian-Kasper Plattner, director of science for the IPCC Working Group I, regarding the groups contribution to the report explained that:

IEnvironmental Policy Essay 2015~Draft III~Intern Version copy 2n the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (medium confidence)(5).

 The observed warming 1951−2010 is approximately 0.6°C to 0.7°C(8).

Global mean sea level will continue to rise during the 21st century and virtually certain beyond 2100(14).

It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century(10).

There is clear scientific consensus on the issue of climate change, with 97% of climate scientists agreeing (NASA), adding support (and fear) to the trends predicted and observed. The IPCC forecasts that the area hit hardest is currently and will be the third world (Vidal).Environmental Policy Essay 2015~Draft III~Intern Version copy 2

Institutions focusing on world economics are concerned about this, like the world bank who believes without action now, years of social/economic progress will be worthless, and that climate change threatens to put prosperity out of reach for millions (World Bank). The increased intensity of storms as a result of rising sea levels (see figure 5.) will affect the smallest nations most. With the known fact that climate change exists, and that it is an issue, a question arises of whose fault it is, and who is responsible to fix it. Small nations say it is their turn to industrialize, and that they should not be limited in their  pursuits by regulations to solve the issues the first world created. Larger nations protest that despite this unfairness, the world can not allow the same mistakes to be made.

As shown to the right in figure 6, since 1870, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased (Plattner). Although not related to climate change, government intervention to solve environmental problems can be dated back to the turn of the 20th century, with the progressive era and its presidents, coinciding with the conservation movement in the United States. Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive president and conservationist, established the parks system, preserving mEnvironmental Policy Essay 2015~Draft III~Intern Version copy 2any natural areas to prolong their usefulness. This was a  fundamental change in ideas, first, it accepted that humans have an impact on the environment, and second, it used policy to protect it.

In 1962, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson was published, which highlighted on the connection of man and nature, and man’s new ability to control and destroy it. (A Fierce Green Fire)

Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world.

– Rachel Carson, in Silent Spring

As we go into the 70s, the same participants in the civil rights and anti-war movements fought for the cause of environmental protection (A Fierce Green Fire), a cause brought to national attention with the first Earth Day in 1970 (Cooper). The policy results of this rebirth of environmentalism can be found in the clean air act, the clean water act, and the endangered species protection act (see figure 7).Environmental Policy Essay 2015~Draft III~Intern Version copy 2

The domestic concern which ignited national policy change, also stimulated international policy. The United Nations, founded in 1945 (United Nations), sought to be a tool of international peace and prosperity, through  discussion and cooperation. As an extension of this, it attempted to address environmental issues, one of the most famous bids of which was the Kyoto Protocol.

Environmental Policy Essay 2015~Draft III~Intern Version copy 2The protocol, adopted in 1997 (Kyoto Protocol), tried to address the growing issue and fear of climate change. As shown to the right; however (see figure 8.), the overall success of the protocol is questionable. Some believe that it was a failure, but it is worth noting that it was a strong first step, for the international conversation, even though its physical climate impact was negligible (Clark, Kyoto). Of all of the countries combined that adopted the protocol, there was a significant decline in emissions, but not all nations signed on, specifically in the third world (Clark, Kyoto), which was largely exempt, plus China. Most developed nations did; however, adopt it. Yet overall, global green house gas levels spiked since Kyoto went into effect (Clark, Kyoto).

For the international community to solve the issue of climate change, they first had (and have) to understand it. This is shown through the creation of the IPCC (mentioned earlier) in 1988 (IPCC, History). The group sought (and seeks) to understand the issue of climate change, with science, through the lens of possible solutions. In 2007, the IPCC received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work (along with Al Gore) (IPCC, History). Overall, their contributions show the ability of science and policy to coincide, and from this, the solutions that can be produced.

The solutions to anthropogenic climate change are somewhat controversial. In my view, policy is the only method to achieve the massive cooperation necessary for change. Technology and science could be used to limit energy use by making more efficient systems, investing in nuclear power (and research in nuclear fusion), and changing habits. Sustainable development, a current goal of the UN (United Nations), could be achieved in the third world through incentives. Other lures can be put in place in developed nations, along with accountability through systems like cap and trade, or a carbon tax.

Never has there been greater opportunity for global unification under the banner of solving a problem. We have the tools and it is within our reach. Through science and understanding along with implementation of solutions on the world stage, climate change can be solved for future generations.

“2.10.2 Direct Global Warming Potentials.” AR4 WGI Chapter 2: Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and in Radiative Forcing. IPCC, 2007. Web. May 2015. <https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-10-2.html&gt;.

“7.3 The Carbon Cycle and the Climate System.” – AR4 WGI Chapter 7: Couplings Between Changes in the Climate System and Biogeochemistry. IPCC, 2007. Web. May 2015. <https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-3.html&gt;.

Carson, Rachel. “Silent Spring Quotes.” By Rachel Carson. Good Reads, n.d. Web. May 2015. <http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/880193-silent-spring&gt;.

Clark, Duncan. “Has the Kyoto Protocol Made Any Difference to Carbon Emissions.” The Guardian. The Guardian, 26 Nov. 2012. Web. May 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fenvironment%2Fblog%2F2012%2Fnov%2F26%2Fkyoto-protocol-carbon-emissions>.

Clark, Duncan. “Which Nations Are Most Responsible for Climate Change?” The Guardian. The Guardian, 21 Apr. 2011. Web. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fenvironment%2F2011%2Fapr%2F21%2Fcountries-responsible-climate-change>.

“Climate Change Affects the Poorest in Developing Countries.” “Climate Change Affects the Poorest in Developing Countries” The World Bank, 3 Mar. 2014. Web. May 2015. <http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/03/03/climate-change-affects-poorest-developing-countries&gt;.

“Climate Change Overview.” The World Bank. Bank Group, 24 Mar. 2015. Web. May 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.worldbank.org%2Fen%2Ftopic%2Fclimatechange%2Foverview%231>.

Cooper, Mary H. “Environmental Movement at 25.” CQ Researcher 31 Mar. 1995: 273-96. Web. May 2015. <http://photo.pds.org:5012/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre1995033100&type=hitlist&num=0&gt;

“Earth Day.” Earth Day. United States Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. May 2015. <http://www2.epa.gov/earthday&gt;.

A Fierce Green Fire. Dir. Mark Kitchell. Perf. Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende, David Brower, Lois Gibbs, Paul Watson. First Run Features, 2012. DVD. June 2015

“Global Climate Change: Consensus.” Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. NASA, n.d. Web. May 2015. <http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/&gt;.

Green, Hank. “The Global Carbon Cycle – Crash Course Chemistry #46.” Crash Course. Crash Course, 13 Jan. 2014. Web. May 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLuSi_6Ol8M&gt;.

“History.” IPCC. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, n.d. Web. May 2015. <http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization_history.shtml&gt;.

“Kyoto Protocol.” The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The United Nations, n.d. Web. May 2015. <http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php&gt;.

Motel, Seth. “Polls Show Most Americans Believe in Climate Change, but Give It Low Priority.” Pew Research Center RSS. Pew Research Center RSS, 23 Sept. 2014. Web. May 2015. <http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/09/23/most-americans-believe-in-climate-change-but-give-it-low-priority/&gt;.

“Overview.” United Nations. The United Nations, n.d. Web. May 2015. <http://www.un.org/en/sections/about-un/overview/index.html&gt;.

Plattner, Gian-Kasper. “Highlights of the New IPCC Report.” Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. IPCC, 2013. Web. May 2015. <https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/unfccc/cop19/cop19_pres_plattner.pdf&gt;.

Vidal, John. “Climate Change Will Hit Poor Countries Hardest, Study Shows.” The Guardian. The Guardian, 27 Sept. 2013. Web. May 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fglobal-development%2F2013%2Fsep%2F27%2Fclimate-change-poor-countries-ipcc>.

The Wild West!

This spring, I was lucky to be able to go on a trip with my school to the Chihuahuan Desert and the Rio Grande River in Texas. We spent several days camping in the desert and travelling along the river. We also visited the Mimms ranch run by the Dixon Water Foundation, which raises cattle using sustainable practices that save water and help the environment.

When we arrived, a friendly man in a cowboy hat walked out to greet us. He asked us where we were from and what our interest was. He led us to a conference room and pulled out some maps, and proceeded to explain to us the layout and methods their ranch uses. It was similar to Joel Salatin’s method described in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. They use a rotation method, in which their cows have a different piece of land to graze every day of the year. This allows the grass plenty of time to recover and keeps the cows well fed.

We were particularly interested in water, so as our new teacher, Mr. Potts, led us to a van to drive us around the ranch, he explained how this method is sustainable in the desert. When the Dixon Water Foundation first bought the land, he told us, it wasn’t as healthy. Shortly after switching to their rotation method, the land endured a harsh fire. Since then, the foundation has been working hard to bring the land to its best potential health. The new method, Mr. Potts explained, has made the land more resilient and full of plants that help the ecosystem. This is especially important in such an arid environment. Unlike in places like my home state, Georgia, rain is sparse in Texas and every inch makes a huge difference.

It was really neat to learn about the ranch and how this smart, thoughtful approach can benefit the cattle, the ranchers, the consumers, and the environment in the long run. Check out their website to learn more – there are some great links at the bottom of the Ranches > Sustainable Land Management page.

Mimms Ranch

Mimms Ranch – as seen on their website

http://dixonwater.org/ranches/what-is-sustainable-land-management/

A Two Wheeled Life

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Waking up early to the sound of my phones alarm clock, I roll over and tell my friend to wake up. We crawl out of our sleeping bags and meet the morning air with a gasp. But first, we must get to our oatmeal. We take down our bear bag which was hastily set up in the dark late last night after laughing about how low off the ground it was, and how little bears or raccoons were deterred by our subpar craftsmanship. We set up the stove, a little better than the night before, cook our oatmeal seasoned with half a stick a butter and drink hot chocolate. I’m barely awake and running on auto-pilot so we can get out of camp as soon as possible to complete our 125 mile bike trip over less than 48 hours and two nights. While I eat, heat slowly returns to my body as my consciousness comes to the realization that we have to bike 25 miles before 11 am, if all goes well. In the last two days we biked 100 miles carrying everything we needed on our bikes. During this three day trek I have learned a lot about myself- and what it means to be on the road.  In movies and on Pinterest you always see this idyllic sepia toned, feet out the window, acoustic music, good vibes road trip image. On a bike that goes out the non-existent window, every hill is a battle, every gust of wind is convincing yourself you can do this. Okay, maybe it’s a little different for someone who has trained for this, I didn’t and it was physically grueling. Except, emotionally it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. There really is something about the open road. The freedom you have to push yourself up a huge hill, or to decide where to camp is extraordinary. But mostly to know that where you went and wherever you are going was purely powered by yourself is a really incredible feeling. You know what you can handle or even if you couldn’t handle it you did, you know how to cook food you need for the next day, and when you need to stop moving your legs because you feel like you can’t pedal any further.

This bike trip was a practice trip for a larger trip I will be taking with my friend starting June 3 from Seattle to San Francisco and then on to Lake Tahoe. The total mileage is 1400 miles, and I am beyond excited to get on the road after the most hectic ending to junior year. Throughout this whole year my friend and I have been planning this trip and with some obstacles by parents and money its actually happening. I’ve been learning so much about bikes, and bike touring but also lots about fundraising advertising and promotion. I’ve also come to some really big realizations about myself, and the world around me.

Through my practice bike trip I realized how disconnected we are from the world because of cars and trucks, we don’t feel the actual temperature outside, we don’t feel the land we are driving over, and most of the time we don’t even notice little things because we are zooming by. While on this trip I felt a much bigger ownership and pride for my home state of Minnesota and a real appreciation of where I live because I noticed all the red winged black birds by the side of the road, and heard all the songbirds.  I think that in society today we do everything that disconnects us from reality, using phones and screens as a way of communication as opposed to meeting face to face, more and more things indoors, and even schooling seems like its not applicable to real life. Theres not much you can do about big problems like that other than be aware of what you’re doing and why, to really unplug, go outside and relax, and try to live in reality. But really reality is different for everyone and since we have trouble defining it, why not create your own reality? Mine is on two wheels.

To follow our blog go to https://lifeontwowheels2015.wordpress.com

And to help support us go to https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/life-on-two-wheels-1400-miles-to-teen-empowerment

Thank you!

The setting was filled with greens and blues, not just seeping into view from the ground and sinking from the sky, but also from the clothing of the people that surrounded me. The people who have brought me closest to nature and the people nature has brought me closest to. The quaking aspen kept us in like bars of a prison, but only reminded me of the cold spring mountains of Park City, Utah. After the branches fall off, the eyes of the aspen watch me as I ski with my family and sit quietly for science lab. The quaking aspen do not have a distinct taste, or smell like the lodgepole pines. The quaking aspen age from the bottom up, wrinkling grey overtaking the smooth pale bark that covers their core. The kinnikinnick carpets the ground and disperses around the small pond reflecting the sky shaded my quaking aspens and littered with fallen quaking aspens. The flutter of leaves and movement of bugs fill the air as the silence continues. The air up above smelled strongly of pine and the ground was damp. The quaking aspen stand their ground, but they will be overtaken by the lodgepole pines soon.

A Shawk

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One day my sister and I were walking home from school. It was a windy, hoodie-weather day in the should-be-spring of early April. We were talking through an exam we had just taken when something huge and brown landed in front of us. A giant bird of prey perched three feet in front of us on the wet side walk. It was more than a foot tall and clutched a limp squirrel corpse in its talons, ready to chow down. I determined later, by looking at my bird book, that this was a Red-tailed hawk. This was not the type of thing you normally get to see up close, and yet, it was happening right here, in front of someone’s house in the center of suburbia. My sister made us cross to the other side of the street when the creature turned its black owlish eyes toward us but I could not make myself walk any farther away. It was fascinating to watch it rip apart the  animal, fur, flesh and all.
It felt like a privilege to watch this very natural process in person. At the same time I felt sympathy for the bird. A few minutes later, someone parked in front of the house and the bird retreated to the neighbors porch roof, leaving it’s meal behind. I could not help remembering a science fair project that I had done on urban sprawl and thinking that before we sprawled into its habitat, the bird could be eating this squirrel in peace, without the disturbance of cars or pedestrians.

Though I am sure it had no such feelings of reverence towards us, I felt honored to be watching this beautiful creature. It brought to mind an article I just read in the YES Magazine about the power of language in the way that we view the earth. The author criticized our use of “it” to describe everything related to earth.  No wonder, we do not respect things that are given such an inanimate name. Though they are all part of Mother Earth, we call them “it”, something that we would never use to refer to our mother or family. The author contrasts the English language in this regard with the languages of indigenous people, many of whom have respect for the earth built into their culture and language. Just as these people refer to organisms as kin, I did not feel that it was appropriate in that moment with the hawk to say “it.” I understood, watching the majestic scene, the article authors’ rejection of degrading ways of referring to the natural world.

(article: YES Magazine, Spring 2015, p. 34, IT: Alternative Grammar: A New Language of Kinship by Robin Wall Kimmerer)

Snoball

About a month ago, Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma set out to disprove climate change once and for all. Inhofe is the chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works, a position for which he proudly shows his competence — with snowballs. In his speech in the Senate on February 26th, Inhofe brought in a poster of his daughter’s family making an igloo, and a snowball he had made all by himself outside in D.C.

Addressing the Senate chair, Inhofe said, “In case we have forgotten, because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, I ask the chair: Do you know what this is? It’s a snowball. And. . . that’s just from outside here. So it’s very, very, unseasonable.” So, to dispute the radical, twisted assumptions made by scientists on the effects of greenhouse gases building up in the earth’s atmosphere, Senator Inhofe blew away the Senate with some science of his own. He pointed out that Washington, D.C. was “unseasonable,” or unusual for that time of the year. Thus, rain falling from the sky was actually freezing, which allowed him to create a packed ball of snow that he then tossed lightly at the Senate chair.

While D.C. did experience some of it’s coldest weather in a few years, something that Senator Inhofe may have “forgotten” himself is that in certain parts of the world, about every 12 months there is a weather phenomenon that those so-called “scientists” like to call “winter.” Often times, in this “winter” season, the weather becomes a temperature at which rain freezes, allowing both the young and old alike to make (and throw) snowballs.

What Inhofe fails to note in his presentation is that global temperature has risen since the industrial age began and humans started producing more and more Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, hence the term, global warming. Just because any one area in the winter is cold doesn’t warrant the assertion that global warming isn’t happening. Senator Inhofe might as well have brought in a tray of ice from his freezer and made the same statement to the Senate. While he was right that the weather in D.C. was unusually cold this winter, global warming isn’t the only part of climate change affecting the earth. “Global Weirding” is a term coined by Thomas L. Friedman, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and New York Times columnist. This term focuses on the fact that, through the extensive amounts of environmental harm we are causing to the earth, there are temperature extremes in different parts of the world, from the hottest heat to the coldest cold. Therefore, the recent cold bouts in cities like D.C. don’t invalidate the idea of climate change and global warming, but rather support the effects of “Global Weirding.”

It is great to know that the chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works can still make a snowball. However, it is disconcerting to see that he believes that the presence of cold weather and snow in one place during a season that happens every year in the Northeast is evidence against global warming. If people like this are able to spread their ideas enough and continue ignoring climate change, eventually places like the Northeastern U.S. may not have winter seasons every year, and Inhofe’s snowballs won’t exist anymore.

Maybe the next time Senator Inhofe steps up to make a presentation in the Senate, he can wave around a dollar bill and prove that the United States isn’t actually in debt. . .

Here is an article with a video of Senator Jim Inhofe’s presentation.

Here is a link to a 2010 article by Thomas L. Friedman.

Here is a link to a website about “Global Weirding”.

   

 

A while ago I went to a Climate Change Teach-in at a university. The first workshop I went to was called “Too Many People”. I was intrigued by the title and description in the program book because for the past couple years I’ve been growing more and more convinced, by a variety of sources, that overpopulation is the main cause for climate change. I’d pretty much become a firm believer that, “there’s just too many freakin’ people on this planet!” I was already planning that, if I decide when I’m older to have children, I would adopt, and refuse give birth to my own. One idea I had for what I wanted to do with my life was advocate for education for women and access to birth control in countries in Africa and other places where the birth rate is the highest in the world, in order to stop their population growth.

In the workshop the presenter started off by talking about the book Limits to Growth and showing pictures of the classic graphs you always see, with the population all of a sudden shooting up in the last 200 years, and a picture of a polygamous family in Africa with a whole horde of children swarming around (see pictures attached to this blog post). He showed models that had been made that spanned the past and projected into the future, with rates of population growth, greenhouse gas concentrations and natural resource availability, showing their relationships. Honestly, I was getting a bit bored because it was all stuff I had heard before. Then, he concluded his presentation and asked if anyone had comments. It was mostly students in the room, but it was the one other adult who raised his hand to speak, and all of us students were flabbergasted by his bluntness in what he said. He basically denied everything the presenter had been saying. He said that overpopulation is not the cause of climate change at all. He pointed out that the models of the future were flawed, and said that anyone could see that from a five-second search on the internet, the population of China is predicted to go down, and the population of most of developing Africa is predicted to increase, yet CO2 is predicted to climb. He said that that doesn’t make any sense to point to the increasing population of Africa as the cause of climate change because most Africans don’t contribute to it much at all. He pointed out that the correlation between them doesn’t make complete sense when you see that the population of China, one of the most highly polluting countries, is predicted to go down, but pollution is predicted to go up. He said that to say overpopulation is the cause of climate change is a racist theory. He said that showing these pictures of these large African families, along with these graphs, is like blaming the Africans for climate change, and is scaring people into wanting to rush over to Africa and stop their population growth, as though they are the problem. It is rich, high-emission countries like the US’s way of taking the blame away from themselves, where it should be. The cause of climate change, he said, is the dirty, wasteful, over consuming, polluting lifestyle of Americans and people in other wealthy countries, not the increasing African population. In addition into making us all feel kind of guilty, and making the presenter feel horrible about himself for being called completely wrong and extremely racist, the mans words really made me think. They made me reconsider everything I had believed about the role of overpopulation in climate change. 

I did an online simulation activity recently (http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/personal_footprint/) where you can plug in information about your life and they will tell you about your ecological footprint. I found from that that it would take 4.9 Earths to sustain the entire world population if they all lived like me. And I’m a vegetarian without a dishwasher, TV, laptop, or smartphone! This just proves the man’s point about the US’s over consumption.

A cool, related fact that I learned in another workshop that day is that the world population growth in 2012 was 80 million, and the number of unintended pregnancies worldwide in 2012 was also, ironically, 80 million. So, there is no need for any kind of government imposed one-child policy or anything of that sort, or at least there wouldn’t be if we could just manage to deal with that issue. If the issue of those 80 million yearly unwanted pregnancies could be dealt with, we could achieve zero population growth and just have the population remain constant. But, as I’ve made clear in the above post, that would not solve to problem, not at all, on its own, but it would probably help!

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