Archive for March 31st, 2010

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 | Author:

Can Australia be saved? This is really a scary thing to consider. I did not even really know about Australia’s serious drought and salinity problem until we started talking about it in class. And to think that this drought has been going on for many years now is a very concerning thing. I read about the drought and the effects that it is having on the people but it did not really hit home until I saw that little clip in class about the family and their farm and how there used to be a lake right near them whereas now there is nothing but desert.

It is really upsetting to know that a couple hundred years ago, before we settled in Australia, the land was doing just fine. Then, we come along and completely mess up the ecosystem by planting crops which have roots that are far too small and introduce livestock which eat far too much. Why did we just sit around and let devastation like this just occur (and it is happening all over the world…)? It is because of lack of education. On one hand, the people may not really know what they are doing and what the impacts are of their actions. People sure did not know 40 years ago that CFC’s would cause a hole in the ozone. But, when they did figure it out, there were steps taken to correct the problem and today, the ozone hole is shrinking. So, there is always hope. Farmers need to be educated on how to plant properly so as to minimize dryland salinity and desertification. They should be introduced to the concept of drip irrigation and of planting native trees in the vicinity of their crops so that it may act as a natural fertilizer and be able to (in Australia’s case), minimize the dryland salinity.

It seems simple enough, educate the people on the effects of their farming practices and how they can change them to better the ecosystem. But, it is actually a very hard thing to change a person’s way of life. Even if they understand the impacts of their practices, they may still not care to change. But I believe that if at least a handfull of people were informed every day about something harmful to our environment that they can change by maybe even doing something small, like refusing to buy bottled water any more, then we can change the world and save places such as Australia. 

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 | Author:

So, I went and saw “Tapped” last week, and it was a very interesting documentary. It was really depressing learning about how companies such as Nestle and Coke can be so cold hearted about how they extract or process water. In Nestle’s case, they pull out natural ground water in rural towns in places like Maine, and they sell it back to the people at 19 times the cost of regular tap water (and, what really freaks me out about this is that the government has no real jurisdiction over a company if it bottles and sells the water in the same state)…Companies such as Coke and Pepsi don’t even get their water from spring or “fresh” water areas, they just purify tap water and sell it for a remarkably high price and Americans just eat it up (or in this case, drink it up), without even thinking about the consequences of their actions.

These water bottling companies extract water during severe droughts, they are self-regulated (meaning the government does not demand or insist that they test it themselves), and the bottles that the water comes in could in fact carry harmful products that may cause fertility issues and cancer. Every time a person buys a bottle of water, they are essentially supporting the bottled water companies. The reason Americans like bottles water so much is because it is fast and simple. It is something that we can just take with us on the go and simply throw it away later so we do not have to wash it. This is like the epitome of laziness and Americans want things to be fast and simple. Also, the problem is that when people are done drinking from their plastic water bottle, most do not simply try to find a recycling bin to put it, so they either throw it in a regular trash can where it would end up in a land fill, or they simply litter and have those plastic bottles traveling, sometimes all over the world, to wreak havok environmentally in the oceans and beaches.

All-in-all, people just need to stop buying bottles water. The public needs to be educated more in this issue, and we can start changing what we drink “one sip at a time.” I know I would have to be hard pressed to ever buy a bottle of water again.

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