Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The use of youtube

The environmental movement has developed many tools to communicate within and without their own systems and societies. Or probably is better to say that as many other groups environmentalist have been using the tools developed by the general society at large for communication. Such is the case for the internet.
One important avenue has been "Youtube"! And here you will find a link to one of those "activists" that has done a lot to promote a discussion related to global warming. One of those links is to an Oregon science teacher that has been using youtube to enhance the discussion. This is one of those links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOjCcL1PN_Y

Biodiversity: Has the Earth Had Enough?

This article was written by Brent McKinney
Biodiversity“Has Nature Had Enough?"
This week’s paper is going to cover the biodiversity and the topics related to is such as conservation, presentation and ethical obligations.I have to be honest with you and tell you that I did not even know what biodiversity was until I started doing research for this paper, and after doing some initial reading I was still confused with what biodiversity actually is. I found a description that defined biodiversity as “the variety of life on earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and the ecological and evolutionary processes that sustain it”. (http://cnx.org/content/). From the reading that I have done it seems that biodiversity relates to all forms of life from ecosystems to genes and species. The question is how do we get society to integrate conservation of biodiversity? So much of our society today revolves around money, it does not matter what area of our economy that you focus on, it is all about the almighty dollar. The problem with this is, that lost in the focus to make money is what effect is this causing on our earth and the ecosystems that revolve around it. We are using up our natural resources at an alarming rate and not enough people seem to be taking notice of it. We continue to pump millions of barrels of oil from the earth, and the search is on for additional supplies to tap into next. The hybrid technology is gaining momentum in many countries, including the US, but is this going to be enough to sustain fossil fuel products in the future? As the oil companies continue to have profits into the 100’s of billions of dollars, you have to wonder if they have any concerns about the futures of there kid’s, grandkids? What is going to be left 100 years from now? What about our forest? Hopefully we can continue to log off and replant the forest so that it will be around in the future. With the population growing at the rate it is, will there be enough area for everyone to live and still keep our ecosystem in place? Due the questions over whether the dams kill the fish outweigh the hydro-electric power that we gain? This is a debate that will continue, will people realize that we need the dams to help control river flooding in all of the low lying wet land areas that have been converted to residential or commercial use. I guess that we will never know, and that appears to be the mentality of people today, live for today and cash in, and let the future generations worry about how they are going to deal with what is left.When God created the heavens, earth and man, he gave man the power to use the land for his needs. In the beginning man was taking from the earth for his needs and that of his family or tribe, but today it seems that money has overshadowed what is written in the bible about taking care of and respecting the land, and having ethical models for living respectfully with nature. Nature has spiritual powers and commands respect, and I have to wonder if nature has had enough and now it making man pay for its abuse. When we look at all the flooding from a few weeks ago that led to landslides that could be caused due to logging tree’s from hillsides or lighting started fires, is this nature’s way of clearing forest land? We have had the earthquakes that have caused such tragedy, there was the awful drought in the southeast and at the same time we had wildfires burning in California. We have had volcanic eruptions, tornado’s, hurricanes that have led to loss of lives and changed the lives of thousands of people forever. I thank God that our families have never been affected with loss of life’s during any of these events; we have had droughts that we suffered through while growing up on our dry land wheat ranch in north central Oregon, when prayers were not answered with rain to help save the crops. I have always wondered why these things happen in nature? We were taught that something good comes out of something bad, but so many times I am left wondering why god would allow this to happen to his earth and his people? Has god had enough and these events happen to make people more aware? Would it help if we had some sort of ethical of social model for living respectfully with nature? What does the future hold for earth and the people who occupy it? Will people learn to respect and give back to the land, or continue to reap the rewards of nature and bring mother nature to her knees? Hopefully we will have a ringside seat in heaven to see what will become of this incredible earth.
EPA (2008) Retrieved January 18, 2008 from http://cnx.org/content/

Foot print

This is a fun site to look at our environmental foot print.
I have been trying to post articles writen by our students here at Warner Pacific but it has been complicated.
This article was written by Connie Brown:
Restoring the Sandy River
January 20, 2009
The waters of Oregon’s Sandy River start high up on the glacial slopes of Mount Hood. As the river winds down its 50-mile path to connect with the Columbia River, it drops 6000 ft and passes through landscapes, upland terraces, pristine old-growth forests, and deep slot canyons. The pristine of the river’s ability to keep all natural biodiversity, conservation, and preservation to its natural condition is by all means truly incredible. However, it takes more than just Mother Nature to keep our urban ecological footprints to a minimum size.The natural biodiversity described by Tu and Soll suggest: “The forested upland terraces of the Sandy River provide habitat for spotted owls, black bears, cougars and elk. The river itself provides excellent habitat for a myriad of native species, including viable wild runs of federally threatened steelhead trout and Chinook salmon. Some of the best remaining tracts of low elevation old growth Douglas fir forest in Oregon are in the Sandy River watershed, and these forests are home to several rare and endemic species. Significant portions of the Sandy River system are designated as an Oregon Scenic Waterway and as a federal Wild and Scenic River.” (Tu, Soll, 2004) The Sandy River offers so much life to animals, plants and trees it is very important to keep in sync with what Mother Nature provides.An article written in The Nature Conservancy explains: “Long before the Cascade Range existed, the ancestral Sandy River began carving its meandering course. As the Cascades rose, the stream cut through twenty million years of northwest Oregon geology, carving a 700-foot-deep gorge that exposes a cross-section of seven major geologic formations. The Sandy River's cold waters originate in the snowfields of Mt. Hood.” It’s hard to believe that the Sandy River is the last undeveloped western Oregon River near a metropolitan area of Portland, Oregon. We owe it all to the Diack family; in the 1970’s they donated 156 acres of their property to the Conservancy; hoping this would help keep the natural beauty of the rural area. According to The Nature Conservancy: “Today, after years of planning and coordination by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, state agencies, Metro and private conservation groups, most of the Sandy River Gorge is protected and managed for its natural, scientific, educational and recreational values.” The area has been and always will be popular with wildlife watchers, anglers, rafters and kayakers.In 2007, Portland General Electric along with 20 other private companies, helped with restoring the wildlife refuge and the reduction of Steelhead Trout and Chinook salmon in the Sandy River. By the removal of Marmot and Little Sandy dams, the river runs freely now. This was the biggest damn removal in the Northwest in the last forty year. Written in the American Rivers, an article claims by removing this damn; “will restore salmon and steelhead, improve recreation, and create a wild river refuge in Portland’s backyard.” (Kober, Swift, 2009)It is our ethical obligation to obtain the natural environment of the Sandy River; not only for the animals and plants, but for the people as well. With the vast population growth we need a peaceful place to escape too for relaxation and spending quality time with family and friends.
Kober, Swift, Amy, Brett (2009). Restoring the Sandy River. American Rivers Thriving by Nature, Retrieved January 18, 2009, from http://www.americanrivers.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AR7_Region_Northwest_Sandy The Sandy River George. Why It's Important, Retrieved January 19, 2009, from http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/oregon/preserves/art6807.html Tu, Soll, Mandy, Jonathan (2004). Sandy River, Northern Oregon. The Nature Conservancy, Retrieved 1/18/09, from http://tncinvasives.ucdavis.edu/stories/or002/or002.rtf. Withgott, Brennan, J, S (2008). Environment the science behind the stories. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chain effect

Erika Haggstrom very kindly send me an email with this link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090113/ap_on_re_au_an/as_australia_rabbit_infestation
here you can read how it is very important to be aware of the connections that exist in our environment. Some times we think that "controlling" something will not have any negative effects and soon will find that there are negative consequences. The moral of the story is that we have to use caution when dealing with altering the environment.
Thanks so much Erika for this information!