Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"Human Geography: Chapter Thirteen"

May 3

San Diego goes all in, legally commits to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 - Rick Stella
     The city of San Diego wanted to cut its carbon dioxide production and fossil fuel use down but they still require enough energy to satisfy the needs of their large population, so they are dedicating their energy to transforming the ways San Diego gets energy from fossil fuels to using wind and solar energy, then they came up with a plan which will aid in this by reducing energy consumption on public transportation, the reclamation of areas by trees and nature, as well as the reduction of wasteful water and energy use in the city.

Here is the rest of the world.

Home Paragraph:

     The documentary Home, is a film about our earth, but primarily the affects of mankind on the earth, the good but mostly the bad. It attempts to display how the affects we are having on the earth could harm it down the line, and are even harming the environment right now, and it attempts to explain why this is so important. First, the documentary talks about the first and possibly one of the most impactful acts of Homo Sapiens, agriculture. This was the first major act of the anthropocene. Agriculture was our first great revolution, starting 10,000 years ago. It resulted in the first surpluses and gave rise to the first cities. Even now, half of humankind tills the soil, with 3/4 of them doing it by hand. The documentary then goes to show scenes of deforestation being done to aid in agriculture in order to make new fields and part of slash and burn cultivation. The documentary also continues by discussing oil, and how it and other fuels such as coal are important as they "freed humanity from the shackles of time", referring to their ability to allow humans to travel long distances very quickly, allowing for even faster innovation. The documentary discusses how machines now replace men, and talks about how in the US only 3 million people produce the food used to feed 300 million, although much is not used for humans but rather for livestock feed. Agriculture even accounts for 70% of humanities water consumption, be it from rivers, oceans or aquifers, which are rapidly being used up in order to aid in agriculture. The documentary then discusses how the rising uses in pesticides harms our atmosphere as it creates chemicals which are harmful to all organisms, even the humans who use it to protect their food. The documentary then discusses how biodiversity has been rapidly decreasing, especially in crops, where three quarters of all varieties which farmers had designed over thousands of years have been wiped out in favor of the most productive forms. The documentary also discusses how much energy it takes to meet the every increasing demand for meat in developed societies, and how this causes large amounts of resources to be used to make crops that will not even be fed directly to humans. There is discussion of how our society has become entirely dependent on oil, which is a nonrenewable resource, and how we are on a clock as to how much oil we can make and for how long. It also relays how 80% of humanities mineral wealth is consumed by 20% of the world's population, a proof of the inequality in human society. It also discusses how before the end of this century, excessive mining will have extracted nearly all of the world's reserves. We are depleting what nature provides. We are destroying the fish populations of the ocean, overfishing and giving them no time to reproduce. The documentary talks about how fossil water, aquifers, are used in the desert to irrigate land that would have otherwise been completely dry, but this water is not a renewable resource. One major river in ten no longer reaches the ocean at certain times of year. Water shortages could affect nearly 2 billion people before 2025. We have also drained half of the world's marshes, which usually filter water and the air due to their microorganisms and habitat. We have deforested nearly 20% of the Amazon Rainforest in 40 years, and are destroying more forest every year for land for agriculture. On the island of Borneo, nearly all forest will be destroyed in 10 years in an effort to increase output and production on the island for palm oil. The documentary still talks about how many deforest in order to survive, as 2 billion people still rely on charcoal. The documentary states that one outcome of this deforestation is soil erosion, which is caused as there is nothing to hold soil in its place, and the soil begins to break apart and become more and more similar to sand. The narrator talks about how 1 person in 6 now lives in a precarious situation without access to basic needs such as food, water, shelter, or fuel/energy. Hunger affects 1 billion people according to the narrator. The documentary discusses how we release massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by our activities. This causes the greenhouse effect and global warming, leading to things like how the poles have lost 40% of their thickness in 40 years. It could disappear by the summer months of 2030. By 2050 a quarter of the Earth's species could be threatened by extinction. It has also led to an increase in ocean levels as more ice caps melt and more previously frozen water is added, with low level lands such as the Maldives starting to sink. 70% of the world's population lives on the coast, and this could be a huge problem if sea levels rise and a mass migration occurs. Humanity has ten years to prevent our environment from going to an area that is unpredictable and dangerous. Despite all this, the narrator discusses that all is not bad. There is still hope in the world. 13% of all continents are natural preserves. Forests are being allowed to grow back. Many places are working on recycling. Renewable resources are being used more and more in Europe, such as the wind farms of Denmark. The documentary ends with the attitude that we must protect what is left.

Extra Credit:

A Quest For Fire
     A few weekends ago, we watched A Quest For Fire, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, which details a story about a group of prehistoric Cro-Magnon hunters in their quest to find a new source of fire, as this tribe still lives in the time before humans new how to make fire, when they still had to use fires that started naturally and constantly feed them to keep going. During the movie they come across multiple tribes, from the Neanderthals to the Homo Sapiens. They come across a Homo Sapien girl, who they save from a tribe of Neanderthals, and this Homo Sapien girl eventually brings them to her tribe, who are significantly more advanced than the hunters' own tribe. They show how one can make fire using a stick and their two hands, and the Cro-Magnons eventually bring this knowledge back to their tribe, helping show how ideas like fire use spread among humans, along with other pre-historic technologies thought up during the hunter-gatherer era.

There Will Be Blood
     The film There Will Be Blood, documents the rise of Daniel Planeview as an oil tycoon in the United States. The movie as a whole can be considered a metaphor for classical geopolitics, as throughout the course of the movie Daniel uses aggressive tactics to get others to do what he wants, from craftily convincing them to straight bullying. It is a metaphor as Daniel represents a classical state, a powerful one at that, with its territorial imperative (in this case in a desire for more oil underneath the land) and he even ends up committing murder over the desire for this territorial imperative.

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