Exam Part: B

In my opinion the most challenging assignment that we had in Geography- Environmental studies was when I had to write a blog about Canada and the environment because it’s hard to learn about the Canadian parties on your own in a week and there are a lot of words that are used that I didn’t understand. Most of the time I was just trying to figure out what they were talking about and I had to look up a bunch of other bills just to understand the one I wrote about.

The best resources that I used used in Geography would have to be Google and YouTube. Without Google I would not have been able to do my blogs at all. Google directed me to pretty much all of my resources. YouTube would be my second best resource because the video and audio helped me with the understanding of the subjects. It also introduced new concepts that I would not have come across by doing Google searches because how am I suppose to look something up if I don’t know it exists.

Learning from YouTube clips allowed me to see the important parts of long videos without the rest of the information that was not needed. It also introduced me to new concepts on important subjects and explained them with visuals. The only complaint I have about learning from YouTube is that if you don’t get the exact name of the clip it is basically impossible to find. YouTube’s search should be like Google’s take the words you type in and find similarly named videos. 

Classroom discussions allowed me to clarify my understanding on the new environmental concepts I had learned. Without the class discussions it would have taken me a lot longer to make sure I understood the concepts. Class discussion also helped me to see the bigger picture of what we were learning like what would be affected by these environmental changes and I learned other people’s ideas on how to reframe the issue.

If I were to redo my smart skills assessment, I think that my Scan, Structure and Clarifying thinking patterns have changed for the better. I also think that my Envisioning and reframing and challenging assumptions has become way better, especially my ability to reframe an issue. I know I was only suppose to write about three specific Smart Skills but I know we always talked about six and I feel all of those skills have greatly improved.

My favourite post to write was the one I entitled “The Scary Future of GMO’s” because I had just completed an assignment in my English class about GMO’s and I had learned a lot about it. It was a really interesting subject because I didn’t know that there were so many GMO products. The blog allowed me to do further research and then write about my thoughts on the subject.

Once this course is over I think I might continue my blog and even keep on blogging about Environmental Studies because I love the subject and it is constantly changing. I also think it’s a great way to inform people because most of the problem with these environmental issues is no one knows about them and the great thing is my future blogs will have no future pressure from my grades.

My favourite topic we learned about was the Oceans. Oceans are fascinating and environmental impacts on the Oceans are hard to find but it is getting easier now that I know that the top five main reasons are Acidification, Coral Reef Decline, Garbage, Overfishing and Dead Zones. I always knew the Oceans were in trouble but I could never tell you why and now I can. The whole topic on Oceans was incredible interesting and I hope to learn more in the future.

From the Post that I read of other students in my class I think my favourites are what is Nanotechnology? By shonj and Water,Water,Water ect. ect. By literatemonkey2. I liked both of these posts because I learned something new from each of them.

I learned the most vocabulary words and concepts when studying about Canada and the Environment because I clarified my understanding of the new vocabulary I learned multiple times to make sure I knew what I was reading. There is so much on the subject that I wrote a whole blog on one bill but it was a rather large bill. It took me like four days to scan through a lot of information on the bill. Then I had to structure my blog to make it all make sense to a reader.  

I envisioned, challenged assumptions and reframed the most while learning about the Oceans because it just such a large topic it’s hard not to do those things multiple times. I learned about five different problems facing the Ocean and went into great detail about each on my Ocean Reflection, Envisioning, challenging assumptions and reframing all five problems, sometimes more the once.

I have learned that you can envision possibilities, challenging assumptions and reframe any issue. I have also learned that the more informed people are about an issue the more people can work to solve it because you can’t help to solve an issue if you don’t know it exists. I have learned in great detail the things that greatly affect our earth like the Oceans, Climate Change, Agriculture, Oil, Water, different types of waste like E-waste and Space Debris. I have learned that if the Oceans go extinct we will go extinct but if we go extinct the Oceans will live and thrive. Lastly, I have learned that we need to take care of our Earth and change our wasteful habits to have a healthy Earth to live on.

Bill-C38 A disgrace to Canada

The Kyoto Treaty on Climate Change is a protocol for countries that agree to sign on to reduce green house gas emissions 5 percent below existing 1990. The Conservative party of Canada has formally withdrawn Canada from the Kyoto Treaty on Climate Change. The Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent says it useless and that “It is now clear that Kyoto is not the path forward for a solution to Climate Change if anything it’s an impediment. I don’t understand how it could be an impediment to fixing climate change and how withdrawing from a solution to climate change isn’t an impediment to fixing climate change. Canada is the first nation to formally withdraw from the Kyoto treaty.

What the conservative party is doing is despicable. They passed a Budget Implementation Bill, Bill C-38, known as the omnibus budget bill but it was given a nice title “Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act”. C-38 is a 420 page omnibus bill that repealed, amended or overhauled 70 laws. Nowhere in Canadian history has there been in a single omnibus bill that changes 70 different laws, many of them environmental.

The Conservatives were trying to cover up their agenda by passing this bill, in my opinion it was disguised as a “budget bill” but in reality it was a “We were paid off by the oil companies so they can do whatever they want bill”. Bill C-38 gives the national Energy Board (NEB) reviews only two years to assess the environmental impact that projects may have, after the cabinet can reverse the decision made by the NEB review if they please. Bill C-38 is also changing the Species at Risk Act to exempt the NEB from having to protect critical habitat if the project is approved. This allows the NEB to disregard endangered species and their habitats in order to build their pipelines. Under the new Canadian Environmental Assessments Act assessments will be limited to effects on fish, aquatic species under the Species at Risk Act, and migratory birds. They are changing the Fisheries Act so basically this means that if a fish isn’t of value then its habitat is not protected and to top it all off Environmental Assessments are also no longer required for projects involving federal money.

The funding for Environmental monitoring and ecological restoration in the Gulf Islands National Park has been cut, meaning jobs will be cut. Environment Canada has to cut several water related programs and water programs aimed at promoting or monitoring water-use efficiency. The Municipal Water and Wastewater Survey, the only national study of water consumption habits, is also being cut after being in place since 1983.  638 of the nearly 3000 Parks Canada workers will also be cut. The sickening part about all of this is Canadians don’t even know how much bill C-38 is going to affect their lives. The conservatives talk about creating hundreds of jobs but they are cutting a huge amount of environmental jobs.

I think the whole reason for bill C-38 being fast tracked through the voting process was so the Keystone XL pipeline and the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project could be built with no other problems from environmental groups because once the review process is up with no substantial evidence towards abandoning the projects they can start construction as soon as possible. Even with substantial evidence the Cabinet can still allow the construction.  

In the conservative party policy declaration:

http://www.conservative.ca/media/2008-PolicyDeclaration-e.pdf

We believe that all environment and energy initiatives should be reviewed.” -So why do they want to cut the review times on Environmental impact studies.

“We believe that an effective international emissions reduction regime on climate change must be truly global and must include binding targets for all the world’s major emitters, including China and the United States.” -So why do they back out of a treaty meant to lower global emissions of the world, just because the United States and China aren’t involved.

We believe that Canada should create a program to heighten public awareness to the economic benefits of environmental solutions which minimize the waste of resources. -I’ve seen no program to create public awareness of the economic benefits of the environmental solutions that minimize the waste of resources just a slash of review time for environmental impact and a limitation on people allowed to be involved in the process. I’ve just seen the backing of oil companies that want to exploit Canada’s oil sands.

The whole section on “Clean Air and Greenhouse Gas Reduction” and “Alternative Energy and Transitional Fuels” -Seems like a total lie.

This a quote that I found in the comments on the National Post website-

“Being proud of ignorance is nothing to brag about.
Canada has become a disgrace in the world, and Harper is a disgrace to Canada.
The only thing lower is a supporter”. – Username: guantanamo

Remember to vote! because it’s not too late bill-C38 can be repealed!

Clarifying Bill C-38:

http://www.greenparty.ca/media-release/2012-05-10/may-clarifies-deliberately-confusing-bill-c-38

Question Period, 15 November 2011 (Parliament of Canada): The Environment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvX9RYul9dk

A Summary of the Kyoto Protocol

http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/background/items/2879.php

C-38: Environment Devastation Act

http://www.greenparty.ca/c-38

National Post- Quote from:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/14/after-24-hour-voting-marathon-mps-finally-pass-tories-omnibus-budget-bill/

A Space Full of Junk

There are thousands of space debris fragments orbiting the Earth because of old satellites colliding and splitting into smaller pieces. When satellites collide it’s like speeding cars colliding with more than 10 times the force. The satellites break up into millions of tiny pieces. There have been more than 800 satellites launched into space from 1957-2012.

Space debris is becoming a threat to satellites, astronauts and spacecraft’s because when satellites die they are left up there to just orbit the Earth. The problem with this space debris is that it is travelling at such a high speed even a small paint chip size piece debris can Pearce through the side of a satellite or shuttle easily.  The satellites are left up there because it costs a lot to bring them back to earth. Some satellites come back to Earth on their own and burn up in the atmosphere. Other satellites start to move farther and farther out into space because they are travelling vertically outwards at a very high velocity. The number of estimated space debris fragments orbiting the Earth in 2008 was 50,000.

If there is too much debris in space we will have an increasing amount of destroyed satellites. If we don’t have satellites we won’t have very much communication long distance. Satellites make TV shows, cell phones, GPS, and weather updates possible. Satellites are used for many important reasons. Our military communications greatly depend on satellites.   

Space debris is becoming a concern for future space exploration. The Governments and airspace community are aware of the problem and are setting up regulations on satellites requiring that they are brought back down to Earth after 25 years. An idea for cleaning up the already orbiting debris is big magnetic “fishing net” to collect to the debris. They are also trying to make magnetic vacuums and a giant umbrella or dish to scoop the debris up and bring it back to earth.  The Swiss are creating a family of satellites to go up into space and suck up the space debris and then descend back to Earth hopefully burning up in the atmosphere on the way down. You never know, in the future space exploration might be a must for our civilization to survive and you wouldn’t want a huge threat of our own waste colliding into our space ships making it a 1 and 10 chance that we make it out of the Earth’s orbit alive.   

Space Junk- Interesting visuals 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=kAHob7FqQ04&NR=1

Clean Space One- Swiss invention.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/16/epfls-cleanspace-one-clearing-up-cosmic-clutter-video/

Information form:

Space debris

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L915JJMcu4s

Space junk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZRVI5zH7Z8

What will Nasa do with all the space junk?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgHHmPNEAYU

“Hello, the future is now” -Arthur

Many of you may not think that scientist can use nanotechnology, that it’s a thing of the “future” well the future is now. 

Nanotechnology is the science of very small things. Nano could be compared in size to a molecule and sometimes even an atom. Nano is one millionth of a millimeter.  Nanotechnology could become another future form of E-waste. Imagine E-waste that’s microscopic and can float around in the air and can get into our water systems and be ingested. It can enter our body without our knowledge much like a virus or bacteria does. It could wreak havoc on our cells and change our DNA. UCLA researchers say the most damaging form of pollution to our bodies is the pollution we can’t see. The smaller the particle the more toxic chemicals it can carry. The problem isn’t the nanotechnology itself, its human error that’s the problem. If we make errors at the nano-level, we can’t physically see the effects until its too late and the effects are much greater. Nanotechnology could become microscopic threats if the hazardous technology was to become airborne. Let’s make sure we can use nanotechnology as safely and successfully as possible.

The three problems being faced with nano waste is recycling, incineration and waste water purification. There is an increasing amount of Nano-material finding its way into consumer products from electronics to personal care products. These Nano-particles can find their way into waste water streams and it unknown how these particles will react with our waste water treatment plants. They also do not know how to filter out the Nano-particles from the water and it is released into the environment. They fear that non-degradable Nano-material might be just as harmful to humans and the environment as asbestos. They are finding that Nano-particles can survive incineration and float up with the smoke but they have figured out how to make a filter that can filter most of the Nano-particles from the smoke. That brings up the question of what happens to the Nano-particles in the filter when it needs to be cleaned or disposed of?  The effect that Nano-particles can have on recycling other products is unknown. I think it would be interesting idea, if possible, recycling the Nano-particles themselves and reusing them.

The rapid rate of development in nanotechnology is outpacing the studies on effects of nanotechnology on health and the environment. One good thing is that scientist are working on the problem of nano waste pretty early on in the production of nanotechnology. Instead of waiting till it’s a huge problem like everything else. When creating Nanotechnology they should be thinking about the disposal process as well and come up with a way that the product can be properly disposed of before they market it.

Information from:

Nano hazards

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdYf-UQ_hd8&feature=relmfu

Nano-pollution and health

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chdfahBvWHo

What is Nanotechnology?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYR8lV23Pow

Synthetic nano waste does not disappear

http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=25359.php

Excellent source! About the effects that Nano-particles can have on health and the environment.

http://www.gezondheidsraad.nl/sites/default/files/Nano%20waste%20201114E.pdf

“A Blogging Test”

97 percent of the world’s water is salt, that leaves 3 percent fresh water but a lot of that 3 percent is inaccessible, too polluted or underground. We are currently taking 15 percent more water from our underground aquifers then is going into the ground. 30 billion gallons of ground water mined every day. At this rate we will run out of water a lot faster than we thought. By knowing this I wonder if our underground fresh water source is really that renewable. Our underground fresh water source should be renewable but at the rate we are using it, it is not renewing fast enough. It makes you think about oil, oil is a non-renewable resource but that doesn’t mean the earth can’t make more it just means that the earth doesn’t make it as fast as we consume it. That makes you wonder if underground fresh water should be classed as a non-renewable resource but what about our above ground fresh water. Well much of our above ground fresh water is inaccessible to us because it is either frozen or polluted beyond repair. This leaves us with a very tiny bit of water for human consumption. The problem isn’t that the water isn’t renewing fast enough on land it’s just getting dump back in the ocean when it rains instead of replenishing the source it came from. That is also our fault because we transport the water. This happens because we “sell water” to other countries. Water is a huge money making export in Canada but it makes you think about how ethical it is to sell water. Water should be free to everyone because we need it to live but we are sold food and we need that to live. So I guess it just makes sense that we sell water as well, next thing you know there will be clean oxygen fee’s. I think Canada’s water export could be pretty important to developing countries with contaminated water supplies but we shouldn’t be selling it to them. I guess the water needs containers to be shipped in so we should have to pay for the container itself but not the water inside. The sale of water may not be ethical and may harm our fresh water supply but I think it might be necessary. After thinking about all of this I don’t think our fresh water supply is a renewable resource, I think we will run out one day and have to use alternative methods to have fresh water.

All of the information I had in this paragraph is from Blue Gold- world water wars

70 percent of all E-waste is sent to china, a small percent is kept in America to recycle and the rest is sent to India and Africa. Workers in china get paid $2.00 a day to work a 10 hour day with hazardous chemicals and no safety equipment. The workers burn the plastic off the copper wires to extract the copper and when you burn it the fumes you end up with a more toxic then they were to start with. The workers are also exposed to many other chemicals such as lead and mercury and the disgusting part is that the workers include children. 80 percent of children have Zinc poisoning. A lot of the workers don’t even know the devastating health effects that there work has and if they do they have no choice they need to work to survive. These working practices also lead to not only devastating health effects but horrible environmental effects. The toxins seep into the soil and run off into the water supply. Poisoning there water supply and food. We as consumers are lead to believe that all of this E-waste is being safely and properly recycled. Not all of the E-waste is even being recycled more than 4.6 million tonnes of E-waste ended up in the US landfills in 2000. Over a billion cell phones are sold every year and a cell phones life expectancy is 2 years. A lot of the time we don’t even need a new phone or T.V. we just buy it to have the new technology. There are laws in Canada varying from country to country for E-waste. A lot of country’s charge the manufacturers a fee for every electronic sold so it can pay for the recycling process but the manufacturers are expected to register and if they don’t they don’t have to pay the fee. There is no one to my knowledge making sure that the manufactures register. I also wonder where this fee is going to and is it being used for the export of the E-waste to developing countries. We as consumers should be aware of what happens to electronic waste. I know I didn’t know or even think about any of this until recently and now every time I buy a new electronic I will make sure it’s deposed of safely and properly. I also won’t get rid of an electronic if it’s not broken and if I do ill give it to someone else who can use it.  It is very important to practice responsible consumerism.

 Information from:

Youtube.com

Electronic trash village china

E-waste hell

E-waste: A global time bomb

India’s E-waste recycling industry

Canadian electronic waste regulations

http://www.blakes.com/pdf/E_waste_Regs_Canada.pdf

E-waste Castles

How many of you have several old cell phones lying in some draw in your home? I know I have a couple and I know everyone in my house hold has a couple as well. What happens to all those old TV’s and computers that you got rid of because they were outdated? Or IPods or any Apple products? Technology is constantly improving and everyone needs to have the newest technology not realizing the effects our Electronic waste (E-waste) is having in developing nations.

America’s E-waste is shipped to developing countries such as China, India and Africa because it is cheaper to recycle there and there are no safety precautions for the workers. The toxic chemicals and fumes that the workers are exposed to cause cancer, respiratory issues, blindness, brain damage, lead poisoning and many other awful health effects. Most of the workers don’t even know how dangerous the work they are doing can be and if they do, they have no choice, they need to make money to live.

70 percent of the E-waste is sent to China in containers that arrive from all over the world. Villages are refuse dumps with E-waste castles. Workers in china get paid 2 US dollars to work a ten hour day with hazardous materials. There are no safety precautions because there is no money. The workers burn the plastic coverings on copper wires to extract the copper and sell it. The fumes are not filtered and they are very toxic to inhale.

The same thing is happening in India and Africa. We take all of our E-waste and ship it to them so it’s no longer our problem. There are villages full of E-waste, and it’s everywhere. There are many toxic chemicals in our E-waste like lead, mercury, beryllium, chromium, barium, cobalt and arsenic. Men, women and children all work with these materials because they have no other choice. To give you an example of the amount of E-waste we make there was more than 4.6 million tonnes of e-waste that ended up in the US landfills in 2000. Now take that number and raise it by a lot and that’s how much we send to developing countries each year. In 1997-2007 500 million computers were obsolete. In 2007 1 million cell phones were sold and that number keeps rising every year and we can’t keep up with it.

I think every country should use the “Cradle to Grave approach” when it comes to E-waste. This means that you are responsible for your electronics from the day you purchase them to the day you recycle them and if they are not recycled responsibly you are held accountable for it. This would make people a lot more responsible for how they discard there electronics and probably make people more aware of what E-waste does the environment and the developing countries we send it to.

There are ways that you can help. You can give your E-waste back to the company for recycling. You can give your E-waste to responsible recyclers who don’t export the waste to other countries and you can support laws that don’t allow use of the harmful chemicals or reduce the amount of the harmful chemicals in their products. You can also stop buying new technology before your old one quits working. Do you really need a phone that you can read a book from? Books were created for that purpose phones were created to make phone calls. It may be extremely convenient but it’s totally unnecessary. Be a responsible consumer and find out where your local E-waste recycling companies are.

What is E-waste:

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/toxics/hi-tech-highly-toxic/e-waste/

E-Waste chart

The link to where I found this chart is located at the bottom of page

“We are told the water isn’t for us. It is for Egypt”

Ethiopia’s Blue Nile
I never pictured Ethiopia in this way…

That is a line from chapter 7, water, water everywhere in the book Enough by Roger Thurow.

In Ethiopia the water is all around them but they can’t get it out to irrigate their crops. The problem for many years was the threat of attack from Egypt and the lack of funds. Egypt’s ignorance could cause a war for water that Ethiopia would not win. A lot of Egyptians don’t realize that there is enough water for both of them and there are ways that Ethiopia could use the water and Egypt wouldn’t even notice. Since Egypt is distracted by revolutionary upheaval, this gives Ethiopia chance to build dams for irrigation and electricity but they still have a lack of funds.

I always thought till further research that Ethiopia barely had any fresh water sources.  I was horribly mistaken; Ethiopia has an abundance of fresh water just no funds for dams so they can irrigate. They have to wait for rainfall to water their crops that sometimes doesn’t come.

To top it off they have huge amounts of land degradation because of the rapid population increase, severe soil loss, deforestation, low vegetative cover and unbalanced crop and livestock production. It seems to me like they try to make cheap solution to fix a problem and end up with another huge problem. Like deforestation for crop land and for fire but that contributes to a lot of land degradation which doesn’t allow Ethiopians to grow healthy crops. Ethiopia’s issues all revolve around their lack of funds and no other countries want to help. There are always plans made to help Ethiopia and they are all shelved for long periods of time allowing Ethiopia’s problems to continue and more people to die from problems that are so easily solved.

Ethiopia has now started the construction of one of the world’s largest dams. The construction of the dam is said to be completed in 6 years. This dam will bring huge amounts of power and irrigation to Ethiopia. This is Ethiopia’s first attempt to dam the Blue Nile and so far it’s running smoothly.  This dam will hugely boost Ethiopia’s economy by Turning Ethiopia into a self-sufficient country that no longer needs aid or as much aid from others.  There are rumours circulating that Ethiopia does not have the funds to build the whole dam but the hope that the future dam brings to Ethiopians is incredible.

 Instead of sending food aid to Ethiopia countries should send money to help the completion of the Blue Nile Dam. That way Ethiopia can become self- sufficient faster and be able to take care of their own. It would be better to allow Ethiopia to be independent then be dependent on everyone else.  

Egypt and Ethiopia quarrel over water

April 21, 2011 News article about Egypt’s worries over how they could lose control over the Nile to Ethiopia. 

http://ethiopiaforums.com/ethiopia-cant-afford-to-build-the-nile-dam-the-economist/

Ethiopia powers on with controversial dam project

May 31, 2012 News article about how Ethiopia progresses on their Blue Nile Dam. 

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/31/business/ethiopia-grand-renaissance-dam/index.html

Water is Life

Think about a world that only the rich have the right to drink fresh clean water. Think about a world where wars are fought over fresh water. Our earth is about 70% water but we don’t have enough fresh clean water to last. 97% is salt water, which leaves 3% that’s fresh water and only a tiny bit of that 3% is clean enough for human consumption. Water pollution is the cause of millions of deaths in third world countries and to be honest you don’t hear much about it.

We need food and water to live but our biggest contributor to water pollution is agriculture. It is kind of interesting how our food is our biggest cause of water pollution. Agriculture is accountable for more than 70% of water pollution in the United States. The only way I know of how to stop the water pollution from agriculture is to stop the use of fertilizers. I don’t think the stop of fertilizers would be all bad, and it’s a lot healthier for you to eat organic food. It has been proven that organic food can yield almost as much crop as crops that use fertilizers and we wouldn’t have the nasty effects the fertilizers have on our water supply. We produce enough food to feed more than one earth size planet anyway so even if our food production went down we would still have enough food to eat. If we don’t take care of our water supply we won’t have food either.

We can stop the use of fertilizers by buying organic. I know it’s more expensive but the price will drop once more farmers switch to farming organic vegetables. Once organic vegetables are abundant the prices will go down and that can only happen if there is a high demand.

I like to always seem optimistic when I right about problems because there are always ways to solve the issues of the world. For example there are ways to take salt water and make it into fresh water its called desalination. Desalination is an expensive alternative to our diminishing fresh water reserves but as time goes on the technology is improving and getting less expensive. There is still the issue of water becoming an expense in the future that we never thought would be there and may pose huge problems to people who cannot afford to live in the first place.

Why is it that companies profit off of water? I personally don’t think that’s right. Water should be free to everyone because it is all around us and it’s a basic necessity of life. It should be free to all human beings no matter how much money they make!

Here is some interesting links on our earths water and organic farming:

Can organic farming feed the world?

http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0712-organic.html

Earth’s dwindling water supply

http://realtruth.org/articles/435-edws.html

Can you make sea water drinkable?

http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water_quality/quality1/1-make-seawater-drinkable.htm

Oil = Food

Our planet is completely dependent on oil, a substance that takes 90-150 million years and extreme global warming to create. Our food supply is greatly dependent on oil. Every aspect of the growth process depends on oil from the fertilizers to the machinery. The transportation of food and the manufacturing of food depends on oil. Even the packing depends on oil. Agriculture’s dependency on oil is far larger then I could have ever imagined.  What happens when our planets oil supply’s become scare? Will our food prices skyrocket? Will millions of people die from starvation?

People need to revert to our old ways of farming before it’s too late but the problem with that are farms are too big for the farmers to take care of on their own and the typical farmer is not physically fit or young enough to do that amount of physical labor. They could always hire farm hands but that would mean they would make less money and that wouldn’t go over to well with farmers. The problem is greed; farmers are too greedy to make changes that would make them lose out on money.

Another thing to think about is the amount of food produced. Food is massively over produced. You could have a smaller farm that uses less fertilizer if any and still feed everyone. We as Canadians eat too much anyway and could stand to lose a couple pounds by eating less. It also would not kill us to grow our own food and would be healthier for us in the long run, but you don’t have “enough time”. A vegetable garden isn’t as time-consuming as you would think. It is also great therapeutically and the food we would be eating from our own garden is a lot healthier.

If you still think gardening isn’t for you, you can always buy locally grown food. When you buy locally grown food you can not only cut out the long transportation but you can cut out the unnecessary packaging. Locally grown food taste better too because it fresher.

I’m going to be optimistic about our world’s capability to solve growing issues and hope that we can solve our foods dependence on oil before its too late. If the outcome is less food is produced and it takes more physical labor I’m fine with that, we shouldn’t waste as much food as we do anyway.

The Scary Future of GMO’s

To be able to patent an object you have to prove that it has never been made before and you were the one to make it. Until recently there has never been a patent on living organisms because people thought that they were discoveries of nature. GMO’s have made patents on life possible. Leading to what I think is a very scary future.

Think about it this way if in the future they start genetically modifying humans to make us disease resistant. That sounds like it would be a great thing, people no longer succumbing to disease and longer life expectancies but in realty what is stopping the Government from allowing a company from putting a patent on our lives. It would be there genetic modification and therefore they are proving that they have made something that has never been made before.

GMO Foods are just the beginning. In 1996, 2 percent of Soya Beans were genetically modified and in 2008 that numbered spiked to 90 percent. Monsanto owns the patent on Soya Beans and genetically engineered Cotton in both Europe and the US. This has left farmers in a horrible situation. Most farmers switched to the GM Foods but the farmers who didn’t soon found themselves wrapped up in huge lawsuits because of cross pollination. Their regular seeds were cross pollinating with the GM seeds creating new seeds. After the seed saving that they did each year, when they went to replant they were stealing Monsanto’s product without even knowing it. The farmers couldn’t even fight Monsanto because Monsanto had too much money backing them. The farmers were left in huge dept over something they had no control over.

The thing about GM Foods is that they don’t know the long term affects that they will have on our health or the environment. Even the testing that they have done show horrible short term effects to our health. The effects on the environment don’t look so good either. It may lead to fewer species and less genetic variety. We know how well interbreeding in humans worked out so why do we think interbreeding of plants will be any different. Anytime I do any research on the effects of GMO’s it scares me. We need a variety of genes to make healthy strong plants but if we are destroying the variety we are essentially weakening the plant.

The disturbing part is we don’t even know that were eating GM foods. People as consumers need to know what they are purchasing. Be aware of what has GMO’s and limit your consumption of that product. Eat locally grown foods and start a garden. Your health and environment will thank you.