April 22nd, 2011
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my learning experience throughout this semester. The material was interesting and relevant. Not to mention things moved at a pretty good rate – being that there is so much to address when it comes to the Environment. Only the surface was brushed for many of the topics we covered. It is clear that environmental problems and possible sustainable solutions are extremely complex issues.
I especially enjoyed the use of case studies to help illustrate certain forms of environmental degradation. I was unaware of cases such as the Aural Sea. I also did not know about the extensive habitat destruction in the Everglades. I liked the studies most when it seemed as though the effected areas were moving towards improvement. The gloom and doom is really hard to avoid when discussing enviro problems.
It felt like a lot of problems are similar in many ways. I was discussing with my friend about how solutions for something like soil erosion in one area may be similar if not identical to another area. I realize that we do have the knowledge and the know-how to fix many of the world’s problems. The real issue is getting motivation and funding to tackle these issues. I think the next step is to get people to act – we need to do more than just get the word out. Unfortunately, the word falls on deaf ears, and people are too comfortable with what they know. If governments need to take action to get the people to act, then they need to start making laws and moving forward without hesitation. There should be incentives built in to being ecoconscious in all areas of life. Especially in America where expectations are high and time is money – it should become inconvenient to be bad to the environment. While this sounds difficult to achieve – it is possible. There should be extra taxes, extra inspections, and laws surrounding the most notorious offenders of environmental degradation (huge cars, huge poorly insulated houses, eating meat ect.) I think we would see a massive behavioral change in people if being green was the better option all around.