What will it take?

Ok… well here we go, my first chance to steer away from the technological aspects of this course… although I don’t know how any blog can not be related to technology, due merely to the fact that a blog requires a fairly advanced combination of technology. This post relates to the intersection of nature and society.

So in searching for a blog to review I found a list of blogs related to the December ’05 tsunami, a natural (or was it?) disaster, occurring in South East Asia. I came across one blog that was a honey-mooning couples account of the seismological activity and resultant environmental and cultural effects. If you have the time to skim through this blog please pay special attention to the recurring theme: what happened to the couple’s luggage.

The point I want to make here, is that planet Earth just experienced one of the largest natural disasters in recent history, yet many of the human inhabitants of the Earth can not get past the idea that the tsunami may affect their cultural lives. The honey-mooning couple was worried about their luggage, locals are worried about rebuilding their homes, caring individuals are thinking about and helping the many orphaned children, but who is thinking about the state of the Earth?

With global climate change upon us, scientists are predicting that natural disasters will only happen more frequently and more intensely, drastically altering the Earth as we know it. What is the sake of culture if there is no place to host it?

What people all around the world need to start realizing is that these “natural disasters” may not be so natural at all… that is if you consider humans to be removed from nature. Human induced climate change is a real possibility – it may be that our own species is taking enjoyment (i.e. driving around their fancy cars, consuming factory made goods) from creating conditions that may prove only to deteriorate the cultural world as we know it. Hundreds, even thousands, of communities were demolished as a result of December’s tsunami – why wasn’t it yours or mine? What will it take for people to realize that we are our own demise?

No amount of warning signals (eg. Tsunami) or awareness attempts (eg. “The Day After Tomorrow”) seem to be working: I still see countless cars everyday carrying only one person and there is no shortage of goods requiring huge factory emissions for production. Societal stubbornness wins out again.

Wake up people!

2 Responses to “What will it take?”

  1. Hannah says:

    Your blog inspired me to put up an “Energy Awareness” sheet on the refrigerator, for me and my roomates. I jotted some things we could do to save energy, such as turning off lights when not in use, trying to limit shower to 10-15 minutes or less, turning off appliances/stuff when not in use, in order to cut down the bill and reduce consumption, but when I got home my roomate was taking like a 30 minute shower, the lights were on everywhere in the apartment, even though no one else was home, and her radio was on and the music was soft, so she couldn’t even hear it from the shower…I even mentioned the tsunami, and she’s from Thailand! (I’m not saying that she wasn’t affected, or didn’t care…she did help raise funds for the relief, but there are other ways you can make a difference too, without giving money). Maybe it will take a bit of time to get used to the suggestions on the fridge…I guess we can only be the role models and take action as individuals. Knowing that you have the power to choose the way you want to live, can give you strength when you recognize that your own actions are inteded well, and that is a virtuous thing…and knowing there are others who are like you…

  2. sieber says:

    We talk about the death of distance in class. However, I wonder if our use of electronic devices–I think specifically of our cell phones–renders us more isolated or at least so self-centered that we cannot think beyond our own lives to the impact we have on the environment.