by

December 3, 2022

 

Reduce the use of plastic straws

In the article, “Should plastic straws be banned?” (Upfront, May 13, 2019 subscription required), I learned that many people throw away millions of plastic straws every day. A lot of that plastic ends up in the ocean and is harmful to the marine animals. Millions of marine animals die each year from plastic waste.

Plastic straws are so dangerous and we should not use them. Only like nine percent of all plastic waste generated over the years has been recycled. It can release chemicals to soil, air, and water that are harmful to animals but also the people, plants, and the environment. Plastic straws can easily be swept into the ocean and break down into microplastic particles. Its scary how this also affects the water we all drink.


How can we keep things simple to reduce plastic use?


The Colorado River is at Risk

In the article, “The Colorado River is Nearing its Limits” (Henry, YouthVoices) I learned that the Colorado River has been used to power many farms, reservoirs, and cities. This has been put into law in 1922 known as the Colorado River Compact, to how the western states distribute water. The river traces from the beginning to the Rocky Mountains and ends in Mexico. It’s time to change our use of water says Henry before global warming creates its own approach.

I think what is happening needs to change immediately we cannot lose the Colorado River. We shouldn’t lose this major source and need to use it more carefully. Global warming is not something that needs to have joked around and we should be taking extra precautions.

What would you do to prevent the overuse of the Colorado River?


Saving Sharks, One Fin at a Time

This article gave some unique reasons as to why we shouldn’t be fishing for sharks. The most interesting point was that sharks have a neurotoxin called BMAA. In shark fin soup, people end up ingesting this toxin which apparently puts people at a higher risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS. Also in the article was some information on fishing restrictions for different countries and states in the U.S.. Another thing I didn’t know was that the Bahamas banned commercial shark fishing over ten years ago. It’s promising seeing governments fight for sharks.

Here’s the link to my now comment annotations: https://nowcomment.com/documents/310746


How Marine Protected Areas Help Fisheries and Ocean Ecosystems

This article explains the many benefits of MPAs. Though not specific to sharks, it shows how ecosystems, fisheries, and the economy can benefit in the long run with MPAs. A Marine Protected Area is basically just a protected area in the ocean. They can have lots of different levels of enforcement. Minimally protected ones aren’t as effective as highly protected ones. Lots of people have doubts with MPAs because they don’t have immediate or short term benefits, but as a community we need to promote them. They will help the shark population prosper, which will help the ocean ecosystems. 

Here is the link to my Now Comment Annotations

https://nowcomment.com/documents/309750


Coral Reefs

In the article, “Coral Reefs Show Damage From Climate Change” (McGraw Hill) I learned that Coral reefs protect coastlines from storms and erosion, provide jobs for local communities, and offer opportunities for recreation but a horrible situation has happened coral reefs are dying off at a fast speed. The world lost about 14 percent of its total amount of coral reefs. This is damage is the result of the ongoing and prolonged effects of warming ocean surface temperatures and population in the water.


How can we wake a change?

I think what is happening in the oceans is huge crisis and there needs to be a change. Coral reef structure buffers shorelines against waves, storms, and floods, helping to prevent loss of life, property damage, and erosion. Coral reefs are important for many reasons. Most importantly, they provide protection and shelter for many different species of fish.”

https://mhebtw.azurewebsites.net/?p=8800

Climate Change is Affecting Coral Reefs

In the article ” Coral Reefs Show Damage From Climate Change.” I learned that coral reefs are important because they support about one fourth of all fish species on Earth. They also help protect coastlines and storms. It is sad to say that many coral reefs are dying at an alarming rate. The article stated how the world lost about 14 percent of its total amount of coral between 2008 and 2019. Scientist have said that the cause of all this is because ocean temperatures are becoming warmer. Other elements that cause damage to coral reefs include overfishing, increasing Carbon Dioxide levels in the water, and declining water quality. Scientist are currently studying how to breed coral reefs into adapting in warmer water temperatures.

I was surprised to learn that coral reefs are dying because of warmer water temperatures. I feel bad for fish who are suffering because of dying reefs. I’ve always liked how colorful and alive the ocean looks because of these amazing animals. Coral reefs are so beautiful so I hope that scientist come up with a way to restore them.

https://mhebtw.azurewebsites.net/?p=8800

What Is The Country That Is Committed To Reducing Plastic Next Step?

In the article, “France Bans Plastic Packaging” (McGraw Hill), France will start to use either reusable or recyclable materials to package fruits and vegetables. This will take affect on January 2022 and although some are against it, many don’t know if the switch between plastic to reusable or recyclable materials will be made by January. Another thing that they will be implementing is the sell of plastic toys from restaurants. France has plenty of things to reduce the production of plastic such banning plastic cups, straws, and utensils. They have also banned Styrofoam.


Do you think that other countries should be doing similar things that France is doing the plastic materials?

When I read this article I was shocked that there’s countries that actually do something when it comes to the environment. France is known for their commitment to limit the use of plastic and it’s shown why in the article. Maybe there are things like this in the United States but it’s not really mentioned. There was the “Save the Turtles” that was going on but it was seen more of a trend since it ended up dying off. People did end up getting metal straws and some businesses did end up using paper straws but after that anything that has to do with plastic is never mentioned.

https://mhebtw.azurewebsites.net/?p=8838

What Climate Change Is Doing to Our Oceans

In the article “Coral Reefs Show Damage From Climate Change” (McGraw Hill) I learned that coral reefs are dying out because of climate change. This is a horrible situation because fish need the coral reef to survive they eat them, we need coral reefs because they help protect and shield coastlines from storms. What’s even crazier to me is that the world has lost more than 14 percent of its total amount of coral reefs from 2008-2015. This is because of climate change, the warm temperatures of the ocean’s water prevent the coral reef to rebuild its skeleton. It makes it harder for the coral reef to rebuild its skeleton because the algae comes off easier in the heat and if they have no more algae then they die.


What do you think should be done about this coral reef situation?

I think what is happening with the coral reef is a big problem. It’s hard to believe that climate change is doing this to our oceans and our coral reef. Just imagine how our oceans would be without coral reefs, a lot of fish would probably die or would have to adapt to a new source of food. We should do something about it while we still can if we don’t just think how our oceans would be sea levels would increase by a lot and the temperatures of oceans would also change making it difficult for sea creatures to adapt to a new environment.

https://mhebtw.azurewebsites.net/?p=8800

Climate Change is Affecting Ocean Life

In the article, “Coral Reefs Show Damage From Climate Change,” (McGraw Hill) I learned that coral reefs have been dying off at an increasingly rapid rate. The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network has reported from data that the world lost about 14% of its total amount of reefs. In Australia scientists have observed that the reefs are dying off as a result of the ongoing effects of warming ocean surface temperatures. Increase in carbon dioxide levels, overfishing, and declining water quality are other causes that damage coral reefs.

The fact that these reefs are dying off is alarming, because this proves that our world is slowly deteriorating, not just on land and on the surface, nut even in the deep waters. Our world is slowly being destroyed due to actions that we make. Most of the time, climate change is the result of human-induced global warming. We are slowly killing our planet without even realizing it, we are destroying the planet with our actions and we need to take precautionary measures to help reduce the damages.

How much more damage can we make before its too late?


What really happens to all the plastic Americans toss into blue bins?

In the article “The Truth About Recycling,” I learned that recycling is actually meaningless and the world is getting overrun by plastic waste. The latest numbers from E.P.A. show that in 2018, 27 million tons of U.S. plastic ended up in landfills. Some of this plastic material is helping save lives creating long-lasting devices like helmets for firefighters and soldiers. However most plastic waste ends up in nature. Harming our wild animals while most plastic ends up in the oceans.

I think the truth about recycling isn’t really known or aware of by Americans. The marketing is making things worse by making people they can use plastic products without damaging the planet. Many people should be more aware that even if these plastic products have a recycling symbol its not guaranteed that these items are recycled. The government needs to enact policies that force companies to take responsibility. Americans also need to take part and make better decision when shopping and change their consumption habits. We can all ask ourselves questions when thinking about purchasing plastic like.

Do you really need that plastic bottle of water?


Leading Causes of Animal Extinction

Marine Conservation, Global Warming, and the destruction of animal habitats is the leading cause of animal extinction. Three-quarters of our planet is covered by oceans, which means the ocean provides a home for millions of animal species.

As stated by the National Geographic Society, around 40% of our marine ecosystems have been damaged due to human pollution and an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic in every square kilometer of the ocean. Plastic waste is very problematic because it can take up to hundreds of years to decompose. Fish often get tangled in the debris, small organisms feed off of microplastic and many animals mistake plastic bags for food. Microplastics, toxic chemicals, get passed on by the food chain, which often leads to human consumption. We can limit pollution by limiting down our use of plastic bags, avoiding plastic products, and recycling properly. 

The ocean plans an important role when it comes to global warming because they absorb carbon dioxide and generate about half of all oxygen in the atmosphere. The surface layer of the ocean controls global temperatures by absorbing and distributing the heat reaching Earth from the sun. Currently, the oceans are unable to absorb the heat, which is causing the temperatures in the ocean to fluctuate (Darrah). The warmer our seas get the more ice melts, which leads to rising sea levels.

As stated in “Endangered Animals of the World,” animal habitats are meant to be undisturbed, but instead, they are being destroyed. For example, the amount of woodland around the world has been cut down to make room for the human population. Swamps, plains, and lakes continue to disappear because they are being utilized for human consumption and industrial development.

As stated in the “Impact of Habitat Loss on Species,” various animals over the centuries have gone extinct mainly due to the destruction of their habitat. Habitat destruction is identified as an 85% threat to all endangered and threatened species. We need to realize as individuals we are the main cause of animal extinction and if we want to put an end to it we need to act now. 

Works Cited

Darrah, Petrina. “Out of Sight, Front of Mind: Why Marine Conservation Is so Important.” GVI UK, GVI, 29 Oct. 2019, www.gvi.co.uk/blog/out-of-sight-front-of-mind-why-marine-conservation-is-so-important/

“Endangered Animals of the World.” Young People’s Trust For the Environment, 11 Sept. 2014, ypte.org.uk/factsheets/endangered-animals-of-the-world/habitat-destruction

“Impact of Habitat Loss on Species.” WWF, wwf.panda.org/discover/our_focus/wildlife_practice/problems/habitat_loss_degradation/

National Geographic Society. “Marine Pollution.” National Geographic Society, 27 June 2019, www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/marine-pollution/.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

After watching the video “Ocean Today Trash Day”, I learned that the ocean is very full of trash as we have not recycled the plastic we use.  This problem has been going for a long time, but it’s only getting worse.  Its most found plastics include straws, plastic bottles, bottle caps, and food wrappers.  This is very dangerous towards the ocean animals, as many are harmed.  Many of them get stuck around these plastics making it impossible to swim, eat, or overall move. 

I think what is happening in our oceans is a huge problem as this has caused many habitats to be destroyed. The plastic has overflowed in great amounts over vegetation in the water.  The trash has made life difficult for fish, turtles, seals, dolphins, etc.  It is hard to imagine how much worse it can get if we don’t use the four R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  Following these three R’s will allow for way less trash in the ocean. An example could be buying in bulk rather than in individually wrapped foods or drinks.  

What are ways you could start reducing, reusing your trash?


How much Trash Is In the Ocean?

There is an astounding amount of trash in the ocean. National Geographic claims “there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean” (Nat. Geo, 2019). The trash in the ocean is counted in three ways. The first is through beach surveys. Secondly, computer models are based on samples collected at sea. Thirdly an estimate of the amount of trash entering the ocean. These systems do not account for all the ocean’s trash. Which is even worse because that means there is more than 5.25 trillion. This trash is very bad for the environment. Some issues it causes is it transfers chemical pollutants, and it is a threat to marine life.

There is a patch of garbage called, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch that is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific ocean. According to National Geographic, “About 54 percent of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch comes from land-based activities in North America and Asia” (Nat. Geo, 2012). I think that is sickening to even hear about. We are killing our home. This garbage greatly affects marine life and other aspects of the ocean. 

One thing we humans need to do is use more biodegradable things so we can help with the trash in the ocean. The reason so much trash accumulates is that most everything is not biodegradable. Another way to help is by not getting your groceries put into plastic bags, the less disposable plastic the better. In conclusion, trash in the ocean is negatively affecting marine life and the way the ocean environment function. It is our responsibility to turn things around and reduce waste in our oceans. 


Global Warming is Really Happening… and Its Getting Bad

There’s no denying that global warming is one of the main world issues, but even with the scientific evidence, there is still a huge misconception of whether it is a matter of science or opinion. In a study done by Business Insider of 3022 randomly selected Americans, the majority of anti climate changers said that they simply “do not see the weather changing around them.” Climate change won’t necessarily change the weather in your hometown, but here are some things that it is doing.

Climate change is warming the ocean. The average temperature of the top 100 feet of ocean has risen .06 degrees fahrenheit since 1969. Antarctica’s ice sheets are melting, with Greenland losing 279 billion tons of ice per year since 1993. The average global temperature has risen 2.05 degrees fahrenheit. Glacier sizes are declining around the world. The global sea level has risen 8 inches. This list could go on, but you get the point. These changes may not seem durastic, but remember that we are talking about geological time and size. There are 321,000,000 cubic miles of water in the ocean, so to heat up the upper layer by .06 degrees is a big deal.  Here is a graph of Ocean temperatures starting at 1880. From 1880 to about 1940 Ocean temperatures appear to be stable. Then from 1940 to the mid 1970’s the temperatures go back and forth. Then BOOM! From about 1975 to 2015, which is when the graph ends, there is a huge increase in the Oceans temperature. Ocean warming | IUCN

Some people argue that these are just global temperature trends, and that temperatures have always risen and declined. Well let’s take a look at this CO2 emissions graph. CO2 emissions - Our World in Data Starting around 1850 there was a slight rise in CO2 emissions. Then at some point in the 1950s CO2 emissions sky rocket. These two graphs have very similar patterns. It’s not just about ocean temperature. You could look at most global warming graphs and they would look similar to a global CO2 emissions graph. 

With false information so easily accessible on the internet and politicians who still do not openly admit to climate change, you could see why a large number of people who aren’t convinced. Below is the closing statement from an interview with vice president Mike pence in 2019. Jake tapper originally asked if Pence thought that “climate change is an emergency threat to the United states.” After much confusion Pence would not directly address the question. 

TAPPER: OK. So you don’t think it is a threat, is all I’m saying? You don’t think it is a threat?

PENCE: I think we’re making great progress reducing carbon emissions, America has the cleanest air and water in the world. We will continue to use market forces…

TAPPER: That is not true. We don’t have the cleanest air and water in the world.

America is the tenth ranked country when it comes to air quality, and falls behind fifteen countries when it comes to drinking water, making Pences statement totally incorrect. 

Just recently the new republican supreme court nominee Amy Barret was asked her views on climate change during the  Senate Judiciary committee interview. Judge Barret referred to climate change as a “very continuous matter of public debate” and then proceeded to say that she “will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial.” Yeah… scary. This is not a matter of politics or opinion, in fact, it has nothing to do with democrats or republicans. This is a global issue that we must continue to educate ourselves on and find individual ways to cut down on individual CO2 emissions. 

https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/carbon-dioxide/
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/amy-coney-barrett-supreme-court-climate-change-conservative-b1053074.html
https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/24/politics/mike-pence-climate-crisis/index.html
https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/ocean-warming
https://ourworldindata.org/co2-emissions
https://www.businessinsider.com/does-the-us-have-the-cleanest-air-in-the-world-2018-10

Will a plastic straw ban actually be effective when it comes to saving our oceans and environment?

Plastic straws may help you drink without spilling, but the long-term costs are to high. Americans use 500 million drinking straws each day. When they are thrown away, they pollute our landfills and oceans. Marine animals sometimes mistake the plastic for food. There’s a viral video on YouTube that shows a turtle with a straw stuck up it’s nose! It’s okay for people to be attached to using straws, but there are good alternatives to plastic ones. People can buy paper or steel straws to carry with them. And many cities across the U.S. have restricted the use of plastic straws unless a person requests one. Passing more laws to ban plastic straws will not solve problem, but it is a good first step.


Why Do We Need To Save The Sharks?

It is evident that the worlds shark population is rapidly decreasing, which supposedly causes negative effects on the overall health of the ocean. There are many demands that must be met in order to restore the shark population in the wild.

But the biggest question is why do we need to save them? Aren’t they just the bullies of the sea, that go around killing innocent seals and attacking humans? The answer to this is more complex than that. The media has been against sharks for as long as humans have been around. While other marine animals get movies like Free Willy, or Dolphin Tale, sharks have Jaws, Shark Night, and many others that demonize their existence.

Shark Dive Tips 71406598
Divers and Sharks gathering together peacefully

Save the World

One thing for sure it is, today we try not to use plastic. Whether it is plastic bags, straws, cups, etc. Many companies, restaurants, and other businesses have made the decision to have many other their items used to be recycled. Over time, the plastic has ended up in the oceans, lakes, rivers, and other natured places it does not decompose.

In an article called, “Plastic Bag Are Gonna Stay For A While” I learned that in the United States alone used and threw away four tons of plastic bags and wraps in 2017. I think it is very important that we conserve our world and nature around us. We want healthy air and clean surrounding when we go out to places. You go somewhere and you may see plastic cups or bags on the side of the freeways and it stays there for time on end until someone cleans it up.

Plastic bags can be a good thing but also bad because it is one of the main reasons of pollution. It also uses 8% of oil resources in production and after its thrown away, it remains toxic to the environment.

How can you save the world from plastic you might ask?

  1. Using reusable bags when shopping
  2. Using paper straws
  3. Invest in refillable water bottles
  4. Bar soap, instead of liquid

There is many more ways to save from using plastic. I encourage everyone to not litter and recycle.


Overfishing

Dear Fishermen,

Stop overfishing. Fishermen should stop overfishing because if they overfish too much tuna it can become an endangered animal. Overfishing is when fishermen go out to catch too many fish of the same species and not letting the fish reproduce eggs. Overfishing can destroy the environment and marine ecology and completely disrupt the food chain. 

Some of the sea animals that are being caught and killed a lot are Sharks, rays and turtles are three more species that have been victims of overfishing.  According to“Worldwide about 90% of the stocks of large predatory fish stocks are already gone”. 

All fishermen should respect the rules and only catch their limit. “Annual catch limits aim to end and prevent overfishing. By the end of 2016, only about 8 percent of approximately 90 annual catch limits were exceeded”. When we overfish too much of the same species it can become extinct.

Fishermen could still make a living even by respecting the city rules. 

Because I enjoy fishing and I would like everyone being able to fish without having any problems

Resources:

https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/rules-and-regulations/ending-overfishing-through-annual-catch-limits

https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/planet-earth/oceans/overfishing-statistics


Is farming tuna ethical?

In recent times the ethicality of producing animals with minimal risk for certain purposes has become very prevalent in this day and age. so don’t understand if tuna farming is at the core weird understand how ethicality is defined. Ethicality is defined as moral principles relating them to knowledge and how to understand and deal with these concepts. So it’s tuna fish farming is come up in recent times due to the lack of tuna in the ocean specifically bluefin tuna. there is a large market for bluefin tuna in the world and it helps a lot of people with the economy and with meat. We also help the ecosystem because it diminishes certain species and keeps everything in balance food-wise. 

 In an article by NPR, it talks about how tuna is becoming very diminished in the world and their population is decreasing. they contribute these problems due to overfishing and the high demand and sushi industry in Japan. They say that most of them are going extinct is because Japan pays exorbitant amounts for tuna and overfishes them because of the sushi industry. But it talks about the ethicality of producing laboratory raised tuna and says that if we just shifted our diet towards more sustainable methods of eating such as eating more sardines or muscles and other invasive species and it would allow the tuna population to recover and we wouldn’t have to take such measures into raising them. They also say the overfishing damages the ecosystem because it’s throwing everything out of balance. Because bluefin tuna requires a lot of food and they are predatory fish do with farming them it would kill their instincts and they would no longer be able to live in the wild. They relate this to a tiger and how basically domesticating the tiger to be like a cow and making it a vulnerable animal and removing it from the food chain. 

 Understanding the ethicality of tuna fish farming takes a lot of factors. You need to understand how it’s going to affect the economy the ecosystem and eventually how that full effect all of us as a collective whole of people. so to make the decision if it’s ethical or not we need to make those factors and it’s truly not up to all the people in the world is truly up to if we want to change and make those changes to allow a species to get a larger population and recover from overfishing and to do this we need to be the change and allow it. 

 Sources:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/07/30/336339179/farming-the-bluefin-tuna-tiger-of-the-ocean-is-not-without-a-price


Should We Ban Plastic Bottles?

Tons of plastic debris is discarded every year, polluting lands, rivers, coasts, beaches, and oceans. The main problem for the excess in plastic pollution is single-use plastic. Single-use plastics are intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These include, among other items, grocery bags, food packaging, straws, containers, cups and bottles. Normally, plastic items can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills.

There have been a number of bans recently on these plastics and in particular plastic bottles. Everyone believes that minimizing plastic pollution from entering undesirable places (the ocean) is a good thing, but the reality is that short-sighted bans that single out one plastic product while permitting others isn’t the way to protect our environment. The prohibition of plastic bottles restricts the public’s access to safe drinking water at a time when most U.S. cities are facing water crisis. Before adding to the plastic bottle ban trend, consider the effects that emerge after limiting safe drinking water. If plastic bottles are banned, public health and, ultimately, the environment will be at stake

The best possible solution is building a sustainable and safe water infrastructure and providing an increase in initiative towards recycling and waste clean up. Obviously, limiting an individual’s dependency on bottled water as opposed to tap water would decrease plastic pollution as well. However, the solution is not to ban specific plastics hoping they will turn up a plastic pollution. The solution is to make sure that this waste is going where is should go.


Endangered Species in China

In our generation the extinction rate of species has rapidly gone up and “Every hour, 3 species disappear. Every day up to 150 species are lost. ” The illegal Chinese trade of endangered species is one reason of many explaining why we are losing so many species. The illegal trade has already grown so massive that annually earns revenue of up to “23 billion”, making it “the world’s fourth-most-profitable criminal trade after drugs, weapons, and human trafficking”. This is a very important topic to me because Hong Kong one of the main underground trading areas of endangered species in China is my dad’s home city and still likes visiting their very often. I don’t want it to have a bad reputation as a dirty, dangerous, and greedy place that kills off many endangered species. This issue affects the endangered animals the most like sharks, manta rays, and many others the most since they are being hunted down to the edge of extinction. Some people that are affected by this are the workers that make their living off of hunting these species and once they go extinct they’ll be left unemployed. If we do not take action to stop the rising extinction rate of endangered species then millions of people will be left unemployed and ecosystems irreversibly damaged.

One example of ways people have tried to stop the illegal markets of China was the ban of shark fin soup at official banquets, which caused a social reform and up to “consumption of shark fin soup in China has fallen by about 80 percent since 2011”. So I think that this method was very fairly effective because as you can see in the numbers it did rapidly decrease the consumption of shark fin soup and without demand for a product people won’t supply as much. One way to solve this problem as a whole is to uncover the whole market and spread info and pictures about it everywhere you go. Our blog artifact will help spread very important and easy to digest information in a way where the reader may find an interest in the subject and try researching themselves and with that more and more people are getting informed and spreading it. I think our solution is better than most others because mainly ours has it so the average joe can participate very easily compared to like trying to get legislation to pass a new law or going into that dangerous kind of market and capture it all on camera.

Some further research that would help us better our understanding of this topic could be insider information about how the trade works. This would help benefit us a lot because it would give us a nice clear perspective of the trade from the inside and not just looking from the outside and could also help show many secrets that most still don’t know about. However, this kind of information is extremely hard to come by considering how dangerous it is to go undercover in a black market worth billions of dollars, that many dangerous people could be apart of. Other research that would help us familiarize ourselves with our topic could be criminal records of arrests for the illegal trade of species on the endangered species list. This would show how much the Chinese government is actually clamping down on these criminals and whether all those bills and legislations are just for public appeal.


WILDFIRE

In recent years, I have been seeing so many news about wildfire. Whether it’s Sichuan, Los Angeles or the recent worst Australian wildfire, this natural disasters have caused countless lives died. “A wildfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an uncontrolled fire in an area of combustible vegetation occurring in rural areas.”

According to Australian media reports. Nearly 500 million wild animals were threatened by the fire. In New South Wales, thousands of animals tragically died on the sides of the highway; countless scorched animal bodies piled up .

Many people may think: I am not in Australia, the fire will not burn me, and it will not affect me. But the truth is’ according to NASA satellite images, the smoke from Australian mountain fires across New Zealand and a Pacific Ocean. In less than a week; it spread to South America 12,000 kilometers away; cloud formations larger than the continental United States

Across Australia, nearly 18 million acres of land have been burned and released nearly 350 million tons of carbon dioxide. No one can guarantee that these will not affect the global warming and the environment. “Wandering Earth” have predicted, “In the beginning, no one cared about this disaster, it was just a wildfire, a drought, the extinction of a species, the disappearance of a city. Until this disaster related to everyone …”


A problem no one is solving

It seems like we are all aware that plastic consumption is at all time highs. Even if you specifically or people we know aren’t doing much about it, for the most part we all know it is a problem. I feel badly when I use plastic but I do it anyway because it’s easy, cheap, accessible and overwhelmingly common. Plastic is everywhere in our grocery stores but as we know it is also everywhere on our planet including our oceans and shores. If our awareness is heightened by plastic water bottle and straw use why are we not banning it and other plastic products like many other states and countries have?

The Toronto Environmental Alliance reported that many cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland and Mexico City, states like Hawaii and North Carolina have banned plastic bags, along with, states in Australia and India have taken action on this problem from as early as 2007. They also said that “countries like Italy, China, Bangladesh, many countries in Africa including Rwanda, Kenya, the Congo, and South Africa” (tea 1) have banned plastic use all together. So what is stopping the entire United States from taking action? 

The first problem is that mass production is defined in our country and other larger countries. Big manufacturing businesses know that their products will stay preserved for a longer period of time if they are surrounded by plastic. Even buying your products without plastic like at a bulk food store or farmers market is more expensive because the only people selling it in that manner are small local business owners. If we were to ban plastic use it would target big businesses and possibly affect the economy in a negative manner. However considering how economically focused our country is this is a big reason why plastic is still around.

The second problem and possibly the bigger problem is that plastic is cheap. It can be produced quickly for a million different things and be extremely durable while being cost efficient. If you drop a glass container on the ground it’s going to shatter but if you drop plastic it might at most get a scratch. Businesses have noticed this and taken it to an extreme. In 2016 the Ellen McArthy foundation published research about plastic production, solutions and predictions for the future they included a very intriguing statistic that “the cost of … plastic packaging, plus the cost associated with greenhouse gas emissions from its production, is conservatively estimated at USD 40 billion annually — exceeding the plastic packaging industry’s profit pool” (Ellen McArthy 15) In summary the damage that plastic is doing to the environment is more costly than the money saved by using the product. Then reading into their sources I found another statistic that was written in 2014 projecting that “the market is estimated to reach US$ 370.2 Bn through 2020” (Transparency 1). Considering that we are now in 2020 imagine what that market is worth.

History repeats itself and unfortunately considering ours, our tendency is to put off issues until they have extreme visible effects. When we take out the trash we never see it again, or if we throw our water bottle out of the window on the highway it is of no concern to us anymore. Soon enough this cheap, durable “solution” is going to cause our country and quite frankly our world some big problems. Until our government and its people notice the environmental effects like predicted plastic islands in our ocean or outnumbered fish to bottles, we aren’t going to do anything. It’s cheap and it’s easier to keep doing what we are doing than to start everything from scratch.


A New Way to Deal with the Plastic Pollution Crisis

One of the biggest issues in today’s industrial world is that humans are creating more waste now than ever. An estimated 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year, while only 1% to 2% of it gets recycled. All of this waste in the ocean kills marine life and can release harmful chemicals into the water when the plastic decomposes over time. In this article, a young woman named Miranda Wang works to get rid of all this plastic by dissolving it with chemicals instead of attempting to recycle it or let it naturally decay. This solution will help slow down the increasing accumulation of debris in the ocean and save marine life in the process.

What prompted Wang to discover a solution to this problem was that she noticed the recycling procedures for plastic was extremely inefficient. Only 1 kind of the 5 most prevalent plastics can be recycled, and that is only if the plastic being recycled is completely clean. This means that any plastic with food, grease, or any other contaminant is immediately rejected by the recycling plants and is thrown out where it will take anywhere from 300 to 1,000 years to naturally decompose. The solution she came up with uses a liquid catalyst that transforms the plastics into its basic elements, which in themselves are not harmful for the environment. An obstacle to this problem is that the chemical prefers to breakdown any material on the plastic, such as food, before the plastic itself. When the chemical does breakdown the plastic the process is very slow, taking up to an hour to decompose 10 small pieces of plastic. Compared to any current solution, this one is the most promising and with more funding and exposure it can become a very useful way to fix the plastic pollution crisis.


Global Warming

Global warming is the warming of the atmosphere, mainly caused by the excess of CO_2.  This is caused by humans when we burn fuel or cause pollution. This raises the temperature of the oceans and causes the coral and fish to die.  A large portion of sea life relies on a consistent environment to live. This is a problem because the oceans are a major source of oxygen and the oxygen is made by the organisms that live in the ocean.

Many people don’t realize that the ocean provides 80% of the worlds oxygen. “Vehicles, power generation, building heating systems, and agricultural/waste incineration” are a major contributor to air pollution which impairs the oceans ability to be a habitat for all the organisms that live in it.  This means that when we pollute, we not only decrease the air quality, but we are also slowly stopping the oceans production of oxygen.

The amount of lives lost to air pollution exceeds over 4 million per year which could potentially increase as the air gets dirtier. The only way to clean the air is to pollute less and not get in the way of nature, which may be impossible, but it’s the only chance humans have to save the world.  A report published by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health claims that pollution “endangers the stability of the Earth’s support systems and threatens the continuing survival of human societies.”


Climate Change is Our Fault

Climate change and its impact on our environment has been a major topic in our society for a long time. Although some people might not believe in this issue, it certainly is a major problem that affects our current generation and will most definitely affect our future generations. Many scientists believe that climate change is mainly caused by human activity. The science behind the human contribution to modern global warming is quite obvious. “Humans emissions and activities have caused around 100% of the warming observed since 1950, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment report” (Carbonbrief, 2017). 

Scientists have attributed global climate change to the “greenhouse effect” which is primarily expanded by humans. Activity such as the burning of fossil fuels has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide which results in overall warmer temperatures, the melting of glaciers (increasing sea level) and affects the makeup of natural plant communities. According to the United Nations, there is “95% probability that human-produced greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have caused much of the observed increase in Earth’s temperatures over the past 50 years.” 

Since the majority of energy generated by greenhouse gasses is consumed by the oceans rather than by the atmosphere, changes in the level of ocean heat absorption may have a major impact on the surface temperature. Therefore, human’s actions and our influence on the expansion of the greenhouse effect have impacted the oceans temperature which therefore affects the overall surface temperature of the earth. Humans are responsible for this major problem and now we have to be held accountable for our actions and find a solution. 


Marine Protection

Many people think that marine protection has nothing to do with themselves, as if they don’t live close by the ocean, it only a news.

Pollution may be caused by ships; may be caused by offshore oil; may be caused by terrestrial factories. For example, the oil, after the oil enters the ocean, a large amount of dissolved oxygen in the ocean is absorbed by the oil. It covers the water surface, so that the ocean and the atmosphere Isolation, resulting in hypoxia in the ocean, leading to the death of marine life. The fish and shellfish live in the polluted ocean for a long time and accumulate certain harmful substances in their body. When they enter the market and are consumed by humans, they also threaten human health.

While on the beach, don’t forget to clean while enjoying. Throw personal garbage into the bin or take it with you; do not capture and harm marine animals without permission; do not touch coral reefs and other marine life while diving, do not touch or feed marine life without authorization; try to avoid buying marine life specimens and crafts.  Pay attention to marine clean-up public welfare activities and join the practice of public welfare clean-up.

Use less plastic bags when you are shopping; reduce the use of plastic products, and pay attention to plastic items recycling projects, resolutely resist the use of disposable plastic products, such as plastic bottles, plastic bags and plastic straws. Some environmentally friendly, recyclable alternative packaging products reduce the amount of plastic waste discharged into the ocean.


Ayo! Tuna Check!

Our air pollution can affect the seafood that we eat. The pollution from coal-powered plants causes poisons like mercury to enter the ocean and then contaminate fish, like tuna. With the decrease of coal-powered plants and the switch to more renewable energy, levels of mercury found in tuna have continued its decline. 

Nicholas Fisher tested the levels of methylmercury in 1,300 Western Atlantic bluefin tuna. He found that the levels of methylmercury in tuna were decreasing at a rate of 2 percent a year between 2004 and 2012. He accounts for the decline of mercury in tuna to the decline of mercury emissions from coal-powered plants. Coal power plants began to shut down in 2008 because of the recession and they have not re-opened or have switched to natural gas instead of fossil fuel.

Tuna gets the mercury into their bodies by eating other fish that get the mercury from the water. Fisher says that “fish acquire about 95 percent of mercury from their diet” (Fisher 2016). Mercury poisoning can come from other places like China and still affect tuna in Maine. Smaller fish that live in areas with high pollution can be eaten by fish that do not live there, meaning that stopping pollution locally cannot stop all contamination. Fisher writes in his article that there is no researched that has determined that “mercury levels have dropped [] in the smaller fish on which bluefin prey” (Fisher 2016). Although Fisher could not prove that the fish the tuna ate had reduced mercury found in them, he says that he can “only speculate that that is the case” (Fisher 2016).

In an article published by U.S Energy Information Administration, they wrote that the power plants that are being retired through 2020 are run by coal (Jell 2018). Coal power plants are being shut down because they are either too small to make a real difference or the state requires a renewable source of energy. If a coal plant is too small compared to the big production coal plants, then they will be shut down because it is too costly to maintain. States are requiring more renewable energy to be made so the old and inefficient plants are being shut down. Additionally, switching to natural gasses is cheaper and more efficient than to keep running the fossil fuel plants.

More coal-powered power plants are to be shut down in the future means that there will be a continued decline of mercury found in tuna. Fisher found that mercury levels went down in tuna were parallel to the decline of coal power plants. While coal power plants are still being run around the world, there would be a measurable difference in the mercury levels found in the tuna if Fisher’s test was run again. 


Global Warming Threats

Global warming is a huge problem going on in the world that I think often gets overlooked in everyone’s day to day lives. Global warming has been a rising threat that has been observed since the mid 20th century. The rise has been caused by the expansion of the greenhouse effect humans have affected which results in the atmosphere traps heat radiating from the Earth towards space. There are 4 main gases that humans use that contributes to global warming which include water (H2O), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2).

Global warming has come with many issues that can eventually threaten humanity if there is no effort to change and make the atmosphere clean again. Global warming has shifted weather patterns, threatens food levels, raising sea levels causing possible floods, and many more global impacts. The global temperature has risen 0.85 degrees celcius from 1880-2012. The sea level has also risen 19 cm from the melting ice in the same amount of time. The global temperatures have been rising since the industrial revolution which has lead to melting ice and more problems.

Obviously we are in need of a change to prevent this global issue from getting worse and to have a better future for us and the people who will come after us. There are plenty of ways to do your part in your home by making it more efficient but also you can help by speaking up and making more aware of the severity of this issue. Also a big way to help would be saving water and reducing your waste by using refillable water bottles.


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Does global warming cause cold weather?

Global warming has been a hot topic discussion for years now and people have regularly debated the effects it will have on the Earth. But if global warming heats up the earth, why is the east coast getting record-breaking low temperatures in October and California is burning? The answer lies within the high moving rivers in the sky called jet streams. According to National Weather Service, jet streams are “relatively narrow bands of strong wind in the upper levels of the atmosphere”. There are two main jet streams in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, but the Northen Pacific Jet Stream is the one to blame.

How does the jet stream across America affect the east coast? Well, the Pacific jet stream sits above the ocean and carries air and water up to the artic where it is pushed back down into the mid-west and east coast. This normal jet stream pattern does not normally affect the east coast, but as the global temperature rises, storms in the pacific are stronger and now are caught in the jet stream. These powerful storms are pushed back into the east coast causing intense cold weather. The polar vortex int the artic assists with this result too. The polar vortex is weakening because of the rapid decrease in temperature and “an unstable polar vortex can expand and send cold Arctic air into the jet stream, leading to frigid winter weather and storms southward”(National Geographic). 

The jet stream does not just affect the east but also the west, however, instead of freezing weather it is dry and hot weather. This dry and hot weather is causing the recent fires in parts of California. The storms that are supposed to be hitting the west coast, are now being carried by the jet stream into the north artic, and then blown back into the east coast and the mid-west. In an article by the Washington Post, high winds are created by high and low-pressure areas in the Great Basin. These pressure areas are made when the jet stream carries down the air from the artic. Now, these powerful winds are whirling through California, increasing the rate that fires burn and increasing the power of the fires. In combination with the dry wind and the high winds, the California fires have endless fuel and are nearly impossible to put out. 

Global warming does more than just heating up the earth. The increase in temperature means the increase of more extreme weather, even if it is cold weather. Hurricanes and Typhons are also increasing in intensity due to global temperature rise. Even though the east coast is freezing while the west coast is burning, global warming is to blame for these new patterns.


Problems caused by Plastics

In the article about plastics, I learned about how plastic does not just affect ocean life. It affects everything. Plastic pollution has a direct and deadly effect on wildlife and our climate. Scientists predict that there are about 15-51 trillion pieces of plastics in our oceans. ”Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences that make up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. At current rates plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050”. When we start to see this amount of plastic in our oceans, you start to see plastic islands in the middle of the ocean. Fish start to eat this plastic, confusing it for food and suffer from health problems. If the fish are lucky enough to survive with plastic in their stomachs, they will eventually be caught for food and humans eat the fish with plastic, funny how we start to eat what we throw away.

The primary reason why plastic was created was to replace glass because it would not break. Plastic was used to enhance storage and it could be used forever. But that is the reason why these plastics are so bad. With the mass production of single-use plastics and plastic in general. “Plastic is a material made to last forever, yet 33 percent of all plastic – water bottles, bags, and straws – are used just once and thrown away. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade; it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.” Eventually, animals will start to eat the plastic, thinking it was food, then we will hunt those animals and end up eating the plastic that they ate. 

Because plastic can not biodegrade, it ends up in our landfills and oceans. People use plastics regularly but usually, they keep rebuying the same product that they throw away. When these plastics get into our oceans it affects the whole ecosystem and affects our planet. These effects include polluting our oceans and beaches, animals dying from eating plastic, and the fossil fuels to make plastic are going up. To help solve this problem we need to limit our use of plastic, but plastic is everywhere. So take little steps, like not using a plastic straw one time then throwing it out. Or maybe try to limit the use of plastic bags when you go shopping, bring your own bags. There are a lot of alternatives to not use plastic you just need to commit to it. 


Plastic Pollution

In this day and age it is hard to imagine life without plastic, we see it everywhere for example straws, plastic bags, water bottles and the list can go on. Alexander parkes created the very first plastic which has been around since 1862. This creation was used heavily during World War One and World War Two, “by the 1950’s plastic had become its own.” (TruForm Plastics).  The 1950’s were ultimately called the “Age of Plastic.” Plastic ultimately changed the mechanics of everything in our daily lives, as far as the chemical makeup of paint! 

Humans are turning the ocean into landfill. “Plastic has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtles species, that mistake plastic for food. And when animals ingest plastic, it can cause life-threatening problems, including reduced fitness, nutrient uptake and feeding efficiency—all vital for survival.” (Ocean Conservancy). Our actions such as mindlessly throwing trash into the ocean, are killing the marine life that have made the ocean a wonderful place. Many of these sea creatures think this is food and eat it. It smells like food to them because it can get covered in algae. Plastic has not been around for too long but the effects it is already having on the planet who knows what our land and oceans will look like in 20 years. 

Some solutions are are using reusable bags, water bottles and to just try to avoid using plastic and try to find an alternative to these things. Another way to help is being more aware of our recycling and to do it correctly. There are other ways to get rid of plastic but that would take burnin it which could affect our air quality. 


PLASTIC PLANET

It is very discouraging to think how much plastics are now in the oceans due to human waste. In the Pacific Ocean there is a massive amount of plastic that has accumulated to what is now known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. National Geographic describes the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as not only being composed of large plastic items but also micro-plastics. These micro-plastics make the water look like a cloudy soup when in actuality they are micro-plastics that have detrimental effects on the marine life in the ocean. The reason the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is so large is because the majority of the single use items that billions of people use once then throw away end up in the ocean and get carried away by currents all leading to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 

Plastics in the ocean have a devastating effect on the marine life that calls the oceans their home. One of the most dangerous items is plastic bags to sea turtles. One of the sea turtles main sources of food is jellyfish. According to seeturtles.org many sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and eat the plastic bags. The sea turtles cannot digest the plastic bags and their stomachs get filled with plastic bags making their digestive systems blocked which leads to organ failure and eventual death. Hearing about the devastating effects that plastic bags have had on sea turtles has inspired me to use reusable bags and I am happy to say that my family has also begun to use reusable bags rather than plastic bags. 

Many people have been misinformed that once plastic items are placed in the blue bins that they are recycled and transformed into other useful items. Unfortunately this is not the case. In the past, China has taken our plastics and disposed of them in China creating other items. Starting January 1 of this year China has stopped taking our plastics leaving recycling companies with no where to dispose of the billions of plastic items. Many plastic companies are now taking our plastics and dumping them into landfills or shipping it to places like Vietnam where they get “recycled.” The plastics have a very rough journey from America to Vietnam and a lot of the plastic waste gets washed overboard in the rough seas. 

Although our oceans seem to be choking in plastics there is still hope. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation aims to clean up and recycle 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within five years. Places like San Francisco are starting to ban single use plastics. Millions of people are realizing that the issue of plastics isn’t going away and are speaking out and beginning to use reusable items such as metal straws, glass containers, metal water bottles, and canvas bags. The problem of plastics in the oceans won’t go away overnight and it is important to understand how small changes in individual lives create a message that many will follow. Hopefully one day there will be a large enough push for legislation across the world to make the oceans healthy for generations to come. 


Plastic in our Worlds Ocean

Over the last couple of years we have seen a massive growth is our oceans trash and specifically the plastic. The trash is affecting our oceans animals and putting there health in danger. “Plastic has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtles species, that mistake plastic for food.” And this doesn’t just affect the animals of the ocean. It is affecting everyone on the planet and everything we share our planet with. 

Studies show that over the next ten years, plastic companies will double. This just shows that our plastic problem is just going to get worse and worse if we don’t do anything about it right now. “Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate our marine environments.” It’s clear that there is a problem with the plastic in our oceans and there doesn’t need to be any more evidence to prove to the public. We need to make a stand.

We need to start showing the public this problem and making them aware of it. Then to start finding solutions for what we can start doing now to help the oceans and to start taking the trash out of our oceans, and keep it out. It’s our world that we need to take care of. The ocean affects everyone, and if we killed our ocean, it would have a massive effect on people all around the world. So take a stand and save our ocean.


“I am made of”



I was raised an onion dome surrounded by six towers,

The largest mosque in Yemen

I am made of a mosque with a fence arches,

 a big chandelier in the middle

With many lights in the night 

I am from a big house with many rooms   

windows with The sun shining,

 birds singing, red flowers in our yard 

With all of that noise from out

 motorcycle people cars sounds 

I am made of a moment

 that makes me feel proud of myself 

That I work hard to learn English and 

practice talking  my mother language which is Arabic

I am made of a favorite place at brooklyn

 with a beautiful clear blue ocean,

 sun going down with a soft wind

 makes u feel comfortable,

 with the song of the birds

Image: Mosque by illustir on 2007-08-30 11:38:52


Dear fellow oxygen-consuming Penguins

Dear fellow oxygen-consuming Penguins
You are feathery
You are a bird that can fly in water
You are noots that are drop-dead gorgeous
They say you’re adamantine ice will liquefy
They say the brobdingnagian ocean will rise 
and ingurgitate your terra firma
They say you will drown in the depths of the brobdingnagian ocean 
when there’s no terra firma to inhabit
Dear fellow oxygen-consuming Penguins
Don’t “noot noot” in fear
No one will continue to obliterate your terra firma
No one will perish to the ludicrous doings of anthropoids
We are going to aid you
We are going to save you
We are going to protect you

Photo by frankenstein (Pixabay)


My Life in La Troncal, Ecuador

I am made of yellow and orange house 
On a quiet street in La Troncal, Ecuador
Living with my grandmother, my sister, my brother, and my mom
listening to Sam Smith songs
My room is very big and colorful 
My dad always tells me, “Take care of yourself” 

I am made of together with my sister have a chicken sandwich for breakfast 
My father always says that when I leave school I call him 
I always wait for the 53rd  street train R to arrive 
the school where I study is very large and red 

I am made of dance class in Ecuador, 
Where they teach you to respect each other,
Where the teacher twirled and we watched,
Where I won a prize for my salsa dancing and other moves

I am made of my parents, my grandmothers, my brothers and my uncles
We always support each other despite all the problems we have
The distance between New York and Ecuador, 
Between me and my mother, my grandmothers,
We always tell ourselves that “te quiero mucho

I am made of a girl playing on the large rocks 
next to the blue ocean
A red and white Ferris Wheel 
and Roller Coaster behind the boardwalk
People standing on the soft beach,
children with their parents 

I am made of “Strive to learn the English language”
And “Do not be afraid of what people around you will say.”




Fighting For You

Dear Earth,

I’m sorry

I’m so so sorry

I’m sorry that we’re losing our chance for change

I’m sorry that no one cares enough do so something

I’m sorry that our islands are going underwater

I’m sorry that our coast is sinking

I’m sorry that our icecaps are melting

 I’m sorry that our trees are burning

Sorry that our animals are screaming in agony

Sorry that we refuse to listen to their pleas

Sorry that we’re putting the fate of humanity on our children’s shoulders

Sorry that the weight is too much

Sorry that our backs are going to break

Sorry that we’ve stripped your resources down

Sorry that we all seem to have given up

Sorry that we’ve not given this world even a chance to survive 

Sorry for doing everything… And then for refusing to do anything at all…

I’m sorry…

 But I shouldn’t have to be…

 We shouldn’t have to be,

Because we are not part of the tratorus, tree chopping, root ripping, smoke starting companies trying to turn your beautiful outstretched limbs of branches reaching for the sun, 

into the green pieces of paper we put into our pocket 

Because we are not the politicians putting money into restoring a church that burned down,

And not the rainforest burning to the ground as we speak, tearing down homes, trees and our hopes for a better future…

But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost,

 At least not yet

Because we’re not giving up 

At Least not without a fight

Humanity’s been in tough spots before

But we’ve found a way through it 

Because if you haven’t noticed, we’re resilient

We don’t give up

And we never back down from a fight

And right now, we’re fighting for you

And we’ve fought for so much just to be where we are now

So I know, 

We’re going to be okay…

We’re not going to win this war without losing some battles,

But we’ve already lost too many and I refuse to lose any more

And I refuse to believe that the Amazon could be come at least 60 percent dessert 

I refuse to believe that our ice caps are going to disappear

I refuse to believe that the ocean is  going to drown us

I refuse to believe that temperatures will rise so much they break out thermometers

I refuse to believe that there will be an excess of droughts

I refuse to believe that there will be more intense heat waves

I refuse to believe that there will be more devastating hurricanes

I refuse to believe, 

I refuse to believe, after you gave us a 1 in 1,000,000 chance to survive, 

 We did, 

And we might just throw that chance away

P.s.

If you don’t give up, then neither will we

-Meghan


What I am made of?

I was raised by the biggest Castel opposite my old windows. 

I am from Taiz, the sound of motorcycles in the neighborhood. 

I am a piece of Arab origin. 

I was raised by historical country.

I am from the sound of video games coming from my nephew’s room each morning,

The smell of bent al Sahn made with flour, butter, and honey.

I was raised by a dad’s advice who made my morning greater. 

I am from the best morning with beautiful sunshine. 

I was raised by five minutes wasting my free time writing.

I am made of ambition and pride, 

I am made of sharing my opinion,

I am made of sharing my culture, 

I am made of sharing my ideas. 

I was raised by living together 

With my brother’s family, and my parents. 

I am from a family that hang out together. 

I am made of “try to do something before going to college, like Youtuber, programs, sports teams…” 

I was raised by the Sunset over the Island

I am from a view of Manhattan in the West

I am made of Verrazano Bridge view in the East

I was raised by hearing the ocean waves, and birds 

I was raised by fishing and reading a book, for passing my time there

I am made of my brothers who are the most coming with me

I am made of my older siblings’ advice

I was raised by teaching me what I should have done to my life

I am made of learning from their stories that taught me a lot of advice

I am made of sharing my obstacles to the other as advice. 
What I am made of?


Climate change

Over the past few decades, there has been a noticeable change in Climate change. Although climate change is one of the main environmental issues worldwide, there is not a fix solution or explanation for it. So many factors play into it that it would be impossible to have a set solution.

Climate change is not an immediate threat to this current generation. But based on its trends, scientists have found that the future generation will suffer the most from it. It might not seem like a problem because this current generation does not experience its effects, but those trends will tremendously impact those future generations in the next few decades.

Those trends are caused by a lot of things we humans do. One specific example of this are greenhouse gases induced in the atmosphere by humans. Recycling, ocean wastes, and other minimal activities contribute to this mass phenomenon.

Climate change was not such a dominant issue in the previous years, but due to recent human activities we have seen trends that have helped scientists predict its impact. There are various ways to help lessen the effects of climate change, but just being involved in this campaign is a crucial step in order to accomplish this goal of leaving our future generations in safe era.


Me and My Shadow Box

        The objects of my shadow box represent who the true me is. My chosen identity and my counter narratives define myself from the dominant narrative that some people have. My assigned identity doesn’t let me do what men do because of being female and with this sometimes I feel blue and I try to get the blue out by making drawing. But I can’t because blue is my favorite color and for me it represents the sky and the ocean. I have always wished to be a hummingbird or a turtle after I die because they are free with no rules or asked from what Race they are or where they come from. But, for now, I need to enjoy my life and I enjoy it by making bracelets/jewelry even though I have the blue problem. I’m worried for another problem like immigration because my parents are Mexican but I’m not. I respect where they come from because they are solid working people that don’t want to cross the wall. They need to be in the U.S but some people with dominant narrative don’t let them be free with their chosen identity. This shadow box shows who I am in my true words and objects not as dominant narrative. People say negative comments that are not true so this is my shadow box to fight against them and some quotes I hope you love. 


The Mask under the Mask

In experiments with children, when an adult removes a mask to reveal her face, this is the source of giggling delight. If the mask is removed to reveal another mask, the response is abject terror, a kind of understanding that the foundations of our shared reality are uncertain, and as a result nothing can be truly known. But how often are we unmasked only to reveal another mask? 

Under the mask of alcoholism there were many other masks that my husband wore. I felt that feeling of helplessness that the children in the experiment felt. I would unmask him, but he refused to admit that he had been unmasked, and pointed to the other masks as a way to deny that there was something covering him in the first place. This was the source of much of my psychological distress. Not only did I have to contend with the fact that he was drunk, but that he would not admit to the obvious even when (or perhaps especially if) I pointed it out, and then would fight back, throwing at me all his other disguises (which I knew were disguises, and it incurred his wrath when I pointed out that this was all part of his strategy of obfuscation). When I pulled off the mask (“you’re clearly intoxicated, and I know because you are demonstrating these behaviors, and if you don’t leave my sight this instant I know I’m going to lose control of my anger”), he insisted that there was no mask, and that I’m interrupting him (another mask underneath).  

I know when my husband is intoxicated. I’m like a dog: I can smell it. If not literally, then I see it in his movements, in his gait and carriage, how he speaks. He often tried to mask his slurring speech with baby-talk, because it was easier to mask drunkenness when he didn’t speak in his normal adult voice. This made our shared language a poison, a place of duplicitousness, trickery, and shame. I did not want to stop responding to the language of our intimacy, but I had to because it was a ploy he was using to mask the bad behavior. By engaging it, I was enabling it, verifying that the mask was working, and that it was ok for him to continue to coopt what we shared in our intimacy, in our soft places, so that he could get away with his anti-social behavior. And when I called him out on this, he found a way of making it my fault. I interrupt him when he speaks, I’m not praising him enough when he empties the dishwasher, I don’t call him back fast enough, I don’t care about how he feels.  

Yesterday I understood the meaning of co-dependent. My husband was manipulating me to be an accessory to his own self-destruction. Because he knows exactly what buttons to push (wearing a mask under the mask), he can manipulate me into a state of rage, that then I take out on him. As a person who believes he should be punished for every misstep he has ever taken in his life, I become a very useful tool in that dynamic. But of course, I was also smart enough to figure out what was going on, even if it took me 10 years. 

Last night I told him that he was using me as an accessory to his self-destruction, and I think he heard me. I may have finally unmasked him. I told him about the other masks that are under this mask. He knew them all, and told me that of course he did all those things because he was trying to avoid responsibility, to avoid looking in the mirror. If it was my fault, then it didn’t have to be his fault. But of course, all of this means that the problem gets subsumed by an ocean of emotional distress and doesn’t get resolved. Now that he finally took off the mask under the mask, we can depart together from our sense of shared reality. 

The process of recovery is like a spiral stair. The re-emergence of the masks is part of the cyclical vector of movement that is time cutting across space. A winding up and a winding down, a screw driving. But whenever we re-visit the same place, there is always something new. We are new in each moment. To scale a spiral stair requires a persistent turning, and in turning a new kind of looking, a kind of periscope that becomes part of our movement in the world. Time is a spiral and a vector. It moves forward but doubles back on itself, connecting points across space and time. It reminds me of something my choir director used to say to us in college: don’t hold the note, spin the note. There is something dynamic in this spinning, this circular motion. The spiral stair is the grand pirouette of our lives. But how well do we hold our balance as we turn, turn, turn? 

A spiral is a line that exploded into another dimension. Although our lives may seem linear, I prefer to think of them as seasonal, and the seasons will always cycle back, eventually, to something we once knew. Whether through sorrow or joy, when we cycle back we are different, and we are the same. A human life is a story that exploded into experience. Recovery can feel like circling the drain, but really it’s a propulsion whose direction we feel and intuit rather than see. The patterns repeat in new iterations, each new iteration a chance to tweak the script, to identify the props and costumes, and realize, in the end, there was never any need to perform. 


Single-use Plastic

Dear Youth Voices,

We should use less plastic, ban single-use plastic, and start managing our waste. Single-use plastic should be banned because of all the pollution and animals that are getting hurt. Plastic is dangerous for our climate change we need to help out our planet earth.

Supposedly plastic was invented so that it could make our lives better, but it’s actually not, it’s actually making it worse. Not only that but the amount of plastic that is being used is a whole lot. In my opinion I think yes, plastic was invented to make our lives better but at the same time worse because of what is happening now. Have you seen our oceans?, they are full of plastic everywhere. Animals are eating those pieces of plastic that we liter and throw away because they confuse it by there actual food, after that, they end up dying because they can’t handle all those plastic waste in there bodies. Like how Laura Anastasia says “ It affects not just the animals but the animals that eat those animals.” (Anastasia 3)

Bans of different kinds of single-use plastics? I think yes different kinds of single-use plastic should get banned. Is plastic the only material that can make a straw flexible? We should try other types of things. I doubt that single-use plastic may be an allowable necessity. “Single-use plastics are a major source of pollution.” (Harvey 3)

Plastic pollution and how to reduce the ocean’s plastic pollution. I say that we should use the 7 ways that Brain Hutchinson gives us to reduce ocean plastic pollution nowadays. One of the reasons why is because plastic pollution is causing problems and it is not going away. “When you use single-use plastics that can be recycled, always be sure to recycle them.” (Hutchinson 2)

Littering, and dumping trash/plastic everywhere, all leads it to the ocean and causes pollution. This is not okay, it is not okay for our society and planet earth to be full of plastic and liters everywhere we go. It is basically a cycle on how it becomes a daily thing with people littering stuff and not cleaning after themselves. The wind can blow our plastic down the streams, rivers and other bodies of water. Those rivers and streams can carry the trash to the ocean. “The bottom line is, marine debris comes from us. Humans are the source, and every single person has the power- and the responsibility- to prevent it.” (Mann 1:43/2:02)

Plastic and how they are broken down into little pieces and animals eat it. Animals eat the plastic confusing it by there actual food because the plastic that has been in the ocean for weeks and/or months get covered up in algae. This is true because I’ve seen it with my own eyes how tiny pieces of plastic are floating in the world’s oceans. This needs to stop, it  has to this is not okay the animals are dying and are being strangled by plastic. The high-density plastics we use to make consumables (think water bottles, straws, and Frappuccino cups) are broken down by sun, waves, and curious critters until what’s left is less like garbage rafts and more like tiny bits of confetti, floating in the soup. (Hanson 01:11/04:43)

Although I understand that all this plastic is recyclable, in some situations it is dangerous and useless. In conclusion I believe that single-use plastic should be banned because not only is it hurting the sea animals but us as humans too.

Sincerely,

Yeira Nevarez


A Solution to the Plastic Problem `

Dear Readers on Youth Voices,

If you are unaware of the plastic pollution that is occurring in our modern day society, then the problem that is currently occurring is that we, worldwide as human beings, are producing a large amount of plastic which is harming our environment. Not only is just plastic, in general, harming our environment, but single-use plastic, which is the plastic we discard after a one time use. What solutions to this problem will reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste that enters the ocean? Well, there are many ways to solve this problem such as placing bans on single-use plastic specifically, adding extra taxes to single-use plastic, and many other solutions that are meant to reduce plastic. Based on this, federal and local governments should not ban single-use plastic, unless it is highly enforced, instead the better solution is to enforce the use of better alternatives to plastic than some that harm the environment like paper bags and add additional charges on purchases of single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, plastic bottles, and more, excluding some that are beneficial.

There are many reasons as to why plastic should not be banned, but the main reason is that it will not work. It will not work because unless the ban is heavily enforced, people will just ignore it. For example, in Kenya, there was a bag ban that was passed and according to a website about the topic, it stated that “Once it took effect, the ban prompted the creation of ‘bag cartels’ that smuggled illegal plastic bags from neighboring Uganda and Tanzania” (Parker 1). Not only does that show that bans need to be enforced in order to work, but it shows that there are ways around the bans that allow people to still get access to plastic bags. There is another big reason as to why bans won’t work that well.

In addition, another reason that the outright banning of all plastic won’t work is that “This material is a huge part of our lives; it’s in everything from electronics and food packaging to medical devices and airplanes” (Anastasia 1). Although for some parts of life, single-use plastic is not needed, it is highly important in certain aspects in our lives because it is many necessary items that are needed and don’t yet have a better alternative, unlike the unnecessary plastic items that do. This incorporates to why some solutions won’t work because it plastic is used in many parts of our lives, so banning it could cause plastic that is used for important reasons to be prohibited, so it will take time to adjust back due to the importance that some plastic had. Yet, this brings up the topic of how beneficial single-use plastic can be and why additional charges should not be put upon it.

Why should there not be additional charges on purchases of some beneficial single-use plastics? In terms of single-use plastic, there are actually many of them that are extremely beneficial in our lives. Some single-use plastic has a high significance in certain aspects such as for medical or scientific purposes. For example, “Having a blood test requires gloves made from plastic, a plastic syringe, and a plastic vial-all of which are single-use contamination and infection” (Harvey 2). This is important because these are some benefits that have significance in saving the lives of others or conducting research and more. So, the plastics that assist such as gloves, plastic syringes, and more should not be banned or have charges placed upon it based on the importance it has.

Although plastic pollution is a problem, single-use plastic like plastic bags actually uses fewer resources to be made. Apparently, more resources are needed to make alternatives such as bags made of cotton, paper, or other materials that require more resources than plastic bags. According to the World Resources Institute, it states that “An organic cotton bag must be reused 20,000 times to produce less of an environmental impact than a single-use plastic bag. That would be like using a cotton bag every day for nearly 55 years” (Stanislaus 1). This means that some of the alternatives to plastic bags can cause environmental problems which means that much better alternatives that don’t cause harm should be promoted.

The alternatives that are not paper bags or alternatives that harm the environment in any way should be excluded from additional charges being placed on purchases of it. Researchers are attempting to discover other alternatives to single-use plastic that will not be harmful to our environment. For example, a group of students was able to create machines that helped turn lobster shells into a form of biodegradable plastic. According to the video which had details about this discovery, the co-founder of the company, The Shellworks, Andrew Edwards stated that, “We found this biopolymer inside crustacean shells called chitin that you can treat in a certain way to extract and actually make bioplastic of those shells” (Insider 00:01:18 – 00:04:33). This is important to know because this method not only recycles the lobster shells that are discarded, but the shells can be used to solve an actual problem and provide us with biodegradable plastic which could eventually minimize the harm done on the environment. With these alternatives and better ones that might soon be discovered, the environmental impacts of plastic bags and its other harmful alternatives can be reduced.

Overall, single-use plastic, that isn’t beneficial in terms of research, saving lives, and more should have additional charges placed on purchases along with encouraging the use of better alternatives. Single-use plastic doesn’t necessarily have to be banned in order to reduce the plastic pollution, instead, the use of alternatives should be encouraged, so that people will use the alternatives more than regular single-use plastic. Placing additional charges on purchases of single-use plastic is a possible solution to the plastic problem because it will not be completely taken away from people’s lives. This means that plastic purchases can slowly be reduced when better alternatives are promoted without the additional charges placed on its purchases.

Sincerely,

A student from Gompers Preparatory Academy,

Zania V.



Works Cited

Anastasia, Laura. “Now Plastic Is Trashing The Planet”. Upfront Magazine, 2019, pp. Pages 1-3, Accessed 13 June 2019.

Business Insider. How Lobster Shells Could Replace Single-Use Plastic. 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBSzxQLQSpI&app=desktop. Accessed 13 June 2019.

Harvey, Paul. “Sometimes We Really Need Single-Use Plastics”. Oceans Deeply, 2018, https://www.newsdeeply.com/oceans/community/2018/07/06/sometimes-we-really-need-single-use-plastics. Accessed 13 June 2019.

Parker, Laura. “Plastic Bag Bans Are Spreading. But Are They Truly Effective?” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 17 Apr. 2019, www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/plastic-bag-bans-kenya-to-us-reduce-pollution/.

Stanislaus, Mathy. “Banning Straws and Bags Won’t Solve Our Plastic Problem.” Banning Straws and Bags Won’t Solve Our Plastic Problem | World Resources Institute, Publishers of World Resources Institute, 16 Aug. 2018, www.wri.org/blog/2018/08/banning-straws-and-bags-wont-solve-our-plastic-problem.


Single-use Plastic

Dear Youth Voices,

Plastic Pollution is a serious topic that should be focused on. Many times, the plastic is polluting the Ocean. There are many ways to fight it like recycling, reusing plastic, and not using single-use plastics. What I believe should be done is reducing the amount of single-use plastics made and used.

The first thing we can do is “refusing to any single-use plastics that we don’t need” (Hutchinson 2). There are a lot of single-use plastics that we don’t need. This includes, water bottles, plastic bags, food wrapping like sandwich bags, bubble wrap for packaging, wrapping, and utensils plus dishes like forks, spoons, knives, and cups. All these have alternatives or “alternative versions of those products” (Hutchinson 2). You can easily use a reusable water bottle like a hydroflask or something along the lines like that. You can use reusable grocery bags, paper bags, old newspaper or foam, and metal utensils and reusable cups.  In 2015 alone, 448 million tons of plastic were produced around the world (Anastasia 1). By using alternatives, we’re already reducing the amount of single-use plastic being thrown out.

My second reason is “Americans use roughly 100 billion plastic bags per year. Plastic bags can take 400 to 1000 years to decompose. But their chemical residues remain for years after” (oneworldoneocean.com). The reason I chose this is, plastic bags are single-use plastics and can harm marine animals when they eat it thinking it’s food. Over half of the 120 marine species have been found entangled in or ingesting plastic (oneworldoneocean). This plastic literally takes forever to decompose and its still around after the animals eat and die from it. A lot of times, us humans eat the sea animals and there could be microplastics in them. This happens because we don’t recycle a lot of our plastic. Another alternative to plastic is cardboard, as is it recyclable as well, and the best part is, it’s biodegradable! (4Ocean.com)

Now you might be wondering, is all single-use plastic harmful? Well the answer is no. There are a lot of helpful and useful single-use plastics. These can be found in labs and hospitals in things like gloves, syringes, vials, pipettes and sample bags – these are all single-use to control contamination and infection (Harvey 2). We wouldn’t want to re-use something that has been contaminated. It’s important to be careful and safe in these types of places where there is chemicals and sickness. Single-use plastic is used in domestic food aid, emergency responses, and international aid efforts these all need food and water that doesn’t need to be refrigerated and can all be distributed when and where it’s needed (Harvey 2).

In conclusion, I believe that the amount of unnecessary single-use plastics should be reduced.  This can be done by using alternatives and recycling. By doing this, I hope we can secure a cleaner ocean and a better future.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Solis

Works Cited

Anastasia, Laura. “How Plastic Is Trashing The Planet”. The New York Times, 2019, pp. 15-17, https://upfront.scholastic.com/issues/2018-19/010719/how-plastic-is-trashing-the-planet.html#1030L. Accessed 13 June 2019.

Harvey, Paul. “Sometimes We Really Need Single-Use Plastics”. Oceans Deeply, 2018, https://www.newsdeeply.com/oceans/community/2018/07/06/sometimes-we-really-need-single-use-plastics. Accessed 13 June 2019.

Hutchinson, Brian. “7 Ways To Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution Today”. Oceanicsociety.Org, https://www.oceanicsociety.org/blog/1720/7-ways-to-reduce-ocean-plastic-pollution-today?gclid=Cj0KCQjwt_nmBRD0ARIsAJYs6o2I-yUUjMIcWXCXDjmIhdjb0-AfrgQ_QyL-F2jhXG2eZt6lK1sZrLgaAnhmEALw_wcB. Accessed 13 June 2019.

oneworldoneocean.com. Plastics Breakdown. http://www.oneworldoneocean.com/images/blog/OWOO_PlasticsInfographic_2012_b.jpg. Accessed 13 June 2019.

Team, 4Ocean. “15 Ways To Reduce Your Plastic Use – 4Ocean”. 4Ocean, 2019, https://4ocean.com/blogs/blog/15-ways-to-reduce-your-plastic-use-4ocean. Accessed 13 June 2019.


Plastic Around The World

Did you know plastic has been around for more than 50 years? Also, did you know that plastic never leaves the planet? Yup, you read right! Plastic never leaves because it never actually gets destroyed. Individuals tried to get rid of it but it’s way too much plastic in the ocean as well as on the surface as a consequence we look around and we see plastic or trash. A big amount of the plastic made till this day is single used. We should stop buying single-use plastic, like single-use water bottles to water bottle caps; we should buy things like reusable water bottles along with reusable bags. Plastic is not good for the environment.  

Plastic is useful in a few cases such as airbags, helmets, hair product containers, phone cases, cups to go from fast food restaurants, gloves, straws, forks, spoons, toys, water bottles, grocery bags. Greater things or objects that I have just listed are single used products. Single-use products are usually not necessary but the needs that someone or some people need it but not everyone needs a bendable plastic straw. People are getting lazier by the minute at a maximum of us. People most only buy plastic utensils including plates so they wouldn’t have to wash after each plate they use plus it’s cheap. Part of the people that chooses plastic are people say they can’t afford the reusable things but you save more on reusable things you waste money every time you buy a new pack of plastic water packets.

Did you know 448 million tons of plastic produced globally in 2015?  Plastic made by humans was made in the 1900’s such as plates, utensils, and cups. About 700 sea creatures from zooplankton, seals, sea lions, seabirds, fish, whales, and dolphins have been affected but the plastic in the ocean. Between 4 and 12 million metric tons of plastic goes into the ocean each year. In 2017 (all over the nation) only 9% was being recycled. Some plastic is hidden in products they are called microbeads or scientifically it’s called polyethylene.

Plastic is dangerous for us and for other sea creatures. The fish and other sea creatures eat plastic and they are in the food chain so that means most of the plastic ends up in our stomachs. By 2050 it’s estimated that we’ll have created 13 billion tons of plastic waste. Lots of animals are being harmed by plastic by getting stuck in plastic and just by thinking they get full of them eating plastic. Plastic is creating pollution such as people trying ways to get rid of it. I personally think we should get rid of the single-use plastic but if it’s reusable we should be able to reuse it.

Work cited

Anastasia, Laura. “How Plastic Is Trashing The Planet”. How Plastic Is Trashing The Planet,

2019, p. 4, Accessed 13 June 2019.

“How We Can Keep Plastics Out Of Our Ocean | National Geographic”. National Geographic, 2019.

Hutchinson, Brian. “7 Ways To Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution Today”. Oceanicsociety.Org, 2019, https://www.oceanicsociety.org/blog/1720/7-ways-to-reduce-ocean-plastic-pollution-today. Accessed 2017.

Our Changing Climate. image. 2018. Accessed 3 Aug 2018.

“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Not What You Think It Is | The Swim”. 2018.


We should ban Unnecessary Single-use Plastic

Dear Fellow Teens,

As a country, we should ban or reduce unnecessary single-use plastics like water bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers and much more. Instead, we should replace plastic with alternatives for these products such as cardboard and glass.

Plastic may not be the greatest creation to mankind, yes it may benefit us but not the planet. In the near 1940 plastic production began to rise due to the world war II. Many civilians thought plastic as a new easy way to live when they start advertising for utensils, cups, and plates, all made out of plastic. They advertise these products as disposable which made people fancy them much more(Anastasia 15). Though many were happy about the new invention, the planet not so well. After several years, later plastic started to pile up in landfills, oceans, and even in animal’s stomachs. Many debates if we should ban all single-use plastic or ban a few single plastics we really need the most.

Banning single-use plastic is great for the environment and ourselves but there are occupations that need certain types of single-use plastics to help save lives. Medicine really determined on single-use plastic to control infections and also to research new diseases. There aren’t many alternatives for the medicine to use, using an alternative such as glass may be limited and may cost more to handle the equipment. Not only medicine need single-use plastics but scientist as well. Scientists help us and many other problems that are happening. Using these single-use products can help stop cross contamination.

Many people would ban all single-use plastics due to the majority going to the ocean and contaminating marine life. Majority of which is 40% of it goes to the ocean (Anastasia pg1). Many people are now making a move to reduce their usage of single-use plastic like not asking a straw or start to use biodegradable alternatives. Which is good because it’ll make a huge impact on the planet, little by little, but there’s one problem, water bottles. Water bottles or any plastic container that store a liquid is very harmful. We buy these products and they’re consumed a few minutes after we grab them. These plastic containers, later on, find their way to a landfill or the ocean.

I believe we should use single plastics that’ll help us (medical-wise). Banning all single-use plastics is very good to get a step closer to saving the planet but there are occupations that save lives by using single-use plastic. I like the idea of banning certain types of plastic according to the experts of this article, “What Plastic Item Would You Love To Ban? 15 Ocean Experts (And TED Speakers) Tell Us.” by Silva Cynthia, These experts know which plastic harms the environment more and surprisingly the most requested plastic to be ban is Microbeads. We can also help out by reducing our usage of plastic like not buying water bottles or plastic bags and we can educate others as well (Hutchinson pg 1-2).

In conclusion, I believe we can use single plastics for occupations that rely on it and should ban single-use products to the public like unnecessary wrappers for some food items or bottles that’ll be consumed in a mere of seconds. We can help by reducing our usage and volunteer to cleanups and educate others how much plastic will make a huge negative impact (Hutchinson pg3).

Sincerely,

A teen from California

Work Cited

Anastasia, Laura. “How Plastic Is Trashing The Planet”. Upfront, 2019, pp. 14-17, Accessed 13 June 2019.

Harvey, Paul. “Sometimes We Really Need Single-Use Plastics.” Oceans, News Deeply, 6 July 2018,www.newsdeeply.com/oceans/community/2018/07/06/sometimes-we-really-need-single-use-plastics. Accessed 13 June 2019

Hutchinson, Brian. “7 Ways To Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution Today”. Oceanicsociety.Org, 2019,https://www.oceanicsociety.org/blog/1720/7-ways-to-reduce-ocean-plastic-pollution-today. Accessed 13 June 2019.

One World One Ocean. Plastic Breakdown. 2019, http://www.oneworldoneocean.com/blog/entry/plastics-breakdown-an-infographic. Accessed 13 June 2019.

Silva, Cynthia. “What Plastic Item Would You Love To Ban? 15 Ocean Experts (And TED Speakers) Tell Us.”. TED-Ed Blog, 2019, https://blog.ed.ted.com/2018/07/25/what-plastic-item-would-you-love-to-ban-15-ocean-experts-and-ted-speakers-tell-us/. Accessed 13 June 2019.


Does life go by fast or slow, depending on what you’re occupied by?

In the first four lines of the first stanza of the poem “As I Walked Out One Evening,” W. H. Auden introduces the poem by repeating its title and goes on to use a metaphor that rhymes which can spark a lot of different ideas for a lot of people. For me, I thought the stanza meant that a once-crowded block is now an empty, quiet field.

 As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.

It seems though that one of my classmates, Oliver thinks differently,  he writes, “I disagree with your thought that the streets are empty because if the place is filled with wheat, people could be described as that wheat that the place is full of.”

A question about life that this poem brought up for me is “Does life go by fast or slow, depending on what you’re occupied by?” This poem answers that question for me by saying how, even with the “flower of the ages, And the first love of the world,” you should not let time deceive you because you can’t conquer it. Yes, time does go by faster when you’re having fun it’s just that W.H Auden put more exaggeration for effect in his poem. I feel that between lines 15-22 W.H Auden puts us through two perspectives of two different people. One that says how and why the years shall run like rabbits, and the other correcting what the first one said. An idea of mine that this poem has been encouraged but not taken advantage of is, How to live your life to the fullest?

My first impression of this poem was confusion.  The poem interested me, yet, at the same time, threw me off  and made me hesitant on thinking of a story for the poem to better understand it .  A line that especially confuses me is,

 In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.

But what makes me hesitant comes up when I read these lines:

The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.
‘Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
And Jill goes down on her back.

Perhaps because I am completely confused about what the poet is talking about and I cannot relate any parts of it to the line I used that confused me. Since I usually make an understandable story out of the poet’s words so it makes more sense to me, these lines make me hesitant on whether my story is going to be accurate or not to what the poet is trying to say.

What I know about the situation – what’s happening in the poem – is that a man is going on a walk one evening, and as he’s walking he sees things in real time and remembers things from the past. What I know about the speaker is that they are the kind of person who likes to build up to something just to break it down and start talking about something else. This is suggested by the stanzas:

 'In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.

'Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
And the diver's brilliant bow

The speaker seems to be speaking to the reader, and no one else, there are certain parts in the poem where he may be talking to himself, but these two stanzas the poet is speaking to us the readers.  I say this because it is like he’s telling us an experience he had in the first stanza, and then giving us warnings in the second. The poem doesn’t seem to spring from a particular historical moment.  The poem revolves around several themes, including love and time.

If this poem were a question, the answer would be “Only time can tell”.  If it were an answer, the question would be “Is time a gift or a curse?”  The title suggests the question.    

The poem’s form is a rhyme.  This form is a vehicle for the content of the poem.  If the poem were a pastoral, it would not guide me toward an understanding of the poem’s meaning.  The way the poem rhymes is not random and is coordinated, where some rhymes even help increase emotion to the poem.

All poems have poetic turns; a rhetorical shift or dramatic change in thought and/or emotion. The turn my poem has; though it can be an ironic turn in some parts of the poem, the poem altogether seems like a dolphin turn. A dolphin turn is like a leap from one level of understanding or questioning, to being in the presence of the mystery of the universe.

I chose the poems poetic turn to be a dolphin turn because of its gentle shifting from two lovers to the inevitability of time that goes on throughout the topic.

And down by the brimming river
  I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
  'Love has no ending.
'The years shall run like rabbits,
  For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
  And the first love of the world.'
But all the clocks in the city
  Began to whirr and chime:
'O let not Time deceive you,
  You cannot conquer Time.

To me, these stanzas show that it goes from an innocent love story later to a story about time destroying everything. I consider this a leap from one level of understanding to being in the “presence of the mystery of the universe.” As it goes from something cute and normal to something terrible and sad. In this poem the poet answers the question is time a gift or a curse by talking about how time has benefitted him but has also made him suffer. A few lines that prove this are,

 'I'll love you till the ocean
  Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
  Like geese about the sky. 'Into many a green valley
  Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
  And the diver's brilliant bow.

These lines are exaggerated greatly by Auden but just show even more the answer to the question. Of course, you can’t fold the ocean and hang it up to dry, that just shows how strong his love is. Then goes on to say how no matter how strong or great, time will rid of it sooner or later, implied when Auden said: “Time breaks the threaded dances And the diver’s brilliant bow.”




Activism Project Reflection

The overall goal of our project is to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the ocean and its devastating effects. Our project was not successful as we only gained 9 followers as well as 59 viewers. Most of our viewers are from the United States.

Our project had the potential of being more popular. However a few things possibly held it back. For starters, we could have made more interesting topics. Our first blog post which discussed effects of plastic was not very new as it is very likely that a bunch of other people already discussed it. We only had 2 viewers for that blog post. The blog post was actually made in February. We could have had more unique and interesting topics that not a lot of people have talked about. We could have used the “reader” option on WordPress to see what other people were saying about plastic to know if our ideas were original.  We could also focus on making better memes. Not more memes, but more creative and thought out memes. Memes usually get one like. They definitely aren’t the most popular. But the point is that memes could garner more views if they are more creative while factual.

We don’t have many viewers. Most of them are from the U.S. There is the possibility of better memes. We could have made more interesting and creative memes. More creative and interesting memes can gather more attention to our blog while also promoting our cause at the same time. However that doesn’t mean more memes, that just means more memes with more thought and creativity put into them.


The Rights of Human Beings: Brooklyn Public Library Convocation Speech

GOOD MORNING EVERYBODY

I would like to say thank you to all of you in attendance today.  I want to acknowledge the other scholars here today; the teachers and administrators, community members, Brooklyn Library staff and programs. I especially want to thank my principal for allowing us to participate in the Brooklyn Connection Program.

Our project is “The Civil Rights Movement in Brooklyn”, a quilt that outlines the grassroots movement in Brooklyn, New York.  In our Race & Social Justice class, we learned about and researched the Civil Rights Movement – both nationally and locally. With the assistance of the Brooklyn Connections Program, we researched and found out the significance of “Grassroots Movements”. Grassroots Movements are a type of movement or campaign that attempts to mobilize individuals to take some action to influence an outcome, often of a political nature seeking to make a change, both socially and politically.  Our research led us to investigate how effective the local Civil Rights Movement was, as well as, how effective any new campaigns should be.

We learned about a book entitled Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson.  A book about a young slave girl who used quilting to guide slaves during the Underground Railroad.  We learned that quilts were used to tell a story – family histories, marriages, birth, and deaths. After learning about quilting and being inspired by famous African-American quilters like Harriet Powers, our class decided that for our project, we should make a quilt of the Civil Rights events and protests that occurred in Brooklyn. Our class researched and collected historical information from the archives and the internet to bring this vision to fruition; Events such as the protests against Ebinger’s Bakery, Operation Cleansweep at Borough Hall, The Bibuld Family’s struggle to integrate schools.  In addition, we learned about the Brooklyn Schools boycott including the Ocean Hill-Brownsville teachers’ strike and the Employment discrimination at SUNY Downstate. We looked through newspaper archives dating back to the 1950s and 1960s, looked at ephemera, and other historical documents that gave us a general idea about what happened in these events. Ms.Julia, our Brooklyn Connections Educator, was a great help to us. She came into our class and taught us about research strategies and helped us with everything that we did; she gave us plenty of resources and materials that guided us through our quilting journey.

As I reflect on this experience, we learned new facts and dispel many myths, for example, Claudette Colvin, a teenage girl who refused to get up from her seat on the bus was arrested prior to Rosa Parks but was excluded from history because she was pregnant out of wedlock and would not be a good representation of the movement. Also, Bayard Rustin, an LGBTQ community member who was very instrumental in coordinating the March on Washington but yet we never heard of him. Its as if he was wiped out of history because he was openly gay. Before this class, we only focused on the mainstream historical narrative of African-Americans’ history and struggle in this country.  The Civil Rights Movement was watered down to Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech during the March on Washington, DC. Society would have us thinking that King’s dream was fulfilled but our research showed up that it hasn’t been. As far as Education, We are experiencing the same issues today in 2019 – segregation, unequal facilities, and resources, not to mention unfair disciplinary practices. The dream has not been achieved. But What happens to a dream deferred? Do we get a new dream? Do we forget about it? Or do we use our education and our voice to initiate another grassroots movement but this time maybe we should focus not on “Civil” rights for Black people but on the Rights of Human Beings?

Thank you


Plastic Ocean Summary

Hello I am Matthew from the plasticintheocean blog. Over the course of our project, we tried to raise as much awareness as we could about the harm Plastic causes when it is carelessly released into the ocean. Plastic not only hurts the natural environment such as fish and turtles, but it also affects humans. We are trying to tell people about what they can do to limit their use of plastic and help reduce the amount of plastic they consume on a daily basis.

   Overall our blog has been minimally successful because it only have 59 views and 25 visitors which mostly consist of Shantanu. The successful part of our blog is the fact that we have five other followers besides us and Shantanu. We also have views in 4 other countries including Brazil, China, Australia, and Canada. We do have the ability to say that we are now an international group.

One of the most successful parts of our project was our information posts. We have several informative posts which contain most of our views. Our most viewed post has five view which was from an informative post on the effects of plastic in the ocean, one of our first blog posts. Several of our other informative post have over two views which likely means we received view from outside views.

Another crucial part of our blog and project was our large amount of blog posts which didn’t receive as much attention as the informative post, but since there were several, they did bring in lots of views. The memes were also the main thing we posted on our social media account as far as instagram.

A final component of our project was the petition we were required to create. This was by far the most unsuccessful part of the project because we only had one signer in total which was us. Basically not a single person considered on petition on limiting the use of PET in water bottles.

The blog we created was the most successful part of the project as part as popularity. We had over 50 views as well as reached 5 countries. If we had to do our project over again I would probably do the same thing but maybe choose a different petitions which appeals more to more people.

plasticintheocean.video.blog


Global Warming

There are lots of logical reasons that disprove global warming. Conserve Energy Future says, “Scientists who argue against global warming say global warming isn’t real because since the 90s there hasn’t been a significant temperature change since 1960. The upswing in the temperature started from 1975, continued till 1997 and the temperature has been flat since then which clearly states that there isn’t any significant change in temperature in last 17 years.” This text suggests that just because temperature hasn’t significantly changed in the last 17 years, that it will continue to remain unchanged (2019). Although, there is in fact lots of evidence that does suggest a recent warming. It coincidentally happened just recently, with the increase of carbon dioxide in the air.

It may not feel like we are experiencing global warming, but that’s because the temperature has only been changing a degree or two within the last couple of years. Rather than trying to feel the temperature change now, scientists have discovered other ways to tell if Earth is warming or not. The Royal Society found that, “…Earth’s climate balance has been altered towards warming. With the biggest contributor being increases in CO2.” Scientists were able to find that increases in carbon dioxide are causing warming of our climate. It all started though around 35 years or so ago. The Royal Society also found, “…the CO2 concentration began to increase significantly in the 19th century, after staying in the range of 260 to 280 ppm for the previous 10,000 years” (Royal Society, 2019). The carbon dioxide concentration in the air had stayed pretty level and unchanged for a good 10,000 years and since the 1900s when everything began to be manufactured by machine, it’s increased a great amount. Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that contribute to the warming of the Earth. This may mean that in the last 100 years we’ve been slowly experiencing warming even if we haven’t physically felt it.

Global warming could exist if what we are experiencing is climate change. It is my understanding that climate change does not happen without global warming. Using this, if we are to experience climate change, that would be a result of global warming.

Scientists were able to find many telltale signs of warming of the atmosphere, one of the bigger signs being oceans. Shankman and Horn add, “Ocean temperatures have been rising about .12 degrees celsius per decade on average over the past 50 years.” The ocean covers a good amount of the Earth, it has deep parts which man haven’t even been able to reach because of the pressure at that depth. Now with the warming of oceans comes bigger problems. It creates problems that will backfire on our economy and affect us in many ways. Shankman and Horn also said, “The higher temperatures are driving marine life toward the poles in search of livable habitats, bleaching coral reefs, and causing severe impacts on fisheries and aquacultures. They also contribute to more frequent and extreme weather events. In the three back to back deadly hurricanes of 2017 – Harvey, Irma, and Maria – warmer waters played a role in worsening the storms.” The natural way of marine life is being disrupted and they’re forced to leave their habitats in search of ones that they will have all of the things that they need. The disappearance of marine life altogether could have devastating effects on the human economy (Shankman & Horn, 2017). Darryl Fears, an author of an article on the Washington Post, says, “In a prepared statement, Robert Watson, a British chemist who served as the panel’s chairman, said the decline in biodiversity is eroding ‘the foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.” The disappearing of some of the animals that keep us, ourselves, alive will have devastating effects. Some of those are already being seen and predicted. Fears also says, “The warming climate is a major driver that is exacerbating the effects of overfishing, widespread pesticide use, pollutions and urban expansion into the natural world” The changing of the Earth’s natural order, or natural pattern, is already giving us signs that suggest that we’re stepping into dangerous territory. We’ve begun to overfish the oceans, thinking that fish will always be there, is bringing devastating effects to ocean culture. The using of pesticides is killing bees and insects important to the maturing of crops. Polluted oceans and atmosphere, they’re all signs of warming, signs that we should suggest trying to change (Fears, 2019).

Marine life and human life aren’t the only factors that are affected by the warming of oceans. There are few other factors which come to play, as well. Shankman and Horn said, “According to research by Kevin Trenberth and Lijing Cheng, of the Institute for Atmospheric Physics in Beijing, the heat storage in the oceans during 2015 and 2016 amounted to a stunning force: an increase of 30.4 x 1022 joules of energy rolling Earth’s systems since 1960. The overload is helping throw off Earth’s energy balance, needed for the climate to be relatively stable.” The Earth’s balance is being thrown off by an overload of energy (Shankman & Horn, 2017). Heat is essentially just atoms moving at a faster rate, which is why you don’t feel the warming physically. It’s all going down on a much smaller level. The oceans taking on all of this energy is helping throw the balance of our Earth off. Which would cause us to experience minor changes in climate. How much longer these changes are going would stay minor is unknown. Whether they are would become a much bigger problem, also unknown since weather itself is so unpredictable.

According to the Royal Society, “Many other impacts associated with the warming trend have become evident in recent years…” One impact acts on the rest, activating a chain of problems which all happen because of each other. In this case it’s all because of recent warming which causes changes in climate all over the world. Later the Royal Society adds, “…warming and precipitation changes are altering the geographical ranges of many plant and animal species and the timing of their life cycles. In addition to the effects on climate, some of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere is being taken up by the ocean, changing its chemical composition (causing ocean acidification).” Animals go throughout life on an instinctual schedule, which can be interrupted by these sudden changes in climate. Some animals go to the same spots every day seeking the nutrients that they need to survive. The sudden altering of various plant and animal species life cycles across the world could become devastating. This is a clear sign of some change in our climate, which is a result of the further warming of the atmosphere (Royal Society, 2019).

Most people don’t associate global warming with climate change because it’s usually referred to as climate change. National Geographic says, “Scientists prefer to use ‘climate change’ when describing the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems. Climate change encompasses not only rising average temperatures but also extreme weather events, shifting wildlife populations and habitats, rising seas, and a range of other impacts.” They use climate change as sort of a blanket term instead of using both global warming and climate change to show that they have seperate meanings. Climate change and global warming aren’t the same because they both mean two different things that so happen to connect to each other. One does not usually happen without the other (Nunez, 2019).

Therefore, climate change and global warming are connected. They aren’t the same two things, but they are often mistaken by people as though they are the exact same, which is an easy mistake. Based on both sides of this argument, it looks as if warming of the Earth’s atmosphere could be happening. There are numerous signs that have been found, and all of them have something to do with temperature and climate changing. A few of the viewpoints that were went through concluded that this could allegedly lead to even more devastating events that could lead to the downfall of Earth itself.

References

Fears, D. (2019, May 3). One million species face extinction, U.N. report says. And humans will suffer as a result. The Washington Post. Retrieved May 16, 2019, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/05/06/one-million-species-face-extinction-un-panel-says-humans-will-suffer-result/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.5ac3cdc481b8

Royal Society. (2019). The Basics of Climate Change. Retrieved April 4, 2019, from https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/projects/climate-change-evidence-causes/basics-of-climate-change/

Shankman, S., & Horn, P. (2017, October 3). The Most Powerful Evidence Climate Scientists Have of Global Warming. Inside Climate News. Retrieved April 4, 2019, from https://insideclimatenews.org/news/03102017/infographic-ocean-heat-powerful-climate-change-evidence-global-warmingNunez, C. (2019, January 31). Is global warming real? Retrieved April 4, 2019, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/global-warming-real/


Climate Change and the Ocean

Climate change is mainly a result of burning fossil fuels. Because of the greenhouse effect, excess heat is trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere. This then causes many issues to arise, such as global warming, the melting of glaciers, and the rise of sea levels. Ocean acidification and climate change both affect marine food webs and oceanic environments in addition to calcifiers, due to the fact that reefs provide shelter for a multitude of marine life. Some corals are able to recover and regain their symbionts if they have not yet fully starved to death. However, for this is to happen the water temperatures and pH must to be steady and stable for these organisms. Corals take around a decade to fully recover from bleaching, however it is likely that another bleaching event will transpire in the near future. If these corals are able to recover they will have long-term damage that weakens the entire reef system.


Climate Change

Climate change is important because it affects the entire planet and everyone on it. Some of the effects of climate change are rising sea levels, droughts, increasing global temperature, ice sheets and glaciers shrinking, extreme weather, and ocean acidification. Global warming is the increase in the overall temperature of the planet, caused by greenhouse gasses trapping heat in the atmosphere. Since the late 1800’s, the average surface temperature of the Earth has risen around 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Human activities are responsible for almost all of the  increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years” [3]

A solution to global warming is to reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants that cause the greenhouse effect. It is also necessary to stop the destruction of forests, which take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

Another one of the problems that contributes to climate change is the current system of industrial agriculture. It is one of the causes of global warming, as well as loss of biodiversity, land and soil degradation, wasting water, pollution, dead spots in the ocean, and many other effects. We still need to feed the growing population, but in a way that is sustainable. A start to lessening the negative impact would be to stop the expansion of land used for agriculture, farm more efficiently on the land we do have, reduce food waste, and eat less meat. This blog post is a part of my solution because it helps spread awareness.

In this project I mostly used logos to get my point across and to inform the reader with logic and facts. I also used my knowledge of jargon that I learned in my environmental science class. Keeping in mind the terms that relate to climate change was useful for me.

In order to better understand this topic, I would have to research more thoroughly the causes of climate change. I would also have to look into other possible solutions, and explore the ones I mentioned in more detail.

Works Cited

“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?” NASA, NASA, 4 Dec. 2018, climate.nasa.gov/evidence/.

Foley, Jonathan A., et al. “Solutions for a Cultivated Planet.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 12 Oct. 2011, www.nature.com/articles/nature10452.

“Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 9 Oct. 2018, www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions.


Should Bottled Water Be Banned?

Earlier this year, around March, I became really focused on saving the environment. It had never really occurred to me how much plastic really destroys the planet until I started to do research on it. At first, I didn’t think only one person could do something about it. But after a while, I realized not using one straw or one plastic bottle could save a sea animal’s life, or just help the environment bit by bit.

In San Fransisco, a new ban on plastic bottles was engaged. However, officials only allowed it to be on city property. Therefore, private owners could do what they wanted. I really like that San Francisco is trying to do something about how many plastic bottles are used.  I am really against plastic bottles and have been trying to reduce my plastic waste by using reusable bottles and metal straws. So reading this article really put my faith into a less plastic using future.

There are many main reasons why we should ban the use of plastic bottles . A lot of facts were very surprising, but, in the long run, really make sense. It really surprised me how many plastic bottles were used per year compared to how many of those are recycled. Americans alone used 50 billion bottles in 2006, but only recycled 38 billion. That’s only 23 percent! Not only is it destroying the planet, but it’s not helping our wallets either. Instead of just using tap water, which would be roughly $0.49 a year for eight glasses of water a day, we are spending  $1,400 a year. There are so many cheaper and safer options for the environment. It makes me upset to see humans trashing the world like they are. We’re supposed to take care of the Earth, so why aren’t we?

Photo by eutrophication&hypoxia


Climate Change

Dear Future President

 

Hello, my name is Cruz Marshely Martinez and I attend CSU Chico. The regard, of my letter is to tell you of the seriousness of climate change and why it needs to be brought up to the attention of everyone. As the future president of the free world, you will have many political issues you must deal with, but I personally believe that climate change is a big issue which affects everyone. The main ways that climate change is affecting everyone are by the following problems; pollution, plastic finding it’s way to our oceans and lastly but most importantly global warming.

Pollution affects everyone because there are so many kids suffering from breathing problems due to the pollution in the air caused by increasing amount of cars, factories, and the cutting of trees. I believe that pollution can be decreased by a huge amount if there are days in the month where people ride their bikes or walk to work or school to decrease pollution in the air, and you as the President could get that done. I believe that you as the president could pass it as a law which will force the everyone to do it or that individual will get a ticket.  

Plastic is another big problem that is occurring today because the plastic not being recycled is ending up in the ocean where sea animals think it’s food, so they eat it and end up dying. This may not seem like a big problem but it is because humans end up eating those animals which ends up making the public ill. Lastly the most alerting problem faced with climate change has to be global warming. Global warming is very alerting because it is causing the planet to turn warmer which is the reason why the drought is getting worse, especially in California. Is is caused from the atmosphere trapping heat radiation and certain gases are not able to escape the atmosphere. Those gases come back to pollution since all those gases are coming out of factories, cars and what’s so on. Thank you for listening to me and congratulations on becoming president but please now help us with the problems climate change faces.

Sincerely

Cruz Marshely Martinez

https://www.youthvoices.live/category/environment-and-world/life-below-water/