Author: Sanaa

Flood?!?!? Just say Epidemic…

Although this was another long book, i liked it. i liked that the main characters were two girls and their romantic relationship wasn’t the progress that helped a book tell the characters’ story. The jumping around from characters and time wasn’t too bad, because the chapter titles explained who and when the story is talking about.
The community of God’s Gardeners remind me of the Amish Society. Very God based, and very natural based.The Amish view the outside world as sinful, and often unhealthy. At the age of 16, the Amish allow their children to go out into society and experience it for a year, to live as they want. At the end of the year, the young adult must choose to commit to the Amish way of life or join society and end their ties with the Amish community. When a member commits to living with them in God’s Garden, they must abide by their rules. Like the change of diet in becoming a strict vegan, change in wardrobe, or their disuse of technology.
Atwood’s strong religious correlation makes me wonder how she views it. Although she ends the book with “God’s will” being completed, everything about the God’s Garden community seems like a cult. The titles for the men and women as “Adam” and “Eve” is weird. Their way of life reminds me of the Amishs, and their goals are very Christian based. Atwood also doesn’t seem to shy away from showing that these communities are not free from individual corruption. Like when Bernice believed that Burt was having an affair with Nuala, and she contacted the CorpSeCorps to have him arrested for selling marijuana at the market for personal gain.
I feel like this is an extreme representation of the society that we already live in. The epidemic in the book is caused from degration of the environment as a result from big corporations is an intensified all-at-once reaction to the pollution that produced from them. However in reality, the reason the number of people with health problems, like asthma, cancer, disorders and deformities have increased is because of the chemicals we put into the production of our food and also into the air.

Sorry for any misspelling or grammatical errors, the computer im using doesn’t have Microsoft:/

 

Her Forty Signs

Although this was a long book and dragged in the beginning I liked reading the background info of the main characters, to see their beliefs, struggles, and passions. Unfortunately, after 7 books into the semester, I still don’t like the part of the stories that focus on the terminology of climate change (science was never my forte). One point that really stuck with me was when Charlie claims that it is “easier to destroy the world than to change capitalism even one little bit”. Robinson’s strong distaste for politics and corporate/capitalistic greed is shown through Charlie. Charlie’s frustration with how Senator Phil Chase and the rest of the United States Government’s refusal to make any real changes on environmental policies, even when climate disaster were directly affecting them.

I liked that the setting was placed in Washington D.C., because I think Robinson’s intention was to tell them (politicians) that it will affect them too. All the dirty politics and backdoor deals affect the larger group and should go beyond money and power. I appreciated that Robinson a male author, shared both the financial and family burdens, it’s a reality that most families are obligated to manage. I thought it was cute how the couple’s professions were rooted in the same cause. Also I found the attention Robinson gave to Anne and Charlie’s children was important, because they signify the future, and that they will have to deal with climate change effects more than their parents.

“The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered ‘Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and then dies having never really lived’” Although this quote does not mention climate change or the government, it reminds me of this story. In our society we are concerned with financing a luxurious lifestyle, unworried about the environmental and health fears that we pay. He explains this is a cycle and in the end our hard work is damaging.

My Audit-_-

Originally, I did not like the requirement of posting online. I am bad with managing my time, so I have always hated when an instructor incorporated “online Participation” as part of the grade. However, I will admit this blog kind of grew on me. First, it has challenged me to force myself into managing my personal time better. Also, it has forced me to go in depth about my analysis. I have been able to watch my opinions get stronger, to realize why I do or do not like something! Another thing I have not realized until now, is that because this is not a formal paper, I have been able to develop my own voice/style. I like that we have the freedom to go in any direction with our analysis and connections.

I try to stay off most social media, so I don’t have a FB, Instagram, twitter, etc. So I’m definitely not used to posting things up, navigating, re-visiting, and commenting. I feel like that is something that I should be better at… responding and interacting with the other bloggers. But that’s a failing of my own, I like the website, how it’s set up, and how we get graded. Also, how we discuss the blog in class, that brings it back to the traditional form of learning (at least for me), and emphasizes important aspects of the book.

 

Finding a Balance

I liked the book. I didn’t like all the minimal drama between the townspeople. However I understand why Barbara Kingsolver included it, to show that the characters’ personal interests and problems are nothing in comparison to the larger problem of climate change. Entomologist Ovid Byron foreshadowed a natural disaster for me (although expected one because the book was assigned), when he tells Dellarobia that when the ecosystem begins tattering and acting up that unpredictable changes are bound to happen. The flood at the end of the story emphasized that we need to find importance in caring for the environment, because we are going to feel the effects of climate change. Personally I think individuals and society need to find a balance of living wholesome but not over indulging in materials and social standards.

Also I enjoyed how Kingsolver included her religious beliefs, the good and the bad. She showed her frustration with the church and its members and the expectations of it. I liked the name Dellarobia, so I googled it and Luca Della Robbia was an Italian sculptor who graced many cathedrals in Florance with his art. How Dellarobia at first thought the butterflies on the mountainside was a miracle, but slowly combined her faith with science to find balance. Lastly, Kingsolver ended the story with a flood to show a fresh start that Dellarobia desired. I would also like to acknowledge how much I liked Kingsolver’s style in writing. At times I could imagine the image she was presenting, especially when she described the natural environment.

The Collapse of the Western Civilization

Although I did not enjoy this book, I did enjoy the style. I thought it was very interesting how the authors Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway placed the setting in the future, and looked back at the way history played out. I think Ted mentioned how these authors’ profession were actually scientists and not authors, which I was apparent through how much information was provided, rather than plot and events occurring. I did not like how very few details were given about the future. But, I appreciated the “Lexicon of Archaic Terms” (glossary) found in the back which defined scientific terms as well as terms the authors made up!

The main focus of this book was to hope that the reader will realize that they have the power to change our environmental effect on the earth. That the needed changes are not too late, until it is too late! “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” (21). The authors explicitly put the blame of governmental officials and greedy corporations (which I agree with). “Thus, to protect personal liberty- political, civic, religious, artistic- economic liberty had to be preserved” (17).They also praise their profession as scientists way too much! “As the world of climate change began to spin out of control and the implications for market failure became indisputable, scientists came under attack, blamed for problems they had not caused, but had documented” (20).

Unfortunately, I did not like the secondary reading either. An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and it Implications for United States National Security by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall’s article focused on the possible changes that the United States would have to implement in the event of catastrophic climate change. From the introduction, the article is trying to persuade the reader that the effects of climate change are not going to be a destructive as we are led to believe. “First, they suggest the occurrences we outline would most likely happen in a few regions, rather than on globally. Second, they say the magnitude of the event may be considerably smaller” (1). Although their “intent is to dramatize the impact climate change could have on society if we are unprepared for it” (7), Schwartz and Randall make claims throughout the article that the United States will be prepared, and that people from all over the world will try to enter the States, so they can survive. This article just played into the category of “global warming isn’t going to affect me”.

In Australia, the government has banned the use and sale of incandescent lightbulbs. When I mentioned this to my uncle, he was slightly disappointed. He asked me why I supported this ban? And if I really wanted the government restricting what I could and couldn’t buy? My only response to him, was why it was ok to produce and make a profit on a low quality item that isn’t good for the environment or our health. This was a point that was made in the book, in section 3: Market Failure. “Rather, government intervention was required: to raise the market price of harmful products, to prohibit those products, or to finance the development of their replacements” (37). Australia made an effort to reduce emissions toward climate change, they are not being deprived of anything!

Because of the freezing weather:// and the fact that Boston got 6 feet of snow last week, all I have been thinking is climate change… its about to go down!

 

Scholarly article about Australia’s ban of incandescent light bulbs: http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.temple.edu/10.1080/14747730701587405

 

Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik M. Conway. The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the

Future. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Schwartz, Peter, and Doug Randall. An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for

United States National Security. Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 2003. Web.

“Men go and come, but the earth abides”

I really enjoyed this book! Although it was a long read, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart was very entertaining. Stewart questions ideologies about social standards including companionship, education, religion, civilization, leadership, and maintaining ethical beliefs. The plague the kills off most of humanity, and those left are left to do whatever they wish.

We are able to follow Ish as he grows, and see the choices he must make on a daily base. What he wants for not only his children, but also humanity. He hopes that civilization will return to what it was before, that the future will be like the past again. This reminded me of a teaching (I’m going to butcher it:/) :trying to convince a baby that they will need to walk is pointless, because they must crawl first. The baby cannot understand this, until they have experienced the process. The entire time Ish is attempting to tech his children to read and about religion, they FIRST needed to learn the basics of surviving, like hunting and making a fire without matches.

I watch the tv show “the walking dead”. I saw many similarities, (but no “walkers”) in scavenging, and the hope to rebuild civilization. However in both and many other apocalyptic stories, that the human race severely damaged, and “men go and come, but the earth abides”.

Philippe Squarzoni’s Personal Journey through Climate Change

This was my first comic book that I read to completion. This story definitely made me feel like I was with him in his journey of writing the story. We were able to see his inspiration, research, uncertainty as well as certainty, and how it affects reality. The book reminds me of the class I took last semester called “The Environment”, it was about the environment and the 2 way relationship humans have with it.

The main focus Philippe Squarzoni was determined to push, is that the environmental problem is invertible crisis based on the path we are on. He strongly emphasized that the mentality “the choices I as an individual make, won’t make a difference” and this will lead to our destruction of the earth. However he doesn’t ignore that part of the cycle would happen regardless of human interference. Through his character, he shows us that sacrifices must be made to preserve (reduce the damages we create on) the earth.

The Time Machine

This story had many similarities to the movie The Time Machine (2002). After I looked into it, the movie was based off of the book. The Time Traveler written from H.G. Wells did not build the machine to go back in time to save his fiancé, but to go forward and see how civilization has changed. When he arrives in the future, he realizes that society has not advanced, but returned to a very primitive state. He finds two species of the human race, one above which are smaller, vegetarians, and simple. The other lives unground and have adapted so they can no longer live above ground, see in the dark and are cannibals. He notes that although the underground race were probably the poorer part of society forced to work down there for the benefit of the wealthier (above ground people), they have become the stronger of the two races. Although he faces struggles in his journey, when he returns home, he is unsatisfied, and returns to the unknown in his time machine.