Tag Archives: Environment

LEARNING TO LOVE MASS TRANSIT IN A CAR OBSESSESD SOCIETY


Our society’s modern mobility started off with public transportation in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Urban and intercity railways became the regular mode of transportation for the growing middle class. The twentieth century was when investments in the improvements of roads increased allowing motor buses to serve less affluent and smaller communities off of main routes. Continue reading LEARNING TO LOVE MASS TRANSIT IN A CAR OBSESSESD SOCIETY

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Sharing vs. Caring: How Millennial Smartphone Addiction Can Better Serve Society


Millennials are one of the largest generations to date.  77 million strong, they make up a quarter of the US population.  With members spanning from adolescents to young adults, they will have a significant impact on the future of our country and of our planet.  To meet some of the world’s biggest challenges, they will have to utilize their diversity, youth, and technological capabilities to enact change. Continue reading Sharing vs. Caring: How Millennial Smartphone Addiction Can Better Serve Society

Where we’re going, we need sustainability


Our world today is more polluted than ever. Though recycling practices continue to improve, our daily trash is often still dumped into landfills across the world. These man-made structures are detrimental to our environment and are a temporary fix for a long-term problem.  My challenge for Elon Musk would be to create a way to power our everyday gadgets, buildings, and automobiles with common trash.

Continue reading Where we’re going, we need sustainability

3-D Food Printers: A Delicious Solution


“Imports by airplane have a substantial impact on global warming pollution. In 2005, the import of fruits, nuts, and vegetables into California by airplane released more than 70,000 tons of CO2, which is equivalent to more than 12,000 cars on the road.” according to Food Hub. Rather than reducing the impacts of food transportation, with 3-D printing we could eliminate them.

“Imagine being able to essentially ‘grow’, ‘cook’ or prepare foods without the negative industrial impact – everything from fertilizers to saute pans and even packaging,” says Homaro Cantu, chef and owner of the Moto Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois, who has printed sushi using an ink jet printer. “You can imagine a 3D printer making homemade apple pie without the need for farming the apples, fertilizing, transporting, refrigerating, packaging, fabricating, cooking, serving and the need for all of the materials in these processes like cars, trucks, pans, coolers, etc,” he adds.

Continue reading 3-D Food Printers: A Delicious Solution

Transparency the new Sustainability


Jason McLennan, one of the most influential people in the green-building movement, gave a very moving and inspiring talk. He has dedicated his life into building a more sustainable world. As CEO of the International Living Future Institute – a leading NGO that focuses on transformation toward a world that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.  McLennan is a sought-after designer, presenter, and consultant on a wide variety of green building and sustainability topics. Green building, also known as green construction or sustainable building, is an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient process used throughout the building’s life-cycle, from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, and renovation through demolition.

Continue reading Transparency the new Sustainability

Apple Globalization Drama Justice


Hi Classmates, I have been sick all week and not able to post to the blog until now.

This podcast struck home for me as an Apple “fan boy” and as a human being. The speaker expertly used pauses, trepidation, and repetition to drive home points, generate thought from his listeners, and to increase engagement and entertainment. To me, this was not so much a think-piece on Apple as it was a comment on consumerism and the adverse effect it is having on the world and humanity. Below are a few of his points that struck the loudest cord with me.

Our consumerism’s effect on the Environment: “The air in Shenzhen is like a booted foot resting on your chest, but after a few days you hardly notice it at all.” The term that comes to mind for me is “creeping normalcy.” When something seems terrible at first, but the person being exposed to it gets used to it and forgets how terrible it is over an extended period of time. It is a shame that our consumerism in the western hemisphere has led to this terrible condition somewhere else on a planet we share. It is also a shame that the Chinese workers who are forced to live in these conditions probably no longer notice it. I wonder how good the air in Iceland would taste– smell, feel— to one of these Chinese workers if they could step on a plane and get away.

The Size of the factories: Although this estimate was later edited at the end of the podcast, the speaker tries to get you to imagine the size of a factory which holds 20 cafeterias that each seat 10,000 (later, each is stated to seat 4,000). I imagined what it would be like to work in a factory that houses enough people to fill the Wells Fargo Center 20 times over, or Lincoln Financial field 7 times over, venues that I am familiar with. It was an interesting exercise, and I would recommend other listeners to try to imagine 400,000-500,000 people in a scale that is relatable to them.

The aesthetics hiding what is inside: In between the factory gate and the factory, there is an expansive plush green lawn (that nobody sets foot on). Before one can even enter the actual factory, there is a huge corinthian (corinthian!) lobby which contains just a receptionist. It makes me unhappy to think about how much money was spent to create these illusions of wealth and happiness when at the same time their workers are packed a dozen at a time into 12×12 rooms into bunk beds with so little space that the average American literally would not even be able to fit into them.

Suicide- After much thought, I disagreed with him on his stance on the suicide of Foxconn workers. Even while acknowledging that the Foxconn suicide rate was actually far lower than the suicide rate in the rest of China, he countered this point by stating that if workers in one company were consistantly committing suicide in the United States, we would take notice. I simply disagree with this point because while he earlier dropped his jaw at the sheer massiveness of this operation, he then brushed this notion aside when bringing up suicide. I think it is completely fair for Foxconn defenders to point out that the suicide rate is below the national level. When you put a half million people to work, and only 12 of them commit suicide in a year, there is clearly no correlation between working at Foxconn and committing suicide. It seems that if these half million people were viewed as citizens of the same city rather than workers for the same company and 88 of them committed suicide, as would be statistically likely, no one would blink an eye. His “week after week, month after month” rant about suicide is intentionally misleading and heavily implies that death is a more enjoyable route than working in these factories– which by the way, is something these workers are doing by choice. I believe he has forgotten the alternatives to this work for these laborers, which I speculate might be simply starving. This is still terrible, but this was a bone I had to pick with him.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to this podcast and reflecting on it afterwards.