Around the world, millions of people don’t have access to clean water. And those millions of people don’t stop short in America.
Around the world, approximately 783 million people don’t have access to clean water. Approximately 1% of non-native American people don’t have access to clean water and 13% of Native American populations go without clean water. Sometimes people live in dry areas where water is not accessible, sometimes dirt and bacteria leach into water (something that isn’t safe by any means), but sometimes, humans cause the pollution of water through oil.
There’s multiple documentaries made about the condition of people who have oil in their water due to fracking around homes. These people are able to light their faucet water on fire, something that is definitely not safe for human consumption. Humans have the right of accessible, affordable, safe water but that is, by no means, safe. Fracking isn’t safe for the Earth and isn’t safe for people.
Water can also be tainted by deteriorated water pipes as seen in Flint, Michigan. Flint has been subject to contaminated water for nearly 3 years.
Water quality certainly isn’t always something that is about hurting the Earth but in cases where that does happen, poor water quality is harming the Earth.
When I went over CAFOs, the manure of such large animal organizations can leach into water sources and contaminate that source with low hopes of restoring it. With this in perspective, I want to express that poor water quality can be a human caused a portion of the time.
Contamination can also occur in the oceans as millions of gallons of oil are spilled in American waters each year. This easily hurts fish populations as oil is not safe in any means on humans or fish. The fish that are contaminated are then caught and sold to people in supermarkets. According to consumerlab.com, a serving of fish meat is likely to contain far more contamination than a fish oil supplement which can contain oil and mercury.
Water contamination is always directly related to earth’s deterioration, but it harbors many different ways it harms us humans. It is important to keep our water safe for everyone around us and ourselves.
Alright kids, who here knows what a CAFO is? I’m assuming at least a third but for overview:
A CAFO is a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) different from just a regular animal feeding operation (AFO) as the operation confines animals for more than 45 days during a growing season, in an area that does not produce vegetation, that meets certain size thresholds.
These already sound like a disaster based off of the 3 qualifications that define them especially when putting together “confined animals” and “no vegetation”. Of the approximate 257,000 AFOs in the United States, 15,000 of those meet the narrowed criteria of a CAFO. These CAFOs house up to thousands of domesticated food animals which does not make the living conditions for them very hospitable. In fact, a percentage of animals kept in CAFOs die before they are even mature enough to be used for product use (killed anyway for meat).
Have any of you ever seen that chicken farm documentary in high school? I’m like positive I’ve seen it on like 3 separate occasions in health class and environmental science and for an English project… the point is that the operations that are being viewed in videos like that are CAFOs. I know in some documentaries, the owners don’t let filmers take video of the animals because what they are doing should be illegal.
But what makes such things environmental hazards? These operations aren’t just morally wrong, they’re hazardous to our health and environment. They are extremely unsanitary. All those animals that poop every day have nowhere to do their business except for the confines in which they are being kept. Not only that but water runoff takes this excrement to streams and rivers and poisons aquatic life and the water itself. Water runoff is also contaminated by nutrients, fertilizers, and pathogens from fields and storage compartments.
It is also very easy to spread pathogens in these CAFOs. One hen gets sick, and then all 125,000 hens get sick and that meat from them is no longer safe for us humans to consume. Mostly because their areas are so unsanitary, it’s almost impossible for an animal to stay healthy, whether that be immune system health or their physical health.
By physical health, I mean the fact that all animals today are genetically modified. Now don’t go thinking GMOs are some evil, they are not. Every dog breed of today is genetically modified. But these livestock and poultry animals are modified to be bigger and more savory for people to eat, and that does not do anything nice for the animals were are not supposed to live like that. They grow bigger but their bone structures are not modified to accommodate for the extra weight. And like I said, GMOs are not some evil, dog breeds of today also have intense health issues because people thought it was cool to play God and make these animals look more appealing with interbreeding and now some can’t function correctly because they are not supposed to look like that.
Anyway, these are environmentally unsavvy for the animals and for water circulation, but I said in the beginning of my blog stream that most everything can lead back to being problematic in the issue of global warming. And cows are nothing short of that.
CAFOs release several types of gases such as ammonia, methane, and hydrogen sulfide. All of which have various health risks. But one stands out among the rest… methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that actually comes from the manure that is used in CAFOs and comes out of cattle. Livestock operation are accountable for 17% of greenhouse emissions globally and cattle industries contribute nearly 30% of anthropogenic methane production. If the levels of greenhouse gases emitted by CAFOs continues to increase with the amount of livestock (which continually increases because of the huge demand for meat products all the time), global methane production is predicted to increase 60% in less than 15 years.
CAFOs are no joke, they harm animals, people, and the environment.. so why are they still around, why are they legal? Well, for one, there really is no other way to mass produce meat at the level that it is demanded. Unless 80% of the world suddenly became vegetarian, there is no other way to supply all the meat needed to sustain the world’s population. Obviously, there are nicer ways to care for animals of slaughter, but that is much much more expensive and much much less rewarding in its ability to sustain a population. There’s basically no other way to get it done, unfortunately.
Here’s some pictures to share to support how bad CAFOs are 🙂
Over the week, on Wednesday March 1st, 2017, at 7pm through 8:30pm, at Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe, I attended a deliberation called The Nation, The State, and You: How do we handle women’s reproductive rights? The title of the deliberation is rather self-explanatory, we deliberated women’s reproductive rights.
We discussed women’s access to birth control and other contraceptives, abortion, and laws attempting to protect women. It started at the federal level and what national regulations are in place to help (or hinder) women. One of the things that were mentioned was the Affordable Care Act which states that employers are intended to help pay for women’s contraceptives whether it be birth control, IUD, diaphragm and so on. And the audience was asked their thoughts on that, who that Act helps and hurts. There were about 5-7 minute discussions as there were three statements and questions for each of the three approaches.
Along with discussing who certain regulations help and hurt, it was discussed why women tend to not buy birth control and not go through with their right. It was mentioned that there is such a negative stigma around birth control and especially around abortion. We clarified as a group how birth control isn’t solely to protect from getting pregnant, but it is an aid in menstrual cramps, pain relief for ovarian cysts and other medical issues for a woman. And abortion isn’t just for women who “make a mistake” as there is a lot of thought and hard decision making that goes into a women getting an abortion such as money cost, health issues, mental health issues, their age, whether this abortion may save their life as, regardless of how technologically advanced we as a species are, pregnancy is a dangerous process.
We discussed women’s rights on all levels from federal to state level an how Texas made a law that regulated abortion clinics to be more “safe” but in doing so, their regulations were so precise that a majority of the clinics in Texas had to shut down and people would have to drive hours out of town to get to a clinic, something that violates women’s accessibility. In “attempting” to help women, they actually just made it harder for women as a whole. Something that was probably planned since Texas is a conservative state.
We also hit up that.. Who can determine laws against women’s selves? Most all people who disagree with abortion tend to keep their statement at the fact that it goes against religious beliefs. We discussed, and rather ranted, on how small minded it is to put someone’s (debatably true) beliefs in front of millions of people’s safety. Who would be so anti-human that they would put their beliefs in something they don’t have to partake in in front of half of the world’s lives. We ranted about that but regardless of if I’m in that deliberation room or not, it still heats me up.
As the deliberation ended, the deliberators talked about what we can do ourselves and handed out sheets in which we could call or email politicians about voiding or reforming principles on women’s rights.
Overall, the group did a very good job, especially with the situation they were in. If anyone knows about Webster’s they know how small the place is, and they fit probably 50 people in the room, meaning it was understandably noisey. These 50 people were put into 4 groups with a different leader and notetaker. Something I didn’t like was how softly my group’s leader talked, she was barely audible above the large crowd. Something else that wasn’t quite up my alley was that the notetaker often stepped in to talk. Now at our deliberation, Tom would often step in to ask a question or simply continue to move the conversation along. This was different, our notetaker would simply raise her hand and voice her opinion just as someone attending the deliberation would, she wasn’t attempting to start conversation or push it into a certain direction with a statement of thought, she would just say whatever she wanted on the topic and I thought that was rather ill made and she shouldn’t have done that as someone who was on the deliberating team. She should have been focused on making the conversation better and more thought provoking.
That’s my commentary on the whole thing. I thought it was very well-researched and it definitely sparked some debate.
Deforestation is the act of permanently removing trees for mainly commercial reasons such as clearing land for building or for lumber. The problem is, we as a species are cutting down way more trees in a short period of time that can grow back. Many animal species are losing their homes because of deforestation. And that doesn’t just count for birds or small mammals. Most all primates, koalas, insects, and reptiles count on the forest to keep them safe.
An estimated 18 million acres (the size of Panama) of forest are lost each year. Forests can’t grow back as fast as they are being destroyed, especially if they are being taken down for building purposes. Deforestation is a global problem, not just something gone wrong in America.
Tropical forests are a huge issue when dealing with deforestation because such forests are home to millions of plant and animal species yet to be discovered and already in danger of going extinct. About half of the world’s rain-forests are gone. It is predicted that if deforestation persists like it has been, the world’s rain-forests will be gone in less than 100 years. The most notable countries doing deforestation include Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other parts of Africa, and parts of Eastern Europe. But deforestation isn’t a new thing, since the 1600s, the United States of America have lost 90 percent of their indigenous forests.
But deforestation itself isn’t the only problem. The methods of removing so many trees at a time include clear-cutting and burning/ slash and burn. Clear-cutting means the cutting down of entire forests at a time, a detrimental act to nature that is on the level of a volcanic eruption (according to the Natural Resources Defense Council). By burning forests down, they are gone quickly and is used as an agriculture technique as the ashes of the trees are a good nourishment for the agriculture growing there. But once that nourishment dissolves, weeds grow and farmers slash and burn a new plot of trees; new trees take a long time to regrow in those areas.
Deforestation also is a factor in global warming, in my last post I mentioned how nearly all ecological problems lead back to global warming. Not only do trees store carbon dioxide from the air when they are alive and once they die they can no longer respire that carbon dioxide into oxygen, but once these trees die and are removed, they release the carbon dioxide they had stored. which goes back into the atmosphere and ups the amount of carbon in the air even more. Deforestation is the second largest human-caused source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, ranging between 6 percent and 17 percent.
But this doesn’t have to be the way it is, deforestation doesn’t have to be our demise. Some organizations and farmers try to sort of the problem where if they need to cut down trees for their projects, they plant and protect new trees of the same amount. They’re attempting to plant new forests. Of course we’re gonna need a lot more help to bring back animals to these forests and protect their numbers, but every little bit helps. Wood isn’t always needed for fuel and lumber isn’t always needed for homes, and there’s more eco friendly ways to build a grow as a society that doesn’t involve cutting down trees that generations of the past didn’t have access to.
Deforestation is a real problem. But it isn’t a problem that can’t be fixed.
Now that Donald J. Trump is President, it has come to my attention that suddenly global warming is no longer real!!
Unfortunately for Mr. Trump, him claiming global warming untrue… does not, in fact, make it untrue. Turns out, global warming is still real. And that’s what i plan to talk to ya’ll about.
I have made my civic issues blog about the impact us humans have on the environment. And global warming is nothing short of a huge impact we as a species have burdened our planet with.
Many [ignorant] people claim that the earth’s temperature “naturally rises and falls. What is happening is completely natural!!11:))!!” Well. Half of that is true. Yes it is true that the Earth’s average temperature rises and falls throughout years and it is never stable, but the fact of global warming existing is that for the past few years/decades, the Earth’s temperature has been rising unnaturally fast.
Since the Industrial Revolution, the Earth’s temperature has been on the rise… maybe because of human involvement and destruction of natural resources? (like coal, petroleum, production of methane (all of which are bad for the environment/ozone)) As pollution production rises, the ozone layer deteriorates, more ultra violet light enters our atmosphere, and this greenhouse effect created by so much Carbon Dioxide and other gases in the air results in the ultimate heat on Earth.
Bringing it home to good ol’ Pennsylvania in good ol’ Central PA in good ol’ State College itself, have any of you noticed how mild this year’s winter is? The first real snow was yesterday [Jan. 31 2017], some days the winter temperatures would reach an earth-shattering 40 degrees! (hint: that’s incredibly warm) back in grade school it was normal to experience 2-hour delays of school because the temperature wouldn’t rise above 0 degrees F. until 10am or later.
But enough of my own anecdotes, there’s some real truth to what I’m saying.
Here’s some fun facts about global warming and its impact and how we’ve caused this.
- Since 1880, the average temperature has risen by 1.4-Fahrenheit degrees. Let me tell you, that is a lot considering an average temperature rise of 2 degrees-F can be detrimental to every part of life on Earth, we’re not far off. When was the Industrial Revolution? Answer: 1760-1840
- The Arctic ice is melting rapidly. By 2040 the region is expected to have a completely ice free summer, or even earlier. Fact: the Arctic is not supposed to melt away during summer. or at any time. notice how ice caps are always on globes. because they’re always there. (:
- Due to global warming and pollution, coral reefs are suffering the worst bleaching with the highest dying record since 1980. Bad because: coral reefs are living creatures and it sucks they are dying. They take centuries to regrow. They provide food and shelter for hundreds of species of marine life– which are also dying because their food and shelter is dying. They provide natural weather barriers for lands on the coast to keep them safe from hurricanes and tsunamis– natural disasters will be even more disastrous without the coral reef’s protection. They are dying because the water to too acidic and warm for them to survive.
- More than 1 million species have become extinct due to disappearing habitats, ecosystems acidic oceans all caused due to global warming. Maybe we’re next, dude, so that the earth can live again.
- The addition of such greenhouse gases is responsible for large scale deaths due to asthma and other respiratory diseases. Hey, maybe #4 will come true since we’re essentially killing ourselves off. 🙂
These aren’t the only problems. All five of these facts (minus my commentating) were found on a site dedicated to educate people about global warming. There are 30 more facts on the page I have cited alone. This isn’t a problem we can just claim doesn’t exist based on a conservative belief. It is real and seen every single day.
My passion blog also relates to our destructive human impact on the environment and you can discover all the animals we have caused to endanger as I continue to write about them all at sites.psu.edu/chatangki (:
This blog will continue to delve into other human impacts on the environment, many of them link back to global warming. One can’t believe in rain acidity and high methane levels in the air without also agreeing that global warming is real.
I hope this caused you some distress.
That’s my goal.
knowledge from my AP Environmental Science class; Living in the Environment by G. Tyler Miller & Scott E. Spoolman –> https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8pig2KdTaOBNDVMOWYwMndXVlE/view
That textbook took about 8 minutes to find.