Champlain College, 2016: NewsActivist (Contemporary Issues Complementary Course)
About this class
This course requires students to develop individual portfolios about contemporary issues, sharing work with increasing depth as the semester progresses.
The course encourages student to develop cross-disciplinary knowledge and broaden perspectives regarding local, provincial, national, and international news, Assignments encouraging interactions with peers across campuses and borders will build broad understanding of issues in an exciting and unique manner.
Themes addressed during teh semester involve: Journalism, Critical Thinking and Credibility of sources, Personal Voice in writing, impacts on communities of non-profits, NGOs, and socially-conscious businesses, the impact of academic research on communities, and the possibilities of Collaboration and civic journalism in 2016.
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Response 4(oceans and fisheries/agriculture)
I choose this particular summary to comment on because, I was drawn to the fact that you mention that there were 7 major issues that our oceans are facing, and was curious to find out what those 7 were as well as the effects they may have on climate change and possibly our food supply. Based on some of the information I found from another source, I agree with a few of your points. For example you mention how today’s oceans are heavily polluted with waste, according to my source it says “that despite recycling being the solution for disposables 90% of plastic globally isn’t recycled (Greenpeace,N.D,p.8)” most of which are ending up in our oceans, it continues to state how if we don’t change quickly, future generations are at risk of inheriting a dump rather than an ocean. You also covered the fact that we are overfishing is affecting the oceans food chain. The information I found agrees, it says how we have already removed the majority of large fish in the ocean, specifically a whooping 2/3rds and how “one in three fish populations have collapsed since 1950(Greenpeace,N.D,p.8)”. What I found interesting from doing research regarding your response is that I learned the economic effect and importance of the oceans being able to provide a food source for poorer countries. According to my article it says how “more than 3 billion people rely on our oceans and coastal ecosystems for their livelihood(Greenpeace,N.D,p.8)”. Due to the lack of fish in the ocean’s it has made it very difficult for many fisherman and companies to make a profit this creates a certain drive to overfish in hopes of being able to turn that profit which in turn threatens our oceans as a whole, all this to say I also agree with you on the fact that we need to raise more awareness on the matter if we are to make a difference before our oceans become barren.
Oceans Issues & Threats, n.d, https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/oceans/issues/
Climate change is extremely likely due to human activities. In my opinion, I consider global warming as the biggest challenge of all times. I found this article really interesting because it presents the main causes of climate changes. Also, the article is from the government from Canada which, in a way, provides nation the concerns about global warming and greenhouse gases. As mentioned in your summary, the burning of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) creates greenhouse effects and Carbone dioxide that goes into the atmosphere. But how, as humans, can we reduce carbon dioxide emission? One way we could reduce carbon dioxide emissions is to use carbon-free sources of energy, such as solar power, wind power, geothermal energy, and low-head hydropower. For example, when possible, walk or ride your bike in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
After having read your article summary, I agree with your main point of the need to treat our planet better, to try and minimize the effects climate change has on the weather and the damages it brings. For example your article covers how major hurricanes such as Irma and Harvey were in part caused by the melting of the icebergs in the arctic. I enjoyed the reference to wealth being the mood to the planets personality from your article. The only thing I disagree with is, when you give the statistic on the U.S accepting 90 million climate change refugees in 2017. I have my doubts about the U.S accepting a growth rate of 25%. Based on the article I found it says how “59 studies were looked at to see if climate change and extreme weather had any correlation (Gabbatiss p.2)” what was found from these studies was that “41 demonstrated climate changes had made extreme weather events more intense and long lived(Gabbatiss p.2)”. That’s nearly a 70% correlation between the two variables. My article also mentions the high cost by these events, not to mention deaths. This supports your claim of how the government has to spend a lot of money in order to repair all the damages caused by these natural disasters. According to my article it also mentions how climate change also has an impact on heat waves, droughts and rainfall, to name a few, similar to your article. Based on this information alone it is clear that the more we continue to pollute the planet the faster climate change will progress. Which will only cause the situation to worsen. The only way to avoid this from happening is to limit global emissions, something that is easier said than done, I believe that if more people would understand the connection between natural disasters and climate change it would hopefully make people realise how serious this issue is, and encourage them to take action.
Gabbatiss, J.(2017)., Natural disasters increasingly linked to climate change, new report warns. The Independent. Pages 1-4
I find your summary very interesting because it talks about the resiliency of an ecosystem which consists of the ability to absorb disturbance and still retain its basic function and structure. Also, I loved the fact that you mentioned wildfires as natural occurrence. Forest fires are natural disturbances which are particularly important to the cycle of regeneration and regrowth. In fact, fire can be a constructive force that maintain health and perpetuity on ecosystems. However, on the other hand, fire can also be a destructive force and can rapidly cause negative impacts. As you already claim, the effects of fire on an ecosystem depend on the fire intensity and the scale of time and space of assessment. In my opinion, it is very alarming to see that fire has been correlated with climate changes. Moreover, climate change affects fire regimes directly. The increase in temperatures will result in a greater frequency and intensity/severity of those future fires. Fire frequency is likely to increase in the short term, but this change is going to lead to a longer-term change in the abundance of the ecosystem. In other words, there will be an increase in fire potential around the world.
I choose this article summary in particular because of the topic on the melting of the arctic sea ice. It is my understanding that this event of all those ecosystems affected is the one that will have the biggest impact on a global scale. I agree with the opinion given in the summary regarding the plight of the polar bear and how the arctic food chain depends on a stable sea ice platform and how global warming is the primary reason for the sea ice loss. Based on the article I found by the climate institute “Climate Change Impact on Arctic Ecosystems” it concludes that “polar bear populations would decline without ice sheets to hunt and live on anywhere from 30-50% in the next 40 years (Ospina,2017,4)”. This in turn would send entire arctic food chains out of balance. The article confirms “that several months out of the year the temperature is 5 degrees Celsius higher than average of the past several decades (Ospina,2017,p.2)”.From an informative point of view my article confirms your findings but also discusses other gravely important issues caused by melting ice sheets such as follows. Melting ice is not just about bears and arctic wild life. The melting ice sheets means “new parasites and diseases can affect wild life populations because of warming temperatures. These new pathogens could be transmitted to humans (Ospina,2017,p.5)”. Also, “the gulfstream would be affected because melted arctic ice would introduce more fresh water to the oceans changing the salinity which could disrupt the Gulf Stream flow which could lead to more extreme global weather conditions(Ospina,2017,p.5)”. Finally “the melting of ice means carbon and other green house gases trapped in glaciers and permafrost would be realised accelerating climate change (Ospina,2017,p.5)”. Besides the damaging release of gases melting permafrost will also affect “35million people living in the area. Melting permafrost will seriously damage infrastructure from ground collapse or lake formations (Ospina,2017,p.6)”. In other words all animals are in danger including humans.
Ospina,C.(2017) Climate Change Impact on Arctic Ecosystems. Climate Institute, pages 1-6, http://climate.org/climate-change-impact-on-arctic-ecosystems/
I decided to comment your summary because I strongly agree with you. I also believe that humans all around the world should do their best to consume less by paying attention to what they are buying and what they are throwing away. There are many ways to consume less that were not mentioned in your summary. For example, we can make an effort to purchase clothing or goods that are made in sustainable ways from companies that are mindful of what they produce and how. Also, we should buy paper products that are made from recycled goods. Your summary reminds me how it is important to take care of the Earth because it is the only home that we have and it provides us with food and water. Together, if we all fight for, we can change many things. Everyday actions matter. One aspect that I found really interesting in your summary is that education of women in developing countries is one of the most important factor that causes them to have less babies in later life. In other words, I learned that education promotes a better quality of life for children over the quantity in order to reduce the future number of people using environmental resources. Furthermore, I loved the fact that you talked about the IMPAT formula and Thomas Malthus. Even if we talked about it in class, I found it interesting that you made a link with what we have already learned. Your summary based on this article is supported by class concepts which I think is easier to understand. Overall I really enjoyed your summary! Well done!
I agree with you in your response when you touch upon bringing to light the current /future issues that affect our population such as growth rates and consumption. Based on the article I found from The Royal Society.org where it states in its introduction “The number of people living on the planet has never been higher, their levels of consumption are higher then ever and major changes are taking place in the environment”(royal society,2012,p.11). Based on information available from the same source I agree with your estimate of the population between 9.6 - 11.3 billion, my information shows “Under the UN medium fertility variant the population is expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050.”(Royal society,2012,p.20) Based on this it’s a reasonable assumption to think that in the following 50 years we will have added an additional 2 billion people. Feeding the planet is complicated since “live stock has major implications for the environment footprint of agriculture(royal society,2012,p.77)” and fish stocks are in serious decline globally. I also agree with your claim that the earth’s resources will become damaged and eventually there will be less and less of these needed resources. The article by The Royal Society shares the same point of view and gives examples such as “pollution of wetlands could possibly affect drinking water, the deforestation of hillsides could expose downstream communities to the dangers of flooding, the destruction of mangrove forests to allow shrimp farming can damage fisheries and as well as exposing communities to tsunami damage” (royal society, 2012, p.65). Overall I enjoyed your summary. What stood out to me and made me choose this particular response is we both share a similar opinion. We both believe that the root cause of all these problems that ultimately prevents us from change is greed. People are more interested in making money and turn a blind eye to the fact they are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
Roayal society, 2012, People and the planet, Excellence in science, https://royalsociety.org/~/media/Royal_Society_Content/policy/projects/p...
the summary is there, just need to click on the title, to avoid any confusions.
I was really curious when I read your title and you increased my curiosity once I read your commentary about the article. Actually, this one didn’t disappoint me. I thought your comments were really completed and precise, which led me to the point that I wanted to know more about the Zika virus. I firstly thought that its situation was really ironic. Then I understood that it was attacking cells, and so for the virus it does not make any difference; the consequences about which cell it attacks only make a difference for us.
Therefore, I like the article that you are proposing, because it made me learn something new. Also, I found it very relevant to me, since I know many people that have or had cancer. Hence, I think that you had a good idea to share the article, because it touches a large amount of people. I think it is an effective way to give hope to those who need it.
By staying in the same subject, I found some articles that may interest you. The first one also comes from the New Scientist journal, but it has been published after your article. To make a short summary, it talks about a specific patient who has a chronic pancreatitis- an inflammation of the pancreas-, which is a factor risk of cancer. This type of disease causes a lot of suffering for the patients. We also know that the cancerous tumors spread out into the body by using our nerves. Including to that, our nerves make the tumor maturing. This process is well explained in the article. Thus, they found a way to stop the suffering and the growth of the tumor by "cutting" the nerves already touched. The effect is a longer and painless life for the patient.
The second article has been published by the Scientific American journal recently. It is about the recent approval of the FDA – Food and Drugs Administration – a new treatment against cancer. The treatment consists to displace the white blood cells to the tumors. The article informs us about the process, but also on all the pros and cons. What I also find interesting is that we can get inform about the folder of the treatment (the cost, when it is going to be available, etc.). I think it is great to stay aware of that type of information, since cancer is a disease that takes a lot of place in our society.
Hope you’ll enjoy!
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