Can America Decrease Its Water Use?

Water sustainability is the most important thing to ensure a prolonged existence for humanity. America is one of the heaviest water users on earth, with a population of over 330 million people, and a booming agricultural industry. To become more stringent with our water use is far easier said than done. So that begs the question: Is it possible for America to reduce their water use as whole?

I think it is very unlikely that Americans would reduce their water use on their own. America has developed into a consumeristic society, where people just go to the store and buy what they want, without considering the larger impact on their environment. Additionally, Americans rarely consider the ramifications when they do something as simple as taking a shower, or brushing their teeth. An example of this is author David Owen explaining how he failed to realize the impact he was having on the water supply when he worked for a landscaping firm. He said, “Among the many questions I failed to ask myself that summer was where all the water we used at work came from. All I knew was that every time I attached a hose to a spigot and turned it on, I could run it full force until it was time to go home” (Owen 1). This shows how Americans are very unlikely to monitor their water use without the intervention of another party. I think that this is where the United States government can help. Without stricter water regulations from the government, it is very unlikely that our water use will decrease. An example of this is Las Vegas. According to Owen, “Las Vegas has some of most stringent water-conservation regulations in the country” (Owen 2). This shows that decreased water use is unlikely to happen without stringent regulations. However, these regulations were not enacted until after massive water abuse. Therefore, I think it is time for the United States government to act towards protection out water resources until it is too late.

Tragedy at Memorial Hospital: Were the right decisions made?

Looking back at the tragedy at Memorial Hospital, it is easy to criticize certain actions. For example, I was wondering if there was a possibly to evacuate prior to the storm, or make sure the hospital had a functioning generator that would work for an extended period of time. Now, let’s say none of those options were viable. Did the medical professionals and staff members make the right decision when deciding who got evacuated from memorial?

I believe the answer is yes. Given the circumstances, Dr. Pou and her associates acted with composure and tried to land on the best possible outcome. Due to the fact that there was not sufficient help and resources, it was inevitable that some might not make it out. According to Pou, she was “trying to do the most good with a limited pool of resources.” Although I recognize the outage from those of the deceased victims, the magnitude of this disaster was unlike any other in recent memory. Traditional triage systems call for the patients in the worst health to be evacuated first, while the healthier patients wait. This is the opposite of what happened. Given the severity of the situation, it was likely that they severely ill patients would not have survived the trip to the new hospital, let alone the horrible conditions. Additionally, when initially making this decision to evacuate patients with a D.N.R last, it was still believed that every single patient would be evacuated. However, this turned out not to be the case. According to Dr. Diechmann, the doctor who initially floated this idea, “I believed they should go last because they would have had the ‘least to lose’ compared with other patients if calamity struck.” I think this reasoning is valid, because the doctors were trying to ensure that the least loss of life occurred. This is similar to Dr. Pou’s statements following Katrina. She said, “No, I did not murder those patients. Mr. Safer, I’ve spent my entire life taking care of patients” (60 Minutes). This shows that the doctors were just trying to make the best decision based on their judgement of the situation. I believe they were successful in doing so, as there were over 2,000 people who needed to be evacuated, and a high number of patients survived the transport. I recognize that difficulty of this decision, but ultimately, I think the decisions made by the doctors in Memorial Hospital allowed for the best possible outcome in this awful situation.


The Tale of Two Characters: Why do we Encourage Ariel?

This isn’t the first time we have encountered a protagonist who has fallen in love. In fact, the story of Ariel is quite similar to what we saw in Sea Storyand The Mistake. Specifically, in the mistake, we see the protagonist make a series of terrible decisions, which inevitably wind up with his death. Similarly, Ariel chases love, and nearly pays a grave consequence, as she sells herself to the Devil. Yet, we as viewers still continue to encourage and root for Ariel. Why? ThroughoutThe Mistake, readers condemn the actions of the protagonist, even though they are similar to those of Ariel. Therefore, my question is: How do the creators of The Little Mermaidencourage viewers to support Ariel? I will argue that it has a lot to do with tone and word choice.

Through displaying Ariel as almost a goddess, the creators of The Little Mermaid guide readers to support the actions of Ariel, yet we were quick to condemn the man in The Mistakefor very similar actions. For example, in The Mistake, the protagonist states, “She only put a river between us. Does that mean I should go in search of her? That she is waiting for me? That she left, not to lose me but allow me to find her?” (Kohan 2). As I said, we as readers were quick to call out this stupidity. This is because of the tone that the author uses. When reading this, there is a very uneasy, unsure tone, coupled with the use of many questions. By choosing a tone like this, Kohan shows that this decision may end up hurting the protagonist, which is why readers have this reaction. This is very contrary to the strategies used by the writers and producers of The Little Mermaid. This is shown when Ariel sings “When’s it my turn? Wouldn’t I love. Love to explore that shore above? Out of the sea. Wish I could bepart of that world” (The Little Mermaid). Here, viewers are encouraged to, and do support Ariel. This is because a positive, uplifting tone is used. If the tone had been similar to that of The Mistake, readers may be thinking the complete opposite. Although there are many other strategies used, I think the effective choice of tone allowed the creators of The Little Mermaid to captivate the audience.

Do Humans Truly Love Their Enviornment?

In AS Byatt’s Sea Story, she chronicles the aspirations and desires of a man named Harold. Harold has deep connections to the Ocean, or so he thinks. Byatt uses the addition of Laura, a Marine Biologist, to further describe Harold’s Love of the Sea. Therefore, my question is: Does AS Byatt use Laura to symbolize mankind’s relationship to the sea, or to simply show how Harold failed to attain her?

I think that AS Byatt uses Laura to depict the complex relationship between man and water. From the early stages of their relationship, Byatt makes it very clear that they will simply not work out, due to the career paths they have chosen in life. Laura says, “I’ve just been offered my dream job. I’m going to be part of a team studying the life-cycle of eels. This letter is my acceptance. I’m off to the Caribbean next week.” Eventually, Harold uses the sea as motivation, and decides to use his immense knowledge of the sea to try and get a letter to Laura via bottle. The bottle goes on to kill several sea creatures, which was not the intention of Harold. By including this, I think Byatt provides a possible propostion about mankind’s love of the sea. Harold says he loves Laura, but can he really? He has just met this girl, and yet he is able to think, “He wrote her love letters in his mind, studded with quotations. He wrote her love letters in his mind, studded with quotations.” Byatt is comparing Harold’s ‘love’ of Laura to human’s ‘love’ of the sea. Byatt is merely pointing out that humans claim to love the sea, yet it is so heavily polluted, with the wildlife being tormented in the process. Byatt is further able to show this when Harold’s bottle kills several animals, and Harold is thought to have a deep love for the ocean. When describing the later work of Laura, Byatt says, “The message she read was the human occupation and corruption of the masterless ocean.” Therefore, in the short story Sea Story, AS Byatt uses Laura to symbolize the ocean, pointing out that humans may not truly love the ocean as much as they claim.