Water Crisis: Who Is To Blame?

In David Owen’s article “Where the Water Goes” adapted from his book, he tells a story about himself and relates it to a bigger issue. Owen explains how he used to work with a grounds crew taking care of lawns and maintenance. Every day he and his co-workers would spray water aimlessly all day long just to keep the grass green. What Owen did not think about, was where was this water coming from? In developed countries such as the United States it is easy to go on every day and without understanding how the water coming out of your sink or shower got there. By telling this story, Owen places some blame on himself for not thinking about his impact and the water he was using. There is limited supply of freshwater on earth and changes need to happen. In the article Owen also questions the water usage of certain states. My question is who should be blamed for the water crisis we are facing today?

I believe that the government should be held responsible for the water supply problems in The United States. For the most part water is regulated and supplied by the government. Due to this, I think that it is necessary that the government impliment sustainable practices in order to protect our water supply. The United States has the facilities and resources to understand the impacts of overusing water. Furthermore, the government’s job is to inform the citizens of such a large issue as running out of water. I do not think that certain states who use more water are to blame for water scarcity and over use. It is the governments job to allocate and protect natural resources that are not owned by anyone in particular. Owen quotes Patricia Mulroy who says “What happens in Denver matters in L.A. What happens in Phoenix matters in Salt Lake. It’s a web, and if you cut one strand the whole thing begins to unravel. If you think there can be a winner in something like that, you are nuts. Either we all win, or we all lose. And we certainly don’t have time to go to court.” As Mulroy explains, I think that is important to look at the bigger picture of the water crisis and the government should have been doing that much earlier.

How Do You Define Triage?

Triage defined in the dictionary is the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties. However, that definition can be interpreted in many different ways. Triage medical techniques were necessary during Hurricane Catrina in New Orleans. Sheri Fink explores whether or not Memorial Hospital’s doctors were following a moral code or abusing their power in her article, “The Deadly Choices at Memorial Hospital.” Memorial Hospital was in a state of panic as their power went out and resources became scarce. The only way to help patients was to evacuate them and there were limited first responders arriving at the hospital. This meant that certain patients would get to evacuate much earlier than others. This brought up the question: who gets to leave first? What choices could bring the greatest good? Did Memorial Hospital do the right thing? Memorial Hospital Doctors split their patients into 3 groups. In broad terms, Group 1 was the most healthy and Group 3 was the least healthy and required the most assistance. Group 1 patients were evacuated first, then Group 2, and Group 3 was last. This choice basically let the sickest people die. Another kind of triage would be to give resources to the people who need it most. If Memorial Hospital did that, Group 3 would be evacuated first. That would give group 3 the best chance to survive, and people who could afford to wait, would wait to be evacuated. I think that Memorial Hospital made wrong choices in how they evacuated people and also how they made their 3 categories of patients.

Many factors were taken into account by Memorial Hospital. One that I found controversial was the emphasis on DNR. Patients with DNR were automatically placed into a lower group. This meant that doctors assumed patients with DNR orders did not want to fight as much or live as much as patients without DNR. I think this a wrong assumption and that the doctors made the wrong call. DNR should not have been considered that strongly in their decision making. I believe that a DNR has no correlation to someones current happiness and love of life. Memorial Hospitals doctors were not trained properly for this situation and I believe their triage during Hurricane Katrina was immoral.

Ariel: Rebel or Classic Princess?

After watching” The Little Mermaid” now, it made me like the movie less. As a kid I did not understand the reality and meaning behind aspects of this movie. One of those includes gender and status. There are two powerful sea creatures, and Triton and Ursula. Both of them try to control Ariel, but in the end only the man in power survives. Ariel, the main character, is an opinionated woman. She is curious, but also hesitant because she wants approval from her father. I wonder if “The Little Mermaid” diminishes the power and worth of a women?

Ariel is a rebellious daughter, not afraid to explore, but she is afraid of being alone. Triton does not want Ariel to go on land or meet any humans because he believes humans will only harm her. Humans often exploit sea animals, but Ariel sees something more in them. Compared to other Disney films, Ariel does have a bold Character as a Women, however her independence gets taken away. The push Ariel needed to become a human and explore the land was a man. She has been collecting man made objects for years and always dreamt about what they were used for. None of those dreams were enough, because she didn’t have someone else in them. Ariel needed to fall in love with a man in order to finally disobey her father wishes. Why did that have to be the case? Why couldn’t Ariel have meet a wonderful friend or left the ocean on her own? Since Ariel only became a human to be with Prince Eric, I think it diminishes her overall worth as a woman. Ariel has always wanted to experience human life, but because she does it over a man, it makes the audience forget she had her passions separate to Prince Eric.

A Love Story or an Environmental Tragedy?

In Sea Story by AS Byatt, the author tells a love story that also focuses on the environment, specifically the ocean. The main character grew up close to the shore and loved it. He expresses his love for ocean throughout the story, but does not follow his father’s career path as an oceanographer. He is a writer that evidently falls in love with a girl he met at sea. She loves the ocean dearly, but does not love him. Harold desperately tries to reconnect with Laura after she leaves for the Caribbean to work at her dream job, but by releasing the bottle with a letter to her in the ocean he is putting sea life at risk. My question is, does AS Byatt want the reader to sympathize or critique Harold for his actions?

AS Byatt makes it unclear whether or not we are supposed to feel sorry for Harold. Harold is heart broken after he was given the wrong address and email to contact Laura. He desperately tries to reach her and at the end of the story his love letter reaches Laura only after it had broken and decomposed in the ocean. The author purposefully had the letter be so close to being seen by her, but he nevertheless failed. This could create empathy for him. On the other hand, the author made the bottle go through the “Caribbean Trash Vortex.” AS Byatt thoroughly describes the all the bits of trash, their colors, variety, and immense quantity. This description was more detailed than the explanation of Harolds letter. Due to this, I think that this proves we should be skeptical of Harold and not supportive.

Harold could have been seen as a vulnerable, relatable character when he decides what bottle to use and what to put in it for Laura. He is thoughtful when he picks out Laura’s favorite drink as his bottle and AS Byatt calls him “serious” because he puts his grandfathers ring in the bottle as well. A reader could feel bad for him after reading that he really cares for her and never gets his love story with Laura. I do not think that the author wants the reader to feel this way at the end of the story. AS Byatt purposefully explains to the reader all of the harm that Harold causes. His fathers ring does not get to Laura, but it does reach a hagfish and the ring kills this animal. The bottle disintegrates and “the mollymawk tore at it and carried away a smeared strip to feed to its chicks, who would die with bellies distended by this stuff.” Furthermore, two turtles die, an eel, swooping gannets, and fish in general. The author vividly portrays all of the destruction one bottle, a letter, and a ring can cause. Without any trash in the ocean, Laura would not have had to study it and that would not have been the cause of her death. AS Byatt does not want the reader to feel bad for Harold. We should be mad at Harold for his careless mistake and we should not make the same one.