Bottled is not Better!

There are many misconceptions that come with the use of tap water versus the use of bottled water. The individuals who often chose to buy and drink bottled water over tap believe that is going to be much healthier and regulated than that of the municipal tap water that they could be drinking. In reality, these claims could not be more untrue. The website, Food and Water watch, is dedicated to combat these exact misnomers for the general public. The website highlights the major issues in a comprehensible bullet point manor with extensive information on each point available if the individual choses to investigate. They are able to highlight numerous statistics that will draw the readers eye and influence them in the future to no longer buy and drink bottled water over tap water. The overwhelming environmental issue with bottled over tap is that it adds to the plastic that is disposed and added to the world. However, with the material that they provide one can see that it does not make much of a difference to choose tap water over bottled water. For instance, “more than half of all bottled water comes from the tap.”(Food and Water watch) Immediately this fact sticks out to anyone viewing the page not to mention that it is followed up with the fact that, “in the United States, our drinking water is continuously monitored and treated according to federal standards.”(Food and Water Watch) Meaning that higher standards are actually held to the municipal water that comes from the tap than are held the private company water that fill the plastic water bottles that many drink. Past the information determining the difference between the qualities in tap versus bottles water, one can look into the plastic that is used for packaging and distribution of bottled water. The website, Band the bottle, serves as another interesting, fun and fact filled website that can account for information on the issues of tap versus bottled water. In this case however some of the major bullet points highlighted are those surrounding the plastic used. Of the many that one could pull from this site to highlight its negative environmental effects I think that, “The recommended eight glasses of water a day, at U.S. tap rates equals about $.49 per year; that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400,”(Ban the Bottle) stands as a jaw dropper for most American’s. I could not believe this statistic when I read the website and truly believe that this would stop man from choosing bottled over tap. In the future, I will be sure to choose tap water over bottled knowing the large issues that it causes environmentally and the lack of health regulations that are misconceived by most Americans.

The first step to global learning is global awareness

The first aspect of global learning is that of global awareness. It is the step you must take in order to be fully globally educated and fully globally aware. It is the foundation of all global learning, as one must be aware of something in order to act upon it. 

Global awareness is being able to understand these relationships and analyze how they affect our planet. For example, in this class, we talked a lot about global climate change, the impact that humans had on this detrimental process, and how to calculate it. On several of my blogs, I talked about how the factory farm industry has a massive negative impact on our environment, and I used math to support my answer.

I used what we learned in the breakfast foods project, as well as my own research, to discover what kind of impact eating meat and dairy has on the health of our Earth. In one of my blogs, I stated that “Right now, it is estimated that 30% of the planet’s landmass is set aside for  factory farms, a.k.a. for meat, dairy, and egg production.” I went on to talk about that “Livestock production causes an even larger contribution to climate change than the transportation sector worldwide.” It turn out that it is very simple to use math to make sense of concepts like these, and that is all part about being globally aware in order to globally learn.  

Not an Intersectional Feminist? Misogyny it is then!

The whole world benefits from gender equality. The rights of women are important on the basis of human equality, regardless of an individual’s gender identity, and using up all of the world’s human potential to tackle big issues. Women are constantly over looked as sources of power in the military, in politics, in STEM fields, and in everyday life. We need to stop boxing women into roles that do not allow them to reach their fullest potential. Our global society will reap the benefits that women will be able to produce and contribute in every field they are underrepresented once this potential is encouraged and allowed to flourish.

Often times when I tell people I’m a intersectional feminist they look at me like I have three heads, but intersectional feminism=gender equality. When people, including women, argue with me and tell me that we are post sexism I simply break down all of the areas of oppression women currently face for just identifying as female (that global goals has conveniently outlined for everyone in the form of goals here: https://www.globalgoals.org/5-gender-equality):

  1. Discrimination against Women and Girls-seen in the wage gap (which is present in every country in the world except Iceland right now), day-to-day gendered micro aggressions, the over-sexualization of female bodies, the glass ceiling, etc.
  2. Violence and Exploitation of Women-women and girls are disproportionately trafficked as sex slaves, and slaves; women and girls are disproportionately abused in homes and in public spheres, femicide(: a gender based hate crime–>”the killing of a woman or girl, in particular by a man and on account of her gender.”
  3. Forced Marriages and Genital Mutilation
  4. Unpaid Care and devaluation of the Domestic Responsibilities Women take on or are forced into at disproportionate rates compared to men
  5. Disproportionate Amount of Female Leadership and Decision Making-this is seen in and out of politics, and in the gap of  venture capital women have. In 2017, only 2.2% of all venture capital in the United States went to companies founded solely by women, only 4.4% of transactions went to female-founded companies and only 11.3% of partners at venture capitalist firms were women according to Forbes.
  6. Lack of Access to Reproductive Health and Rights- reflected in the number of Planned Parenthoods that have been defunded all across America, and the all male American female reproductive health board that is single handedly attempting to control the bodies and choices of women in America.
  7. An Unequal Amount of Female Property Owners- seen in farmlands, financial services of the family unit, etc.
  8. Lack of Women having access to technology
  9. Lack of Global Legislation to Eradicate the Above Issues ^^^

Everyone should identify as an intersectional feminist if they want to see the Anthropocene thrive, if they believe in human rights, and if they believe in freedom and equality for all. If you don’t identify as an intersectional feminist….de facto, the word to describe you is a misogynist.

 

 

Global Engagement

One aspect of sustainability and our global impact I focused on and have been thinking about throughout this class is the importance of education. I believe that so many of our goals to reduce waste, increase economic sustainability, etc., are realistic, but only after we get more people involved. I think that one reason many people do not think about or want to acknowledge their global carbon footprint, for example, is because it seems very difficult to change effectively. However, if everyone were educated on small things, such as what types of plastics are recyclable and which are not, for example, a big difference can be made. I believe that most people would be more willing to make positive changes if they were more aware of the great impact those changes could make. One example could be if someone is renovating their house and considering which toilet/ faucet/ shower head to buy. If they are informed about how efficient flushing greatly impacts our water footprint, they might be more willing to buy a toilet that uses less water per flush. If this water-saving toilet uses 2 gallons per flush and a not-as-efficient one uses 6 gallons per flush, even for a household of one person that saves around 24 gallons of water a day. I think many fo the goals outlined on the 17-goal list will become more feasible once we get everyone on the same page about how we can easily change our individual impacts on the world.

Mathematics, Sustainability, and Global Learning

I honestly think certain issues are best understood through specific, smaller-scale examples.

For instance, there’s the broad issue of global warming and climate change and human use of fossil fuels and all the corresponding problems that arise as a result. Yet instead of trying to tackle the issue broadly, I think it best to start small and work your way up. Which is why my paper focused on the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia, a relationship centered almost entirely around 2 fundamental, core values: cheap oil and defensive guarantees.

For too long, in fact since the end of World War II, the United States of America has guaranteed Saudi national security and defense in exchange for a reliable supply of cheap oil supplies. We have overlooked Saudi offenses and atrocities time and time again, to the detriment of our own values and the sacrifice of American lives.

The issue, of course, is U.S. reliance on Saudi oil supplies. On a daily basis, Saudi oil supplies represent roughly 5% of U.S. oil consumption (U.S.E.I.A.).  Obviously, this dependence results in an unwillingness to abandon Saudi Arabia’s record of abuse in favor of what we believe.

As a result, we sacrifice our own values as well as the present and future of our environment in order to maintain the status quo. Clearly, this trade-off is unsustainable to say the least. It requires necessary and immediate change, in both U.S. energy and foreign policy.

Global Learning and Sustainability

The 17 global goals outlined are incredibly ambitious, some of them can potentially be achieved, others are a bit idealistic and far-fetched.  Goal number 16, which highlights peace, justice and strong institutions is a goal that will likely never be completed.  To expect governments across the world to all be stable, and all have equal respect for human rights is close to impossible.  Freedom House is a nonprofit institution that analyzes and reports on the state of human rights across the world.  By their assessment, out of the 195 recognized countries in the world, only 87 are actually considered ‘totally free.’  49 are ‘not free,’ and 59 are considered ‘partly free.’  This means that less than half (49% to be exact) of the countries in the world show complete respect for human rights and civil liberties.  With half the countries in the world not adhering to goal 16, it makes accomplishing it a daunting task.  I don’t think activism alone is able to achieve a solid foundation of human rights and strong institutions.  Activism can only do so much in the face of violent and repressive governments.  In order for goal 16 to be fully realized, military interventions might be necessary to force governments to change their ways, and their leadership.  However, military interventions go against the very nature of peace, and can lead to death, poverty, and famine, thus violating other global goals.  It begs the question if achieving goal 16 is worth worsening progress on other goals.  Out of all the goals highlighted, I think goal 16: climate action, is the most doable.  It doesn’t call for solving climate change, it simply mandates that countries and people take steps to act in the face of climate change, something which is already happening with things such as the Paris Climate Accords.

17 Global Goals

The 17 Global Goals for sustainable development, set for 2030, is all encompassing of everything sustainability has to offer. From global awareness and perspective, to global engagement and responsibility, the 17 goals for sustainable development touch on aspects of social as well as environmental partnership.

Sustainability from a mathematic and global standpoint is an incredibly crucial aspect. By computing our carbon footprint and other sources of measuring our energy on a global platform, we enhance our knowledge and understanding of just how important sustainable living is for our environment. To more accurately guide emissions and usage of our planet’s natural resources, as well as social issues surrounding these, it is crucial to look at the bigger global picture as a whole.

Using mathematical concepts like computing the total, as well as percentage changes throughout history or into the future we can more fully understand our societal impact. Without global awareness, countries would not take into account other countries’ impacts on our natural resources. Without fully encompassing the world’s total carbon footprint and emissions alongside  the planet’s biocapacity, a function or equation would prove to be widely inaccurate.

In evaluating how predictions of global sustainable goals reflect actual data, we can connect human societal issues with the more prevalent usage of earth’s natural systems. To increase the awareness of the interrelationship of human activity and our planet’s natural systems it is important to educate the public with accurate information.

I think the Global Goals does a great job encompassing a ‘we’ message, instead of a nationalist ‘us before them’ message that has been oh so present in our national politics as of late. It makes my heart warm to know that there are still enough compassionate people in the world to make an impact, and I am committed to these 17 goals by 2030.

Global Action Through Awareness

Global awareness through engagement can be achieved through a continuous effort by everyone on the planet. Our current generation has the largest ecological footprint in history and it comes directly from the developed countries who are harming the lesser developed countries. Together if the developed countries could work with those who are lesser developed to find more sustainable resources then we could begin to erase the tremendous hole in our ozone layer. By 2030, if developed countries can increase awareness through a continued engagement in developed countries to modernize infrastructure through sustainable industrialization then the developing countries will raise GDP and raise the industry’s share of employment.

Awareness is the most important trait to have because through communication we can make a difference whether it’s through word of mouth or through first-hand examples of sustainable actions. One in three people lives without sanitation which causes unnecessary disease and even death. Along with poor sanitation, access to nutritious foods should be expanded upon as well, in developing countries hunger is the leading cause of death. Again, unequal access and inefficient handling can leave millions of people battling malnourishment and hunger. One of the major examples of global perspective can be shown in ways that we can achieve this through the elimination of inequalities and discrimination. People should treat others how they would want to be treated because we are all created equal. The human race accounts for only a small portion of Earth’s history and it would not be fair to destroy it for future generations.

Global Goals

Goal #13, Climate Action, states that people need to make changes to their daily lives to protect our environment. This goal supports Global Awareness because it sets out to promote a healthy planet and ecosystem. More specifically, it aims to create new policies surrounding climate change, improve education on all things sustainability, and develop climate change-related planning in developing countries. In terms of daily sustainable living, people can contribute to this goal by using a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic one. It is recommended that people drink 8 eight ounce bottles of water each day, but if there are 7 billion people in the world and a typical plastic water bottle holds 16 ounces of water, then that wastes 28 billion 16 ounce plastic water bottles each day.

Goal #8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, falls under the global perspective category because it aims to promote employment opportunities for everyone and economic success. According to the Global Goals, if we can create more jobs, promote sustainable tourism, put a stop to human trafficking, and achieve equal pay for men and women, we would be able to satisfy society’s goals without compromising the capacity of future generations to do the same.  

 

 

Global Awareness

For this blog, I am going to focus on global awareness which can be defined as the recognition and appreciation of thecomplexity, size, and diversity of the earth as a single entity. In order to have awareness, we must accept what we do not know and aim to learn what we are unaware of. Overall, I believe that we are all making positive strides in understanding our global impact on the Earth, but we lack the complete answer in how to reverse damages we have caused. For example, there were about 12 billion hectares of biologically productive land and water areas on Earth in 2014. Dividing by the number of people alive in that year (7 billion) gives 1.72 global hectars per person, not including wild species that also need the land. By becoming aware of data like this, we can work together towards decreasing our demand on the environment by using global goals such as the SDG’s. Also, that current levels of meat production adds nearly 6.5 billion tons of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases every year to the atmosphere. Globally, if we do not work together, we will continue to trigger irreversible negative worldwide effects such that jeopardize earth’s resources such as biodiversity loss and ocean acidification.