Why Math of Sustainability

The first moment I saw the earth as more than a mere surface we live on was my freshman year of high school. I was on a service trip in Nicaragua, and on the final night we climbed to the top of an active volcano, and sat while watching the most incredible sunset I have ever witnessed. Watching the incredibly large, bright red sun move down beneath the mountains on the horizon within minutes and witnessing the entire view turn to darkness was a new level of breathtaking. This is when I started to understand the utter beauty of this planet.

When I noticed that this was an option for a course, I felt that it would be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about making sure the planet can stay as beautiful and natural as possible. People constantly try to convince others to do what they can to help the environment and the world we live in, but so many of us do not understand why, or just how bad the state of our planet is. I think learning the specific stats and numbers surrounding the problem of the poor state of our environment will not only bring more light to the problem, but hopefully convince people to do what they can to help. 

Sustainability Blog #1

From spending summers in Beijing, to months in Australia and New Zealand my view on what sustainability means has drastically changed. To me, sustainability is defined as something that can be managed and maintained over time at a controlled rate. In the context of environmental climate change, and with this definition, clearly climate change has not been environmentally sustained. The New York Times published an article, Pollution May Dim Thinking Skills, which emphasizes how the world is not sustainably maintaining the environment. The results of this longitudinal study suggest that pollution can negatively influence people’s language production, processing, math skills, and increased risk for Alzheimer’s and respiratory disease. China’s carbon dioxide emissions have increased over the previous year, even though the country has been setting climate change goals. At this rate of pollution, scientists predict that by the year 2030, about 75.6 million people will suffer from Dementia. The goal of this study is to increase awareness about the negative effects of climate change and to prevent developing and developed countries from increasing carbon dioxide emissions. Individuals should reflect and take a step back and track their carbon footprint – such as are there places where you drive, and should walk instead? What temperature do you keep your air conditioner on?

Australia study abroad 2017 – Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia