This appears to be the last blog of this semester and so I believe a final thought is in order as I am sure Jerry would agree. I will of course reflect upon the course instead of love triangles that become love hexagons but as you see Jerry focuses on interpersonal communication failures and gives his final thoughts toward moving forward and adds logic to everyone’s perspectives so through this blog I’d like for it to do the same in regards to the communicative issues between us as consumers and the information presented to us and our class has touched based on this. This class has taught us a lot in regards to our relationships to product demand as consumers. We have learned that this is both a complicated and deceitful relationship usually more focused on making more products seem like a better choice for a quick buck or the deceitful media choosing a third party interest over the health of the general public. So at this point we are being so lied to, cheated on by, and yet swayed by all of these advertisements, false labels, and even by third party corporations that are influences this poor relationship to continue in the name of a profit. As you can see we ended up finding out that we are not in a very healthy relationship and so this kind of revelation of mistrust and battered relationship leaves me feeling maybe we do need his advice to get out of our current deficit mode in science, environmental, and health communication and demand that truth out weigh corporate gain in order to mend our health, environment, and confidence in this relationship. Jerry states that “marriage and other bonds of intended permanence require not putting me first but us first if that isn’t the priority then that isn’t a relationship its merely a long date that ends when you’ve had enough” which parallels the fact that media outlets and nutritional labels shouldn’t be out for the “me” they should be more invested in the “us” or at some point we may decide Jerry is right and call off this long date by changing the priorities of corporations through further oversight of their claims but this misinformation could persist until we all decide to stop paying attention to what these companies say all together. Well with that all being said till next class take care of yourselves and each other.
In class the other day the thing that stuck most with me would have to be Leonardo DiCaprio’s interpretation of the Tar sands. He said what many of us were thinking and summed it best by pointing out its very Mordor-like appearance. It seems to be a land of waste, devoid of life and color with all of the makings of a movie set Mordor vibe. That’s why I felt it might make for an interesting topic so today I wanted to talk about the Alberta Tar sands in Canada and their role in the U.S. Apparently now Canada has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the number one oil distributor to the U.S so as you can imagine the Tar Sands are huge. They cover an area the size of England with the purpose of extracting crude oil out of bitumen found under the Boreal Forest in Alberta Canada. The video I watched on this issue went into depth more than I would have space to here but I will include it below of course. They explain that due to Canada’s location and weather stability a ‘great partnership with the U.S. will most likely continue and that the tar sands production would be quadrupling over the next 20 years.” Going on to talk more about the environmental degradation caused and then they state that”Tar sand production spills out as much green house gas in one day as 1.34 million cars.” The video also points to the fact that Water is being wasted and polluted through this process as well. The sands require 3 barrels of water to extract one barrel of crude oil and of those 3 barrels 90% of it gets eventually wasted due to its toxicity. When they need to store this toxic water they put it into something called a tailing pond. The video states that out of every 160 liters of tailings produced one liter leaks and that every one of these tailing ponds leak as they were only constructed using sand. They also speak about all of the animals affected by drinking the water as well as other declines and talks about how the ducks are being affected and end up becoming covered in oil. For an area bigger than the amazonian rain-forest itself lets hope that another alternative presents itself to those who feel dependent upon its degradation for the sake of all environmental aspects of concern.
Through our Greenwashing discussion I have discovered that companies are allowed to straight out lie to their consumers by stating false claims. You would think this would be illegal but apparently it isn’t illegal at all and one news story about really brings this as well as other examples to life. The news story was presented by Good Morning America through abc news back in 2009 and they worked with terrachioce in covering some of the 7 sins we spoke about in class . They spoke about how Kenmore refrigerators claim to be more energy efficient and so claims it will save you money on your electric bill and will give you a green foot print when it comes to energy use reduction but one consumer found this to not be the case and saw no change in electric usage. The news story also points out that this is completely legal for companies to do. They went over other examples as well. At one point they spoke about shaving creams and their claims to be chlorofluorocarbon or CFC free and how that they are just “hyping whats out” because since 1978 it has already been illegal for products to contain CFC’s anyway and so they weren’t actually in there and aren’t in products now already regardless of their boasting. They also spoke about hidden trade offs and pointed to a water bottle example where due to it’s shape it reduces it’s plastic use by 30% yet people don’t realize that the trade off is the need of transport and the resources needed for that seem to negate this product as a green option. There are also things known as self made seals and this one really blew my mind. Whenever I see a green leaf a on a product I figure it is an earned mark of environmental standards being represented however this is apparently not the case because companies can put whatever stamp looking logo on their bottles that they want. All of these ploys directly mislead consumers and I feel that they are only hurting themselves in the long run as we consumers will loose trust in their labels entirely over time and began to ignore them making companies loose them as a viable source marketing in the long run anyway. So what do you all think, should these false claims also known as lies be illegal or not?
For blog 7 this week I know exactly what I want to share with you all. So we have been talking about conservationism as well as green image ads and environmental advocacy ads and that made me think of what better ways to recycle their could be as well as what impact these ads were having on others. Were there other people inspired to find ways to truly be less wasteful. While I didn’t find a surge of people boasting about the plant content within their water bottles I did find something a bit more interesting in the end. In fact I came across not one but two different genius people who have managed to turn waste to wonder. There are a total of three videos I wanted to share and discuss with you. I will of course include all of the videos themselves.
Video #1 was posted by “Coolest Thing” which is a segment dedicated to showing the coolest things people have created. In the video we meet Richart Sowa who is a man living on an island that is made of trash literally it floats on it and acts as the general support frame.
Video #2 was posted by Rose Robin and goes a little more in depth with him on how the island works. Basically water bottles are everywhere acting as a life raft of sorts and the there is a layer of wood and earth placed down and then another layer of trash and more earth and even full trees where roots help to hold together the rafts frame work. He called it “layered like a lasagna” and when the producer asked how long the bottles had before they degraded and he mentioned the fact that they breakdown by sunlight so since they are shaded they could last a very long time. In this video he also mentions his idea for floating islands that fly using the power of a harnessed hurricane so there’s that.
Video #3 was posted by Kirsten Dirksen and is another genius take on turning waste into something wonderful. This place was in fact created by items that would have normally ended up in the waste bend. Tom Duke had the idea to build something called an earth ship once he moved to the New Mexican desert. Now he is working on building an entire neighborhood. These homes are made with all recycled materials and still look amazing. He uses tires, bottles, and cans to construct them and they all are very green movement forward. He explains the four uses for water and shows off the indoor banana trees. He explains it all and at one point he even describes that he would like to think of the house as alive because it breathes and that will make sense once you see it but either way very smart guy.
As you can see these guys may be extreme but they are genius. How far would some of you be willing to go or should we say how many uses for water can you think of. This may be a little too extreme for me right now personally but I really do feel that it is some type of future housing possibility due to its sustainability and character. Who knows maybe one day people will all be living in earth ships and find our homes to be ridiculous, either way its clear to see that people are using their awareness to lessen there own impact on the environment all while coming away with a pretty sweet home in the end too. So what do you think are you planning your earth ship yet?
(youtube.com- hyperlinked in videos)
In class we discussed Max Weber and his theory that stated that as humans we have a god given right to consume. I found this to be a very interesting theory and wondered what others thought of this take on consumerism. Since we are living in a capitalist society and in times of environmental degradation I feel that this belief is a good one to question for us all. I personally must say I don not believe are here just to consume. I feel we are more creators than consumers but now days those two are going hand in hand as the world sees more and more creation up for consumption. It has gotten to the point now that it seems we are not just creating for fun or efficiency but are now creating more products just to replace existing products with something that will inevitably just be replaced as well. Honestly I can understand the need for a new phone at times but in general to need an updated phone every year or two is a little too much in my opinion. What’s worse is the fat that people see this annual product replacement as a norm in our modern day society and that will only lead us to all over consume and in turn waste products and contribute more waste materials to an already overloaded planet. I watched a video that sums this all up pretty nicely talking about the fact that we are like children playing with our toys a short while only to throw them away and expect to get more. What do you all think? Is consumption a right or a bad habit?
In lecture the other day we were reflecting on whether or not people were wanting to have kids or not. That topic lead us to the point that China once had a one child policy and has switched that to a two child policy. I found this intriguing and figured it would be an interesting topic to approach and learn about and I really do feel it is very important to inform people who think a drastic population decrease would ever be an exceptable resort in correcting our current population over growth. As it turns out and aging society is not beneficial over time because people get to the point that they cannot work any longer and need to be able to retire but realistically there aren’t enough young people to economically support the aging society. There are also problems due to an imbalance in gender now. At the time of the one child policy a lot of girls were actually aborted because it is seen as more lucrative to have a boy who can work for the home and continue the family. Now they are beginning to see that there are too many males in comparison to females and that the females who are there usually move to the city to find work. This leaves lots of bachelors who do not even expect to ever have a girlfriend let alone a child. This in turn results in many children not being born today and many parents never expecting to become grandparents either. So now days China has switched over to a two child policy which I too feel will work a lot better in balancing out the overall population crisis they have economically fallen into. So this population growth experiment is seeming to hinder their economy so far and I feel as though they will have to keep experimenting further in order to know what magic number will work and the tricky part is that it will be an ever changing number due to a fluctuating economy. For more information I wanted to post a few video links on the topic that are interesting as well and may inspire you to reply on what you think as well. Is China moving in the right direction?
(Image thanks to jroop.com)
There seems to be a new popular trend taking over that we spoke of in class. We spoke about how target advertising on social media has made it to where people are just not getting fully informed any more. So it seems they may be missing there mark but overall it looks as though it is a trend that is here to stay. From what I found by the time it is year 2020 the percentage of online users targeted through target advertising will be an estimated 85% which is huge. As just a measure of the growth in such industry here are some of the facts; In 1998 15 million was spent on such an endeavor and in 2008 that figure was a reported 775 million dollars and so in the year 2020 we see an estimated figure of over thirty billion dollars in spending. So as you can see this trend is here to stay so I just wonder how this will hold out through time. Will everyone cease to even notice or will they all get so tired of seeing the same ad every thirty seconds that they realize this is something to be better off without. I feel that these agency are receiving personal information and should not be allowed to target our every exposure due to the mere possibility of some measly sale. I also hope people can recognize that the bottle necking of interest will only hurt relations with potential new buyers and just in a social realm objectively speaking. Then there is the whole fact that the thought of being catalogued is just inhumane at its core if you ask me but hey it is unavoidable. Oh and lets not forget the fact that there is a database of all the random google questions that have spurred as well in the name of behavioral advertising and that’s not creepy at all. It makes you feel as though the salesman is your stalker oh and he is invisible so there’s that. Overall I just hope we can realize this is unnecessary and come to our senses. I found my statistical facts all wrapped in an interesting video about the subject matter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbzK7atDS9U). Its very interesting.