Can We Recover From What We’ve Done? Will We Even Try To?

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Climate change is the most heated topics discussed in the political world. Being somewhat hot off the heels of the most controversial presidential election, it seems that people have forgotten about climate change, the thing that was almost never mentioned in any debates, or by either then candidates. Climate change is real. It isn’t a conspiracy made by China or something that is a weird liberal agenda that our president elect has said. It is real, we can see it, we can prove it. Our next president is looking to uncap the amount of coal that can be burned by companies and get out of the environmentally friendly Paris agreement that would have all the countries around the world prevent the global temperature from increasing dramatically. There are crucial in making sure that we as a species can continue to live. But it seems to be going over everyone that there will be other burdens that we will face if we don’t do something now. When we were watch the documentary in class earlier, we saw how Florida had to reorganize its infrastructure so that water wouldn’t flood the streets. These kinds of project require money and the United States is already 15 trillion dollars in debt. We are risking the country economically in a way that would affect us before the doomsday of burning crops or extinguished ecosystems. Obviously there are some things that we cannot fix such as the coral reefs in the ocean which are basically ruined. America needs to be a leader in the world and say that it is time to protect the world. A country like Denmark has done something incredible and shows that going completely green will be beneficial the national economy. But it isn’t good enough. Someone like China or the United States is the giant push or the motivation that the world needs to be able to move into this new direction which would create a completely new field of business, economy, and jobs. A

Now what can we as a society in America do? We know that climate change is something that is a large issue and there are many different views on it as seen in class. The last question I want to ask is what is the harm in trying to prevent climate change? Will there be negative repercussions if we do go in this new direction? I really want to hear everyones opinion.

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BP: One of Biggest Green-washing Oil Company

After the oil spill in 2010, BP created an incredibly large advertisement plan of about $93 million in which they they did or attempted to save face that they learned for their mistakes and were now the most green oil company. Besides the fact that the statement green oil company is contradicting, BP has actually increased the amount of CO2 emission that they released into the environment from drilling. The amount of CO2 released per day increased to about 127,000 tons from the 200,000 barrels that they produced from the Alberta Tar Sands. When looking at their advertisements after the oil spill, they use plenty of imagery that involve activities in the gulf such as fishing, they show lots of species and animals that could potentially have been affected by the oil spill, and they also show the actual shores of the gulf to show how “clean it is”. Obviously after learning about all the different techniques that corporations use in their advertisements, it is safe to assume that everyone reading this knows that there is most definitely some dishonesty in all of this. In reality, there is still about 1200 sq miles of oil still scattered on the seabed and oil tar still washing on the shores to this day. Obviously the general public has seen BP ads after the oil spill and what I really want to know is if the general populace feel that BP is not environmentally friendly, or if they think that they are environmentally friendly. After looking at a some polls, it seems that the general public is aware of these green-washing methods, as about 43% of the population has a negative opinion towards the multinational oil company while about 31% of the population views them in a positive light. So there is potentially a possibility that the general public is catching on to these green-washing tactics and can see through the lies. What do you guys think?

 

 

 

BP ad

 

 

 

Calling ’em Out: The World’s 10 Worst Greenwashers

 

Why is Nature a Good Backdrop for Advertisements?

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In class, we discussed about how nature is used in different ways for a multitude of advertisements. When thinking about all the advertisements that we saw in class, nature was never once used as something that was negative. When looking at the ad with the dancing animals, the use of green and nature images such as rainbows were used or nature was used as as complex obstacle course in the car advertisement. Why nature though? I believe that the answer goes back to the idea of how nature is ingrained into our childhood and memories. We think of nature as a good thing from all the animated movies that we’ve seen as well as now seeing the many nature protection programs across television and the Internet. Also because of the long interaction that we as humans have had with nature, even imagery leads to a psychological though that something related to it is good or at least neutral. This idea is part of the Attention Restoration Theory. Nature in advertisements is really a smart and interesting tactic that is used by companies. Even if we may not notice it, the ever so hidden underlying message about nature stays with us and it affects in one way, shape, or another.

Knowing what we have learned about nature and its subconscious connection to us, is it impossible for us to ever have a positive or neutral feeling towards these advertisements now that we know that it is used as a tactic against us. And what if everyone knew about the implications of nature to the human mind? Would we no longer have a positive outlook on nature as a whole, or would now just think that all companies and their advertisements use emotions against us?

 

 

 

https://elearning2.uniroma1.it/pluginfile.php/101770/mod_resource/content/1/Nature_imagery_in_advertising.pdf

We Don’t Really Care About the Environment

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After lecture on Thursday, I thought about the idea that almost everything that we do is hurting the environment. Everything from going to class in which the professor uses a computer to show lectures use electricity which requires fossil fuels to generate energy. Typing this blog or you reading this is using electricity, cars we drive to get to school, the food we get from TUC, food we get from Kroger, all require fossil fuels. So my true question is why are we so focused on what a lawn represents and its purpose, but rather talk about how nobody can care about the environment completely. Now I don’t want to say that we are all trying to pollute and destroy the planet, but the issue of environment right now needs to be on how we can get off of our fossil fuel addiction that we cannot live without. When looking at all the different major countries around the world, efforts to reduce pollution or to reduce consumption has either been minute stagnant, or continues to increase based on the country. Unfortunately, all these options are no longer good enough and are still bad for the environment. We have reached a point where China no longer has clean air for its people in certain cities or countries like the United States have had to create carbon taxes to prevent companies from going overboard on CO2 emission. I know this is a hard topic to discuss solutions to because we all know that we them. But why might I ask are there other questions being asked about the environment that don’t hold as much substantial weight. Maybe i’m trying to look at the problem as a whole instead of individual factors, but its hard to when some solutions seem simple such as just investing more time and money to find an alternative solution. Yet that statement itself affects many stakeholders. I truly would like to know everyones opinion of this because this topic so extensive and detailed that the opinions are endless.

 

Global Consumption of Fossil Fuels Continues to Increase

Usamah Ali

Are we Religious if we Aren’t Scientific? Are we not Religious if we are Scientific?

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On Tuesday, we had a discussion about the clear line that religion and science have both had. The controversial topic on whether the earth was made in the last 10,000 years through the idea of creationism or over a course of billions of years through the idea of evolution. Currently, an average 42% of all Americans believe that God created humans in their present form, about 31% of Americans believe that humans evolved with God guiding, and about 19% of Americans believe that humans evolved with God playing no role. Looking at these statistics, its clear that a large portion of citizens believe in some higher entity playing a role in our creation with only 1/3 of them believing in a form of evolution. Does this mean that half the country is scientifically illiterate because they refuse the scientific idea with the most amount of data and facts supporting it? I believe that it is all a matter of social environment as well as amount of or lack there of exposure to different ideas. A large portion of people who believe in the creationist idea went to church on a weekly basis while people who believed in god and evolution went less. It is difficult for people who have a strong belief in one idea to be open to others. Since birth, our parents gear us towards one perspective because that is the perspective they know. It seems though as time has moved forward, the younger generation is becoming less stubborn to different ideas then their older counterparts. The main factor that could play a key role in this is the excess amount of information we can get easily. If seems too late to try and persuade an older generation on the idea of science and evolution, but it seems that it is possible for us as a society to be able to give children different perspectives without gearing them towards one or another. So can we truly blame science for not being persuasive enough or can be blame people for not wanting to listen to alternatives?

 

Usamah Ali

http://www.gallup.com/poll/170822/believe-creationist-view-human-origins.aspx

Whose Fault is it for Lack of Science? Yours? The Media?

In the past week, we had been talking about the continuous decrease in science literacy as well as exposure to science information in general. We had also brought up the fact that many individuals in society have tuned what information that they want to hear based on their viewpoints. So the main question that I want to ask is whose fault is it for our decrease for the appreciation of science.

According to a study done by a team of psychologists from the universities of Illinois and Florida, it has been concluded that, while we now live and work in an environment filled with information, we filter out most of what we see and hear. When analyzing a group of 8000 test subjects, “The research found that people were in general twice as likely to select information that supported their own point of view as to consider an opposing idea, with two thirds going for supportive views as opposed to a third going the other way”. It was also found that people who were considered close minded didn’t even attempt to listen or understand an opposing or different viewpoint. The reason for this clear bias was because changing peoples perspective or ideas would give the idea that they might not be able to live the lives that they were previously living. So the science clearly shows that we are just programmed to be close minded and not consider many options that aren’t correlated to our own beliefs. Is it our truly our fault or the people we know for telling us to understand or consider ideas?

If we blamed the people around us, then we need to look at where they got their lack of openness to ideas from. Usually, this comes from the television media as despite the fact that it is going down, it is still the preferred way to obtain news. Biomedical researchers were from five countries were interacted with 35% of the time in media in 2005 while US scientists were mentioned even less in 2015 at about 10%.  This small stat shows that society from any country is being pushed away from science information. I feel that we should be educating children on the importance of science and to be able to explain why instead of thinking that it is boring and unnecessary, it is important and how it can be beneficial to the rest of society.

 

 

 

http://www.management-issues.com/news/5652/why-we-only-listen-to-what-we-want-to-hear/

http://www.pnas.org/content/110/Supplement_3/14102.full

The Balance of Profit and Regulation

Two weeks ago, we went over the concept of profiting from health. The prime example that we went over was the price increase of deraprim from $13.50 to $750. This obvious price gouging of medicine is something that shows the loopholes in trades as well as the need for a more balanced regulation on pharmaceutical companies. We live in a free market country and that is part of core values of America. Yet this concept has led to corruption within the system. Whether it be this obvious price gouging or so called “donations” to political members of Congress and the House, profiting from health is something that is an incredibly touchy and manipulative subject. There are clearly signs of a structural and agency imbalance.

We look at “ceutical” products like Viagra, vitamin water, and anti-aging cream and do not question their effectiveness despite that there is no proven study that these types of medicine can benefit the overall health of a human. But because these products are very well advertised and well framed, we don’t notice anything. It is an obligation to both the companies of these types of products as well as the government to make regulation on specifically how a product would benefit a persons health. Of course the problem with that is that if the general public knew that the products that they were using were useless, there would obviously be repercussions to the overall economy.

Looking at pharmaceutical drugs, there is no lying about what it does and doesn’t do. If you want to know the side effects, you will know. In this instance pharmaceutical drugs are much better then ceutical products. Looking at the negatives is more complicated. Compared to most countries around the world, the United States is one  of a few that does not set price regulations on specific drugs and is one of two countries that promote pharmaceutical drugs in advertisements. This isn’t really a problem except for the fact that regular citizens require these drugs for health stability. When looking at the deraprim again, the same version of this drug has been made by different companies for just 1 dollar. Is it the fault of the company or the fault of the government who refuses to reduce the monopoly that patents may have? At the moment, it seems that the government is doing the opposite and attempting to increase the amount of time a company can have a monopoly on a patent. Recently, President Obama and the rest of the senate are trying to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership which among other things would allow a company to hold a monopoly of a drug for 12 years instead of 5. What can be done? At this point, only a change in the system would do us any good as when looking at top donors for political campaigners, pharmaceutical companies are among the list in donations.

Usamah Ali

 

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/11/health/big-pharma-presidential-politics/

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-idUSKCN11M1JK

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/express-scripts-will-offer-1-alternative-to-750-daraprim-pill/