Management of the Biophysical Environment - 2016

About this class

This course examines the role of the state in environmental issues. We examine the rationales, challenges and pitfalls inherent in state-led resource management. Students will be blogging on media coverage of important environmental issues throughout the course of the semester.

There are no postings in your class

There are no posts from collaborative classes or you don't have access

Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
3 années 8 mois ago

Hi Josie!

I enjoyed reading your article! It is very sad that the populations of Koalas are declining so much and that the activities of the government are contributing so much. But I did have a coupled of follow up questions that I was curious if you could answer. First, you described the environmental groups as needing to place environmental resource management above industry, which I thought was a bit funny because describing an environmental feature as a resource implicitly commodifies it, and suggests that it can be used as a resource. For instance, a small treed area could be described as a timber resource/woodlot likely by industry members who intended to cut down the trees/harvest them for profit. However, it is unlikely that a local environmental group would describe it that way - if they used an anthropocentric description at all, it would probably emphasize the spiritual or cultural value of the forest, and suggest that it could/should not be viewed primarily as a vehicle for economic gain. So, I was wondering why you described the Koalas as a resource? Is the NSW EPA responsible for some Koala tourism initiative that I am unaware of?

Second, I was wondering about your discussion of koalas more generally. They are an unusual species, but part of me thinks that the reason that they get so much attention is because they are charismatic (or cute, in other words). Do you know if they have any key ecological role? Are there other endemic species that share the habitat that are less rare? I have also heard that koalas often die as a result of attacks by dogs, another charismatic species. Is the government taking any action to limit their loss from canine confrontations?

Reply to: Heroin Epidemic
3 années 8 mois ago

Ashepherd,

Your post stood out to me and was very informative with respect to the current epidemic that is opiate abuse. The examples you used helped to show the scary reality of what drug abuse can do to someone. As you mentioned, opiates come in many forms, currently in my hometown of Niagara Falls (CA) fentanyl use has become a growing concern as it is easier to access.

An article that I've attached below illustrates the increasing use of alternative forms of opiates like fentanyl, as more common ones like oxycodone become more heavily regulated. In 2010, the Ontario provincial government replaced the oxycodone pill with a more tamper-resistant form. This caused a shockwave to addicts who were forced to shift to other forms of drugs in order to fulfill their need, and as a result fentanyl has emerged a cheaper alternative. Ironically, data shows that since 2010, fentanyl related deaths have nearly doubled from 86 in 2010, to 165 in 2015.

The concept of addiction needs to be viewed as an illness or disease rather than a negative disposition towards that individual person. Many addicts are people who have endured multiple setbacks in their lives and as a result are unable to cope with the burdens that every day life can have. The problem is that access to most of these drugs is a lot easier and cheaper than heroin or oxycodone. Limiting access to one specific type of drug is not the answer, addicts will undoubtedly find other ways to abuse. There should be more governmental control over the distribution of these drugs and access should not be as easy.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-fentanyl-1.3874250

3 années 8 mois ago

Hello,

The caption of your post seemed like an interesting read to me. You provide some very compelling evidence that details how overfishing and inadequate management policies are disrupting marine ecosystems. I agree that human intervention is the leading cause of the decline of fish stocks that we see worldwide as there is overwhelming evidence. Previous examples like the collapse of northern cod in Newfoundland (1992) should be used as a lesson to affirm the notion that strict management policies be implemented and directly followed by governments and industries. Although, I was hoping to learn more about how 'eco-labelling' can help the transition into more sustainable management decisions. In my opinion, eco-labelling is a good way to inform consumers of where and how their product was produced so that they can make educated decisions when deciding what to purchase. However, this does not address the problems of overfishing, illegal fishing and other issues that we still see today. Governments should be more accountable for these types of problems because they are the one's who control the industries. Similarly, the fishing industry must also be held accountable for certain practices they use as well as their level of ignorance with regards to sustainable forms of extracting fish. In the end, I think using eco-labels does provide a good way to inform consumers, but I believe the root of the problem lies primarily on those who exploit this resource and those who are in charge of applying sustainable management decisions.

3 années 8 mois ago

Great post!

Gravel to green is a really interesting concept that aims to not really improve mental health, but the environment too. I think this would also be a great opportunity to plant more trees as well. By adding more green areas in urban environments as well as planting more trees will help reduce environmental impacts. Planting trees is a way to help offset carbon emissions, and by having this done more in urban areas could also help people to beware of the important role trees play. Overall I think it is a great idea, however I also think it is important to have the green spaces strategically placed within urban areas, for example a place where it can be easily reached, but does not impose on other necessary city elements. In launching this concept in many different areas could also allow for people to become more invested in environment and the struggles it is facing due to urban expansion

3 années 8 mois ago

Great post Breanne,

I strongly agree with your post. I don’t think Canada has made at all the commitments to climate change as they should, but instead place a higher significant towards economic growth. This is especially problematic as the impacts on climate change continue to grow and the Canadian government still hasn't committed to making a leap of change. I agree that Canada’s reliance on fossil fuels is problematic in terms of introducing new more reliable energy sources. It seems that the Canadian government has other priories over the environment, as they don’t seem concerned about the potential impacts. I’m wondering what it will take for the government to finally make climate change a priority, I fear it won’t be until the impacts of climate change worsen. From an environmental standpoint, it makes more sense to help resolve issues before they worsen, however it doesn’t seem to take priority in the government over economic growth.

3 années 8 mois ago

Hi AJ!

Thanks for your post, it was an interesting read! I think you touch upon a pressing issue being the vaccinations of children. It is extremely important for parents to vaccinate their children when they are newborns. Those who believe in homeopathy and Scientology have in some instances believed that their children do not need vaccinations, which has led to the death of the child and charges being pressed against the parents.

It is so critical that we are aware of the breakthroughs in science and what are considered to be the norms as far as healthcare and health of children and adults. There are just some things that can't be toyed with, as it's not worth a life.

Thanks for your input, let me know what you think :)

Davis

3 années 8 mois ago

Hey Andrew!

Thanks so much for your post. I think you did a great job in addressing a pressing issue for Canadian's, being the reliance on the non-renewable energy source of fossil fuels as a means of government revenue and energy production. It is without a doubt that Canada is currently extracting oil from tar sands and other forms of oil reserves in Western Canada and will continue to for some time, based on the contracts that have been established with China. However, I do think in spite of this we are doing a good job or reducing our ecological footprint in smaller sections of Canada.

For instance, Ontario has pledged to shut down all of the Nuclear power plants in the next 20 years. Even though Wynne has invested billions of dollars into the refurbishment of our Nuclear power plants, it is a step in the right direction that we have a set timeline for closure.

Canada is a great country, and even though our government doesn't make the best decisions 100% of the time, I think it is important to acknowledge that we need to make deals for our resources in order to establish some sort of presence in the international economy. Look on the bright side :)

Thanks again,

Davis

3 années 8 mois ago

Hi Samantha!

It was very nice of you to write your article on the issue of the free parks in 2017 - I think this is a really remarkable policy and it is good to see an article which applies a critical lens to it. As I see it, you have two basic argument: that this decision is exacerbating the conflict of the duel mandates of park management (which are to protect parks ecologically as well as to promote their use for tourism), and that they have made this decision to increase park revenues. I agree with both of these ideas. However, I am a bit skeptical of your conclusions, that proper park management and low development can reduce the impact of the overcrowding on wildlife, and that there will be environmental gains from education about wildlife.

To an extent, I agree that visiting parks may increase awareness of environmental activities, as was stated in the documentary "nature's invitation". However, I am not sure that making Canada's national parks free will result in the increase in meaningful experiences in nature that lead to the positive environmental experiences that society as a whole aims for. As far as I know, there is an expectation that this will result in a huge boom for the rocky mountain parks visitations, but not necessarily for other less well known or more remote parks. If too many people come to those parks in particular, they may experience the lack of "wilderness" that you highlighted in your article, and if they are mainly tourists they will pollute while in transit, and may not stay long enough for that genuine nature experiences that are needed to create environmental activists.

Likewise, I am sure that improper park practices can increase over crowding, but I think that the large numbers of people ultimately will have an impact on the environment that they visit, even with good management practices, as is currently occurring in Acadia National Park. In that case they have employed numerous novel methods for dealing with local visitor impacts, including creating a free bus to disincentivize car use and strategic removal of signs so that people do not visit vulnerable habitats. If it is really impossible to have it all, or meet both of the mandates of the parks, then we have to ask which one is more important. The law has addressed this already, stating that the first objective of Parks Canada is to protect and restore the habitat in parks. Therefore, I ultimately view this decision as not the best one that Parks Canada could have made in order to meet the objectives you outline. What do you think?

3 années 8 mois ago

Hi Samantha!

It was very nice of you to write your article on the issue of the free parks in 2017 - I think this is a really remarkable policy and it is good to see an article which applies a critical lens to it. As I see it, you have two basic argument: that this decision is exacerbating the conflict of the duel mandates of park management (which are to protect parks ecologically as well as to promote their use for tourism), and that they have made this decision to increase park revenues. I agree with both of these ideas. However, I am a bit skeptical of your conclusions, that proper park management and low development can reduce the impact of the overcrowding on wildlife, and that there will be environmental gains from education about wildlife.

To an extent, I agree that visiting parks may increase awareness of environmental activities, as was stated in the documentary "nature's invitation". However, I am not sure that making Canada's national parks free will result in the increase in meaningful experiences in nature that lead to the positive environmental experiences that society as a whole aims for. As far as I know, there is an expectation that this will result in a huge boom for the rocky mountain parks visitations, but not necessarily for other less well known or more remote parks. If too many people come to those parks in particular, they may experience the lack of "wilderness" that you highlighted in your article, and if they are mainly tourists they will pollute while in transit, and may not stay long enough for that genuine nature experiences that are needed to create environmental activists.

Likewise, I am sure that improper park practices can increase over crowding, but I think that the large numbers of people ultimately will have an impact on the environment that they visit, even with good management practices, as is currently occurring in Acadia National Park. In that case they have employed numerous novel methods for dealing with local visitor impacts, including creating a free bus to disincentivize car use and strategic removal of signs so that people do not visit vulnerable habitats. If it is really impossible to have it all, or meet both of the mandates of the parks, then we have to ask which one is more important. The law has addressed this already, stating that the first objective of Parks Canada is to protect and restore the habitat in parks. Therefore, I ultimately view this decision as not the best one that Parks Canada could have made in order to meet the objectives you outline. What do you think?

3 années 8 mois ago

Hi Samantha!

It was very nice of you to write your article on the issue of the free parks in 2017 - I think this is a really remarkable policy and it is good to see an article which applies a critical lens to it. As I see it, you have two basic argument: that this decision is exacerbating the conflict of the duel mandates of park management (which are to protect parks ecologically as well as to promote their use for tourism), and that they have made this decision to increase park revenues. I agree with both of these ideas. However, I am a bit skeptical of your conclusions, that proper park management and low development can reduce the impact of the overcrowding on wildlife, and that there will be environmental gains from education about wildlife.

To an extent, I agree that visiting parks may increase awareness of environmental activities, as was stated in the documentary "nature's invitation". However, I am not sure that making Canada's national parks free will result in the increase in meaningful experiences in nature that lead to the positive environmental experiences that society as a whole aims for. As far as I know, there is an expectation that this will result in a huge boom for the rocky mountain parks visitations, but not necessarily for other less well known or more remote parks. If too many people come to those parks in particular, they may experience the lack of "wilderness" that you highlighted in your article, and if they are mainly tourists they will pollute while in transit, and may not stay long enough for that genuine nature experiences that are needed to create environmental activists.

Likewise, I am sure that improper park practices can increase over crowding, but I think that the large numbers of people ultimately will have an impact on the environment that they visit, even with good management practices, as is currently occurring in Acadia National Park. In that case they have employed numerous novel methods for dealing with local visitor impacts, including creating a free bus to disincentivize car use and strategic removal of signs so that people do not visit vulnerable habitats. If it is really impossible to have it all, or meet both of the mandates of the parks, then we have to ask which one is more important. The law has addressed this already, stating that the first objective of Parks Canada is to protect and restore the habitat in parks. Therefore, I ultimately view this decision as not the best one that Parks Canada could have made in order to meet the objectives you outline. What do you think?

SUNY Genesee Community Colllege

SUNY Brockport

  • CMC 243: Radio and Television Writing

    CMC 243 is an introductory course in writing for electronic media, concentrated on radio, TV and Internet news, commercials and public service announcements.With the successful completion of this course, students will have written promotional copy, news copy, advertising copy, and feature copy,...

About the author

Associate Professor of Geography, University of Guelph.

Institution

Class Subject