Theta group project


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Theta group project

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  2. 2. Contents:Letter from the Editor Page 3The Cost of Recreational Fishing Page 4Excessive Consumerism & Global Warming Page 710 Things You Can Do to Save the Ocean Page 8Letter from the Editors,Thank you for your interest in our newsletter, which is dedicated toeducating the public and spreading concern for the preservation of ourplanet’s oceans. We hope you find the articles interesting and that theyinspire you spread the word about environmental conservation. 2
  3. 3. We also encourage you to visit the websites of our sources, such as theEPA and National Geographic for more information.Thank you,Eric McCroskey & Julio PerezThe Cost of Recreational Fishing – Eric McCroskey “Give me a fish and I’ll eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I’ll eat for a lifetime.” The lesson in this common anecdote has nothing to do with fishing, so would it be as powerful if it referenced wheat, corn, or beef? Not if you asked someone from parts of the world where they do not consume these products. However, unlike most foods, fish is consumed in virtually every country, and it has sustained mankind as a food source since the early civilizations. And why would we have any reason to 3
  4. 4. believe this could change? After all, we see how the weather destroys crops. We see how disease killslivestock. But what could possibly deplete the vast, endless oceans of fish? For most people, this is themindset that leads them to take fish for granted; like water from a faucet. As a result, sport fishing hasbecome a pastime around the world. In fact, the American Sportfishing Association reports that, inAmerica alone, recreational fishing creates over a million jobs and has a $125 billion impact on oureconomy. So how does sport fishing fit into the recent crusade of environmentalism? It’s easy to criticizecommercial fishing companies that indiscriminately pull seafood out of the water by the ton. But whenwe think of recreational fishing, what usually comes to mind is a retired old man relaxing out on thelake, or a father taking his young son on his first fishing trip. Unfortunately, this is not a truerepresentation of what sport fishing has become: a significant threat to the ecosystem of underwaterlife, and it is spinning out of control. Between 2008 and 2009, fishing license sales increased by 11%, and it’s assumed thatunlicensed fishing is growing at an even higher rate. There are a number of reasons for this, like thegrowing population of baby boomers reaching retirement, and economic conditions that makeinexpensive activities like fishing popular for families. This should be very alarming when you considerthe fish population is shrinking, not growing - in some areas by as much as 90% over the last 100 years.An international group of ecologists and economists warned in 2006 that the world will run out ofseafood by 2048 if steep declines in marine life continue at the current rate. This was reported by theWashington Post and backed by a four year scientific study. Technology has significantly added to this problem. The days of patiently waiting and hoping tohook a fish are fading fast, because for about $500 anyone can purchase a sonar computer to locate fishfor them. In 10 years, the technology could be 1/3rd the price. There are also advancements in bait andlure design that increase the success of catching fish. Products like this are pillars in the multi-billiondollar sport fishing industry. So if a serious problem exists, why isn’t the government stopping it? Unfortunately, the ocean is like the internet in many ways – it is too big to put in a supervised box. There are hundreds of laws in place to protect fish populations from being exploited, but the government does not have the means to advertise them, let alone enforce them, in most areas. In fact, if you don’t go out of your way to research fishing laws on your own, there is a good chance you could be breaking some. For example, certain fish can only be caught during certain times of the year, and fish under a certain weight must be released. Some areas restrict the type of bait or lures you can use, the number of fish you can catch, or whether or not you can fish at all. But if you have ever been fishing, you probably never even saw a sign listing these rules. Most of the government’s resources are aimed at large 4
  5. 5. scale commercial fishing – and for a good reason. The black market for illegal fishing has an estimatedvalue of $24 Billion. Because of this, sport fishing violations fall through the cracks. Another major issue with sport fishing is the lack of environmental awareness people have. Onepiece of trash, one beer can, or one small oil leak is insignificant in the eyes of the common individual,and this inability to see the greater picture is often the reason people pollute or litter. Reputable fishingcompanies pay close attention to what they leave in the water, and are held responsible for it.Individuals or families are not. Multiply one incident by millions and a serious problem arises, such as 800,000 tons of trash over the last 25 years. People tend to ignore problems they cannot see, and the destruction of our planet’s marine life is one of them. This isn’t simply an environmental protection issue, it threatens human existence as we know it. Seafood feeds billions of people every day, and food shortage is already a global epidemic. Many people cannot afford to lose this invaluable resource. The public must bemade aware of the damage they are causing and sport fishing needs to be reexamined. It is entirelypossible to feed the populations of the world while sustaining the fish population, but it requires a newway of thinking. But until people realize their food supply may not be there tomorrow, it is unlikely thatwe will see any positive changes.ReferencesAmerican Sportifishing Association – Statistics: Post: Protection Agency: 5
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  7. 7. Excessive Consumerism & Global Warming - Julio Perez Ever since we were kids attending elementary school, not yet knowing the cause andeffects that the consumption of fresh raw materials bring forth, school systems and teachers havetaught us the importance of protecting the Earths Ozone and ecosystems. I can remember back tomiddle school when my science teacher taught us the significance of the Greenhouse effect. TheGreenhouse effect is "...a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed byatmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. (Annex Glossary)" The significanceare these greenhouse gases which are increasing from human activities such as deforestation and theburning of fossil fuels, contributing to one of the most worrisome and looked at complications of ourtime -- Global warming. These problems of excessive consumerism which lead to a huge impact in the increaseof Global warming are heavily discussed and exposed by filmmaker Annie Leonard in her film The Storyof Stuff. Although the facts brought forth in the film are specifically targeted at excessive consumerismto that in the United States, it puts in perspective how cruel it is that we as humans are treating motherEarth. The films and Annies main focus revolves around what is known as Materials economy. TheMaterials economy is a vicious cycle of this excessive consumerism which goes through the process ofextraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal. The video is divided up into chapters, starting with chapter 1 where Leonard discussesthe process and problems of extraction and also discusses in-short the influences from the government.She explains how society is flawed because some people are given more opportunity and say thanothers are, and that corporations hold more control and attention from the government. This system isflawed because if do not own or buy a lot of stuff then your beliefs and what you stand up for do nothold any value. Extraction can be defined as natural resource exploitation, or in others words trashingthe planet. Many conflicts come forth when talking discussing extraction, the bottom line is that theEarth is running out of resources because we as humans are using too much stuff. We are running out ofresources, in the last decade 1/3 of the worlds resource has been consumed (Leonard). It has gotten toa point where we are pushing the Earth to its limits causing us to get resources from Third Worldcountries and causing more people to suffer. Next the process of production is discussed, and in this process things seem to justbecome more complicated. In this process of the materials economy, it is best described in that "we useenergy to mix toxic chemicals in with the natural resources to make toxin contaminated products." Apoint is made on this topic of production that seems very harsh and inhumane to me. Leonard brings upthe point that it is just not our resources that are being wasted, but also our people. People in the thirdworld are forced to work with these toxins as a result of degradation of their environment for ourbenefit. As far as pollution goes from this process, factories emit over 4 billion pounds of toxic into theair each year. This is all just simple cause and effect. The erosion of local environments and economiesleaves people with no other economic option but to work (and live) in toxic environments. After this production of toxic materials, comes the step of moving the materials intodistribution. The goal here is to sell as quickly as possible and keep prices down. “It’s all aboutexternalizing the costs. What that means is that the real costs of making Stuff aren’t captured in theprice. In other words, we’re not paying for the Stuff we buy.” This chapter of the video is filled with hardhitting and mind blowing facts. “Guess what percentage of total material flow through this system is stillin product or use six months after their date of sale in North America. 50%? 20%? No, one percent. One.In other words, 99% of the Stuff we harvest, mine, process, transport – 99% of the Stuff we run throughthis system is trashed within 6 months!” It is so simple to add to this problem without even realizing, we 7
  8. 8. as consumers are influenced to buying these products or this Stuff and so much of it is being producedthat we just keep buying and wasting without even thinking of the effects. This leads right into the next topic of the film and also one of the most highlighted –consumption: The heart of the system; the engine that drives it. This is the step of the cycle in which thematerials are kept in motion and keep them flowing. Corporations have a large amount of control overconsumers and they are able to pull into large amounts of consumers, selling large amounts ofmaterials/product through simple advertisement. It is said that Americans have fallen into this routineof "working/watching TV/spending money" cycle. For the most part this is true and makes it very simplefor corporations to sell their products because they know that most people will just for the comfort ofhaving stuff. "Planned obsolescence is another word for ‘designed for the dump.’ It means they actuallymake Stuff that is designed to be useless as quickly as possible so we will chuck it and go buy a new one.It’s obvious with Stuff like plastic bags and coffee cups, but now it’s even big Stuff: mops, DVDs,cameras, barbeques even, everything!" This is makes it seem that recycling wont even help the effectsof excessive consumerism with all these products simply going to waste. Although recycling should bemore and more influenced in peoples everyday life, recycling will never be enough. Coming to the last chapter of the film -- disposal, and this is where a large amount ofeffects from excessive consumerism lead directly to Global warming and also pollution to a largeamount of the Earths waterways. Today, in our nation over 40 percent of our nation’s rivers areunfishable, unswimmable, or undrinkable (Leonard). Most materials that are made are produced so thatthey cannot be recycled making it so that recycling will never be 100% effective. These types of productsare stuffed in landfills which pollute air, land, and water, and change the climate over time. The toxinsare being released into the air and the effects of greenhouse gases are only increasing. We all need to wake up and realize the big picture. Every little bit helps, although youmight not see a direct or an immediate effect, steps need to be taken. Governments need to get back tothe morals of "for the people" and stop giving in to the control of corporation only tending to theirbenefits and their impact in the economy. We as the people and as consumers need to realize that ourconsumption of these products only influence corporations to extract more and more raw materialsenable to provide more product. All of these problems have been created internally, they have beencreated by the people and there is no reason that we as people cant take serious steps to createsolutions to put an end to these problems. 8
  9. 9. 10 Things You Can Do to Save the Ocean Provided By:1. Mind Your Carbon Footprint and Reduce Energy ConsumptionReduce the effects of climate change on the ocean by leaving the car at homewhen you can and being conscious of your energy use at home and work. Afew things you can do to get started today: Switch to compact fluorescentlight bulbs, take the stairs, and bundle up or use a fan to avoid oversetting your thermostat.2. Make Safe, Sustainable Seafood ChoicesGlobal fish populations are rapidly being depleted due to demand, loss of habitat, and unsustainable fishingpractices. When shopping or dining out, help reduce the demand for overexploited species by choosing seafood thatis both healthful and sustainable.3. Use Fewer Plastic ProductsPlastics that end up as ocean debris contribute to habitat destruction and entangle and kill tens of thousands ofmarine animals each year. To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, store food in nondisposablecontainers, bring your own cloth tote or other reusable bag when shopping, and recycle whenever possible.4. Help Take Care of the BeachWhether you enjoy diving, surfing, or relaxing on the beach, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciatethe ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks and coral. Go even further by encouraging others torespect the marine environment or by participating in local beach cleanups.5. Dont Purchase Items That Exploit Marine LifeCertain products contribute to the harming of fragile coral reefs and marine populations. Avoid purchasing itemssuch as coral jewelry, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles), and shark products.6. Be an Ocean-Friendly Pet OwnerRead pet food labels and consider seafood sustainability when choosing a diet for your pet. Never flush cat litter,which can contain pathogens harmful to marine life. Avoid stocking your aquarium with wild-caught saltwater fish,and never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water, a practice that can introduce non-nativespecies harmful to the existing ecosystem.7. Support Organizations Working to Protect the OceanMany institutes and organizations are fighting to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife. Find a nationalorganization and consider giving financial support or volunteering for hands-on work or advocacy. If you live nearthe coast, join up with a local branch or group and get involved in projects close to home.8. Influence Change in Your CommunityResearch the ocean policies of public officials before you vote or contact your local representatives to let them knowyou support marine conservation projects. Consider patronizing restaurants and grocery stores that offer onlysustainable seafood, and speak up about your concerns if you spot a threatened species on the menu or at the seafoodcounter.9. Travel the Ocean ResponsiblyPractice responsible boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities on the water. Never throw anythingoverboard, and be aware of marine life in the waters around you. If you’re set on taking a cruise for your nextvacation, do some research to find the most eco-friendly option.10. Educate Yourself About Oceans and Marine LifeAll life on Earth is connected to the ocean and its inhabitants. The more you learn about the issues facing this vitalsystem, the more you’ll want to help ensure its health—then share that knowledge to educate and inspire others.Source: 9