J500 Media and the Environment

No man is an island… by Janie
February 13, 2009, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Local Events + Action, Society + Media | Tags: ,

…especially in a world like ours, where many of us find our lives intertwined in a web sewn by the money spider.

We have become an interdependent species, reliant on shoes from China, oil from Saudi Arabia, pharmaceuticals from Italy, and coffee from Brazil.  Globalization has fattened the pockets of those seeking to expand, connect, and cater to the growing demands of a human population who wants what they want, when they want it.

Mangoes in December?  Done.

Two-day International Shipping?  No problem.

Cheaper oil?  Drill, Baby, Drill.

We praise globalization for blessing many of us (but certainly not all of us) with such luxurious, convenient, and efficient lives.  Yet, for how much longer?  Having grown accumstomed to the lives we now lead, we fail to see the hidden chains that bind us to one another.  We’ve already seen how Mad Cow disease in England, pet food contamination in China, and the chaos in the Middle East have greatly influenced our way of life in the United States, and conversely how our declining economic system has rippled throughout the international community.

With a big enough climatic, economic, or industrial iceberg, this Titanic is goin’ down, and there definitely aren’t lifeboats for all 6 billion of us.

Am I advocating geographical, economic, and cultural isolation?  Of course not.  However, a more sustainable way of living must be enacted.  One that not only emphasizes localization, community development, and business methods that have a lesser impact on the natural environment, but also allows for global interaction.


Me and my favorite island: Taiwan

It would be irrational to think that we could lead a no-impact lifestyle.  As social creatures, we impact one another, we impact the ground we walk on and the air we breathe, we impact the ideas and plethera of knowledge that is passed on from generation to generation.  Isn’t it time for us to impact our impact on the Earth and on ourselves?

Janie Chen


6 Comments so far
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It’s tough to argue against globalization, but that’s exactly what the “buy local” movement must do. How do can we balance having a healthier lifestyle, close to home, against a global culture that has made international travel and trade necessary to prosperity?

Comment by justinl7

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Pingback by Formosa Daily » No man is an island…

That’s a good way to look at it. I’m glad this class is a support system and we are all in it together!

Comment by tylerw09

I think it all starts at the individual level. Take the Judy Wicks “Table for Six Billion, Please” article. One woman had a vision, and with the ambition to see it through, has made a tremendous impact. If we each took our vision for a more localized food industry, I’m sure the combined effects would be just as tremendous. Sometimes it takes small steps to reach a big goal.

Comment by janiec52

This is something that the environmental movement and people who are trying to live differently (thinking of myself as a vegetarian here) struggle with: How can we make the idea of being environmentally friendly attractive without having people feel like they have to give something up?

Can I give up my mangoes in December, my books from Germany or my SUV and still feel “complete”?

Comment by Lauren Keith

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