This I Believe

Robert - raleigh, North Carolina
Entered on April 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: citizenship
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When I look back on what I gained from my conservation biology class, I have come to realize that I believe in some parts of conservation strongly and others not at all. I guess that’s what motivates people to focus in on one issue; they have a fundamental belief in that issue. there are two examples that come immediately to mind.

The article that we discussed in class talked about how soon there will be ten billion people in the world and at this point earth will be at its carrying capacity. I do not believe this is the case in the long run for several fundamental reasons. I believe that people are creative and resourceful given enough pressure. People will eventually use ingenuity and technology to increase the carrying capacity of the earth through some way that we can not yet factor into any debate about population size in the future. In class we discussed how the global warming will cause a major crisis for island communities because people on the islands would die from rising water. This idea seems absurd to me. Island populations could be depleted because of rising water but the main way people will be leaving is calmly moving away. As the oceans slowly rise people will come to terms with it and move inland. The second fundamental reason is that people are adaptable. This is important because I think that the estimate undervalued what people can actually survive on. Although in a modern civilized world we don’t have a full understanding of how little food a person can live on. We already have such excess reserves and disproportionate quantities that more room can be made for people just by being more efficient and in America especially tightening our belts.

The second topic is the local versus organic food debate. I believe people should almost always go for the locally grown food. If my food is something that should be fresh then the number one choice would be locally grown food because it comes from so close so will not have the long transport times. The second choice would be a non organic product from farther. Although I know this goes against the grain of thinking in this class but I believe that one of the reasons that pesticides are used are because they kill off the pests and bugs that get into food better than organic crops. Chemicals not only increase physical volume of individual fruit for example but also kill off pests that would eat the crops it saves crops that would need to be destroyed because of damage. I am personally grossed out about the thought of eating a disease covered bug in my produce.

Reflecting back on these specific issues lets me know that certain aspects of what I believe were not changed by the class. Sure some parts of my beliefs were changed by the class such as my interest in tigers because of the writing project one, but the more fundamental ones did not