Nature Inspiration (extra credit)

I feel like I’ve been connected to nature in the sense that I appreciate its beauty and don’t mind spending time outside and going hiking or camping. I feel most connected to nature when I do go hiking because you are surrounded by nature everywhere you look and you are excluded from the world. I think its essential that we have that connection with the world to understand that the world in a living, breathing thing and that it is truly our responsibility to take care of it. Overtime though, it has gotten harder to hiking because we do go to school in Charleston and there are no mountains nearby. I find myself never really taking time to just walk out and appreciate the beauty of nature anymore because of the busy schedule that I know many of us have. It truly is a struggle to make time and you really have to be proactive and set a specific time to actually do this or else it wont get done (at least in my case). I found some time this weekend to leave my phone off and just take a walk on the beach. It was chilly but it was nice to just walk and look out at the ocean and admire the beauty of its waves and the soothing sounds that the ocean gives. While walking on the beach I realized that it is truly amazing how much life is in the ocean and how many animals call the sea home. Its hard to wrap your head around this when you can’t see the animals on the surface of the sea. Being able to think about this just also reminded me that we, as humans, have responsibility to the ocean and the animals living in there to restore and reverse the damage that we caused. It would truly be a devastating thing if the damage done to the seas couldn’t be reversible. When I was on my walk I also noticed that many people were careless with their trash and many sort of just left it lying in the sand and leave without disposing of it properly. This is a prime example of what we are doing to harm the ocean. The trash that is left in the sand is eventually carried away from the sea and it can end up harming marine life. Essentially I think people just have to be more aware of their habits and make a conscious decision to change them. A good thing that I saw was that there were many trash cans so that people could throw away their trash, which was good. In the end, I enjoyed the walk on the beach and got to break away from the stress of college for a moment and sort of reconnect with nature and be able to appreciate the beauty of the sea. I would encourage everyone to do this at lease once a week to just take a moment outside to just sit and be. I found it to be distressful and encouraging!

The media and the Oceans (extra credit)

As we all know the media plays a major role in society today. Many of us use social media on a daily basis and for several hours a day. There is no doubt that the media influences the publics points of view on certain things. One of these things is obviously climate change and global warming. I found and article in Science News that talks about the media and how they talk about the ocean and the effects that climate change is having on them. In the article it says that the media is accused of having a ” doom and gloom” tone when they talk about the environment and the state of our oceans, but this study says something different. In a research done by New York University and the University of Miami shows that this kind of “doom and gloom” tone was only seen in ten percent of the analyzed U.S newspaper articles. The article also says that, “optimistic language- such as, ‘ the oceans are mostly intact, still wild enough to bounce back to ecological health- were present in more than a quarter of these stories.” Another thing that I found interesting was that, according to the research, half of the analyzed stories provided potential solutions to the problems discussed in that particular article. When I read this article I was pleasantly surprised that the articles actually tried to provide potential solutions to the issues that they were talking about. I think that that is a great way to promote the conservations of the oceans and trying to get a larger amount of people caring about the oceans. On the other hand, I think that the “doom and gloom” tone is necessary and should be portrayed in most articles so that people can see that climate change is a real thing and that action needs to be taken and soon. I think that this “optimistic” language is a good thing, but that it can be sugar-coating or masking how in danger our oceans actually are. Many people could see the article and think, ” oh its not too bad, the ocean will just bounce back on its own” and that kind of passive attitude is not the action that needs to be taken. Although it is true that if all of the articles had ” doom and gloom” tone people could think that nothing could be done to save the oceans and then they would not take action because they could think that nothing can be done so whats the point. I think it should be a mix of both tones so that the article stresses the importance of action and also keep the hope that something can be done by us to save the oceans. I am impressed that they offered solutions which is a good way to show the public that there is hope to save the seas. Media is tricky thing because it could be harmful, but used in the right way I think it could raise awareness of climate change and the danger that our oceans are in. I’ll attach the link of the article if anyone would like to read it. Its fairly short and really interesting.