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The Northerner

Campus Climate

Jennifer Lantz

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Jan. 20, 2009 rang in a new era for history.’ The United States of America has elected an African-American for President for the first time after centuries of segregation and oppression.’ Could this truly be the end of fascism?’ We can only hope.’ Will this new beginning bring about a change in our society at an individual level?’ Will’ ‘ President Barack Obama’s promise of rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and energy system bring the jobs we desperately need to fuel this hope?’ Will the people of America finally join together to make the changes in their individual lives to become a sustainable society?’ Will we learn that: we must take immediate actions to curb carbon emissions at every level of society; we must stop the over-fishing of our oceans; we must learn to conserve every natural resource we are currently over-consuming by finding newer, more sustainable building and living practices?’ Or are we prepared for our rich way of life to abruptly end? ‘

With the new, young President Obama ready to lead the U.S. in the direction of a ‘new era of responsibility’ we must embrace that responsibility by becoming more conscious of our individual actions and the effects our actions have upon this sweet planet Earth.’ The question is – are we ready TO change America?’ I hope so.’ Because no government, no President, no one man can make this change.’ Our survival depends on each and every one of us joining as a united nation, a united world.’ Obama can only pave the path – but we must be the ones to walk the walk; not just talk the talk.’ It’s time for action and we’re it!

I would like to discuss the over-fishing the oceans issue, if you’ll join me.’ A recent report written by international scientists from Hong Kong, Australia, Palau and the U.S. have found that there has been a 79 percent decline in spawning in the Coral Triangle.’ The Coral Triangle is located in the South Pacific near Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.’ The network of reefs supports 75 percent of the world’s known coral species.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature 2008 Red List, overfishing is to blame and at particular risk is the giant grouper.’ The grouper which can live up to 40 years take five years to reach sexual maturity.’ Apparently people’s appetites are not allowing the grouper to mature and spawning never becomes their reality.’ The fish gather at the reefs to carry out their spawning activities.’ While in their groups, fisheries have been targeting these areas.’ (Greenwire, 1/20/09) ‘

Thousands of species of fish live in these reefs.’ Some of the more common menu fish you might think about avoiding are:’ parrot, surgeon, butterfly, angel (at the pet stores), sea bass, and the grouper among others.’ Another reason to avoid these fish as well as shark, swordfish, mackerel, albacore tuna, orange roughy, and marlin are the levels of mercury found at increasing levels.’ There are currently no government inspections, so you’re really on your own out there.’ Don’t you find it interesting that mercury is found in thermometers?’ Mercury contamination is being found at increasing levels in our oceans aquatic life.’ Do you think Mother Nature is trying to tell us something?

A few degrees increase in ocean temperatures causes coral bleaching.’ In the simplest terms; the bleaching is a result of microscopic algae dying whereupon the coral loses the nutrients that it relies on for survival.’ If the coral die, the fish that rely on the coral die.’ If the small fish die, the big fish die.’ If the big fish die, the bigger fish die.’ If all the aquatic life die, well’hellip;that’s just too depressing to think about, so why don’t we just stop eating all the fish?’ Or figure out a sustainable plan and make the WHOLE world live by it.’ Personally I think if each nation has its specific laws that people must live by; then the world’s shared resources, like the oceans, should have one world law, controlled by the United Nations.’ Simple.’ It’s just a matter of writing the law and enforcing the law right?’ I think the enforcement is where we run into problems.’ Well considering the U.N. is based in the U.S. and we need jobs – we could create a ‘United Nations Oceans Security Department’ to patrol our planets’ waters.’ We have the satellite technology and transportations to enforce it’hellip;so there we go.’ Problem solved.

If life could be that easy huh?’ Then we wouldn’t have to be responsible and fight the marketing forces that attack us from every direction, everyday.’ But it’s not that easy, and taking personal responsibility is what we have to do.’ It’s a new era – so the time is here and it’s time for us to make the changes in our personal lives, to make survival an option.’ For all species.’ For the U.S.’ For the world.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Campus Climate