Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thinking about - and Acting for - the Environment

Dear All,

Please check out either the links about the Story of Stuff Project (#1) or about Climate Change (#2) or about Sustainability and the Future of Our Planet (#3) and share your response and other thoughts, ideas, and/or suggestions you have about the topic(s). Feel also free to post links to other sites you find interesting in this context.

Thank you,


Here the links:

1) The Story of Stuff Project

a) The Story of Stuff:
b) The Story of Change:
c) The Story of Electronics:
d) The Story of Bottled Water:

The Story of Stuff Project:

2) Climate Change

a) NBC News: Was Sandy a Warning:
b) Bill McKibben: Global Warming's Terrifying New Math:
c) Al Gore Warns on Latest Climate Trends:

3) Sustainability and the Future of the Planet

a) David Suzuki: An Elder's Vision for Our Sustainable Future
David Suzuki - Lecture at UBC: Accelerating Sustainability


  1. Climate change is an important topic of discussion today in the news. With the effects of hurricane Sandy still fresh in our minds, the effects of climate change are a growing concern. I agree with many of the statements made in this video. Climate change is upon us and the time to act is now. Our infrastructure needs to be re-designed to handle the magnitude of the problem we have created. Our carbon footprint needs to be drastically reduced and pressure needs to be put on the governments of our nations to act. As a society we need to ban together to come up with a solution. This problem is one of global magnitude.

    In the video, it was said that when we look back on our world today we will be shocked that we did not take climate change seriously. I completely agree. The debate should no longer be whether climate change is upon us. It should be about what we are going to do about climate change. Th

  2. I watched "The Story of Stuff", and I thought Annie Leonard made some good points. She gave an overview of how our consumer chain works, from collection of the resources all the way to disposal, and the statistics she presents are remarkable. But as I write the word "remarkable" I think that the numbers she gave were not as surprising as I once would have found them.
    It seems to me that we are getting numb. We constantly hear these giant numbers about how much we are using and producing and wasting, but they are so large that we can’t really grasp them. It’s hard to grasp how big they are so we stop trying and they just become big numbers that we know are bad. We understand that they represent an enormous problem that we have to deal with, and people are trying, but it is a slow, uphill battle that not enough people are fighting. Maybe people feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems we face and they don’t know if they can make a difference or what they can do to help. That is often the case when we’re faced with incredible challenges, but that doesn’t mean that we should just sit back and shut down; it means that we should get up and start doing something to fix the problem.
    What she also mentioned, and I myself have thought, is that we’re not shown the whole chain of the “stuff”. She noted that we’re only really shown the “consumption” part because that’s where they want us to participate. And this is true; they want us to be big consumers and we don’t seem to focus much on the other areas like production and disposal. We focus on the price and not on the impact it has on our world. It seems to me that we never really look at they whole chain, we only look at one step at a time. Most of the time we look at it from the consumers perspective. But other times we look at it from the production side and we see how much it pollutes; but when we focus on this we forget about what would happen to the rest of the chain if this changed. People want less pollution, yet they are often unwilling to give up what they get in exchange for it. This is why it’s so hard to change: we like our stuff and we don’t like to give up what we have.

  3. I watched "The Story of Stuff", and those videos really convinced me to realize how disastrous the world has become with our overly used resources, overly amount of productions, selfish corporations that only care about money/profits, and consumers who are not realizing they are being taken advantage of by consuming all these goods that produce harm to themselves! I remember this topic popped up between prof. Gudrun and I today at the conference, when the Apple connector to the projector could not work for a student's Mac Air, because it only fit the older version of the Apple computer even though they are both computers from the same corporation. In other words, everything is now designed and made to be thrown out! This is happening because corporations are trying to make more profits by making people consume quickly and abundantly. Technology is changing so fast that we get 'sick' of what we have everytime when new and attractive products come out. This production process is causing people to become greedy and unreasonable in purchases without considering we are killing the planet by doing this.
    After watching the videos, I also realized that I have changed 3 cellphones in the past 1 and half year, and I feel extremely guilty about it. It is true that people are becoming more unhealthy and unhappy due to the decrease of leisure time with family and friends. Instead, we choose to make money, watch TV, get convinced to shop, and go shopping. Selfishness and Ignorance need to be stopped to save our planet. I am definitely convinced today to start some changes myself.

    1. It is evident that people are becoming more materialistic nowadays. They are willingly to buy the most expensive designer clothing, high-tech devices and anything else that make them seem more stylish and distinguished. I agree with Cecily that cellphone manufacturers always focus on maximizing their profits but neglecting the aftermath of their vast use of resources. They constantly produce new versions of cellphones, encouraging the public to dump their old ones once in a while and delve into the most recent models. Possession of the newest electronic devices is often regarded as more superior in current society. The above consequence is rooted in two major problems. Firstly, people are being strongly influenced by advertisements which often distort reality in order to perfect the image of the products. Secondly, people like to be superior to those around them. Gullibility and competition are factors that lead to violation of sustainability.

  4. I also watched "The Story of Stuff" which is essentially about a love story between consumers and the latest gadget. Consumers don't realize how much companies prey on are love of things that are new and shiny. People are often tricked in to believing that the newest technology will make there life that much better, furthermore companies manufacture things in such a way that they are meant to fall apart after a few years. All of this leads to the destruction of the planet. As North American's we often do not see the immediate effect on the environment, however developing countries who are not equipped to deal with ecological devastation do. Corporations are often too focused on the current profit and not on the future. Everyone's future even companies depend on the well being of the environment.

    Personally, it made me reflect on what I have been doing to contribute to the vicious cycle of consumerism. As often as I try to shop green and make informed decisions on what I'm buying I too often fall into the traps that corporations make. I should try to make even more of a concious effort to shop for brands that make an effort to give back to the environment.

  5. Although having seen “Severn Suzuki: Speech at UN Earth Summit in 1992” twice already, I still decided to watch it again. It really appealed to me how a 12 year old girl could have the guts to participate in an UN conference and address the issues of climate change. The soulful tone as she spoke to be incapacitated me for 5 minutes as I was magnetized by the video. To me, she is truly demonstrating how to “take responsibility for the future.”
    Climate change is a major issue that is affecting everyplace around the globe. Over the past century, human agricultural and industrial activities have led to the buildup of COa2and other greenhouse gases. These gases are trapping yet more of the earth's outgoing radiation, leading to an enhanced greenhouse effect and a warmer earth. Because C02 and other greenhouse gases are so long- lived in the atmosphere, enhanced greenhouse warming can be expected to persist for centuries. The impacts - many of which are effectively irreversible - will affect everyone on earth.
    I believe that if we care about our future generations, then it is the time for everyone to take part in protecting our lovely earth.

  6. I watched “The Story of Bottled Water” which is about how big bottled-water companies are taking advantage of consumers by spreading lies and propaganda in addition to destroying the planet. Before watching the video, I had a notion that bottled water might be detrimental to us and the planet but I did not realize the extent of the impact bottled water has on us and the environment. Companies producing bottled-water often use scare – tactics to trick the consumers into buying their water. They would advertise how bacteria and pathogen ridden tap water is and as a contrast, how clean and pure their products are. As a result, many people believe that drinking tap water is truly bad for their health and that bottle-water is a much better alternative. However, what they don’t understand is that frequently, the water that is in the bottle-water is merely filtered tap water. The water is not from some glacier in the arctic or some fast flowing stream in the Alps. Consumers end up paying two thousand times more for bottled-water than tap water when they could’ve saved that money by buying a filter for their tap.
    The bottled – water industry is also destroying the planet. It uses up a vast amount of fuel and energy just to produce the bottles in which filtered tap water goes into. Furthermore, most of the empty plastic bottles do not get recycled. Instead, they are dumped in some other country in landfills. These plastics do not degrade and pose a serious threat to the environment.
    I agree with the video in that we should move away from buying bottled-water but I also think it depends on the circumstances. It might be true that bottled-water is just propaganda for big companies to continue making money but there could be benefits to having bottled-water. In the case of industrialized countries, tap water is often safe enough to drink without filtering. It is in this situation that I believe we should shy away from buying bottled-water and instead filter tap water and use reusable water bottles. We are just wasting money and giving companies a way to expand their profits. However, in the cases of less developed countries where the access to clean tap water is limited, bottled-water can be beneficial. Bottled-water would be the best alternative in this situation as drinking tap water might pose serious health risks. The only problem would be the cost of bottled-water. It might not be realistic but if people in developed countries stop buying bottled-water and those unsold bottled-water are somehow distributed to poorly developed countries, we can greatly impact the lives of millions and millions of people in dire need of clean drinking water.

  7. I saw the video ‘The story of Electronics’ which is about how the electronics industry is using toxic materials to build the gadgets we use and the narrator talked about how that happens and that using them is bad and comes up with solution such as campaigning against the companies and stuff. I do not approve of her viewpoint.
    The environmentalists often come and say that something is polluting the environment and it needs to be stopped. Well, they don’t say anywhere that what else can be used as a substitute. The fact is that to build microchips used in TV, we need lead to seal the junctions of electrical connections because of some special properties of lead. There is a substitute for lead: Silver, but it turns out that silver is a rare metal and a precious one. For instance, we have seen that when we go to buy a TV, there lays one model worth $500 (contains cheaper metals like lead) and then there is one more model worth $1500 (Contains expensive metals like silver), both with physically the same setting. So we buy a cheap one and it lasts for about a year and then we have to buy a new one. If we buy expensive one for once, it will last for longer period of time and since we have used silver in it, it is
    harmless and can be reused.
    My point is that companies would continue to make what people like, cheap products that look same but work poorly. In such a situation, it comes all on the shoulders of the buyers to choose what they want. It’s us for whom they make products and if we choose wisely, it’s only us who can save the planet.

  8. After watching the video of “The Story of Stuff”, I realized how our ignorance could lead us to the nightmare of destroying our world. It’s worrying to know that we don't really know – or even don't want to know – the full view of how the stuffs we consumed are produced and treated after we throw them away. There are way too many things that we buy that it seems unrealistic to understand the story behind each of them, a very important story as it will give us the big picture of the problematic system of consumerism. The forgotten or invisible story is revealed in “The Story of Stuff” and it is simply unrealistic if after knowing the story of what really happens we want to continue on the old path of ignorance.

    Perhaps we know about the materials economy, where the story line of our stuffs begins with extraction, to production, to distribution, to consumption and finally to disposal. But without knowing the facts of what is really happening during each stage of the system, all we can see is the consumption part. To change our point of view, this video illustrates what is really happening in each stage, complete with facts, statistics and big figures. Looking at those big figures, sometimes we can feel overwhelmed and think ‘what can we do as an individual? Will it be impactful enough? If not, perhaps I should just wait until those big people do something about it.’ However, as consumers, we play a key role for slowing down this vicious cycle of consumerism. If we can be more aware of what we are buying and therefore only buy what we really need, while considering the more environmentally friendly options, together we can have a huge impact on our environment.

    I know it’s not easy, as sometimes I, too, will be a victim of advertisement, or of my weakness as a social being, but I guess knowing that we can make a difference by simply opening our eyes and that the future of our world is in our hands should be a powerful motivation for us to start saving our world.

  9. The Story of Stuff

    This video is very eye opening for me, as I did not realize all of the implications that our material economy has on the Earth. As for the video itself, I enjoyed watching the animations and found the breakdown of the “cycle of stuff” easy to follow. The concepts explained, can be easily understood if people just take the time to think about it. This makes me wonder if schools show this video or videos similar to this one, to their students… because they should. The world needs to especially educate its kids of the future to alter the ways they will impact the world.

    Anne Leonard captivated my attention with what she had to say, because I found the relevant facts interesting and mind-boggling at the same time. I am especially shocked by figures such as: the U.S. is down to less than 4% of their original forest, 40% of their waterways are undrinkable, and they are using 30% of the world’s resources and generating 30% of the world’s waste, when they only contain 5% of the world’s population! These numbers are outrageous and it is overwhelming and depressing to think about how much our world has been impacted by the negligence of governments and corporations. It especially worries me that there are so many chemicals present in the world and that there will be even more in the future generations – the generations where our kids and their families will grow up in. The fact only 1% of products are used after 6 months of sale, makes me think about how many things are sitting on my shelves and in my closet that I don’t use; that isn't to say I'm not a thrifty person, but I’ll have to admit, I sometimes buy things I don’t need. I will definitely reconsider my purchases next time and ask myself “do I really need this or am I just going to use it for a bit and then contribute it to the massive amount of garbage in the world and help destroy the earth?” Also, I didn't realize companies put so much effort in trying to get consumers to throw out their stuff and buy more; I expected them to have higher goals than that, but then again, their main goal is to make money, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. This video really has changed the way I perceive my “stuff” and I will definitely think twice about buying anything in the future.

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  11. Everyone knows that Antarctica is melting, that the number of natural disasters is increasing and that the world is warming. But who knew that the amount of permanent ice melted in Antarctica heats up the ground around the ocean and releases carbon into the atmosphere and becomes methane. What surprised me the most from “Al Gore Warns on Latest Climate Trends” was that when students from University of Alaska placed a lighter on top of a small hole in the ice, fire of five feet immediately ignited. The amount of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere is causing melting glaciers and limited access of drinking water. Gore specifically demonstrates the biggest factor of global warming is the burning coal. With the perspective of a politician or businessman, the environment is rarely their priority. Even though I originally thought that global warming is a fairly serious topic, Gore ironically demonstrates how coal industry advertises ‘clean coal’. Through humor, Gore illustrates how outrageous the idea of clean coal is. It goes to show how some people choose to ignore global warming for the sake of money and power. What is the point of earning so much money that there is a possibility of having no future to spend it? I strongly agree how Gore claims that we are destroying our plant. He has successfully spread the word of global warming within the century. Since people are now aware, we need to create a plan to solve this problem. Till this day, we have yet to have a solution, but Gore advises that “we need to go far quickly”.

  12. I watched "The Story of Stuff", and I learned quite a lot from this video. Annie Leonard uses understandable terms to explain a seemingly complicated concept, and she is doing that to spread the message to the general population. I strongly agree with her when she says that people created the harmful system of production and consumption and we, as people, could create a new system. I am pretty sure that a lot of people in the world are aware of the fact that we are trashing our Earth, but how many people are doing things to stop us from trashing the Earth? The sad reality is that not many people are willing to respond. Honestly, I don't know if I would start taking action after watching this video. I might keep recycling and buy less one-time use products, but I don't think I would take an active role in solving the main problems in our production and consumption system. Unfortunately, I think that most of the people who have seen this video are not taking any action either. Well, why is that? People in general are reluctant to change. We are happy with the lifestyle that we have right now, and we are not ready to change it for the good of the planet. We are concerned of our own well-being, and that's about everything that we are concerned of. I am not saying everyone is like this, but unfortunately, a majority of the population is. Indeed, I find this video to be very inspiring, and I think that some people will be inspired into taking action after watching this video. However, I think most people will only start taking action once the environmental catastrophes start to affect their lifestyle or even endanger their lives. That is just the bigger problem that I see behind the various issues covered by Annie Leonard.

  13. As the news of Hurricane Sandy, that struck the eastern portions of both America and Canada last month, revolves in society still with analogous intensity as when the event had just occurred, I took the opportunity to view the brief news clip portraying the aftermath of the natural disaster. As I heard the views one of the anchor, Chris Hayes, had to offer, I was greatly influenced by the facts within his speech and also, in addition, the urgency in his speech. Sandy was a catastrophic event that is not usual to occur in a location that has already experienced other events likewise to the hurricane in their degree such as the previous drought that grasped acres of arable land in it glazing fires and the hurricane before, Irene. Taking in consideration these facts, one does suspect that there must be a precursor the this chain of events; there must be some phenomena that proves the reactant to the immense product that was Sandy. In the views that are emerging and were stated in the video, climate change is being termed as the most liable and the most possible reason to the occurrences New York has been faced with. In my perception, I also believe that not only New York, but these forms of happenings are becoming customary in many parts of the world, an earthquake, a tsunami, a hurricane constantly making their way to news headlines. Although, we are situated in an area many miles away from where this catastrophe struck, the fear of such occurring in proximity is overwhelming due to the fact that climate change is a universal element now as industrialization has swept our entire globe. The variant actions of businesses and humans is causing devastating effects on our nature, and the consistent cycle of consumption and productions places our world's finite resources at the risk of depletion and consequently, our world, at the ridges of destruction. If we do not give heed to the necessity that our actions must be altered and more efficient methods must be employed for, we are 'purposely' providing routes for natural disasters like Sandy to fabricate. The key point in the governor's and Hayes' outlining of the notion that climate change is a probable factor on the onset of the catastrophic events taking place is due to the fact that much of the population is not known of it. Populations continue their usage of fossil fuel emitting sources and their over-consumption of resources without making attempts to limit such. The habits of high usage of resources and emitting colossal amounts of greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere have become so transfixed within our characters than even the perception of these deadly events like Sandy do little in changing our ways. I undoubtedly agree with Chris Hayes that something even more substantial would be required to alter the paradigms of our world, something that would indicate the ultimate threshold of our world's capability to support us, and something that will 'make us look back with horror' and question ourselves how we could have let something like this happen.

  14. I watched the video "David Suzuki: An elder's vision for our sustainable future". This video was absolutely astounding. I just one and a half hours the video absolutely changed the way that I think. To hear the issues that David Suzuki presents is a life changing experience. He starts out by comparing animals to humans and highlights how almost anybody, when compared to an animal takes it as an insult. But it is not, it is just the way that we developed from nature. We are no better or more prestigious that animals, and have no right to think that we are. Everyone and everything on this planet depend on each other and the interconnectedness of our world. We greatly abuse almost all around us. We as the human race seem to think that we are above nature, but nature is what created us in the first place. How can we think we are more important than our creator? When watching this video it makes me feel like I have been living my life terrible. I put way more emphasis on what I own or material possession than is acceptable. So many people, including myself, revolve around possessions are man made items, instead of nature, which we were born to live by. We are in effect killing ourselves with our actions, and instead of changing them, we try to mask or hide them. We are doing nothing to change the issue that are at hand, instead we are just covering them up and leaving them to be dealt with in the future. He does a great job of showing how everyone is connected to everything thought the resources we use on this planet. To further add to this I would like to say, not only are we all connected and the same, but everything is connected. Things that one may not think have an effect on anything in their live can actually have a huge effect. He stated how we think that we as a race are so smart and superior, but if looked at through the proper lens, we are actually doing terrible really dumb things in pollution and misuse of resources. Everybody wants more. More items, more power, more money, when in reality these things are worthless. Think if all of the sudden people stopped accepting money in the economy. It would be completely worthless. The paper allow carries no value but the value that we give it. Resources such as air and water are free for the most part so people treat them poorly. Think about it, are you more likely to be careful with a brand new twenty thousand dollar car, or with a cup of water. Obviously everyone will say the car, but what is more important to your survival, well it is the water. Yet people knowingly and intentionally pollute and misuse water because they seem to think it is alright. That is what society has lead us to believe, that possessions, money, and the economy are more important that the natural resources need for life. If the long run, who cares who had the best phone or the nicer computer, what shapes us is our memories and interactions. This notion of the current economical centric society is not allowing us to live to our potentials, and is killing the earth doing so. Many people recognize that changes is needed but they don't see the level to which it is actually needed. We are not just in need of a minor tune up, but a major overhaul. Through time man has became less connected with nature. Many years, but not that long compared to the length of history, every aspect of life was centred around nature. Man has changed this and replaced nature classifying in as second rate or not that important. One of the problems is that people do not see the results of their actions. Look at cancer for an example, cancer is man created, nobody used to have cancer until man developed adaptations and allowed the spread of it. So is the technology worth all the lives it has taken. I do thinks so. I don't think it is even worth one life, yet deadly pollutants continue to be produced. If the world doesn't change its ways soon, then life as we know it is near it's end.

  15. I was extremely curious of what the story of stuff project is about, so I watched the videos of this section. Even though all of them are interesting, I was especially enlightened by the video: “The Story of Stuff.” What is “stuff” anyways? Stuff consists of all the consumer goods that have been produced and sold to the public. Personally, I own lots of this stuff, such as computers, printers, and TVs. I have never thought about where these products come from and how they are made because I did not need to. All I had to do is to pay the money and enjoy the products that I buy. However, after viewing the video, I was absolutely shocked by the concepts, such as the material economy and the externalization of cost. I discovered that my luxury of having a computer on my desk is based on the sacrifice that someone had to make and the natural resources that belong to a place that I have never been to. Now, I need to consider any purchase that I make because I do not want to owe “debt” to other people or places.
    Every time I think an upgrade of my electronic devices is needed, I would throw away those devices and purchase new ones. I thought that those old products would be taken care of, and they would no longer be my responsibilities. However, from the video, I found out that they are still my responsibilities because I am responsible for the pollution of the environment. Only parts of the devices are recycled and the rest are burned. Not only can the burnt waste accumulate, but toxins can also be released into the air. I cannot believe that my action alone can cause such an effect on our environment, so I need to reconsider when I throw out my next computer or some other devices. In the video, Annie Leonard states that commercials and the looks of the newer products are the triggers to the obsession of constantly buying and upgrading those products. I feel that this statement is incredibly true because I am a perfect example. When I watch a TV show, I look forward to the commercials. Commercials are interesting because a large variety of products are introduced, and the techniques that the advertisers use are absolutely ingenious. Therefore, after watching all of these commercials, I gain a wide knowledge of what products are available on the market, and I want to own all of them. Also, the looks of products are important to me. I felt that staying in the trend is crucial for socializing. Now, I feel that I am extremely vain. My opinions and thoughts are slowly destroying the environment, so I need to completely change my attitude toward changing and upgrading my “stuff.”
    Our world is running out of resources, and something detrimental is going to happen if we don’t change our ways of using them. I have learned so much from this video, and I think I will introduce it to my friends, so they can hear this story too.

  16. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy left many parts of the Caribbean and Northeastern United States in devastating situations. It is easy to sit by and do nothing, feeling relief that it wasn't us and that we were unaffected. However, it is because of this exact attitude that has caused the increase in storms and the dramatic change in weather patterns. Not only did Hurricane Sandy cause at least $20 billion USD worth of damage, but it was also the largest Atlantic storm ever witnessed. This is an extremely worrying fact and we should all be prepared for what is to come in the future if drastic measures are not taken.

    The reason why 2012 has been the warmest year with the warmest summer and record-breaking droughts is because of the build-up of carbon emissions that have been released into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. The lack of action being taken by mankind to slow down these emissions has contributed to the rise in natural disasters and catastrophes. It is our complacency that has allowed our world to reach this stage, where we can no longer sit by and watch our surroundings be demolished.

    In the news clip on Hurricane Sandy, the anchor showed a simulation of entire cities going underwater due to the rising water levels caused by global warming. If this future does not scare us into taking immediate action, I don't know what will. There were two solutions mentioned in the video which were the fact that a radical crash program needs to be developed in order to reduce the carbon released into the atmosphere and that civil engineering should be re-conceptualized so that we can prepare for these disruptions in the future. It is clear that although Sandy was the biggest hurricane in the Atlantic so far, it will not be the last and it is of the utmost importance that preventative measures be made.

    As global citizens, we need to stop denying reality and accept the fact that the world's situation is getting worse. These tell-tale signs are mother earth's cry for help and we cannot continue to stand by and ignore her. If we continue to wait, one day there will be no more land for us to live on, no more animals to enjoy this world with and no more beautiful plants and trees. Spreading the word is our first step together to raise awareness of our potentially grim future.

  17. I watched the video called the "Story of Stuff" and I was enlightened by this short but fast paced video. It really got me thinking about the future of our planet, and how we as human beings are drastically negatively impacting our environment through this shameful process of unnecessary consumption. I think everyone can agree that consumption is a large part of their lives. From buying groceries, to clothes to newly released electronics we all participate in the never ending path of consumerism. Unfortunately, many cease to see the bigger picture.

    We all live in little bubbles, we go to work, we make money, and we spend it unconsciously. Yesterday was Black Friday, and I myself, took a trip to the mall and took advantage of the sales. We all continue to consume, even though most likely what we are purchasing is not a necessity at all. This video made me realize that there is a whole untold story to this vicious system. We exploit the limited resources we have, cutting down trees, building mines, and destroying ecosystems in order to produce material goods. Not only are we harming the environment, but we are also stripping away homes for the people that live there. Then we exploit those people, using them for cheap labour and exposing them to harmful chemicals, all for the sake of putting items on the market. One day, we are all going to face the consequences of what we have created. It may not be tomorrow, or next year, but that date is fast approaching. The amount of pollution is growing, and cancer and asthma rates are as well. And the amount of natural, unharmed land is decreasing fast. I was utterly shocked to hear that about 7 football fields of the amazon rain forest is cut down in just one minute!

    The whole system is designed for endless consumerism. But that's just the problem, there is going to be an end if we continue the path we are going. Soon, we are going to run out of available resources, or we are going to pollute the earth up to the extent where the human species cannot survive any longer, or we are not going to have any more space to dispose of the trash we are exponentially producing. It is about time that we came to our senses and realized that we have to make a difference. Even if what you are contributing is small, it can have an impact on the path we are headed. Whether it is using reusable bags, recycling, saving energy, or buying locally grown foods, every small action makes a difference.

  18. I watched the ted talk video called "Al Gore Warns on Latest Climate Trends" for the issue about climate changes. I chose this video because the issues of climate change and Global Warming have been brought up for numerous debates for a long time but we, as a world, still do not have any good and realistic plans for the future. In the video, Al Gore gives examples of how the arctic ice size dramatically decreased compared to 25 years ago. He explains how this is serious by giving a scientific explanation and why the release of massive amount of methane gas is harmful to us. During the video, I felt like I have heard what he was saying many times before from different people. This means that many influential people had been talking and educating people about the importance of this problem and how we should start acting for ourselves for a long time now. The ironic thing is that even though the problem has been brought up for more than 25 years since the beginning, nothing has really been accomplished. Even though people know what is happening and how serious it is, they are not willing to take action and do something to change this since they do not think it is relevant to their everyday lives. Al Gore mentions some positive changes such as the United States cancelling plans to build Coal Plants, and giving some green alternatives. However, these alternatives are not actually helping the world to get better. They do not turn the melted ice glacier back to its size 25 years ago. This really struct me personally because we are now at the point where we cannot put things back to where they were several years ago. Instead, we can only slow things down.
    What Al Gore says in the very last part of his presentation also made me reflect on the crude reality we are facing at the moment. He says,"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. We need to go far, quickly." What he means by this is that not a single person, single organization, or a single nation can change what is happening in this world. However, if we all act as one, all the nations and all the people, we can make changes, but we have to move fast. We can do something about this if everyone realizes the seriousness and take initiatives to turn things around. I felt like this presentation really made me realize how shameful I was by ignoring the problems even though I knew what exactly was going on in this world I am living in.

    -Jenny YoonJi Lee

  19. I watched David Suzuki’s, An Elder’s Vision for Our Sustainable Future. I know very well whom Suzuki is, but had yet to hear him speak until I watched this presentation. Of course this talk was centered on climate change, but what I enjoyed was that it is founded on the principle of receiving wisdom from our elders. This is something that’s taken for granted and mostly deemed unimportant in technology driven, western society. The reason wisdom has application in study is that it’s based on years, if not centuries, of knowledge that has worked to sustain human populations and Nature together.
    Suzuki deems this time in history the “Anthropocean epoch” because it is a time when humans have become a geologic force. I thought it was profound to put a human label on a geologic time period. Never have we done this, or needed to do this before. In metropolises, we have become so displaced from Nature that it seems expectable to treat it as if we don’t live and survive off of it. Suzuki says we create our own habitat (cities) and everything in them, including the economy, and this is why we regard Nature with the least priority and economy with the highest. In cities we forget that wisdom has value, that Nature has value, and most importantly that the economy is a human construct. We don’t recognize that current western paradigms don’t reach far enough.
    For a large chunk of the presentation, Suzuki talks about the economy and it’s importance in the world. He states that unlike the laws of biology, chemistry, and physics, the economy is not a force of nature and thus is the one thing we don’t have to live by and is the one thing we can change. Furthermore, he talks about exponential growth and defines it as anything with a predictable doubling time. Equating humans to bacteria living in a closed system (a vial), he demonstrates that constant demand for growth is literally suicidal. Humans are like cancer cells in the human body; we demand to grow and grow and ultimately kill ourselves and the host we invade.

  20. As someone who drinks bottled water everyday, I was compelled to watch the video "The Story of Bottle Water." I was shocked at the realization of how ignorant I was on the topic, as it turned out that I was one of those who were brainwashed into believing that bottle water, which is 2000 times more expensive than tap water,is somehow more pure and superior to regular water. The video enlightened me on that fact that bottle water are only filtered tap water, and that their advertisement of being extracted from the springs and mountains are simply false and distortion of the truth.

    I was always aware that plastic bottles posed a serious threat to the environment - which motivated me to at least recycle. I assumed that recycling would simply negate any harm done to the world - which turned out to be a foolish and naive assumption. According to the video, most "recycled" bottles either end up being down cycled,or shipped to countries like India,where they form a mountain of plastic bottles. As half a billion plastic bottles are used every week in the US alone, the scale of our wastefulness and ignorance is simply mind-boggling.

    The mass culture of consumerism has led humanity to reach a low point. People do not bother to think for themselves, and only follow what a select group of people has to say, such as the media and the propaganda machines devised by greedy corporations. It shames me to say that I was one of the contributors of this global ignorance, as I blindly assumed the superiority of bottled waters to tap water in quality and taste, as well as severely underestimating its effect on the environment.

    I believe that in order to stop the distribution of bottled water, people need to have the revelation like the one I had, that despite its enormous relative cost, bottled waters provide no health or taste benefits, and only contributes to the destruction of the environment. Just like cigarettes have warning labels to inform potential buyers of its deadly health effects, the government needs to step up and force bottled water companies to clearly state that their products are merely purified tap water with no evidence for superior taste and quality. I am optimistic that society will fix this issue, but only if enough attention and knowledge has been brought forth.

  21. I watched ‘The Story of Electronics’ by Annie Leonard because e-waste is one of the issues that I rarely engage in active discussion with others in my everyday life. Therefore, I would like to find out more about e-waste given my limited understanding of the issue.

    Personally, I usually do not go after the latest electronic gadgets. However, I do believe that it is only of human nature that people will want something that is better than what they previously had. Despite so, I do believe that people still care about our environment and would be willing to change their habits if they know the severity of the issue. Many people are probably unaware of the issue of e-waste since it is not given as much attention as more pertinent and global issues such as air pollution and global warming.

    An idea struck me when Leonard was talking about the messy tangle of wires from having too many chargers. The idea is to come up with a standardization rule. This means that certain authorities can impose certain standardized charger system such that all the mobile phones have to use the same type of charger despite them being of different brands. Similar systems can be set up for other electronics such as computers and MP3s as well. By introducing a standardizing system, we can continue to use our old chargers even when we decide to replace our phones or MP3s with the latest models. Hence, this will make it unnecessary for the manufacturers to include a new charger into every new electronic package that we purchase. Instead we can just have one charger and only choose to buy another one when the one we are currently using is spoilt. Besides being less destructive to the environment, having fewer chargers also mean that there will be fewer useless miscellaneous items lying around in our homes.

    I believe that by gradually making such small changes, we will eventually be able to significantly reduce the amount of harm we bring to our environment every year.

  22. I decided to watch NBC News: Was Sandy a Warning. My main reason for this was because of the relevancy to recent news and because I thought it would give the most recent facts on what climate change has become. My oh my was I blown away. The visual they gave us of New York and what the flooding situation could possibly become was downright frightening. The video made one thing crystal clear, we are now submerged right in the middle of a catastrophic climate change. The effects have been obvious, the reports of spontaneous forest fires taking place out of nowhere is a bad sign. The extended drought's across the globe make it just that much more obvious. Esteemed individuals like Al Gore and the Governor of New York are both saying that the frequency of large scale floods from natural disasters has picked up. So what can we do?

    Make life style adjustments, it's as simple as that. Evaluate every decision you make based on the harm it does to the environment and on how big of a scale. Then go out and try to minimize that damage. The only way to reverse this vicious chain of events that we have started is to work both individually and together as human race to change what we have caused. It has become apparent that people seem to be living in blissful ignorance, but at this point that ignorance is leading to the downfall of the very planet that we inhabit. Why can't we start to take responsibility for our actions, why is everybody just willing to move this issue to the back of the line. This is a hot issue, no pun intended, that has been put on the back burner. The sooner people on a large scale start to take notice of what's going on the sooner we can arrive at the solution, and now is the time people.

  23. I watched "The Story of Bottled Water" because I had seen "The Story of Stuff" and was pleasantly surprised that they actually had other videos highlighting other environmental topics. In this video the message that they present is that bottled water is an unnecessary materialistic item that has been pushed onto society by large corporate companies in the pursuit of money and greed.

    One of the messages that stood out most to me was the idea that the demand for bottled water was all fabricated to further capitalist gains. The prospect of exploiting resources, people, and our earth was only a side effect as compared to the money one could make in the bottled water industry. The fact that large wealthy developed nations shipped their own garbage to fill the already crowded developing nations, such as India, was appalling to me. The video also describes that the bottles were being “downcycled” meaning they are turned into lower quality products, was astounding as they are wasting resources and only burdening the environment. The fact that this is a common practice is a crime, as an easy solution of get rid of these bottles would be to just recycle them therefore reusing some of the oil used to make them. This exploitation of power where wealthy developed nations can take advantage of other nations truly emphasizes our society’s notion of money as the most valuable aspect of life.

    The marketing and advertising of large companies have assaulted and altered our perception of what clean water is. They've constructed this idea that bottle water is healthier and cleaner when in reality they are neither of those. According to the video, tap water is found to be even better tasting and more regulated than bottled water. Even in some brands of water, they are selling filtered tap water. All these falsehoods and deception the accepted idea that bottled water is better than tap water must be reversed. What I took away from this video was that if we can try to stop drinking bottled water, then slowly and surely the bottled water can be phased out. Fortunately we have already begun to head in the right direction and with a more proactive involvement with the environment we can eventually get rid of bottled water.

  24. The Story of Stuff brings to attention the unseen and discredited effects of a consumerist society. As a population, we are obsessed with consumption and as a result the lifespan of our "stuff" is decreasing. And although this consumerism is seemingly beneficial in the short run, Annie Leonard shows the viewer how our actions, as a whole, are unsustainable and if are not changed, can have significant negative impacts on us in the future.

    The problem is the mentality that society has entered. We are stuck in the mindset that “new” is better and “old” is useless. Furthermore, our conceptions of “new” and “old” are skewed as well. A two year old phone is suddenly outdated, but, would anyone call a two year old child old? No. The problem is that nothing is made to last because you are expected to replace it so quickly. Ever heard "things don't last like they used to?" That's because they don't, because they aren't supposed to. If you're phone breaks down after 2 years do you replace it? No, because even if they carry the parts needed, they cost twice as much as buying a new phone. After all, that's what happens to a thing right? An item is old after a few months and needs replacing, right?

    The Story of Stuff (and all the subordinate videos associated with it) really opened my mind to an issue that is easily overlooked. However, I wouldn’t be so quick to blame the problems on “Big Box Mart,” but rather, our acceptance as consumers of the consumerist mentality. If we agree as a collective and demand longer lasting products, producers will have to change. The problem is that we don’t want to invest in long lasting items. We want disposable over reusable and brand new every year than strong for five years. In order for the world to change, we need to change the way we look at our stuff.

  25. I watched NBC News: Was Sandy a Warning due to the fact that Hurricane Sandy took place just over a month ago. I also visited New York during the summer, so it was interesting, (and also rather depressing, for I had fun in New York) for me to visualise how the flooded areas would be like if climate change went any further. I do hope that the railings at Battery Park will not become ten-metre high walls anytime soon.

    I find it mind-boggling that there are still people who insist that climate change is nothing but a myth in the face of one of the largest hurricanes on record. In fact, I find it mind-boggling that most politicians still focus on the economy in favour of short term gain rather than combat climate change, which will result in long-term losses due to all of the damage a change in weather patterns will bring. Although lobbying the government to take measures to protect the environment is a noble cause, it is hardly likely they will listen. We have to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions first by adopting better habits and convince everyone around us to do the same, because most of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere result from the actions of everyday people.

    Al Gore calls Hurricane Sandy a “warning”, but I partially disagree, because Hurricane Katrina from seven years ago, which is still the most damaging hurricane in the history of the United States, should have been the wake-up slap in the face for anyone who skeptical of climate change.

  26. The video I watched was "The Story of Electronics" which highlighted the troublesome ways of consumerism when it comes to the purchase of technology. The speaker in the short film underlines the negative toxic effects the disposal of technology has on our environment. One of the main points being that just because we are done with the use of a piece of electronic does not mean that it is the end of its life. For example, when we throw out an old television, it has just gone through a fraction. The rest of its life will be the disposal portion which lasts much longer. During the disposal segment in an electronic device’s life, it releases many harmful toxins that were used to create it. These toxins are very harmful in nature and cause many type of poisonings to those that are exposed to them but also our environment. The reason many of us do not know much about this topic is because electronic disposal happens mainly in countries not in North America, such as China or India. However, I am sure that if these issues were made apparent to the people living in such environments they would not accept it for long. This is why there must be a drastic change made in order to improve the direction on this subject.
    The step I believe needs to be taken with this issue isn’t that we stop shopping for electronics all together. That step would be very counterproductive in our rapidly evolving, technological world. My suggestion on how to fix this issue would be to shop smarter. By that I mean to not buy new cellphones or laptops every year or even every two years. A prime example of this is the new iPhone. Every year, if I am not mistaken, the company Apple has made it their goal to release a new iPhone with their brand new release being the iPhone 5 this year. Now, what exactly is the difference between this year’s iPhone 5 and last year’s iPhone 4S? Beside from a few performance upgrades, a new look, and maybe some new apps in their app store, nothing much has changed. However, during the release of the iPhone 5, there were undoubtedly thousands of consumers going berserk on this new release, many of which owned the iPhone 4S. Don’t get me wrong here; I am not saying that if you bought an iPhone 5, you are a bad person. But rather if you did buy an iPhone 5 look back and think whether or not it was a good decision. If it was, good on you but if you regret it, then you have learned a valuable lesson on consumerism which will unquestionably make you a smarter shopper in the future.

  27. I also watched the “Story of Electronics”, and it was an absolute eye opener. As a general consumer, I did not realize that these “recycling” facilities are not so green after all, and the methods used are definitely not the most optimal in the point of view of sustainability. I do believe that the video raises some extremely powerful points on the causes of pollution via electronics that occur today; however, I do believe that the solutions suggested to fix these problems were too simplistic. For just an informative, and eye opening perspective, the video most definitely did the job.

    The speaker talked about corporations only looking at profits, compared to the overall well-being of their workers, and gave a brilliant example of IBM. It is true that some companies are putting a blind-eye on the devastating effects on the environment; however, I do not believe it is fair to generalize all the companies in the same fashion. Also, the speaker suggests that you need to change what the inventors and innovators are doing from “design to the dump”, to more sustainable designs; yet, people are already doing that. At UBC, sustainable designs in chemistry are a research field that people are currently working on, that most definitely have a direct impact on the technological field.

    I do believe that the speaker raises some amazing suggestions as well, like being more conscious of what you buy, and being educated in it. It is absolutely not necessary to buy a new gadget every time one comes out, and with being selective as well as educated in what people buy; it can be a great solution in reducing the overall effects of pollution by electronics.

    Last week I went to the movie theater to watch Skyfall. First of all, I'd like to say the song 'Skyfall' by Adele is one of the best theme songs yet. Every time I hear it I get the chills because it's such a good song. Anyway, from the start of the movie I was already on the edge of my seat. James Bond is seen chasing after a person who apparently stole secret information from the M16. Even before stepping foot into the theater I already knew this movie would be action packed (obviously), but the first scene proved that this movie was well worth watching. Back to the movie, James Bond was shot, and falls hundreds of feet down to a river. Although everyone knew James Bond wouldn't be dead at the start of the movie, it was quite unexpected to see him get taken out at the start. I guess you could call it a twist. If I talk anymore about the story line, none of you would need to watch the movie, so I'll move on to what I personally though of the movie.

    I thought that this movie included a bit too much of James Bond having sexual relationships with different woman in the movie. I'm saying that on the basis that it is even more excessive than previous Bond movies. Throughout the movie, the mood was darker than the previous Bond movies. The terrorists have also become more technological as opposed to physical. The movie also gave a reminiscent feeling when James Bond goes back to his childhood home. Lastly, I was shocked to see one of the characters die at the end of the movie. It appears that there will be another installment after this movie. All in all, I give it 4 stars out of 5, but I'll make it 5 stars out of 5 because of the theme song.
    -Davin Chan

  29. I watched the video 'The story of Electronics' because it relates to what I did for my research conference and paper. It is about how manufacturers design electronics in such way that dumping and replacing electronics often is encouraged. Electronics are comprised of toxic chemicals that cause serious health problems in the workers manufacturing them and also workers at landfills who take them apart for valuable metals. The video is very informative and gets the massage across about the gravity of increasing electronic waste in the world. However, the video failed to mention that another main issue associated which is that most people who purchase electronic devices are not aware of the toxic chemicals inside them and do not know that they have to be properly discarded. It is true that manufacturing the products in a way that allows it to be used for a long time with no toxic chemical is the ideal solution. But, until that happens, we should make the best effort to recycle electronics and that means being aware of proper recycling methods.

  30. For this post I decided to watch the Story of Stuff and a few of the other videos associated with it. I first saw the Story of Stuff in my LFS 100 class this year. This video amazed me and really inspired me. I decided to watch many of the other ‘Story of …” videos to see what other ideas they had to offer. Sometimes when I think about all the problems of the world I quickly become unhappy because there seems like there is no way to completely change the world. There is so much that needs to be changed that it feels impossible. It has gotten to such a horrible spot and it does not seem like anything can change because no one cares enough. People hear about an issue, care for a day or two and then completely forget about it. Nothing ever changes. However, after watching these videos, I started to become inspired. Some of the videos touched on other movements that were successful and changed the world, like Gandhi’s work in South Africa and the civil rights movement in the United States. All we have to do is get a bunch of people together that really care. I know that sounds like a lot but if you really think about it, it is not that hard. Think of all the people who want to do something to change the world. If we could get all those people together I am sure change would happen. Just as Annie Leonard said, it is us, the consumers, who can make a difference. We have to work together to put pressure on the government in order for change to happen. The big businesses are not going to help us they only care about themselves. It has to be the other ninety-nine percent that change it. I really found all these videos inspiring and I found myself wanting to watch all the different ones that were on the Story of Stuff website. I want change to start happening in the world and I want to be apart of it.

  31. I watched The Story of Bottled Water. Although I already knew about much of what they were talking about, it amazes me just how many people do not. Everywhere I go, I see plastic water bottles. It makes no sense to spend a couple of minutes drinking out of a bottle that probably travelled halfway around the world. Why do we even allow such companies to exist? I can see another issue here and that is a sense of status. Some brands advertise a certain type of lifestyle that comes along with drinking THEIR water, and unconsciously that is why we buy/drink that type of water.
    One of the shocking things I did not know about was that a lot of our recycled water bottles are shipped to other countries. That was a huge shocker to me because I though that our bottles would be recycled into other products (possibly more plastic bottles). These plastic mountains cannot be healthy for us or the environment. Shipping plastic, using oil to create plastic, and using money for recycling plastic are not economically or environmentally friendly.
    I'm also surprised at the presented solutions. If so much can be and is probably being done, then why are companies still making money? It makes so much sense to stop drinking bottled water and to start using our own water bottles. If we can solve this issue, the environment will benefit and so will our wallets!

  32. I watched Al Gore Warns on Latest Climate Trends. Although I knew that global warming is a serious problem that we face right now, watching Al Gore explaining all the details and facts that sound so scary to be true, startled me. His presentation included something new; it was not just the same old pictures of icecap melting or the North Pole decreasing in size. He explained about how global warming also causes solid carbon and methane to melt, causing an endless cycle. I was also shocked by how global warming depletes fresh water resources and increases the number of forest fires all over the world. At the end of the video, he placed emphasis on the use of coal because it’s the number one cause of global warming. However, I do not agree with him in this matter completely because there was one study that hypothesized the global warming is caused by the change in activity of the sun. After that, he presented possible solutions to substitute our fuel based energy system to other nature friendly energy such as hydropower. Overall, this video reminded me of how serious the problem really is right now and that we as a humanity need to act together to stop it.

  33. The Story of Bottled Water. I really don't understand why people still choose to buy bottled water and drink it on a day to day basis. At home, tap water is almost free! You can drink as much of it as you like! All you need is an electric boiler and you've got clean, not to mention tastier water for another 5 years. You don't even have to deal with recycling bottled water, and best of all you save a lot of money. However, it is always a good idea to keep a pack of bottled water in your home in case of emergencies. It makes so much sense to use our own water bottles than to buy bottled water. If you can pretty much get it for free, why would you pay for bad-tasting, expensive, harmful to the environment water? On a side note, there are plenty of cheap, long lasting, BPA-Free metal water bottles on sale that can carry all the water you would need in a day. Not to mention they look much more fashionable than cheap plastic water bottles.
    I think, if we all stop buying water from stores or vending machines unless we really need to, then that in itself will help contribute to saving water bottles in general, and giving bottled water to those who really need them in natural disaster situations or emergencies.

  34. I have read/watched all the links under 2) Climate Change. In regards to these three links, all of them hint at the impending environmental disaster that we are facing due our choices as a race. They have caused our climate to drastically change in just the last 100 years that we have been creating carbon emissions at an industrial scale. The other main point made in the links is that almost nothing is being done about it. International treaties and accords have had almost no effect on global carbon emissions. When things start to go poorly, many countries opt out or abandon agreements without penalty. More importantly, the cuts to carbon emissions required to avoid this impending doom always conflict will the economic interest of a country.
    How I feel about the topic is a very similar to how the scientists in the links feel. We, as a human race will probably not do anything until we can no longer ignore climate change and carbon emissions in the form of even more frequent extreme weather. We have become addicted to fossil fuels. Without fossil fuels we can’t even do half the things we do each day. Most of our electronics and vehicles run on fossil fuels. And can we imagine a day without using cars, computers or cellphones? Probably not, we’re addicted to our energy-sucking technology.
    We all accept that the planet is heating up because of us and that our weather is becoming more and more extreme each year; it is undeniable at this point with all the overwhelming amounts of data and studies done. The tropical storm Sandy is a good example of how global warming is leading to more frequent hurricanes in the last few decades.
    Unfortunately, this will still not affect us living in Canada. We are placed in such a good environment that global temperature changes will have minimal effect on us when compared to the rest of the world. On the contrary, we are actually poised to benefit from global warming. As the Arctic melts, our economy will only get better as the Northwest Passage will open up and allow for a shorter shipping route between countries when compared to using the Panama Canal. Also, access to more fossil fuels under the Arctic Ocean floor will be gained and add the economic benefit from these resources that will soon be available for extraction. As temperatures increase, our forest and farmland regions will actually increase in size. As droughts occur around the world, we will still be one of the most water rich countries in the world with all our lakes and streams.
    Best of all, is that as bad as our carbon emissions are, we will probably not notice much in our lifetimes in the terms of massive cataclysmic climate changes. Our throwaway lifestyle won’t be affected and we probably won’t need to change anything significant. The problem is mostly passed on our children and grandchildren. Luckily, the human race would never do such a thing as it is full of foresight and will find ways solve all its problems so that the next generation will have less to deal with. Sarcasm intended.

  35. Our world has been facing countless problems nowadays; one of the most urgent issues is water pollution and the trash that is made by water production. The video that I chose the watch, The Story of Bottled Water, really convinced me that the plastic bottles and cans that are designed to contain water greatly contribute to the pollution of the environment. Today, more and more companies are increasingly promote their bottled water by spreading TV commercials and propaganda, consequently, with more consumption of their products, we can find empty plastic bottles almost everywhere, on the streets, on houses’ roofs and even floating on the sea. Plants that are growing naturally and wild animals are destroyed and harmed by poisonous chemical elements that are emitted by the bottles, as well as the decreasing quality of our drinking water. Honestly, we cannot just simply criticize the companies that produce bottled water are only interested in earning more money without considering the pollution; they substantially make the access to drink water easier. One possible solution to this problem is that the government should build more public water-drinking fountains in the city and keep them clean, so people will save their money and drink the free water, as a result, the consumption of bottled water would dramatically decrease and our living environment would be better and more comfortable.

  36. I watched a video about our planet’s future, called “The Last Days on Earth.” This video shocked me a little as it described several of the many ways that Earth and humanity could be destroyed. These included: dying stars, machines that are too intelligent, supervolcanoes, asteroids, nuclear war, worldwide pandemics, and lastly global warming, with the final one being the most likely.

    At first when I heard of these, I thought that some of the situations were quite probable and others impossible, but after watching this video, I realized that they could all indeed happen.

    Although I expected global warming to be on this list, however I never imagined that it would be at the top of the list. Many of us know that global warming is a major problem that we all must face. I believe that an easy way to start addressing the problem is by reducing, reusing, and recycling. In this way, we can move on to help promote awareness in others and petitioning for more action by national leaders.

    Certainly there are situations in the list above that we can’t do anything about, like gamma ray bursts and black holes from dying stars. Just because we know that the world will end in some way at some time doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do anything to solve or prevent something from happening. As Wayne Gretzky says, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take,” so we might as well make an attempt.

  37. I decided to watch "The story of bottled water" because it is a topic I wanted to learn more about. I myself have never been a bottled water drinker because I personally think its a complete waste of money and I just use a brita filter and fill my water bottle. However, I wanted to learn more about the environmental effects. I had only heard negative things about bottled water from past teachers and miscellaneous videos and was certainly expecting another negative story about them. However, this video was actually one of the most convincing videos I've watched in a while, the way the animated effects are displayed keeps the listener tuned in and it is very easy to understand and agree with the speaker. Now granted, I was already partial to the cause after hearing about it many times in the past, but I still feel like this video could affect a huge amount of people currently buying into
    the bottled water scheme. This video is very informative and should be seen by everyone! I know I will be showing this to a few of my friends who always drink bottled water, and I'm glad that this video is out there to display the true effects that a seemingly harmless purchase can have on everybody.

  38. Although I always knew that tap water is superior to bottled water, before I watched “The Story of Bottled Water”, I had no idea just how superior tap water really is.
    According to the video, tap water is two thousand times cheaper than bottled water. After all, tap water is basically free. This made me wonder why the majority of people even bother to buy something that can be attained for free. It turns out that the bottled water corporations use sly and misleading advertisements that claim tap water is unhealthy, when in fact bottled water is the unhealthy one. The use of such propagandas and deceptions simply to do business is outright unethical. Furthermore, some of the bottled water actually comes from the tap rather than springs. The video also showed that most of our bottled water are not being recycled as we thought they are. Instead, they are being downcycled, a process that causes more pollution rather than reducing it.
    Although on the surface bottled water may seem like the right choice to make, there are actually a lot of underground activities in the process of making bottled water that we, as consumers, are not fully aware of. This video effectively reveals those hidden activities to the public, and I highly recommend this video to anyone who wants to have a deeper understanding of how the bottled water industry works.

  39. I watched "Story of Change" because this title is different from others. It is not talking about the little things we can do, but it tells us that we should be brave to make a huge change. Even though each shopper can make their choice of fair trade products and non-toxic products, the factories who produce toxins and use child labour are still there. Citizens are the key to a big change in the world, not shoppers.
    The video uses Martin Luther King and Gandhi's example to see how big change they can make. It shows that a big change starts from a big idea, which we already have. We know we want a better world with green energy and non-overconsumption. Lots of people support these ideas, and what we only need is a leader to can direct people to act. If we can start the action together, then we can make a big change and change the economics today. Next time when we are shopping in the store, we do not need to think which product is better, because all of them are fair trade and non-toxic.
    Today everyone only focus on their own part. We think if we do our part well, then we dont need to consider others. However, if the system does not change, even we do our parts well, the problems still exist. The best way is we corporate together, and make a big change and movement.

  40. I watched “The Story of Bottled Water”. I, for one, never really drank bottled water and rarely do I drink tap water. I do not like the “taste” of water. I guess pre-packaged drinks would fall under the same category as bottled water as they are pretty much bottled water with different ingredients added.
    The quality between bottled and tap water is up for debate in my opinion. Both carry chemicals from the way they are transported. Chemicals can leech into bottled water from plastic and chemicals can leech in from the pipes that carry tap water. The standards of cleanliness varies from person to person with no help from manufactured demand. I would say water is clean if it does not kill me or affect me negatively in any way.
    If I had to pick one for an everyday life situation, I would pick tap water. It is free and you can always filter or boil the water in your home. I know how plastics are detrimental to the environment through my research essay and in taking responsibility, I should avoid bottled water when I can. But looking at where we geographically live, an earthquake that can damage the water system can happen at any moment so it would be smart to stock up on bottled water. You win this time, bottled water companies. ):