What is global dimming?

I just read an article (see link below) that discusses about global dimming. Its a new term to me and I wanted to share. Global dimming is the reduction of heat reaching the earth. Normally, clouds are white, shinny and reflective and they help to reflect the sun’s heat energy back to the space. Green house gases, fossil fuel and other emissions change the formation of the clouds and increases reflection of heat energy. The overall lowers the amount if heat reaching the earth’s surface. SO GLOBAL WARMING IS NOT ALL THAT BAD!

http://www.globalissues.org/article/529/global-dimming

Technology – BLEH.

Everyday I go to work and stare at a computer the entire day.  Everyday, just the same, I come home and stare at a computer all night long doing homework.  

Some days this drudgery just completely baffles me.  This continual absorption of technology is like the meaningless work that Thoreau and Emerson discourage. 

If that’s true, I completely understand where they are coming from.  Some days all I want to do is go outside and enjoy the fresh air.  Sometimes the confines of my house just suffocate me. 

I’ve found that just getting out of the house can refresh my mind.  It can give me a new perspective on the drudgery and allow me to reconnect with myself. 

I don’t think “the healing power of nature” is just a saying.

Why are people nicer in places like Kansas, Missouri, Colorado…?

Well, I know this has nothing to do with nature but I thought that human relationships are interesting and I always wondered why people are so much nicer in the Midwest that in places like the coast, anywhere you go. So, I come from Spain, Europe, long ways from here. Some people that I have talked to say that generally people in Europe are rude, and honestly, it is true. I have been to Portugal, France, Monaco, Italy, Spain, and England and usually people do not wave or smile at you. When I first came to the States, to Florida and Illinois, I was a little impressed because people were nice, but there were some similarities and common things with people from the coast from where I live and other coasts that I have been in Europe. However, when I transferred to Newman University, and I started visiting places (Wichita, Derby, Kansas city, Oklahoma city, Denver, Winter Park…etc.) And I saw that most people just wave and smile at you and they are very nice. They helped me so much when I used to have language difficulties and problems with things. I am very happy with this, it makes life so much easier and joyful. I learned that human relationships and morals are so important, and I am glad you guys have kept it that way. Although, I have a question, why do you think that in places like in the coast (wherever) people tend to be more rude than people in the inside like the Midwest?

-Luis

Emerson’s Nature

It really was no surprise to me that this reading of Emerson’s Nature went along well with our movie Into the Wild. Just like Emerson, Chris sees the many flaws that society has and the distractions that go with it. To experience the “wholeness” of nature, Emerson wants us to get away from these things in society (kind of what Chris does in the film). Emerson goes on to describe that solitude is the only way that humans can discover this, and again the way Chris lives out his time in nature. Emerson says, “To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars.” Instead, Emerson feels that people only use nature for our own selfish needs and our own desires. It also interests me how he uses religion and spirituality when writing this; he says, “The aspect of nature is devout. Like the figure of Jesus, she stands with bended head, and hands folded upon the breast. The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship”. I kind of took this as a way to see nature as a divine being almost. Nature certainly is a life giver; trees supply wood for homes, plants provide food, etc. I don’t necessarily think Emerson wants us to worship nature, but maybe to revere it and understand why we really need. It’s interesting to see how many connections we had to this reading and our film as Dr. Findling noted in his email so keep looking everyone!

Into the Wild Screening Report

This movie was one of the most interesting that we have viewed so far. I found myself getting frustrated with our character Chris at several points in the film. I felt like the conclusion was on of resolve still because it seems Chris discovered what he was looking for; to be alone. The difference was that he was totally and completely isolated, but it may not have been what he wanted. He was pressured to leave mainly because he didn’t have a very good family life. His parents didn’t get along well and the clip where his father was abusive would make any child want to not be around home. The pressure of living a very “ambitious” life from his wealthy parents was obviously another reason that he wanted to leave. So Chris sets off looking to escape the way the world has become and find a place where nature is the only thing that’s around. I like how the director uses a lot of motion shots with lots of camera movement to show the dynamic change that takes place both in Chris and in the places around him. One thing I didn’t understand was how much Chris placed the principle of reaching nature over people. Meeting people like Ron Franz (the old guy) would have made me want to stay because of his great compassion and trust to a stranger. I even thought that he was really going to return and see Tracy Tatro (the 17 year old) with his hippie “family” because it seemed like that was the most compassion he had ever seen. It just seems all to perfect a life to return to and with the entrapment of the river, I wasn’t surprised that the thing Chris wanted most ended up keeping him there (actually caught myself saying be careful what you wish for). I definitely think this movie was an emotional appeal because it shows scenes that make us wonder what it would have been like if Chris hadn’t been able to touch all the lives of the people he met, and then was able to go back and see them again. It being a true story (and not revealed until the very end) made it an even more appeal to our senses. Did Chris find peace out there? I think he did, but unfortunately he never got to see the real reaction of his parents that was very much imprinted on his last thoughts.

The Beauty of a Sunset

Emerson’s chapter about beauty was my favorite part of Nature.  Some of his descriptions of his experiences in nature in this section really stuck out to me. One passage that I liked was when he described a January sunset. He writes that the “western clouds divided and subdivided themselves into pink flakes modulated with tints of unspeakable softness, and the air had so much life and sweetness…” (page 15). Does this not remind you of a sunset from here in Kansas? Kansas may not have the best scenery to look at compared to, say, the mountains in Colorado, but we do have spectacular sunsets. To watch the sky turn into shades of reds, oranges, and pinks is truly beautiful. The sunsets never quite look the same either, which is pretty amazing as well. I also liked how he mentioned that many city residents think that nature is only pretty during half of the year (summer). He says that he finds just as much beauty in winter, too. I must agree with this. To look out over a snow-filled field that has not been touched by the feet of animals or humans is quite a scene. It’s peaceful and has a sense of tranquility. Although I do not like the cold and do not like to go out into the cold, looking out at it is always breathtaking.

Alone with Nature

As I delve into Thoreau, I can’t help but second-guess his insistence on being alone with nature.  Yes, connecting with nature allows you, as an individual, time to learn things about yourself, but we learn a lot about ourselves by interacting with people, too. 

Maybe this is because I am a people-person (I prefer to be surrounded by people than to sit at home alone), or maybe it is because I realize that I would never be able to truly know myself without the interactions from others.  By this social interaction, especially as children, we learn concepts like patience and what it means to be loved. 

Living alone in the wilderness does not give us those necessary understandings.