Thursday, October 1

va: reading responses

Americans (George Marsh, Henry Thoreau, John Muir, Aldo Leopold,+ more) were among the first to write about and understand man's capacity to wreak lasting destruction on the environment. I found it interesting that Americans were forward thinkers on the importance of sustainability yet our country today still does very little for environmentalism. I found Marsh's words to be especially intriguing: 

"When I submit these thoughts to a printing press, I am helping cut down the woods.
When I pour cream in my coffee, I am helping to drain a marsh for cows to graze,
and to exterminate the birds of Brazil. When I go binding or hunting in my Ford, I am
devastating an oil field, and re-electing an imperialist to get me rubber. Nay more: when 
I father more than two children I am creating an insatiable need for more printing presses, 
more cows, more coffee, more oil, to supply which more birds, more trees, and more 
flowers will either be killed, or... evicted from their several environments."

Sustainability wasn't even a thing when our industrial system was built. It's interesting because it seems like the people who are really concerned and actually care about sustainability are local or smaller scale businesses, but as Gray points out it is most effective to focus on large multinational companies. To make a real impact on ecosystems, their leverage is necessary. Not only do large retailers have leverage from their brand name being known by a mass amount of people but also their relation to ecosystem services. I was surprised to read that McDonald's was becoming more sustainable. Even it is in Sweden and they are always way ahead of us, but still I never took the company as one to be a leader in change that will help preserve nature. Many of the stores are powered by renewable energy and even using organic dairy products and food without GMOs. Even if just all the McDonald's around the world followed Sweden's lead, it could make a huge impact because they are literally everywhere. 

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