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    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    “Since the dawn of their time humans have been dependent on the natural forces of the earth. Managing their relationship with the environment has been a continuous requirement and responsibility for people and society. How society has assumed that responsibility depends on technology, human ingenuity, and the values and norms of society, which also vary across cultures and over time. Just as human beings and society have evolved, so too has their relationship with the environment and the way they manage that relationship. It is still evolving” (Randolph 2012, pg. 5).

    Summary

    The Cape Wind farm would be situated in 24 square miles on Nantucket Sound, so far from the coast that you could barely see them on the horizon (the closest being 5½ miles from Cape Cod, 9 miles from Martha’s Vineyard and 12 miles from Nantucket). There will be 130 turbines, each three-bladed measuring 440 feet tall at the tip of the topmost blade. The energy would be transferred through transmission lines would connect to a mainland grid.
    The Cape wind Project has been going on for over a decade, around 11 years and is the largest and longest power struggle over a green clean energy project. The major roots of the conflict were found because the optimal site for Americas first offshore wind farm is also the site of some of the wealthiest waterfront real estate on the east coast. The main halting point right now is that the project is waiting on secure project financing.

    Background

    The turbines will be designed for 25 years of use, after which they could be re-licensed and extended, Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers said. If not, they will be decommissioned and removed. For over ten years, those in opposition of the project claimed the ‘sky is falling,’ but those who support Cape Wind showed that their credibility was undermined. Cape wind gained validation over the years through support from respected organizations and Government Agencies, as well as opposition stakeholders who changed their mind. They showed that ‘dramatic fears’ of the project don’t have a factual foundation. A Cape wind website reveals that anti-cape wind lobbyists have ties with ‘dirty energy’ such as with coal and oil industries.

    The stakeholders range from elected officials, Cape & Islands based organizations, Newspaper Editorials, Environmental Organizations, Labor business, Civic & Religious Organizations, Health Organizations, Academic and Scientific Leaders and Authors, College and University Organizations, Federal and State Government, Cape Cod Property owners, Local people, citizens of the state of Massachusetts, Fishermen and Cruise lines. The wind turbines will be privately funded.

    Turning Opponents into Supporters

    There were many attempts to mediate or cooperatively resolve the conflict. There are many success stories. One of the success stories is the Highline Cruise Company, that runs ferry boats from Cape Cod to Nantucket, which were initially against the Wind Turbines and the project. Their main concerns were navigation safety. The Cape Wind project met with them explained how to solve their navigation problems and worries and made sure that their concerns were met. This is not only good business sense, but also a great planning principle. The Cruise line now viewed the project as a business opportunity and will be Cape Cods Eco-Tour provider. Also, near Martha’s Vineyard, commercial fishermen were against the project in fear of loosing their fishing grounds. Cape Wind spoke with them, made adjustments and assured them there would be fishing grounds and no exclusion zones. They worked together to minimize conflict with the turbines operations, construction and maintenance activities and are helping to set up a fishing bay and allow more local fisher water permits. Based on their opponent’s perceptions, Cape Wind was “often successful in challenging the scientific information about risks that are provided during the siting process by questioning data, methodology, and technical aspects of siting plans.” (Schively 2007, pg. 259) The way you approach a project or problem greatly affects the outcome.

    The Media and its role

    The media played a large role in the conflict. In my interview with Mark Rodgers, he mentioned that talking with people and having street conversations with people changed their perspective, got rid of their fears, and learned more about their position and the opposition. Most people they talked to changed their mind, if they were initially against the project. Cape Wind also released polls and public surveys which were very successful and are publically available on their website to view and assess for unbiased questions and technique. They are aggressively acting in their community and getting involved. They also have donor websites. These community engagement principles are very important, and Cape Winds success proves their value as a engagement and planning principle.

    Political Connections and Stakeholders

    The waterfront is privately owned and the turbines will be privately funded. Because they are Private companies and property, the issues and processes are unique. The Cape Wind Project has done a lot of lobbying to develop its ties in Washington and improve Political connections. These Political connections have proven to be a very significant part of this process and of their success. Cape Wind has worked with seventeen Federal and State Government Agencies to gather legislative interest to support their pursuits. Cape Wind is also engaged with Organizations, the Town, Civic Organizations, Chambers of Commerce and Government Agencies. Some problems were challenged in court and so litigation hardships occurred. “Seeking environmental health justice, similar communities around the world are engaging in street science, often forging research and action partnerships with outsiders, to address the problems they face.” (Corburn pg. 27) Part of Cape Winds support success has been their unique and exhaustive approach to bringing street science and pure science together in an easy to understand way for the publics understanding.

    The conflict has changed social and political relationships among participants. Trying to streamline the process and get all stakeholders involved early can help to build these relationships even more. Cape Wind had a Senior State Senator, Congressman, Governor and Attorney General all apposed to the project and fighting. Now, they all support Cape wind, as do House Delegation and Congress as mass legislators.

    It is always hard being the first to introduce something, especially when it comes to renewable energy and wind energy. It is hard to get the government to settle on what their approach is, which is one of the reasons why it took as long as it did. “At its most literal, NIMBY is about ‘backyards’, implying very local protest, about consequences of direct and immediate effect for protesters. The point is that some locations—no matter how near or distant—are simply inappropriate for wind farm development” (Haggett 2010, pg. 3). Though, as Cape Wind has successfully proved, the Cape cod location is perfect for Wind Energy Development. “Natural resources and managed natural systems are critical for human subsistence, livelihood, and quality of life.” (Randolph 2012, pg. 7) Cape Wind has also help draw much needed media attention towards the global warming problem and renewable energy solution. It also actively engaged people to think about what their relationship and understanding of nature was. Even though something may be a good project, or the right thing to do, locational disputes can and do still arise. Especially when located where wealthy politically and oil/gas tied Americans live.

    Community Engagement

    Cape Wind was on top of community engagement and cites this as one of the main sources of their public supporters. Cape Wind conducted over 500 public projections of the project, developed stakeholders groups, and gathered major national and local support groups and organizations for support. “Siting is inherently a political problem. It almost always involves conflictual relationships between a wide range of participants both within and across different jurisdictional and market levels. It involves conflict over goals, motivations, ideology, and values” (Lesbirel 2003, pg. 3). The opposition of the project was from across many different levels. Their opposition was well funded and was a difficult beast to go against. Although the Cape wind project is known for controversy, they have more support than any other project in the East.

    Cape Wind has been involved in press releases, letter to the editor, editorials and ‘earned media’, as Mark Rodgers put it. Initially, in the beginning Cape wind was involved in paying for advertisement, but soon after the project was under way, Cape Wind found itself being published frequently in newspapers and journals from the press and interest. They counted on the truth playing out over a long enough time period.

    Problems and opposition

    In 2006 the project was almost shut down completely. Cape Wind found itself with heavy opposition and had went over their budget trying to go against their wealthy and well-connected opposition just to stay afloat. “Irrational local opponents are preventing the state from realizing a clear civic good.” (Gibson 2005, pg. 6) Even though the Wind Project is clearly a great benefit, irrational and selfish opponents and politicians prevented for a long time, the state from supporting the project. “Public officials, unsure of how to deal with these tensions and competing commitments, often try to work quietly, get the job done without disturbing the public “peace,” and then often reassure everyone “out there” that there is no reason to be concerned or involved.” (Corburn pg. 11) Politicians tried to attach laws to the project last minute and under the table in order to out law the project before it got on their feet, which they appealed and fought. Which is another reason why this has been such a long conflict and process. Trying to avoid community engagement because of fear and concern is not a healthy or good practice. This sneaky approach was proven unsuccessful and stirred a lot of controversy and developed negative attitudes towards the project. Since then, Cape wind has made sure to be completely transparent and they confront and expose their opponents’ process and accusations in the same matter.

    Having very well known, well-connected and wealthy initial opposition was very hard for Cape Wind. If the project did not have as much initial capitol, it would have gone under. This idea begs at the idea that you need a certain amount of money and social standing to get things done. Unfortunately, this can be seen in a lot of land use and planning disputes.

    I think the discomfort with Kennedy’s position is best understood as “rooted in the suspicion that he is being hypocritical. Presenting himself as a principled environmentalist and supporter of renewable energy, Kennedy’s opposition to siting wind turbines in his ‘backyard’ seemingly exposes him as an unprincipled pretender—a hypocrite” (Meyer 2012, pg. 2). Cape Wind fought and successfully exposed these superficial attacks on the wind project. However, the Kennedy case is only one sort that has been described as NIMBY. “Recognizing its distinguishing characteristic, and the ways in which others differ from it, can generate a more pluralistic account of NIMBY and a more compelling defense of political struggles against locally undesirable projects” (Meyer 2012, pg. 2).

    Bill Koch is Cape Cods biggest enemy at the moment. Bill made a fortune from coal and oil and is the chairman of The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the group opposed to Cape Wind. Koch is spending millions to prevent Cape Wind’s clean offshore wind energy. He talks about “visual pollution” but apparently has no problem with real pollution or the scars caused by his coal mines and industry oil rigs off the coast. Mr. Koch talks about the cost of wind energy, but what’s the cost of climate change in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Katrina and the BP oil spill? Bill Koch talks about cost, but he never mentions the decades of government subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, where he made his fortune. Because the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a pseudo-environmental organization backed and led by fossil fuel magnate Bill Koch, is hell bent on blocking it. Currently Cape Wind supporters are being asked to sign a pledge to keep the project moving forward, to show and gather support. From a planning approach, getting the community continually involved through any means necessary is a successful approach, and in this case signing a pledge.

    Cape Wind first applied for a permit in November 2001. (Something can be said about the permit timing as it correlates with the September 11th attacks and a change in political agenda because of it, as well as citizen support and priorities) Since then, it has been undergoing a lengthy permitting process at the state and local level. Cape Wind received its final permit in August when the Federal Aviation Administration determined that the project would not pose a hazard to aviation. It also has been the subject of repeated lawsuits, including from a group forcefully opposed to the project, the Alliance for Nantucket Sound. Opponents have cited concerns about property rights and private gain in public waters, and the impact to ocean life, migrating birds, tourism and fishermen.
    More and more political candidates are publically showing their support for Cape Wind. The worst is behind the project. Now its geological testing, data gathering, contrast agreements, ocean floor sampling and permits to acquire.

    Conclusion

    Newly released research also suggests that the Wind Farm is critical to saving Cape Cod from rising seas. Cape Wind has cleared every federal and state review, passed environmental muster, been given the go ahead by the Department of the Interior, has long-term contracts for more than three-quarters of its electricity, and has the support of Governor Patrick and 80 percent of Massachusetts citizens. Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers (whom I interviewed) said the construction of the $35 million port has not yet, now estimated to cost upwards of $100 million, and it is estimated to take at least another 18 to 20 months to build.
    A lot has been and continues to be learned from this project. Whether that be through community engagement, stakeholder development, patience to gather resources, fighting for legislative support and helping opponents understand why they don’t support a project while changing their minds through factual information are just some of the many things learned. Wind energy is making its way on the political agendas of the government and minds of the people. Especially since the observance of erosion changes to the US east coast, recently seen in New York, accelerated by climate change stresses the importance of taking action.
    If renewable energy projects take over 10 years to even begin to initiate, how are we planning on meeting our energy goals, i.e. carbon neutral by 2050; especially when this is only one renewable energy project only feeding the grid in the local area?
    While the preliminary geological testing work is underway, it is now several years past the time when Cape Wind thought the wind farm would be up and running, their original document called out that construction would begin in 2005. Is private renewable energy projects the most efficient and cost effective way to implement our energy goals and standards, or should we look to government and federal involvement? There might be potential of future expansion once Cape wind gets up and going. There is talk that if they install 144,000 offshore turbines the energy produced would meet the entire demand for electricity from Florida to Maine, according to engineering experts at Stanford University.

    This project is not only a corner stone project for the environmental and renewable energy movement, but it brings a lot of great benefits as well. Some of which include: clean, renewable energy; new, green jobs; reduced emissions and carbon pollution; energy at a predictable price over the long-term; energy security; and a gateway to an enormous untapped clean energy supply.
    People are concerned that Cape Wind gives wind power a bad name. Renewable energy is a new battleground for America, and we have yet to establish efficient ways to implement it. It is the first offshore wind farm proposed in the U.S., and the government clearly lacked a clear regulatory path establishment for how such a project would get approved. One of the biggest failures of this project is the U.S. and its lack of efficient and effective energy policy.



    Citations:

    Interview with: Mark Rodgers, Communications Director for Cape Wind. Contact Information: 508-237-6312.

    "Cape Wind :: America's First Offshore Wind Farm on Nantucket Sound." Cape Wind ::America's First Offshore Wind Farm on Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind, 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. .

    "Cape Wind Now." Cape Wind Now. N.p., Oct. 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. .

    Corburn, Jason. “Street science: community knowledge and environmental health justice.” Chapter 1. 2012.

    "Environmental Land Use Planning and Management: Second Edition [Hardcover]." Environmental Land Use Planning and Management: Second Edition: John Randolph PhD: 9781597267304: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2012. .

    Gibson, Timothy A. "NIMBY and the Civic Good." City and Community 4.4 (2005): 381-401. Print.

    Haggett, Claire (2010): A Call for Clarity and a Review of the Empirical Evidence: Comment on Felman and Turner's ‘Why Not NIMBY?’, Ethics, Place & Environment: A Journal of Philosophy & Geography, 13:3, 313-316.

    Lesbirel, S. Hayden and Shaw, Daigee. “FACILITY SITING: ISSUES AND PERSPECTIVES.” Columbia Earthscape. (2003): 01-14. Journal.

    Meyer, John M. (2010): Hypocrisy, NIMBY, and the Politics of Everybody's
    Backyard, Ethics, Place & Environment: A Journal of Philosophy & Geography, 13:3, 325-327

    Schively, C. "Understanding the NIMBY and LULU Phenomena: Reassessing Our Knowledge Base and Informing Future Research." Journal of Planning Literature 21.3 (2007): 255-66. Print.
    Mon, Mar 4, 2013  Permanent link

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    The city of Angkor, in Cambodia, can be considered an urban complex and is known for its beauty and hydrological advances that have stood the test of time. Even though the city was built from mostly sandstone which experiences wear, typical for the tropical region in which it lies, Angkor and its remnants are an important part of history that allows us to discover the building techniques, city organization and hydraulic systems of the ancient. The architecture of Angkor embodied masterful building techniques and ornament that hinted at mysticism and magic. Angkor was built and existed during the Khmer Empire and was a flourishing “civilization between the 9th and 15th centuries AD.” (Coe 15) The Khmer empire flourished as a hydrological society and researchers have conducted many investigation using cutting age techniques to create a sound hypothesis to answer why they built the water infrastructures. What were some of those investigations and what led to the demise of the Khmer Empire?

    “From the 1950s onwards, Bernard-Philippe articulated his idea of Angkor as a 'hydraulic city'…. from the 1980s that description and its economic and social implications have been much debated” (Fletcher 82). The permanent capital, established by Yashodapura, of the Khmer Empire governed until the 15th century. It was later given the name Angkor (from the Sanskrit "nagara", meaning city or capital).
    Angkor had many temples, built and natural beauty on the site; most notably Angkor Vat (or also know as Angkor Wat) and the Kulen Mountains. The geographical region of Angkor has hundreds of discovered temples and remnants of monuments and other infrastructure (Angkor History 2011). The Khmer empire started to develop the first urban communities, which existed, flourished and invested significantly in water management, and understanding of the natural workings of the world. They pioneered the domestication of water. The people of Angkor were dependent upon their sophisticated water systems and hydraulic engineering practices for survival and attainment.

    The ruins of the city, now located amidst forest and farmland, contained shrines, water tanks and “more than 1000 temples including Angkor Wat, said to be the world’s largest religious monument. Angkor’s population estimated to have been over one million” (Coe 169). Angkor as a society faced two issues. One was that Angkor had to protect itself from the monsoon rains and the other was how to irrigate its agricultural land to feed such a high population. Due to the remarkable network of reservoirs, channels and embankments, Angkor was able to overcome the two problems. The Angkor-ian people were able to engineer not only the distribution of water, but “able to do so methodically and systematically across their enormous landscape on a large scale.” The large baray of the Angkor region exploited the slope of the land, which also represents their creative iniquity (Chandler 26).

    The channels and embankments they built were from a combination of materials. They used masonry, clay, sand, and any available building material collected from the Angkor plain. “The banks of the channels served as roads, while people lived along the embankments and on occupation mounds” (Coe 44). At the center of their water channel networks were vast reservoirs. It is an assumed hypothesis that the channels and waters use had ritual function as well as providing drinking water and being a source for irrigation. The function of these is a controversy between researchers and scientists, particularly the hypothesis that the water systems were formed either for a religious relationship or for irrigation.

    Their water system evolved over three centuries, during which there were considerable modifications in order to evolve to the changing landscape. Ultimately, the system could not be sustained. “The attempt to feed a population of over one million led to extensive deforestation, top soil degradation and erosion” (Coe 16). Forms of water control were not exclusive to the Angkor region or to the Angkorean period (9-14th century AD). Sambor Prei Kuk, for example, has a complex system of reservoirs. (Moore 213) “Each of the major canals begins or ends at a temple or basin within the environs of Angkor” (Fletcher 658). The reservoirs or baray, according Fletcher, did not appear to have been mostly agricultural. This reinforces Fletchers conflict that their technological innovations related to water management tradition was considered to have been an integrated process rather than an independent functioning of parts. The researchers also found vast amounts of information through the radiocarbon dating technique. One of their more interesting findings was that through their technique, scientists were able to answer specific questions to the history of Angkor. One of these findings were that embellishments that came along with their infrastructure. “We established that the remarkable urban design of the royal terraces was adopted in Angkor as early as the 10th century AD” (Fletcher 670). A lot of the research I conducted concluded that reconstructions of theories and ideas would require information they do not have; although their technique, understanding and discovery have been improved with technology and time. Researchers wanted to find objectives and motives to base their understanding of why they would build temples and the urban city as well as to understand what the hydrological technology was used for. The hydrological system was a system that manifested and was perfected within the Khmer region. The investigations headed by the researchers would not have been possible without remote sensing, and in aerial or satellite imagery

    Research was conducted that explored social and economic dimensions of the system, and argued that the hydraulic features had a 'double aspect'. “While undeniably part of a ritual tradition, they also clearly served a utilitarian purpose, which he assumed was to ameliorate, through irrigation, the impact of the sharp seasonality of rainfall on rice farming” (Kummu 7). “A massive water management network with three, distinct, interconnected operational zones for versatile control, storage and redirection of water has been identified, possessing the components required for systematic flood control and the distribution of water to support agriculture” (Roland Fletcher et al. 658). “The vast and populous urban complex was defined and sustained by a complex irrigation system which all fell under state control,” Kummu argued against the idea on a “number of technical grounds, notably that the baray had neither outlets nor any means of water distribution, and that the area the system could have irrigated, and hence its productive impact, would have been insignificant. Through my reading I feel as though Kummu judged Angkorian technology to be inadequate by modern engineering and agricultural standards” (Kummu 12).

    The Angkorian people were highly ritual, had many symbolic structures, social organization and fundamental cultural meanings that are reflected in their temples and architecture as well as planning. The water management network depended on elaborate configurations, which only a culture of higher understanding could bring. This finding gives me an inclination about a religious use of the hydrological system. Angkor could engineer precise, durable and innovative masonry techniques towards the management of water. I do inquire that part of the water network may have had a variety of functionality at any one time, and must have also changed function over the Khmer reign. The people of Angkor remodeled the landscape throughout the Khmer period. Its success points to its’ long developmental history indicating a tradition of the passing down od techniques, practice and practical knowledge. The history of how the water networks and city was remodeled is also critical to understanding the stresses that it confronted which ultimately led to its’ demise.

    Separating ritual and mundane functions in Angkor is not meaningful. The debates about water management should be replaced with the idea of what role the network takes on, how it was developed, the way it was managed, the degree to which the stately power managed its functions, and the “relationship between the operation of the network and the demise of Angkor” (Moore 206).

    Digs, observations and surveys of the lands, banks, channels and reservoirs at Angkor shows them to have been part of a large scale water management network. Water was collected from the hills, was then stored and might have been distributed for a wide variety of purposes. Research has pointed to a few hypothesized purposes including agriculture, flood control, and spiritual rituals. When the system experienced a water overflow, the water was diverted and carried away to lake Tonle Sap, which is just south of Angkor. The water network, reservoirs and channels had various additions and modifications through the Khmer Empire. The people of Angkor have invented the greatest water management systems that any society has ever formulated. Unfortunately, the city fell and became environmentally destabilized due to the hydraulic systems that glorified them.


    Bibliography

    Angkor History. Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Web. September 18, 2011.

    Coe, M. 2003 Angkor and the Khmer civilization. London, UK: Thames & Hudson. p. 15, 16, 32-36, 44, 168-171.

    Chandler, David P. 1983 A History of Cambodia. Boulder, Col: Westview Press. P. 17, 18, 26.

    Fletcher, R., Penny, D., Evans, D., Pottier, C., Barbetti, M., Kummu, M., Lustig, T. & Authorityfor the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA)Department of Monuments and Archaeology Team. 2008 The water management network of Angkor, Cambodia. Antiquity 82, 658–670.

    Fletcher, R., et. al., The water management network of Angkor, Cambodia. Antiquity v. 82 (September 2008) p. 658-70

    Kummu, M. 2003. The natural environment and historical water management of Angkor, Cambodia. Paper presented at the 5th World Archaeological Congress, Washington D.C., USA. p. 2, 7, 11-13.

    Moore, E. “Water Management in Early Cambodia: Evidence from Aerial Photography.” The Geographical Journal Vol. 155, No. 2 (Jul., 1989): 204-214. Web Journal. September 18, 2011.
    Thu, Feb 28, 2013  Permanent link

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    History of Landscape Architecture


    The New York Highline: a 21st Century Urban Park adhering to a fusion of landscape architecture and city planning while spurring innovative building.

    Throughout its history, New York has remade itself. New York City's High Line project provides a prime example of the introduction of a natural greenway into an urban core. The High Line brought a new life to an area that once served only the purpose of industry.
    The High Line Project, in Manhattan, is an adaptive reuse project that converted an abandoned elevated rail track into a park. This 1.5-mile-long steel and concrete structure is located on Manhattan's West Side and spans twenty two blocks of prime real estate. Built in the 1930s, the High Line solved a deadly problem of rail traffic tangling with cars and pedestrians; although given the nickname ‘death alley’ to pedestrians who lost their lives braving to cross the train tracks. The elevated and abandoned tracks have been an urban oasis for wildflowers, birds, pollutants of the city and trash. The abandoned rail track was continuously threatened of being torn down and accused of being an eyesore as well as negatively effecting the property values of the near by grid holders. After the railway was abandoned nature began to take over creating a park space that was elevated above the street. This gave the area a reason for change, and with the growing population of Manhattan, provided a perfect place in which to grow.

    Friends of the High Line were then formed in 1999 with a goal to save this potential gem. The nonprofit organization pushed the issue into public view and got support from planners, politicians, and celebrities alike. A critical moment in the long fight to save the High Line occurred When Joel Sternfeld published photographs he took of the abandoned rail line throughout 2000, “the haunting beauty of wild grasses growing on a rail line in the middle of the city captured the public’s imagination and helped galvanize support.” Landscape architects Field Operations and the architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro won the competition to redesign the High Line in 2004. “Comprising a series of gardens in the form of pits, plains, bridges, mounds, ramps, and flyovers [which] aim to create and preserve experiences of slowness, otherworldliness, and distraction,” As written about when featured at the Museum of Modern Art.

    The city decided that it was a great opportunity to create a unique urban park. The designers approached this challenge by resisting the temptation to do too much. “We kept protecting the High Line from architecture,” says Ricardo Scofidio, the principal in charge for DS+R. “The idea was to retain the singularity of the place, to capture its postindustrial charm,” explains James Corner, principal of JCFO. Now, the High Line is considered to be a leading example of a natural greenway in an urban environment. While the High Line is a project in one of the most famous and dense urban areas in the world, the idea can be carried and applied to smaller mixed-use developments. The ideas and principles can be used to form an interesting, linear park space that could be implemented into any urban or developing environment. The High Line provides examples on how a natural greenway can relate to the built environment.

    Not only is the architecture progressive, the urban planning techniques that surrounded the Highline Project reflect this as well. Urban design controls were set up for the area to ensure that adequate light and air reach the new [old] elevated park; a stark contrast to other parts in Manhattan. Spoken in past tense Hammond stated that “changes were coming to Chelsea with or with-out the High Line, but the re- zoning preserved light and air around the High Line, allows the galleries to thrive, and promotes affordable housing. It’s going to be one of the most unique public spaces in New York City.” For creating an unlikely urban park in a unique public space, the New York City Department of City Planning is the winner of the 2006 Outstanding Planning Award for a Special Community Initiative. Earning and giving out that award or one related to it should be considered a respectable and important part of politics, that is to reward progressive reuse and sustainable ingenuity. The Highline has had ravishing reviews and few criticisms so far. Some say it may be “the most significant new public space since Central Park.” Unlike Central Park however, which removes one from urbanity, the High Line is very much a part of the fabric of the city and enabled the public to grasp a fresh and unusual perspective.

    “We want to make sure that it doesn’t turn into an elevated street," said James Corner, Director of field operations. "Part of the magic of the thing is its complete separation from the city. It is completely severed from everything around it, and that is what makes it an interesting place to walk." The designers chose to implement an up and coming technique coined “agritecture”. Their designs relate to it because of their feathering in on the landscape of hard and soft elements. “We didn’t want a sharp delineation between the plantings and the hardscape,” states Corner. “So we treated the park as a continuous carpet where the hard and soft blend together,” he adds. Highlights of the Highline include a sunning area, wooden chaise lounges, some of which roll on wheels set on old tracks, a translucent walking area, a amphitheater and all of New York to stare at! One of the pleasant results of the park is it seems almost to have been co-created by natural processes. “210 species of carefully replanted perennials, grasses, and trees intertwine” on New Yorks new playing ground with carefully restored lengths of track and a new system of concrete paths that widen and narrow at irregular intervals.” The designers built garden borders that would be blurred to allow a seamless flow between urban grit and pastoral oasis. Plantings of all sorts such as meadow grasses, wild-flowers, and small trees coexist with carefully cultivated flowerbeds and birch groves which support a sustainable landscape that not only maximizes water conservation but mitigates the surface's impact as a potential heat island.

    One of the great powers and strength of the High Line lies in its ability to change our perspective without taking us very far away. Qualities often hidden when walking at street level stand out when you find yourself above it all. Amidst the confluence of pedestrian and vehicle, one can observe, reflect, be immersed and become aware, maybe receiving and observing an order and purpose in it all. Potentially inspired and contemplative thoughts are one of the Highlines most refreshing accomplishments. The Highline boasts remarkable locations and unexpected sights and sounds that shift our minds into a different kind of awareness. Feasting on New Yorks’ highly energized state while viewed from an enclosed Arcadia, one can find the Highline promotes a deepened interest in everything around and in us whilst providing an escape. These experiences and reflections bring you even closer to the endless and restless flow of humanity. The highline holds an interesting juxtaposition under its paths. That being that it represents a new Zeitgeist of New York and our culture whilst building off the past.

    The Highline is public in the truest sense of the word. Public dollars helped build it in the 1930s and rebuild it in 2004. Public legislation empowers us to make it a place anyone can visit. It will be proof New York City no longer casts aside its priceless transportation infrastructure but instead creates bold new uses for these monuments to human power and ambition. The Friends of the Highline group plans to morph into a conservancy to be in a position to receive more funding. Real estate along the Highline has experienced a rise of “30 percent within the last year.” Those properties now hold some of the highest values in New York. “Lots nearby sell for more than $500 per square foot.” To attract private investment and development alongside the High Line, city planners reward developers who include public access or commercial connections in their construction plans; an example of the important role of the City to be involved in its self-promotion, health and growth. It stands as a fusion of landscape architecture and city planning. Built as a giant easement, the High Line now stands as a symbol of how New York continually reinvents itself, specifically by reconnecting people to crucial green space and to each other, a rarity of our times.

    The High Line is considered to be a successful project because it provides residents and visitors with an escape, from the streets while still providing them with a connection and understanding that they are in an urban environment. The project also provides a sense of character to the ‘neighborhood’, if areas in New York can truly identify as that. “Most parks provide an escape from the city,” says Scofidio, “but this one puts you in the middle of it. It's a magical spot, where you can safely dip your toe into New York's swift current.”


    Bibliography:
    Chamberlain, Lisa. 2006. "Open Space Overhead." American Planning Association 72, no. 3: 10-11. Business Source Complete.

    Designing the High Line, Gansevoort Street to 30th Street. Finlay Printing, LLC 2008, 4-159.
    Hiss, Tony. 2010. "DEEP TRAVEL ON THE HIGH LINE." Publishers Weekly 257, no. 17: 29-31. Business Source Complete.

    Ivy, Robert. 2009. "Waterborne City." Architectural Record, October. 25. Business Source Complete.

    Mirsky, Steve. 2007. "Taking Back THE HIGH LINE." American Forests 113, no. 2: 24-27. Business Source Complete.

    Pearson, Clifford. October 2009. “High Line.” Architectural Record.

    Ulam, Alex. 2006. "New York's High Line spurring innovative buildings and planning." Architectural Record 194, no. 6: 54. Business Source Complete.
    Thu, Feb 28, 2013  Permanent link

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    Hope’s Edge
    (a) How is Lappe’s worldview similar to/different from Pollan’s?) What is “social ecology”? Pollan does not get into world issues like Francis Moore Lappe. Is this understanding that human social problems and environmental problems stem from the same origin and are connected.

    (b) Why will producing more food not solve the problem of world hunger? (Norman Borlaug, nobel prize winning economist, died recently. His whole life was devoted to produce more food in order to feed hungry people. Thus he was a big proponent of exporting industrial ag worldwide. The big corporations researching GMO’s, like Monsanto, also make this claim. Lappe thinks this whole project is misguided. Why? (You might begin by looking at bottom p. 5, top p. 6; p. 138-41; p. 163-4)
    Producing more food will not solve world hunger because the excess/surplus food produced will be consumed by the rich and not trickled down to the poor. More chemicals, bigger farms and more technology will not help to deliver food to poorer countries and it will also cause alienation. There is more than enough food to feed us all. Feeding grains to animals to produce meat while others starve is not a efficient or healthy system. The overconsumption of the richer countries will also cause obesity and a negative relationship with food as well as other externalities. More food by itself will not end hunger. Using pesticides and GMO’s will not create a greater and better crop yield. New technologies purchased to help 3rd world countries grow crops would segregate poor people even more and put the people who can afford it in debt from loans.
    1. Alienation through industrial agriculture
    2. Unsustainable
    3. Misconceived: World produces enough food to feed everybody yet not everybody is fed.
    4. (wealth inequalities allow rich to buy more food, rich will always buy excess food if you increase supply, seeing food as a commodity needs to change perspective as seeing food as a right)
    5. If we produce more food when there are still wealth inequalities there will be no change.

    (c) General idea of the role that colonialism plays in FM Lappe’s analysis of hunger. What does it mean to say “’underdeveloped’ is a verb”? Give an example from the book.
    The colonial mindset to FML is the mindset that the country you occupy is inferior. In terms of their culture, food, religion and people.
    In the book FML states that ‘underdevelop’ meaning the process by which the minority of the world is transformed and degraded from the majority.


    (d) Hope’s Edge is primarily about solutions – you ought to be able to choose a few of those and to briefly outline them.
    1. Slow food movement.
    2. The Ark of Taste si about bringing back foods so they don’t disappear. The purpose its to stimulate markets for endangered foods. One way is food tasting.
    3. Food co-ops
    4. ForesTrade helps farmers in exotic and often 3rd world countries enter the global fair-trade market and help farmers shift to organic methods and diversify their crops.
    5. School gardens and gardening for convicts. The growing gardens programs helps not only “plants grow but people.”

    (e) The points made on p. 205 concerning coffee.
    Development agencies advised Latin American coffee farmers to use technology, pesticides, and chemical inputs. Through this process they also cut the overhanging trees for better sunlight which was narrow sited and caused the soil to be degraded, ecosystems to be destroyed and the farmers went into debt and experienced degraded health from pesticides. The answer is to allow the farmers to get the price they deserve for their yields they already achieve.

    (f) FM Lappe sometimes puts her main concern as “lack of democracy” (eg. see p. 17, 18-20.) What does this mean, exactly? How does this illustrate one of her main differences from Pollan?

    Democracy thrives on diversity of buying and selling goods. Lack of democracy is when one company (with human rights) controls most of the resources, production or consumption with no input from the public who are the ones that bear the consequences. We believe that they know better and let them decide our futures. We should reshape democracy and discover our voices to embody the larger world around us. We need to see regular people developing their power. **

    (f) Some people think a main cause of world hunger, and of environmental problems, is overpopulation. What is demographic transition, and how does it fit in with the whole social ecology agenda?
    Poverty causes environmental problems, so there is a direct connection. Demographic Transition people think that overpopulation causes environmental problems.

    (g) Hope’s Edge is about experiments in solving problems concerning wealth inequalities, plus third world development, plus ecological problems. You should be able to outline a few of these experiments.
    a. Food alliance label, encouraging fair trade and protecting workers
    b. Consumer power in labeling products and their impact with ‘green labels’
    c. Landless Workers Movement, shaping the development of communities.

    Wilderness mysticism
    Leopold aside, this issue first came up in Pollan’s book. Pollan suggests two ways to overcome alienation from food. The first was in the context of Joel Salatin: get to know your farmer, and so on. The second was in the context of hunting and gathering. It’s this second topic that I want you to think about here. Why, for Pollan, is hunting/ gathering important? (The answer isn’t just “in order to overcome alienation from food,” because we can do that through buying locally, getting to know our farmer, etc.) Specifically, you ought to look at the beginning of ch. 19 on gathering, especially at the paragraphs at the bottom of p. 365 to the top of p. 366 where he compares gathering with gardening. Also look at the chapter on hunting, especially p. 343-4 where Pollan is discussing the philosopher Ortega y Gasset. Ortega distinguishes the hunter from the tourist in nature. How/why?
    a. Gardening is an experience and a way to be in nature. Gratifying human needs and desires. Feeling accomplished when you produce food and ownership towards it.
    b. The tourist in nature achieves no immersion or connection with nature and only sees a landscape. A tourist is a spectator and has expectation and is unable to get outside of himself and history.
    c. The hunter sees everything as interconnected and acknowledges it and has a sense of things and understanding. Sees everything and its function and relationship. We can go back to the feeling of history through hunting which is a prehistoric act. Brings you back to immediacy, spirituality, sense of time through seasonality. Try to associate those behaviors into our modern lifestyle.

    We briefly discussed Thoreau’s celebration of nature, and interestingly a lot of what Thoreau has to say is similar to what Pollan has to say. Here are some things to think about:
    Why does Thoreau want to eat a raw woodchuck?
    Connects him with his wild side.

    Why does he like to walk past a dead horse? What does he say in that paragraph about the dead horse, and what does it all mean?
    1. Thoreau’s interest in animals is not exactly like the naturalist’s or zoologist’s. He does not observe and describe them neutrally and scientifically, but gives them a moral and philosophical significance, as if each has a distinctive lesson to teach him
    2. universal innocence, poison
    3. compassion can be stereotyped, generalized or applied to all creatures all the time.
    4. incalculable “wildness” touches our lives
    5. nature is so spread with life that it can afford to allow sacrifice and preying

    Why does he think everyone should learn to hunt (though we should outgrow it later)?
    He thinks its an important experience and connection to nature to have, but once you have experienced and learned it, became aware of it, that you can now move on.

    b) What is his attitude toward technology and/or material progress?
    1. Thoreau was anti-technology and had a harsh and negative view towards the railway system, gives people the illusion of heightened freedom.
    2. Threatens natural harmony.
    3. Resistance to progress
    4. Living in a culture fascinated by the idea of progress represented by technological, economic, and territorial advances, Thoreau is skeptical of the idea that any outward improvement of life can bring the inner peace and contentment he craves
    5. Illusion of controlling destiny
    6. real progress of the mind and soul is being forgotten

    c) If Thoreau was asked to testify in front of a congressional committee and give arguments for wilderness preservation, what sorts of things might he say?
    1. The best life to live is the one in close proximity to nature.
    2. civilization is valuable but you should be half wild and half civilized
    3. being in nature is a direct experience
    4. forms a spiritual bond with nature and understanding, good to expose yourself to it and immerse yourself in nature and the wild

    McCandless
    a) Think of some ways McCandless is similar to Thoreau. He doesn’t feel free until he has nothing. They were both educated. Both experienced wildness. Thoreau believed in voluntary poverty and simplicity and non comformity which you can see in chris. He also believed in nature mysticism where the best life is the life living in close proximity to nature.
    b) What was McCandless trying to accomplish? (In his letter to Ronald Franz, how does McCandless’ describe his philosophy toward life?)
    We all live in conditions where we are unhappy and that we should just choose to live another way. We are conditioned to a life of security and conformity.
    To be adventurous.
    Each day a new horizon.
    Develop a helter-skelter lifestyle.

    c) McCandless is accused of arrogance, and of disrespect for nature. Apparently Krakauer disagrees with this criticism. First, what is the criticism? The criticisms of chris Second, how do you think Krakauer would defend McCandless from this criticism? Chris doesn’t want to live a life of security and wants a direct experience with nature. He wanted experience and did not bring a lot of stuff b/c it would hinder his experience. He was prepared to do dangerous things and knew the risk he was taking. McCandless was prepared mentally and experienced. Bringing more gear would have made him safer but it would miss the point of what he was trying to do. When thinking about this question, you might specifically think about what Krakauer says about those Irish monks called the papar. He compares Chris to the Iris monks who just sailed the ocean not looking for a particular destination or knowing where they were going. They wanted an experience, adventure and to settle where people were not and to be with nature. Hunger of the spirit. Also, consider chapters 8 and 9 from the book. In chapter 8, Krakauer explores the Alaska “bush casualty stereotype.” The bush sterotype is that people go into the wild without thinking, with arrogance and disrespect for the land. At the end of the chapter, he says (more or less): “McCandless wasn’t like that.” Then in chapter 9 Krakauer discusses the case of Everett Ruess. Krakauer says, “McCandless was more like this.” Ok, so what is it that McCandless wasn’t like, and what is it that he was like? Chris is similar to Ruess in that because of their fascination of wilderness led them to a deadly experience. How danger and appeal of the wild lured the young men, a goal that cost them their life.

    Neoprimitivism
    Shepard
    a) You ought to be able to explain his overall project. What does “coming home to the Pleistocene” refer to? This refers to going back to our older and primitive ways of living. The further away from it we get the less mentally, spiritually, and ecologically healthy we are. The solution is to try to incorporate as many features of Pleistocene we can for example ecologically, socially, spiritually and implement this behavior in our modern lives.

    b) What are some of the ways he thinks prehistoric hunter/gatherers differed politically, socially, spiritually and so on from sedentary farmers?


    c) Why does he begin the book with the sentence, “History is not a chronicle but a Hebrew invention…” What’s that all about? (You might remember a similar issue coming up in Lynn White’s essay.) A way to view history as an invention. We explore our commonsense notion of time, historical narrative and sense of history. What is time? Does it exist? Is it a figment of our culture? We maximize our interests when we plan for a future. The more absorbed with the future a person is the more obsessed with death they will be also. Indians and other cultures similar have viewed time with a different sense. They usually followed astronomical signs, the seasons and phases of the stars, planets and moons. Break historical consciousness.
    d) If Shepard was in front of that same congressional committee along with Thoreau, how do you think he would justify wilderness preservation? (Look at his chapter “Wildness and Wilderrness.”) That industrialism is a key factor to environmental problems and in fact runs deeper to our roots of first inactive lifestyle.
    e) You should know a handful of examples from his last chapter of characteristics that he claims are built into our genome. You should also know what he means by “ontogeny,” and be able to give a few examples. Ontogeny is the origin of the development of an organism. An example would be the apple. The apple originally was from the middle east and was able to adapt to us and produce things that appealed to us such as a sweet taste and potential to make cider.
    f) I’m not going to ask anything about that Bostrom/Sandburg essay (remember, they are the posthumanists), unless it’s along these lines: One reason I wanted you to read that essay was so that we could compare their worldview to the worldview of Shepard. The posthumanists think we can improve the human being, but so far in all my reading of their literature I have come across no references to how we can improve human psychology.

    Also a related issue: I pointed out that the posthumanists identify themselves with the Enlightenment, and a chief figure in the Enlightenment is John Locke, who thought we are born with “blank slate minds.” What might Shepard say about that? Shepard thinks that 2 million years of evolutionary history has given us a template-not a biological determinist-and a range of human behavior-the more you go outside and away from our history, the less healthy you live.
    Tue, Feb 12, 2013  Permanent link

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    I am reading the book ECOCITIES: Rebuilding cities in balance with nature by Richard Register

    I am going to use this space to highlight text and ideas I find fascinating, a wake up call, inspiring, or if I just like it.



    Cars are the dinosaurs of our time

    As we build, so shall we live. As we live. so shall we become.

    What we build creates possibilities for, and limits on, the way we live.

    children in todays typical car dominated cities learn that cars are valued so highly that it is worth risking human life and enduring high costs and serious pollution to make way for them.



    What we are building now is what we are committing the next generation to live. Its what will and does define our jobs and life activities. We are committed to expensive and dangerous common activities.

    Paul and Annie Ehrlich: Humanity's impact (I) on the worlds environment is roughly equal to population (P) multiplied by affluence (A) multiplied by technology (T): I=PAT has now evolved to...
    Impact (I) = population (P) times land use and infrastructure (L) times affluence (A) times technology (T): I=PLAT *Might consider changing Impact (I) to Effect (E), and maybe arise Benefit (B) eventually.

    We must build a framework - the structure of the human environment, the city, to work harmoniously.

    The City is the machine, the organism. (I keep thinking of cells)

    David Engwicht: The city is an invention for maximizing exchange and minimizing travel.




    Fri, Feb 8, 2013  Permanent link

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    Under what circumstances is it morally permissible to intervene abroad in order to protect national security or to prevent violations of human rights? I find that the following considerations and just war criteria provide a convincing argument for when it is morally permissible for a Nation to intervene abroad, as initially presented by Michael Walzer, and will be evaluated with other philosophers claims.
    There are seven criteria that Walzer claims make intervention morally permissible and just, which are called principles of justice.
    1. Intervention in a sovereign nation must have a just cause. A defender of this claim would state that intervention is permissible only during protection of conditions in which people can live, in defense of a real and present danger to innocent life, and in securing human life.
    2. The entity, or state, declaring war must be the responsible representative of a competent authority.
    3. The act to protect and promote rights and values involved must justify the potential and actual death and destruction that comes from war as an act of comparative justice.
    4. The right intention claim must be in accord with the cause, without room or allowance of side issues, such as natural resources, oil or territorial enhancement.
    5. The intervention is a last resort, as all other peaceful alternatives must have been attempted.
    6. There must be a rational basis to judge the probability of success, to prevent enormous loss in fact of certain defeat, as that is rarely justified. Proportionality of ends claims that the total cost of war must not be greater than the benefits achieved from war, or intervention.
    7. It must be reasonable to believe that successful intervention is more probable than not.
    The search for a moral foundation leads back to the nonintervention principle, which assumes a nation should not intervene abroad unless there is some special justification for it. But where does the principle come from and on what moral foundation does it rest? Each state is understood to have independence and is at liberty to govern itself, free of unwanted interference by foreign powers. From this independence, come two basic rights. The fist of these is territorial integrity, the right not to be physically invaded by foreign armies or to be the target of terrorism. This view reflects the idea of physical security in its community members and also the possession of a secure place, where normal activities can be carried on.
    The second of these is sovereignty, the right of each political community to govern itself. Self-government, not being the same thing as democratic government, as they entitle the right of a citizenry to a government of their own. Therefore, a democratic nation cannot claim the right to intervene to establish democracy where it does not presently exist. International law obligates each state to observe generally acknowledged standards of international conduct. A state may not use force merely to advance its own
    Interests, nor may it apply these standards selectively to justify its own conduct while condemning similar conduct by other states. Although the US has decided to take the role as a world policeman, plausibly such aggression is worse than domestic crime because threat of International Aggression is greater. Intervening in the free activity of others and intervention typically involves a threat of harm. If such a threat exists, especially in the case of the US acting as a world policeman, it must be justified. As Walzer suggests,
    “Only domestic tyrants are safe, for it is not our purpose in international society (nor, Mill argues, is it possible) to establish liberal or democratic communities, but only independent ones.”
    Although I would like to support all of America’s actions, the US military does not have the same amount of respect for innocent human life as they do for their fellow Americans. Patriotism is a form of racism in this sense.
    "The terror of...punishment [must be] greater than the benefit they expect by the breach of their covenant" –Peter Singer
    We have just read Walzers instances when war and intervention is morally permissible. I will now focus on and argue for when preemptive attacks can be justified. There are four reasons to believe preemptive attacks can be permissible and morally justified.
    1. Preemptive attacks can be justified only when a state is threatened, which is a completely different concept than fear. First attacks should be limited to preemptive strikes against a present threat. Therefore, if considering preemptive strikes and intervention based on a future threat, the intervention cannot be just. Being threatened criterion, permit of preemptive war, but only when the following conditions hold.
    a. Firstly, an obvious and apparent intent to injure must exist.
    b. Secondly, a degree of active preparation that makes that intent a positive danger.
    c. Thirdly, a general situation in which waiting, or doing anything other than fighting, greatly magnifies a risk.
    d. Fourthly, war can justly be begun to rescue people threatened by acts that shock moral conscience, such as massacre and enslavement.
    I have asserted claims of when it is permissible to conduct a preemptive attack and explored moral foundations for the nonintervention principle, as well as the intervention principles of Walzer. I will now present assertions that support Walzers claim of when it would not be justifiable to intervene.
    1. It is not justifiable to intervene when if the intention of intervention is to reduce a growth of power that could eventually become a threat.
    2. It is not justifiable to intervene if the intention of intervention is to protect future securities.
    3. Intervention cannot be waged by private groups of individuals.
    4. The costs cannot and should not exceed the benefits, because then it would not be compatible with principles of justice.
    I will not present circumstances through examples in which intervention is not justifiable, through preemptive attack.
    A preemptive attack cannot be justifiable in the case of the invasion of Grenada in 1983. There are many different views about what is and what is not a human right. For
    some, the absence of civil liberties is the biggest abuse of human rights, while for others it is not having enough to eat. Respect for human rights is one thing, promoting human rights is another. Human rights can be promoted by methods that violate human rights. Like national security, human rights often end up providing a blanket of justification for foreign intervention.
    There are a number of reasons of why it was unjustifiable to intervene in Grenada.
    1. “In March 1983, U.S President Ronald Reagan began issuing warnings about the threat posed to the United States and the Caribbean by the "Soviet-Cuban militarization" of the Caribbean as evidenced by the excessively long airplane runway being built, as well as intelligence sources indicating increased Soviet interest in the island. He said that the 9,000-foot (2,700 m) runway and the numerous fuel storage tanks were unnecessary for commercial flights, and that evidence pointed that the airport was to become a Cuban-Soviet forward military airbase.”
    2. The intervention was condemned as a flagrant violation of international law by a number of countries, including the UN.
    3. U.S. officials cited the murder of Bishop and general political instability in a country near U.S. borders, as well as the presence of U.S. medical students at St. George's University, as reasons for military action. The reporter also claimed that the latter reason, of the medical students presence, was cited in order to gain public support.
    Case Study 1
    I will now focus on one of the reasons listed above of why it was unjust to intervene into Grenada. Reagan said the United States “has the right to invade another country to change its government…as a rescue mission” to restore law and order and as a legitimate response. Reagan thought it was better to act before American citizens were hurt or taken hostage, in this case to protect the medical students that were residing there. Intervention was a non-legitimate action intended to put an end to the reign of terror in Grenada. The president defended the intervention as a reaction to the takeover by radicals and terrorists in Grenada. To justify the invasion of Grenada, a serious injury or imminent threat of injury, as stated from Walzers principles of justice, should have existed. If we consider that the intervention was an attempt to rescue American medical students, and the intervention did not end up with the departure of the students; the justification of the invasion into Grenada can be called into question and deemed unjustifiable.
    Case Study 2
    I will examine recent principles of justice perspectives regarding preemptive strikes, preventive war, and the moral legitimacy of the United States’ demand for regime-change in Iraq. I will focus primarily on Walzer’s account of principles of justice, which is based on the principle of inalienable human rights. I will argue that the war on terrorism, including a war with Iraq, must be fought within the constraints of the principles of justice in order for the United States to maintain its legitimacy through international law. “Preemption” has become the new buzzword describing our proposed tactics for engagement with terrorist bodies. The preference for an active defense can be warranted to some degree; however, the current administration’s proposed use preemptive strikes seems to blur the line between legitimate and illegitimate first strikes.
    In response to threats and fear, President Bush proposed:
    “If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long. Homeland defense and missile defense are part of stronger security, and they’re essential priorities for America. Yet the war on terror will not be won on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge. In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is the path of action. And this nation will act.”

    “Should we be able to prevent another, much more devastating attack, we will, no question. This nation will not live at the mercy of terrorists or terror regimes.” - Vice President Cheney
    Why could this be considered unjust, according to Walzers principles of justice?
    1. In the quote from dick Cheney, he did not justify, nor state any specific rationality defending his claim that to attack now, before they strike, they would prevent a worse attack.
    2. The notion of striking first, before a threat actually materializes, seems to contradict the accepted tenets of principles of justice. That assertions being an obvious and apparent intent to injure, not previous signs of meanness, must exist.
    3. A degree of active preparation that makes that intent a positive danger, must be thoroughly proven to be justified.
    4. Intervention can not be based on future securities or involve side issues as the main justification for intervention and war
    Although, Bush framed the war to be about weapons of mass destruction, which would have justified the intervention if proven in existence, intervention was based on resources, power, as Walzer would state ‘to protect future securities’ and side issues. All of those justifications make the intervention unjust especially in the involvement of side issues, as seen in the Iraq war natural resources, oil, and territorial enhancement.
    President Bush’s statements regarding preemptive strikes seem to suggest a preference for preventive war since the goal of the action he describes aims at engaging threats before they actually emerge. According to Walzer’s principles of justice, if Iraq or other terrorist organizations pose sufficient threats to our nation, then preemptive strikes would certainly be permissible. However, if the goal were to destroy our enemies before they materially threaten us, then striking first would constitute an act of aggression, which would not be just.
    Case Study 3
    John Stewart Mill’s doctrine proposed that people essentially get the government that they deserve, and that people living under tyrannical regimes will continue to do so until they were willing to engage in the struggle for freedom themselves. What is crucial for the doctrine of self-help is that the rights of citizens to effectively remain oppressed must be respected until they are willing to make the necessary sacrifices themselves. Except in cases of enslavement or massacre, a state’s sovereignty must be respected in order to protect the individual rights of its citizens. Walzer would defend Mills doctrine through his principles of justice, which if you accept the principles, then you would also accept that war can justly be begun to rescue people threatened by acts
    that shock moral conscience, such as massacre and enslavement. Otherwise, any forced liberation would certainly violate both the rights of individual citizens, as well as the rights of the state that oppresses them. Although this may seem somewhat demanding for those people whom are oppressed by a tyrannical regime, as well as those who wish to intervene, it is important to remember that the price of freedom is sometimes very high.
    One way the UN justly intervened, without fully engaging themselves in the war or on a particular side, is the “no-fly” zones imposed in Iraq in order to protect the Kurdish people living within Iraqi borders. Even though the intervention was on behalf of the Kurds, the UN did not fight their battles for them; instead, they only provided them a safe haven from the threat of Iraqi aggression. Walzer would support this through the principles that intervention that states that intervention or war should be a last resort, only after all other peaceful alternatives have been attempted. The UN did not have enough just cause to fully intervene. Because of this, the UN succeeded in peacefully regulating and protects the Kurdish people without fully intervening or entering a state of war, thus using a peaceful alternative.
    Case Study 4
    Henry David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" is an essay that attempts to persuade readers to oppose unjust government policies, and slavery oppression. One example I will present is the Mexican War case. I will propose, through Thoreau’s lenses, that the Mexican war was unjust.
    1. The Mexican War is an unjust conflict because it was being fought to acquire new territory in which to establish slavery.
    Slavery must be resisted, even if resistance would lead to war. Walzer would argue that it is an unjust war because the intent is not to protect and preserve values, in defense of a real and present danger against innocent life, and ‘fight for’ conditions of a decent life or securing human life, but to enslave people.
    Thoreau recognized that civil disobedience might have adverse consequences such as individuals risk imprisonment, financial ruin, and ridicule. Especially in the case of the Fugitive Slave Act, which he knew might lead to civil war. However, Thoreau considered compromising over slavery in order to avoid adverse consequences are un-noble values of selfishness and cowardliness. Furthermore, he argued that if civil disobedience leads to war, the blame does not lie with those who refuse to allow themselves to become agents of injustice. The blame instead lies with slave owners and their appeasers who have attempted to force innocent American citizens to assist them in oppressing innocent people. Aggression is dismissed when in defense of values of individual life and communal liberty; having just cause. It shows a commitment to human rights.
    One source of war is the human predisposition for excitement that makes war the deepest game of all, the passion for superiority and power, admiration for warlike deeds, false patriotism that puts one's nation over others, and upbringing and education which glamorize military exploits. To Walzer, this is completely unjust because it does not resonate with any of his principles of justice and this theory of thinking gives no sufficient justification.
    Case Study 5
    Dr. Peter Singer, who teaches bioethics at Princeton University, is a interest based utilitarian, which means that if you have interests, you have rights. But, some rights, Singer argues, can come in degrees, such as a 17-year old who has less rights than an 18 year old who would be considered an adult, or someone in jail. He says something or someone is granted moral concern if they have interests. Singer states that those who have interests, can suffer, therefore extending this right to non-human animals.
    Singer and Walzer argued for and thought the Iraq war was unjust and non permissible. One counter argument to Singers ideas is that if we allowed Saddam Hussein to stay in power, he would have killed far more civilians than would have been killed in crossfire situations with American troops. However, this objection does not succeed for the following reason:
    1. We don't know how many civilians would have been killed.
    In the past Saddam has killed, but that is not “now” (then). Therefore, Walzer would say this is unjust and cannot be used as a justification for war because:
    1. Preemptive attacks can be justified only when a state is threatened, which is a completely different concept than fear.
    2. Proportionality of ends claims that the total cost of war must not be greater than the benefits achieved from war, or intervention.
    3. All non-human animals are to be considered on an equal moral plane.
    Walzers principles of justice state that there must be a rational basis to judge the probability of success, to prevent enormous loss in fact of certain defeat, as that is rarely justified. We were wrong to wage war against Saddam Hussein, and it was non permissible because the Americans support him by supplying him with some of the biological and chemical weapons that ended up being used to killed thousands of Kurds. Thus, the costs out weigh the benefits. The lives of Iraqi civilians should have been on an equal moral plane with those of Americans, again making it unjust.
    There is something to be said for being moral for the sake of being moral. I believe in the concept of maintaining moral standards, and ideally, International Laws do. There is a genuine happiness that will come to every man and woman that lived their life with morality when they look back upon their own lives and realize that they treated every other person they came across with kindness and humanity. There is an altruistic satisfaction that comes with this sort of lifestyle, knowing that you posed no threat to, and may have in fact aided the happiness and maximization of utility of others.
    I presented the theories and ideas, as well as examples from different philosophers the ranges of when it is morally acceptable, and when it is not, to engage in war. In conclusion, past intervention, as seen in the cases, has been unjust, based on Walzers intervention principles. I highlighted and explained why and what was in violation, and if unjust, how the acting power claimed to justify itself and actions.
    To justify a preemptive attack and intervention is a tricky thing, and has specific requirements to meet, as seen in the principles of justice presented by Walzer. In most cases, preemptive war, in order to stop a perceived threat or fear of a threat cannot be justified. Intervention to prevent violations of human rights is permissible, because it is compatible with principles of justice.



    Quotes I liked and stumbled upon through my reading in preparation of this essay:
    1. “Every country has the government it deserves.” -John Stuart Mill
    2. “Moral reality of war is not fixed by the actual activities of soldiers but by the opinions of mankind.” –Michael Walzer
    3. “An American war, fought for American purposes, in someone else’s country.” -Michael Walzer
    4. “Do Not Forget that All People Deserves the Regime they Are Willing to Endure” – John Mill
    5. "We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves." - Galileo Galilei
    Mon, Oct 22, 2012  Permanent link

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    Regulation breeds Regulation - Control Breeds Control. The world is a product and the image of your virtues.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6spw3QhvAxc

    Devastated economy caused by gov't intervention, leading to gov't intervention - which makes it worse....

    Moral decay, intellectual decay, economic decay.

    intellectual underpinnings that have nothing to do with prosperity today, but will effect prosperity tomorrow.

    Identify the dominant philosophy of a society and you can predict its future.

    http://amberandchaos.com/?page_id=106

    "A religious duty to reform the world would hasten the return of Jesus - I am my brothers keeper - and we need government to do it."

    You and I believe in life, but you won't to fight for it, and die for it, I only want to live it.

    Individualism vs. Collectivism

    Before you can do things for other people, you must be the kind of person to get things done. To get things done you must love the doing, not the people. My reward, my purpose, my life, my work, my way.

    “Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction. The businessman’s tool is values; the bureaucrat’s tool is fear.”
    — Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal | Ayn Rand
    Mon, Sep 24, 2012  Permanent link

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    PHILOSOPHY OF ETHICS

    Preventive war is, “a war fought to maintain the balance of power, to stop what is thought to be an even distribution of power from shifting into a relation of dominance and inferiority.” (p.76) Walzer presents the conditions under which a defensive initial attack against aggression, defined as imminent violence, can be morally justified. Whereas a classical argument gives a justification to preventive war, Walzer has a more restrictive view. He argues that first attacks should be limited to preemptive strikes against a present threat, and does not consider future threat as sufficient justification.
    Walzer argues that preemptive attacks should be justified only when states are “threatened,” which is a completely different concept than “fear.” Walzer suggests the following “being threatened” criterion: (1) a manifest intent to injure, not previous signs of meanness. (2) a degree of active preparation that makes that intent a positive danger, not just an growth of power) (3) a general situation in which waiting, or doing anything other than fighting, greatly magnifies the risk, not refusal of future securities. Walzer’s argument focuses on the present threat while preventive war looks to the past and future. Also, for Walzer, preemptive attack is a measure you take only when waiting or other measures increase the risk. An example of this from the chapter is the Six Day War.
    Walzer indicates how the legalist paradigm of aggression has been used to differentiate between the just and the unjust war. International aggression is worse than domestic crime because the threat is so much greater and there is no policeman to act as protector. There are police powers, but they are dispersed through all the members of the society.

    In the legalist paradigm intervention for justice is not permitted and rules out efforts of intervention. He also mentioned that states should never intervene in the domestic affairs of other states. The revisions against the legalist paradigm incorporated the moral realities of military intervention. Walzer gives justification for intervention in the revision of the paradigm. Aggression is dismissed when in defense of values of individual life and communal liberty. It shows a commitment to human rights. Walzer stressed that interventions are constrained and must be included into the revisions.

    Self-determination is the right of people to “become free by their own efforts.” Self-determination and political freedom are not equivalent. A state is self-determining even if its’ citizens fail at establishing free institutions. It is not self-determination if free institutions are established by, as he put it, a neighbor. One cannot be made free or virtuous by an outside force. This must be developed, actively pursued and aspired to individually.
    Mill generally has written that citizens get the government they ‘deserve’ or is best fit. I personally believe with this principal. It aligns in some sense with the law of attraction in that you create your own reality, you treat people how to treat you and you attract, to name a few, behavior, success and opportunities into your life. I really relate to these theories. It is an empowering was of humanity. It is, as Walzer mentions, a “kind of Darwinian definition.” It helps citizens and leaders work towards a balance of power and freedom.

    A crusade is a war fought for religious or ideological purposes. In a crusade, it does not just aim at defense of law enforcement but a higher order and the creation of new political orders and conversion. Walzer mentions that it was ok to go into Nazi Germany and political reconstruction would have been appropriate. This right does not rise in every war but only when compromising peace was “impractical and unthinkable”. This exposes the evil in the regime and only then is conquest and reconstruction appropriate. The Nazis were at war with nations, not just governments alone. They were hostile to the existence of entire peoples. The response to the Nazis hostility, therefore, through reconstruction efforts and regime change was imminent and accurate. Humanitarian interventions to stop mass murder and 'ethnic cleansing' will obviously aim at regime change, since the regime's criminal behavior is the reason for the intervention.

    We launched this attack. We created what we didn't expect to create—that is, an unending internal civil war. It doesn't seem right to me to argue that we can just walk away from this. We have to contrive as best we can to create a safer environment for the Iraqi people.
    However, the United states has often acted as world policeman, a role that the U.S. denies is its intention or goal, but one that it is seen as having undertaken on several occasions. Two such occasions can be found in the intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965 and the invasion of Grenada in 1983. The two branches of "just war" are jus ad bellum, the justice of war, and jus in bello, justice in war. “Just wars and humanitarian interventions will often be an occasion for forcible and justifiable democratization-and that will sometimes require an attack upon traditional hierarchies and customary practices.” (Walzer xi) Imposed democracy is defensible. But is this justifiable in Iraq? Walzer gave an example of the Gulf war and how the US followed the classic Just War Paradigm. The Just War Paradigm meaning, in this case, they stopped invading and fighting once Kuwait had been decisively defeated. But, in Iraq, we marched on and aimed to overthrow and replace the regime. We also did not allow the citizens of Iraq to take charge and turn Saddam Hussein out of office. I am a big believer in giving the people power, have them make the change so its theirs. This idea aligns with these two quotes I like. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." - Laozi and "We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves." - Galileo Galilei.
    I think entering war for the wrong reasons and convincing the American public of the motive behind the war on false pretenses is morally unjust. Especially since the US compared Saddam Hussein to Hitler and had further propaganda. (But what else can you expect from a government? Which is an issue all in its’ own. What we expect out of a government is very imminent. ) The character of the Iraqi regime justified, for the US government, to invade, look for and destroy Weapons of Mass destruction. The US looked at the past murders and intentions of the regime justifying the past was prologue and that their aggressive actions could happen again in the future. It was just, even if the regime was not actually engaged in aggression or mass murder. The past and potential WMD (weapons of mass destruction) allotted the US a ‘just’ pass to invade. Walzer disagrees with this philosophy and view. Mix in some classic propaganda and you have got a war and newlywed young men to send.
    Walzer does not think that regime change, on its own, can be a just cause for going to war. We respond to the ‘evil’ men are doing, he states, not what they have done or might do. (Although he discuses some pre-tense cases where entering the war on threat of attack is justifiable) So, tying this back in with the above paragraph; the US was wrong by going in with their past behavior as their biggest asset. Aggression and massacre is a just response to war, but a regime who displays aggression and massacre requires, as Walzer states, “a different response.” (Walzer xiii) The containment system the US and UN ensued was successful in preventing both WMD and mass murder into the state, (but it failed in the sense that we still did go to war.) Because of this it raises the argument then that the war in 2003 was not necessary. If this were an international peace project it would have been successful; a check and balance international power system with monies and man support.
    RANT: An international peace project has a nice ring to it. I believe in world peace. I think that it is obtainable. Once we connect with the universe and ourselves more, as a species we may be lifted, raise our consciousness and awareness’s. We can change the frequency of the energy omitted from earth to a healthier one. Which would, attract things from the universe, I believe.
    The bush administration, simply, just favored regime change and war over containment. A leader, whom favors war, for me, is not a healthy or moral leader. It’s a system that needs changing when war is one of the first options. Walzer states that the most plausible argument for going to war “might have been that the containment system was costly and carried risks of its own.” (walzer xv) Walzer states that preemptive short-of-war can be justified, appropriate when in the state of preventive force. It comes before war itself, but it brings up the question of just and unjust use of force and if the use of this force can arguably be applied to our actions of regime change and democratization. Walzer wrote that it was just to use force, in a limited way, when a legitimate design of the containment policy is acted out and to advance to its further purpose for the sake of producing a new regime while aiming at mere contamination. In preventing mass murder and aggression is justified, indirect regime change is as well. Force-short-of-war is a unilateralism approach and requires, for success, collective recognition and applied force to evil regimes, murder and aggression. Force-short-of-war does not permit forcible democratization and must shield civilians.
    Regime change, when it happens from ‘the inside out’ is ethical and moral. Which can be a result of a form of direct action, which involves “politics-short-of-force.” Their goal would be to “foster a civil society that democracy requires,” (walzer xvii) by opposing oppression and censorship. Politics-short-of-war and force-short-of-war, together can support each other to avoid war.

    Utilitarian’s beliefs are creating the most happiness. This also brings up Kants categorical imperative. Treating people as an end, not the means. The system is more important than the gears, is how I see the utilitarian approach. I think individuality is very important, but even more so, working together, through and with individuality to create a communal and linked society and way of life is the best approach. Utilitarian’s judge the morality of an act. Their biggest concern is what creates the most happiness for the most people. So, for example, if I am vegetarian and we are over at my friends house ordering a pizza and they, the majority, want peperoni, do I accept that order because it creates the most happiness in the group? Or would the group see my constraints and settle with cheese and be a little less satisfied but relieve me completely? I think a utilitarian might say get the peperoni!! But a rights theorist would say it won’t dissatisfy the group exponentially more to settle with the cheese for my sake.

    When soldiers’ sacrifice and death help to distill peace. Justice in war or jus ed bellum applies to this utilitarian direction in the sense of explaining when there can be justice in war through utilitarianism, or creation of maximal happiness. Walzers supreme emergency override for the human rights he otherwise defends during wartime seems to have certain resemblances with rule-utilitarianism. Actions are moral when they conform to the rules that lead to the greatest good. The action and pursue of war in the name of justice and rule-utilitarianism can sometimes be justified, juss en bello.
    Other things being, equal people are happier if their society follows rules so people know what types of behavior they can expect from others in given situations. This can sometimes hurt and diminish personal freedoms of the individual by taking utilitarianism approach to social order and happiness. These can be implemented through wartime and the application of new theories learned from the war. Individual human rights are not as fundamental as shared ways of life. A problem with rule-utilitarianism is that is rules can be bent in situations, and raise questions such as “why not in others?”

    Torture is unjust; it puts the self in a paradigm. “Do I save my skin?” …Although I am not sure. It seems that torture depends on your view. If you favor your physical body and reality more than your mind and self then torture is unjust. But if you leave your physical body and trust in, and escape into your self, then torture is senseless. But when is it ok to cross the physical boundary when the mind is what we want. When the person refuses to share what in his mind, we have no choice but to affect the only thing that we commonly share, the flesh. I also believe that torture would never need to be used in a healthy society. People would want to communicate, share and interact, its only in evil situations and harming situations that one would refuse to accept the world, lock in, and need something to be forcibly extracted from them.
    From a utilitarian point of view, if by torturing this person, maybe say extracted viable information that potentially can benefit many, it is just. It is just because it creates the most ‘happiness’, satisfaction or effect from the situation. For a Lockean, the rights theory states man right to life, liberty and property. So then, I would assume, torture violates ones right to life and liberty. But, if the tortured victim was being faced with that experience because he took away someone’s life, liberty or property, I think that could potentially be justified, because through torture they are ‘protecting the rights of the people’. The Lockean view has moral rights theories and natural law theories. It is in their duty to assist in the preservation of mankind. Lockeans would believe it legitimate for individuals to punish each other. John Locke stated, “to preserve his property – that is, his life, liberty, and estate – against the injuries and attempts of other men.” To punish was acceptable, but one must punish in the state of nature, so that such deserving people would end up being judges of their own cases. If the actions violated that natural law principle, that one should not deprive another of life, liberty, or property, the guilty parties could be liable to criminal punishment. In the state of nature, according to Lockeans and rights theorists, a person is vindicated to use the power to punish to preserve his Natural Rights, society and mankind as a whole.
    One of my favorite quotes from the book from Walzer was “Moral reality of war is not fixed by the actual activities of soldiers but by the opinions of mankind.” (15)

    We live in such a complicated system. Is it really simple and were adding useless complexities? Or is that we evolve to simplicity?
    Sun, May 27, 2012  Permanent link

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    “Civilization has so cluttered this elemental man-earth relationship with the gadgets and middlemen that awareness of it is growing dim.” Aldo Leopold

    The reading was about our perceptions on nature and how they differ form others perceptions. There are 9 views on which ‘landscape’ is explained, understood and described through unique lenses of perception. In landscape as nature, the reading insinuated the beckoning of man to restore the beauty and bounty of nature and the natural landscape. To tear down the settlements in order to view the wild and lush natural landscape. This love and longing for wilderness has, since its peak during eighteenth century Romanticism, been gaining more awareness. To view nature as perfection is then to view mankind and his accomplishments in comparison to that perfection.

    The 9 different explorations guide the reader into analyzing their own sense and view of nature while observing the others. I identified with almost all of them in some form or another, as I think that our relationship and understanding can be more than just linear and hold more than one perception. Just as right, it can be contradictory. Viewing landscape as a problem is something that I have been identifying more with since I am at school. We are trying to learn how to fix, improve, design or change nature. In the reading it said nature is a “mirror of ills of our society and cries out for drastic change.” I really identify with this statement. I feel as though I need to improve and change a ‘broken’ system; to control and take charge of nature and humans path towards nature. I have a more extremist view when I am working a lot and studying a lot and find that I am not able to enjoy time in nature that often. It is a cry from inside of me that beacons me to do something for and with nature.

    This paper will focus more on urban farming and land use and will take a philosophical and historical approach. I was very influenced by the reading, which led me to explore these topics. I wanted to further identify how I viewed landscape and what is important for me in a modern/urban/suburban landscape.
    Nature acts as a bearer of wild things to humans. As Denry David Thoreau once wrote, which I will paraphrase here, man should have one foot in civilization and another foot in nature/the wild. The term Biophelia, a psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and living, is vital for a healthy human psyche. We live in a capitalist society. We live separate from nature. If we want a more holistic, healthy and integrated life in nature, we need to change our society, evolve and develop and ecological awareness/conscience.
    Reconnecting humans to nature is a larger process and demands a more holistic view point. Just adding green landscapes, roof landscapes and urban agriculture is not going to solve all the problems, although those are great starts. There is a movement going on called Natural Capitalism. These view, value system and philosophy is based on our human experience, and the way we do things and interact. It is meant to heighten aforementioned issues as well as advance us upwards in an involvement with nature. Capitalism is based on a type of stealing, is alienating from the world and natural processes. The point of natural capitalism is to bring awareness and to develop an ecological conscience. Their solution is to 1. Reinvest in natural capital, 2. Become more efficient and reduce waste, 3. Model our methods on Biomimicry and biological systems, 4. Switch from a goods based economy and view to a service based one. Our capitalist society, as Marx puts it, causes objectification and alienation from each other
    In our society, property is given to you if you can afford it-not if you can better it and respect it. John Locke, who had an influence on our founding fathers, wrote, what is know as, natural rights. One of which is property, or land. He stated that the government would allow people to settle on land. If after about a year, they have bettered that land, cultivated it or harvested off of it, planted on it or kept it up, that they were entitled to that property. Or as the reading stated this act as: man domesticating the Earth. Thus creating a landscape from a blend of nature and man. People then felt pride and a connectedness to their land. Locke and Jefferson thought the ideal democracy was one composed of small farmers. Lockes view on property was developed with the small farmer in mind. Jefferson adds to this view that farming life produces people who are self reliant and independent.
    One reason why we live in a perishing environment is that we each don’t feel ownership and have pride in our physical landscape. Many leaders of our country also view landscape as wealth. Maybe in some respects the individual does have pride, but a majority do not have the awareness of a deeper relationship to a system, a holistic view and an ecological consciousness. You can plainly see that in our society with one word, consumption. Western history is imbued with a ‘dominion ethic’ towards nature; otherwise stated as a dominant view of animals and nature, and is widely assumed as the dominion of exploitation. By ecological consciousness, termed by Michael Pollan, and virtue theorist, termed by Aldo Leopold, means that we should be aiming towards a certain type of character as a type of self-transformation.
    By adopting an urban farming and true organic view and way of farming, we beat alienation. We should include natural living and farming spaces in our environments, especially to be applied into urban contexts. What do I mean? Ever sense the Haber-Bosch process (pesticides), it changed the way of life on earth is conducted in regards to growing food. Food is no longer dependent on sun and soil, it is not dependent on oil. Farms are no longer modeled on nature, they are modeled on industrial systems. We need to change our orientation to industrial society. There are two main criticisms of our current food systems which are: 1. Ecological unsustainability, and 2. Alienation. Very similar to Marx’s humanist critique: industrialization alienates us from each other and from the land. Alternative forms of food production and distribution are a type of self-transformation. We have a view of seeing farming as a way to make a profit rather than a way to change the world and ourselves. Which will in turn; empower the people to positively transform our land and our relationship to that land.
    Marx thought industrialization/technology/machinery could be used as a tool on the path to a better life; Thoreau thought these things often detracted from the best of life. They both thought the problem with modernity was alienation, thus their analysis and source of the problem were different. Thoreau’s was to embrace a close connection with nature, to live simply, to build a cabin and go live in the woods. Individual lifestyle choices are the source of the problem, as are they the solution to the problem. Thoreau’s view was very individualistic. Marx thought the freedom you have as an individual is very limited. If the system is unhealthy, the person/s will become unhealthy too. For me, this statement is both depressing and optimistic. I believe it should be viewed as an opportunity for empowerment to ‘tear the system down’ and to envision, build and demand a healthier system.
    There is more than one way to define efficiency and environmentalism. On an industrial farm, your plants need fertilizer, which you go out and buy and dump on them. That’s not a closed loop. Industrialized products cost more than what you pay at the checkout counter; there are hidden costs. It’s the difference between biological (holistic) efficiency to industrial (linear) efficiency.
    We try to order and understand the behavior of nature, doing so through economics and modeling-which have no relation to any state of nature. Designing ‘green’ landscapes and viewing the ‘landscape’ as more than a chance for profit, especially when related to farming and consumption, we can view it more holistically. Let’s change the way we view and treat nature and ourselves.

    Go out and prepare and eat a meal in full consciousness of what was involved.
    Sun, May 27, 2012  Permanent link

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    i miss sailing. i miss hawaii. i miss my parents. i miss being a kid. i miss my creativity. i miss happiness. will i ever be happy? will i ever be able to become a better designer? school is so overwhelming. architecture is really hard. am i cut out for this? all we do is do things on the computer. wheres the creativity without adobe suite products? technology is great-its advancement? but its not stimulating enough and frankly sometimes it gets me down.

    i am always dwelling in my mind, the past, idealism. this is not healthy. i go through such mood swings and i wonder if anyone really likes me-if i can ever find love.
    Wed, Feb 16, 2011  Permanent link

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