Sunday, September 12, 2010

Things that make you go...

are you freakin' serious?!?!

So on the heels of a massive Facebook firestorm regarding my last blog post, I find this in one of my Gen Bio class discussion forums. The students are asked to read a posted article about deforestation and then respond with whether or not they are concerned about it. And the answer is:

No, I am not personally concerned about deforestation because I do not worry about global warming, animal extinction, cutting down trees, etc. If it's going to happen then I accept it. I'm not an animal rights activist, I don't shop with recyclable bags, and I could care less if trees are cut down. I think raising cattle for food is more important than a pretty forest that might be fun to look at but what other benefit is there besides helping generate rainfall and consuming carbon dioxide? Personally I'd rather see them cut down and made into a farm, a corn field, or anything that will help generate money or food for people.

I had to shake my head and laugh - I am definitely not a tree hugger, but I generally do believe that there is a link between humans and nature and that our very survival will eventually be determined by how we conserve our resources. Anyone heard of carry capacity? Anyone? I suppose that at least the response was honest. Aaron (who has become quite frustrated with "intelligent" life lately) has decided that he, like the Professor Hubert Farnsworth on Futurama, doesn't want to live on this planet anymore.

So as I am about to be able to laugh it off as an anomaly, I read this response:

I suppose it may make me a bad person in some respect, but honestly, I just don't care about deforestation. It really doesn't effect me. I don't live in a drought-prone country, I don't especially care about animals, and I don't really mind that they're destroying plants for no reason. I know I may sound ignorant and arrogant, but the fact that there aren't rainforests in the United States and that deforestation in the United States is done to expand, I really don't mind. With the increasing world population, I think it's much more important to expand into areas that used to have trees in them than to try to cram everyone into the places we have set out for living.

OH.MY.GOD. We are doomed.


Debi said...

When I read your last post, I admit I laughed so hard. I mean, had I read that statement from that newsletter in any other setting, I would have been livid...but you dealt with that for me with you boundless humor and intelligence and just had me cheering on your words.

These responses...I don't know. They just made me cry. Real tears. You know, I wish it were mandatory for everyone to take an environmental science class...just so they can understand the basics of how nature works. Then at least people could shape their opinions with some reality thrown into the mix.

Kara, I'm not sure how you deal with statements like this, but I've no doubt you do it with class and tact...and I'm sure your students end up better off for having had you as a teacher.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I cannot decide if these statements are ignorant or stupid. Do they really not KNOW, or are they actively IGNORING? And per our conversation this weekend, we know the difference between the two.

Holy crap, my nearly 5 year old understands that WE NEED TREES TO BREATHE.

Sadly, we are a little bit doomed. Couple this with a lack of population control and the exponential component to which mankind is popping out babies and yes, we are headed down a rabbithole.

Sigh. I am going to go drown myself in the single cup of coffee I am allowing myself today.