So on a more serious note, this presentation brought me to a level of helplessness and dread unlike anything the other groups have brought me to yet (although politics and gender aren’t very dreadful subjects in the present, at least in my opinion.) It’s a ticking time bomb, and when I try to look for the truth on how bad everything really is, I can’t find a definitive answer. Everywhere I look, I see optimists who say we can change things and save our future, and others who say we already passed the point of no return, and our planet is on a track towards more and more hostile conditions. One of the things that really struck me came from Abby, in how she repeatedly talked about ways how not only the government can do things to try and improve our future, but also ourselves. And I look at some of these suggestions, like dropping meat from my diet, and cutting back on energy and water consumption, and it puts me at a major moral dilemma, where I consider the weight of my own actions to the world, vs the comfort and benefits that I derive from these actions on a daily basis. It’s definitely a conflicting debate to say the least.
Regardless of my ramblings, I felt that the Enviro group’s presentation was very effective in nature (I swear that wasn’t on purpose). I loved (hated) the second day especially, as for once in my life, I had to legitimately defend fracking. I thought that this exercise, of defending the viewpoint you opposed most helped greatly in my understanding of the issue as a whole, even if it didn’t change my opinion completely. The discussion was nice, although I wished we heard more people participate (felt like all that the discussion revolved around was Abby’s points, which were good points, but still.) I felt like the power point part of the presentation could have been a little better in terms of expansion outwards from the slides, but I’m probably just nitpicking.
As for the readings, I didn’t really feel much outside of reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. While I found the other passages effective in conveying their point (which usually just revolved around analyzing the numerical and observable effects of our failure to preserve the environment, or just new ways to achieve such preservation), they still seemed to lact impact and emotion, regardless of how important the information and perspectives they contained. Silent Spring on the other hand held more of my attention, for its narrative structure and hypothetical structure, alongside the strong factual arguments made to directly counter opposing viewpoints.
There isn’t a direct overlap with our group considering the way how we interpreted politics, but, in political terms, the Environmental group has many talking points, the biggest of those points being the presence of the EPA and how much the government should dictate how we influence the environmental aspects of the world over the economic interests of our country. Which is literally their synthesis prompt. I thought that their synthesis prompt made sense from the viewpoint of being able to focus their project, but I would have rather seen an expansion towards, or at least a mention of other countries and what they could do over just the US, even if we are one of the biggest influences on the planet considering our material and energy consumption. So while their prompt works, and is a solid prompt in its own right, I would have preferred a little bit more expansion. But yet again, this is just my nit-picking.