Reflection Blog

April 27, 2013

There’s no doubt that this class has been eye-opening for most of us, and for that I am really glad that I have learned so much! I’d have to say though that the effects of deforestation, both in the past and present, has really resonated with me and has made me much more aware of my surroundings. Here’s a clip fromĀ the 11th Hour.

Deforestation has played a major role in societal collapses throughout history and if we are not careful, it will continue to devastate the developing nations that are dependent on trees for environmental and economic survival.Haiti in particular is a special case of how damaging nearly complete deforestation can be on a civilization. Diamond wrote that once Haiti became independent, a long line of corruption, government structure, and seclusion from the rest of the world, along with environmental degradation caused Haiti to become very impoverished (Diamond 2005).

Border of Haiti and the D.R.- National Geographic

Border of Haiti (left) and the D.R. (right)- National Geographic

This picture shows the borderline between Haiti and the Dominican Republic in 2009. The destruction from a mass logging economy in Haiti’s past has resulted in desertification to the point that the trees will probably never grow back. The people of this deprived nation are constantly struggling to provide for themselves with the poor climate conditions, degraded soil, and lack of resources. Haiti is evidence that saving trees is a much bigger issue than simply appeasing “tree-huggers”.


By taking Global Environmental Issues and Solutions, I have become even more aware and respectful for the protection o this Earth to which we all rely. I have to admit there were some days that I felt like we were doomed as a civiliation. It’s hard to hear about all the damage we have caused in attempt to manage these luxurious lifestyles while people in developing countries around the world struggle to survive. Is it really that difficult to unplug electronics or reduce how much water we use in a day?! I don’t think so, especially since there are placed like Haiti where the people are so impoverished. But there is hope that we, as a nation of people, can stand up and reduce our impact on this Earth. By following a green lifestyle and being conscious of the fact that WE are determining the future of this planet for generations to come will help reverse the impacts that have already happened. By taking this class I feel more than ever that I can make a difference in the health of the environment, and I know I’ll carry this knowledge from now on.

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