Sunday, October 12, 2008

Is it worth the risk?

Reading has never been something I do for fun, until now. For English this year, I am being forced to read a certain number of pages each quarter. I finally found a book I loved and couldn't stop reading!! I just finished reading a book called "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. The book is asbout his journey climbing 29,028 feet to the highest possible location a human could stand on earth, Mount Everest. This book is filled with pages and pages of interesting facts such as the price in which it took to climb the mountain to the training it took to be prepared. After reading the book however, I realized no one is ever fully prepared. No one can prepare themselves for HACE which is a dangerous mountain sickness, frost bite, brutal weather conditions, barely any oxygen or even death. The list goes on. My question after reading about the horrible 1996 tragedy where eight climbers were killed (Krakauer managed to survive the mountain) is simply, was it worth it? To be able to say you are physically and mentally tough enough to take on the massive peaks, simply to say you were on the highest land elevation in the world, to say you battled loneliness, hunger, and sickness seems worth it to me. Though the challenge is unlike any other, I feel it would be one of the most gratifying moments to be able to say that you literally conquered the world. You climbed Mount Everest. This book was very inspiring to me and I feel like I can conquer anything my heart desires. You never know, maybe in 30 years I will be standing on top of the world at 29,028 feet.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Switching Meat Sources to Help Global Warming

I read this article on the ABC science website and it wrote how Australia is trying to think of new ways to help decrease the amount of harmful gas emissions. A major factor in the severity of their greenhouse effect is due to the number of animals they kill. They were brainstorming up ideas to try and reduce the amount of methane gas without completely eliminating meat such as cattle and sheep. Australia has come up with the idea of eating kangaroo because it produces less amount of methane gas then their current meat sources. "Livestock, mainly cattle and sheep, are responsible for some 67% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions." states Garnaut's report on ABC Science. They are starting to talk about reducing the amount of lamb and cattle produced and increasing dramatically the amount of kangaroo produced within the next 10 or so years. Many Australians already eat kangaroo and there is a huge population on the continent so this plan is very realistic. I personally think this is a good idea. If you have a too heavily populated animal in which it can replace another source of meat to help improve global warming, this needs to be put into effect. I understand how this could cause a conflict because Australia is well-known for their kangaroos, but it is not just about Australians in this case. This could positively effect the rest of the world. Global warming can not be ignored and any slight chance that this will lessen the green house effect makes me believe it should happen. I understand it will be strange for some to change from eating cattle and sheep to eating kangaroo, however this article claims many Australians already do. I say, go for it! Try to reduce the amount of harmful gas emissions even if that means eating a new kind of meat!