14 March 2011

Watch This Space

Well hello! I haven't got much to say today except that my new beginning has begun. My dad had a look at my blog which means he's shown it to my mom and grandparents. It's always nice getting compliments and encouragement from family but I think this means I need to start being a bit more careful about potentially aggressive language in my rants from now on...hmm.

I just quickly wanted to write a little update on what's happening with me at UCT currently...

I've finally started appreciating what a truly amazing course Principles of Ecology and Evolution is. The EGS course is also quite amazing, I absolutely love the main lecturer Frank Eckhardt. He's been talking to us about tropical environments and the issues that they have, lots of stuff about deforestation with some shocking satellite imagery. I love his lectures, I think it's the images that keep you interested. I can't say the same for oceanography, it's something I'm really struggling with and I'm wondering if it was a bad idea to take the course. The last couple of weeks have taught me that I'm definitely not cut out for atmospheric/ocean science and climatology. It's just not my cup of tea. It's so interesting to a certain extent but once you get into the technicalities of currents and winds, I'm completely gone. But I'll stick with it because it's absolutely fundamental to what I want to go into. So I'll just have to work through it.

The other thing at varsity that's keeping me really excited is the GCI. Ky and Nick have criticised it a bit, questioning how effective the group actually is. And a lot of other people have actually raised the issue, do they actually do anything for greening UCT? All they do is put recycling bins out and run around in green overalls and make noise during Green Week? I've been hearing rumours about how all the effort that goes into the campus recycling is pointless because it all just gets mixed together anyway when the waste gets collected. I do find all these comments a little concerning, and I do wonder about them, about what the GCI are actually accomplishing. But I think there's no point criticising. Even if there is some truth to all the remarks, I'd rather be a part of the initiative and make changes to make them more effective wherever they may be lacking. Personally, I find it so rewarding to be part of a group of student activists dedicated to the cause of sustainability and the green movement. I've decided that I want to be heavily involved in two of their projects this year - Earth Hour and COP17. I think attending Earth Hour planning meetings back in WWF-India has given me this huge respect for the event. I love the fact that it started out just a few years ago as a small movement in Sydney and it's grown to the point that it's a global event, a date that stands out on your calendar. I love how it shows such mass support for the cause of fighting climate change. The fact that something as simple as turning off your lights for an hour has caused such a stir worldwide is deeply appealing to me :) And so I'm keen to make sure that UCT and the GCI take the message of Earth Hour far. Especially since this year, with the 60+ campaign it's all about going beyond the hour and doing something more to show your commitment to fighting global warming. COP17 though. Wow that's a whole different story. I want it to be huge. For voices to be heard. At the end of the year the world's eyes will be on South Africa and the pressure will be on us as hosts to make sure that the conference is fruitful, to be leaders with our national climate policy, to make sure that this is the conference that makes the difference. (Yes I just referred to South Africa as us/we :P) We had the first meeting of the COP17 team on Thursday and it was great! The team is full of people who know what's going on and want to make sure that something comes out of the summit. It's going to be a great year working on this project. We don't yet know what we actually want to do at the conference, but we're thinking of combining forces with other university initiatives and being a collective voice in Durban. We're first going to hold a little workshop amongst our team on climate policy issues so everyone can get up to speed on what's expected at COP17 and we'll take it from there I guess... I've gone a bit crazy with this and taken it upon me to ask to be a site admin and add resources and info on climate policy etc. onto the project site. It's very exciting :) In fact, I think all that uploading has provided me with my thrills for the week. But it also means I need to do lots of research and know stuff inside out, which is a huge task because jesus there is just SO much detail to these climate issues.

Watch this space for a hectic post on climate policy and other exciting things :)

Oh and also this week, there's a series of talks on intelligent design vs. evolution on campus. Very excited. I went to a philosophy talk with Ky and Nick last week that only briefly touched on criticising systematics/classification and it was awesome watching guys from the botany department and other scholars take the poor guy down. Needless to say this week will be exciting. It's always great when theologians are attacked by the biologists :) Which brings me to another small sidetrack actually - while this blog is all about conservation issues, it's also meant to represent the things that I'm passionate about in nature. And one of those things is evolution. It's not something I've talked about much, but I am quite the atheist and strong advocate of evolution and I think there is space for that on my blog. I don't want to go into attacks on religion and whatnot because that's irrelevant, but I will say this - at the end of this semester I will have finished a course that covers evolution and I hopefully will have finished reading Dawkins' Greatest Show on Earth so I've decided I will have to write a post on evolution. My blog is all about appreciating and conserving nature and evolution is a beautiful thing that is so central to understanding the natural world, so it has to be done. Stay tuned :)

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment