Machen deutsche Familien genug für die Umwelt?

In den letzten Jahren ist Globale Erwärmung die Hauptbedrohung für die Umwelt geworden und leider handelt es sich bei Deutschland um den siebtgröβten Kohlendioxid-Erzeuger der Welt. Obwohl Jahresstatistiken zeigen, dass sich letztes Jahr deutsche Emissionen um 2.7% zurückgegangen sind reduziert haben, gibt es noch etwas, was jeder Mensch machen könnte, um diese Statistik stark zu reduzieren.

Die einfachste Art, etwas Hilfreiches für die Umwelt zu tun, ist, Ihren Wasserverbrauch zu vermindern. Im Allgemeinen heiβt das, dass man beispielsweise den Wasserhahn zudreht, während man seine Zähne putzt. Wenn man für 5 statt 10 Minuten duschen würde, könnte man ungefähr 100 Liter Wasser sparen. Jedoch geht es nicht nur um etwas Vorteilhaftes für die Umwelt, indem man weniger Energie brauchen wird, um Wasser zu transportiern und wärmen, sondern es ist auch möglich, Ihre Wasser-und Energierechnungen ab um rund 500€ zu senken.

Außerdem sollte man nur mit seinem Auto fahren, wenn es unrealistisch oder unpraktisch wäre, mit dem Rad oder zu Fuβ zu gehen, weil Transport die Verantwortung für fast 17% aller Kohlendioxid-Emissionen Deutschlands trägt. Allerdings ist es nicht völlig ausgeschlossen, dass man mit öffentlichen Verkehrsmittel fahren kann, um seinen CO2-Fußabdruck zu verkleinen, denn deutsche Busse benutzen sowohl ein Drittel des Brennnstoffs eines typischen Autos pro Person als auch CO2-neutralen Biodiesel.

Dennoch sollen wir meines Erachtens alle selbstgenügsam werden, wenn wir wirklich die Umwelt schützen wollen. In zahlreichen deutschen Städten sieht man schon viele mittels diese klimafreundliche Bauweise errichteten Häuser, die als Öko-Häuser bekannt sind, aber für diejenigen, die sich ein neues Haus nicht leisten können oder wollen, lässt sich relativ leicht ein Solarkollektor und manche Gebäudedämmung bei sich zu Hause installieren. Wenn man es ernst in Betracht zieht, kann man zu dem Schluss gelangen, dass ein Schrebergarten die beste Kapitalanlage wäre, da man nicht bloβ dadurch der Umwelt helfen wird, indem Pflanzen als eine Kohlenstoffsenke fungieren, sondern auch wird man viel Geld sparen und die Chance haben, seine Kinder über die Bedeutung der unserer Umwelt zu unterrichten.

Kurz gesagt geht es bei Umweltschutz um ein wichtiges Thema in der heutigen Gesellschaft, wofür wir alle Verantwortung übernehmen müssen, um Kohlendioxid-Emissionen einzuschränken, und dadurch uns um die Umwelt für zukünftige Generationen zu kümmern.

Stop Horsing Around!

horses

One of the funniest news stories I’ve heard of late is the so-called ‘disgusting’ revelation that some of Tesco’s beef burgers contain horse meat. And? I for the life of me cannot see any reason to join in people’s outrage! Okay, there is the issue of labelling, in that it probably would have been a good idea to mention on the packaging that the burgers did in fact contain horse meat, but why should we care? Meat is meat, the burgers obviously cooked, looked and tasted like any other standard supermarket burgers otherwise this story would have emerged long ago.

I think the issue here is that some, and by some I am talking about the very small minority of people, do not know where their food actually comes from. Ask a child of about 3 years old where milk comes from and there is a good change their reply will be a shop.

During the Second World War, and many decades beforehand, we were more than happy to chomp away on horse meat, it being one of the few things that didn’t come under rationing. At a time when horses were all around us and used as our main mode of transport it was understood that the animal would be looked after for its working life then when it eventually passed away it would supply a few meals for its owners. 

Nowadays people see a ‘cute’ animal on a menu and automatically refuse to eat it. It’s similar to how funding for conservation works; nobody cares about ‘ugly’ animals or bugs, even though they are vital for the survival of an ecosystem, but say that you want to protect leopard cubs or baby monkeys and you’ll be guaranteed the funds you need. We’ve gone from viewing certain animals as good workers that will provide a good source of food when they die, to adoptive human children that we need to treat as we would a person and stroke and love. Ironically, although we can’t bring ourselves to eat horses, we don’t mind selling our dead horses to the continent where they are more than happy to devour them.

I don’t understand why the issues lies solely with horses though, lambs could be considered cute yet we love eating them on a Sunday with a large helping of mint sauce, we’ll eat rabbit at expensive restaurants yet they’re the sweet little creatures we have as pets.

Everyone just needs accept that animals will die and it is such a waste to not exploit a great natural resource of fur, fat and meat.

Tourism!

With the January exams looming I thought I’d share my revision notes for the geography unit on tourism 🙂

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Counter Urbanisation

Escape-to-the-country-logo

With reference to a specific example describe and explain the causes and effects of counter urbanization in an MEDC.

Counter-urbanisation is taking place in the UK, from London, the capital and most populated city in the UK, to Tiptree, a village along the A12 between London and Colchester.

One of the main reasons for leaving London is that the cost of living is very high. Demand for homes in the capital where there is little room for expansion and lots of businesses means that there is a huge amount of competition for housing nearby people’s workplaces for example. The huge demand means that prices rise and many people can’t afford it. Whereas in Tiptree there is not a lot of competition for houses as there is a more sparse population. House prices here are a lot cheaper than in London, and you get larger accommodation for your money.

As a crowded city, London has a fairly polluted environment, with poorer air quality, lots of litter and a lot of noise from many things such as roads. Whereas in Tiptree, the environment is more welcoming, with clean air, only small amounts of litter, and lots of wide, open spaces.

The amount of immigration to the London area has seen much over crowding in schools in the city, but in the smaller village of Tiptree there is no overcrowding so schools can cope with the amount of pupils and their learning doesn’t suffer.

Transport links into and out of the city of London are very overcrowded and therefore there is a lot of congestion, and many people are often late for work, or late getting home. Tiptree does not have this problem as it is a smaller village and traffic can quickly flow easily through so there is not any lateness.

Due to all these reasons, counter-urbanisation is taking place. The richer population of London who can afford to move do so from the city to local villages like Tiptree. Yet while having a more positive impact on London, it negatively affects Tiptree.

This is because as more and more people move out of parts of London, there becomes less road congestion as there are fewer people with fewer cars, and local school and hospitals may become less crowded as there are fewer people li8ving and needing those services in the area.

On the overhand, in Tiptree, housing prices rise as there becomes a greater demand from all those leaving London. First time buyers then struggle to buy their first property as prices become too much for them to afford.

The local populations are swamped with newcomers who are often disliked as they live but don’t work in the village and are seen as outsiders to the community of Tiptree. Also, there becomes congestion at peak times within the village as people travel to London for work.

The main school in Tiptree, Thurstable School, had to be extended to cope with the increase in the number of 11-18 year olds in the area.

As more and more people move to Tiptree, there becomes a loss of open green spaces as extra amenities such as golf courses, shops, gyms pubs and new roads open due to the high increase in the population. This costs a fair amount of money, and the beautiful countryside is slowly destroyed by excess buildings.

Cable Car Ride

cable car

At 200 feet, the car edged along the once new cables. Rivers of rust flowed unbroken through the chipped red paint of the exterior.

Inside, sheltered from the elements, a lone boy shifted his wait from foot to foot in anticipation.

300 feet. The battered car let out a low moan as it continued to shuffle skywards. The laboured cables crackled sharply in response.

The boy’s eyes scanned the interior. They hooked onto a sign, reading, “Maximum 25 persons.” His eyes swept through the cramped space in a frantic attempt to count the bodies.

As the boy continue to count, and then recount, hoping to prove himself wrong, the battered vehicle came to a halt. A light breeze, as if sensing a new target, picked up its steady rhythm, leaving the car swaying from side to side.

30. The boy had finished counting. His heart rate accelerated as he felt the nauseating sensation of the sway. With his head spinning, he tried to choke out a warning, but the words wouldn’t come.

The engines back at base, far below, began to cough and moan as they restarted the cars unsteady assent to the peak.

Back inside, there was a variety of people. A young couple were with their son, an older man with a pipe leaning against the window, a little girl dressed in pink bouncing on her father’s knee. All those people had one thing in common. They were oblivious to what could happen. All accept one. The boy.

The engines were strained, and with a final cry of defeat they faltered once more. Then nothing. Deafening Silence. The car was on its own now.

The boy realized something was going to happen. Good or bad; he’d have to wait and see. He searched the confined compartment, seeking a glimmer of hope, of rescue. A rope. It was curled up like a sleeping snake on the floor, opposite him. And he had an idea.

Outside the first of three, seemingly sturdy cables began to unravel itself, as if it believed the car was a monster and it couldn’t get away fast enough.

The people inside felt their stomachs lurch uneasily as the car fell. Realising the implications of their situation, one by one they froze, like a game of musical statues. As the car slowly steadied itself, the boy began to scream at them. They stared back with blank faces, a dullness in their eyes. Fear. There were no screams, but an eerie silence, louder than thunder, descended like a thick fog on the passengers.

A few broke themselves free from their zombie-like trance, panic stricken, they quickly followed the instructions the boy was yelling at them.

His idea was simple. There were two long ropes which would end three or four feet off the ground. Objectives: Slide down, Jump, run.

The emergency exit door groaned in protest as it was hitched open. The rope was dragged across the metal floor and dropped. They had to hurry before it was too late. Just don’t look down…

350feet to the snowy wasteland beneath. The second cable began to retreat into itself, buckling. Individual fibres snapped, one at a time.

15…18…20. The boy was helping organize the safe descent of his comrades. He was no longer afraid, as he felt optimism and sheer focus on what he was doing. His duty.

The second cable gave way. The car lurched forward, dropping once more.

21…23…25. 5 more civilians left to go. Those already down, against all odds, began their marathon run for shelter.

The car began to sway violently. It lurched forward, backwards. Again and again. There were only 3 people left: The boy and the father clutching his little girl.

They were pushed about by invisible forces as the boy helped the pair to descend. He knew at that moment, when a sharp snapping sound reached his ears, that he may be too late. Before their feet could reach the ground, he leaped after them. Panic seeped steadily, like a lion cautiously stalking its prey, through every bone in his body.

The last cable detached itself swiftly from the car with an ear splitting snarl. It quickly gained speed as it prepared for its collision with the solid earth.

The boy had hit down hard on the surface. He bent over, aiming to catch his breath. Before he could look up and see his fate coming towards him at 100 miles per hour, his instincts made him dive forward. With his last burst of strength he turned himself around and pushed back, just in time to see the car crumple on the ground, inches from where his foot had just been. The deafening sound of the sudden impact roared through the valley, up to the highest mountain peaks.

Slowly, the boy regained control of himself. He looked dead ahead. Just two more inches and… He banished that thought from his now weary mind. He had help the others flee.

He had survived.

Today.

MEDC Urban Development Problems

Case Study: Congestion and Traffic Management in Chelmsford

Causes:

  • There is fairly poor public transport so many prefer to use their own means of transport instead.
  • Chelmsford is a thoroughfare to get to other places such as Colchester as the A12 and A414 run through it, meaning there are more cars on the road.
  • There is an increase in car ownership as cars are becoming cheaper to buy second-hand.
  • Chelmsford is built on old road systems that only allow one lane each way with no room to expand as there are too many buildings, and so the roads cannot cope today’s volume of traffic.
  • Chelmsford is the county town of Essex and is a big town so many people are moving here in the hope of employment.
  • People are travelling further to reach work as they have car access instead of taking local jobs to them in walking/cycling distance so there are lots more cars.

Effects:

  • People may become consistently late to work as they struggle to get through the town to their work amidst all the traffic
  • It increases the amount of road-rage experienced by frustrated drivers stuck in long queues.  
  • There may be an increase in the amount of collisions/rashes as there are more cars on the road. Also, people who become fed up with being stuck in traffic jams may drive more dangerously such as performing
  • All the traffic on the roads means it becomes very difficult for local businesses to transport their goods or have other companies deliver goods to them.
  • There becomes tension between car owners and environmentalists as car owners want to drive but environmentalists are angered by this as it is damaging the environment. 
  • There also becomes tension between locals and commuters as the commuters are causing a great deal of the congestion, and the locals cannot get around their own town easily or have to wait for long periods of time to park their car in their driveway.
  • The total amount of money spent on petrol increases as more is used sitting in traffic, and local companies can exploit the high demand by increasing prices.
  • The fumes from all the cars cause vast amounts of air pollution. For example, these gases can cause illnesses and potentially cancer, especially in high risk groups such as the elderly or the asthmatic. Also a lot of carbon dioxide is produced, which is one of the gases contributing to global warming.

Solutions:

  • Some roads have become pedestrian orientated to keep cars away from high risk area e.g. in the town centre the high street isn’t used for any vehicles, and also they cannot make any pollution here.
  • Hybrid cars could be developed and promoted. These would cut down on the carbon emissions as well as other detrimental gases.   
  • Smaller cars and car sharing could be promotes which would cut down on emissions and the amount of congestion on the roads.
  • Park and ride/park and cycle schemes could be promoted cutting down on traffic and pollution in the main area of the town.
  • Congestion charges could be enforced around the town centre to discourage people from driving there, encouraging them to find alternative means of transport.
  • More bus lanes could be built to improve the flow of public transport. Or cycle lanes to encourage cycling and keep cyclists out of pedestrian’s and cars way.
  • More tax could be put on petrol and diesel to discourage drivers from using their cars all the time.
  • Buses could become free or a lot cheaper to encourage more people to use them on a regular basis.
  • Parking costs in the town could be increased to encourage people to use public transport, walk or cycle to wherever they need to go if possible.
  • Alternative means of transport need to be explained and promoted such as walking to school (walking bus)
  • Cycling should be promoted as it is very environmentally friendly and also has health benefits.
  • Traffic calming measures such as speed bumps, speed cameras and 20mph speed limits should be introduced to reduce accidents by cars. 

The Story of Modou – Chapter 2 – The Slave Ship.

After many days of being locked up in that cage, some white men came out from the belly of the monster canoe. I was astonished at this amazing feat, of how they managed to escape the monster. This soon converted into terror when the white men unlocked each cage in turn, and one by one as we walked out they counted us and took us across in big canoes to the monster, we all wanted to escape, but we knew we would be shot dead if we dared rebel. My sister was clinging on to me and I was sore from where she had me digging her sharp nails in to me for the past week or so. We were made to paddle the boat along, and when we were side by side with the monster we were made to climb up its massive sides with guns pointed at us, so we didn’t try to escape. When we were on top, I looked up and saw long pole that touched the clouds in the bright blue sky. Hanging off there were long pieces of the finest white cloth ever seen by a Mandinka warrior. I saw the native men that captured us being given pieces of what seemed to be shiny pieces of metal, gold and silver in colour. They were given bags of this each by a tall white man in elaborate clothing. He was shouting at the white men who were pushing us into the belly of the monster.  As me and my sister reached the front of the queue, we were separated. I was pushed hard into the belly of the monster. She was taken away down another part of the ship. I guess they were separating me and women as well as children from each other. I felt so upset being separated from her. I knew we couldn’t survive without each other. I walked down lots of steep steps into the dark belly of the monster. My eyes were so used to the bright light of the mid-day sun I couldn’t see a thing. A man was waiting for us. He put chains around my wrists and ankles. And then he shoved me underneath one of the shelves and made sure I was in my own small space. It was the same length of me  by the width of 3 large coconuts laid side to side lengthways. When the whole ship filled up it got really hot. I thought I was going to die right then, but I didn’t. The men either side of me scared me, and there was barely any room to turn over. I kept thinking of what could have been, of my old life, and what may happen. Many days past in that stinking belly of a monster. We just lay there all day, rocking gently from side to side. The whit people came down to feed us twice a day. We were also give a large jug of water each once a day at breakfast, if you can even call it that. They were drunk and kept bumping in to the sides of the compartments. They gave us this kind of gruel which was made of what the white people called maize. As I am a good listener, I managed to learn a few words of their language, yet I dare not speak it loud. The other men captured would think I was betraying them or that I was just like the white man if I spoke their language. Everyone had to go to the toilet where they were, and it all piled up down at the bottom. It was disgusting, and for the first few days you could do absolutely nothing about it. It was really hot down there, and there little chance of getting any fresh air at all. After around five days, the white men came down and took the chains off us and in groups; they took us up on to the top of the monster. We were forced into a big group all huddled together. I looked out at the side and there was no bank. This was some river. It was so big the banks were absolutely no where to be seen. I later found out it was called the sea and I was shocked at how vast it was. The white men then got a bucket of water from the big river and chucked it at us. We all screeched out in agony, as the salty water got into all the cuts we had got so far. Then some other white people came up to us one by one and scrubbed us briefly with a really prickly brush. It made my body hurt even more. Then I noticed one of our people being taken up towards a drum and was made to play it. They then made us jump around in a kind of way that was like a tribal celebration dance, while white men walked around us, whipping us when they thought necessary and sometimes just for fun it seemed. The whip really hurt and it gave me a bruise the whole way around my ankles. They then took us down below deck and chained us back up. I noticed that our compartments had been cleared of the majority of dirt that had piled up. It was the best thing that had happened since we entered the monster, but that isn’t really saying much though. This routine happened two or three times a week when it was dry weather. After a couple of weeks, I noticed for the first time there were rats on board. All night they bit me. They just wouldn’t go away no matter how much I pushed them back. My skin had lots of swollen lumps the next morning which were very sore. I plucked up the courage a few nights later to talk to the person on my left. He was Mandinka. I asked the person on my right, but when I tapped him gently on the shoulder, he rolled over towards me dead. I told the other person by my side what had just happened, and he said that that had happened to the person next to him a few nights ago, and the body was removed later. I felt sick. Yet I shouted to the whole of the people in this part of the monster who was Mandinka, and there were many replies. We talked for much of the day and the night, planning our escape and how we take control of the monster and kill the white men. We decided we would do it a few weeks from now, so we could teach as many people as possible our language that the majority of the captured spoke. I did not have to teach any one Mandinka, although I wanted to. Back at home I taught my cousins lots of things like talking , climbing and fire making. The next day there was what was called a squall. The ship was shaken about lots and lots, and there was a loud sound a few times a minute which sounded by a drum which was thunder. There was also a flash every so often just before the thunder, called lightening. I was quite afraid because I couldn’t see any thing where I was. It lasted 4 night and 3 days. All that time being moved violently around, making it almost impossible to sleep and the chains rubbed even more against my skin.

I overheard the captain and the first mate speaking just above me. The captain’s name was Captain Phillips, and the first mate was called Luke Collingwood. I remembered every word they said and when I finally learnt English I understood it. This is what they said from what I remember now. They said we were heading for the west Indies in America to sell their cargo, which must have meant us people in the monster, and to buy some goods at small prices to sell back home at high prices to the better off or the higher class. Exports such as coal, cloth, glass, guns and other desirable items made in huge factories in England were traded for slaves in Africa. The slaves were then sold to American plantation owners in America,  while the money made by the people on the sips were used to buy goods such as sugar, rice, coffee, tobacco rum and cotton to sell back at high prices to wealthy people back in England. You could made anything up to 3000% profit and you could become very rich, very quickly.  The captain said he chose tight pack because he wanted lots of slaves to sell, and even though there was a higher risk of disease wiping out huge numbers, if they were chucked over board he could claim back lots of cash for them, off their insurance. So if he washed the cargo and cleaned their living compartments, he should be o.k. They were dealing in slaves because they could make more money than in any other job they could have got in England. They can afford to have a taste of such desirable items such as sugar. They could also get away from the wife for around 6 months, so they could get into lots of trouble and do almost anything, and the wife would be none the wiser. Apparently there were also many perks to the job such as belly warmers that they couldn’t get anywhere else without being kicked out by the wife. Their attitude their cargo is better than other slave ship people apparently. The cargo is savage because they don’t know any better. That is what they were taught, so you can’t expect them to change instantly. They need lots of time and help. I think they are a bit like us, the captain said, but a few hundred years behind, if you know what I mean. We just need to show them we are in charge, and they’ll learn soon enough. It’s not like we would want this done to us but it s all for a good cause. They will be taken to a nice home in America and looked after. They will be fed and given shelter. Their will be better off where they are going. We are saving them from a worse off fait in Africa, where they could be eaten by savage cannibals. I felt angry at what they said. They were going to sell us, their precious cargo, so they could become rich. It isn’t dangerous back home if you are careful. And how will we be better off? And what are the perks of the job? I hope that doesn’t involve my sister or my aunt. They think they are being kind, and they even said they wouldn’t want to be in our situation. I think they’re just in it for the money. The selfish, ugly idiots. Our routine of breakfast, boredom and frustration, pain and suffering, washing and dancing then dinner continued for many days. Each time we were washed the cuts newly made from the chains rubbing against me and from all of the rats stung more and more.  That day when we were in the fresh air which burnt my throat, we saw a dead body being brought up from below. It was kicked and punched, and not even given a second of respect before being chucked over the side into the sea, where a fin of a shark was waiting.

Then about 12 young girls and women started running around the deck, trying to avoid the white men that wanted to capture them. My sister was one of them. I called out to her, but it took lots of calls for her to hear me. She managed to come close for a few minutes so we could talk. We hugged and hugged, before she decided to tell me the awful things the white people had made her do, many of which were unsuitable for a lady of her age. She was then spotted and dragged back under deck. 3 women were left, chained together. They seized this opportunity while the white men were not facing them, to jump over the side of the monster into the bright blue river below between nets of green. The captain then came up to one of the white men that should have stopped them and started to punch and kick him til he was bleeding all over. He said her would give him a severe punishment if it happened again. From what I could gather he would be tied up and dragged underneath the ship, across the whole length without any clothes. I still do not understand the painful part of this, but it meant something to the beaten whit man, so he got up and continued with his work, whipping us. The next time they brought us up, which was about 6 days after that incident it was time. Everyone was in unbelievable agony, but that wouldn’t stop us trying. 6 weeks into the journey was the planned time for mutiny.  Now nearly all of the men and older boys in this part of the monster understood Mandinka well enough to carry out our plan. That day when we were taken up when the sun as shining high in the clouds which were touched by the huge poll beside me from the monster. Everyone played along with the washing and dancing. Then we all grabbed the five white men guarding us and kicked them to the floor, and took their knifes and whips. We then tried to kill as many people that were white as we could. It was actually working. There was just the captain, his first mate, and to others left. But all of a sudden, one of the white people with his last breath shot a very big gun at the big group of us. Shards of metal want everywhere, and many of us were shot down to the floor in dire pain. Many were killed, but me and a few others near the back of the crowd survived. We were immediately taken to the side of the ship by some of the guards that were below deck at the time of the incident. They started to whip our arms and legs, and hen drew blood with a knife. They stopped the bleeding as they didn’t want their precious cargo dead unnecessarily, before being taken back to our compartments. There was a distinct lack of people around now; which was sad yet good because it would be cleaner. I overheard the captain saying there had been a break out of small pox in the younger boys’ compartment, and they had chucked many of the ill overboard so it didn’t spread and to claim insurance for them, which would be more than their selling price at auction if they was ill. The man next to me was killed during the fight, and that made me really angry, but I knew there was nothing I could do as the white men had guns, and could therefore win. So I just kept quiet and just continued with our torture for the last few weeks.