Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Whale (And Other) Wars"

As Kelly stated before, introductions seem to be a trend. My name is Jackie and I am a biology and toxicology student finishing up my last year at Ashland University. It feels like it's been a long time coming, but in reality, these 4 years flew by. Now I find myself facing the challenge of putting together a blog post for the course that allows me to use everything I've learned in the past 4 years.

When I initially started to think about posts I had no idea what to even write on so I started to look at my interests to gain inspiration. About 48 hours later, it hit me. South Park. South Park inspired me to write a post about science. I don't know if that happens very often but I was content. Back in October 2009, I found myself curled up on the couch every Wednesday night to watch the new episodes of South Park that were airing. The one episode that was the inspiration for this post was titled, "Whale Whores." It was not the whole episode that triggered these thoughts, but a clip which is posted for your entertainment.

After this clip, Cartman (Lady Gaga wanna-be) decides to join Stan (whale-saver) when he sees that Stan has a TV show titled "Whale Wars." Cartman only joined Stan to get on TV, not because he actually liked saving whales. After watching the episode, I realized that this was a common trend with people and science. Until it benefits them, or becomes the new "trend" to follow (Eco-friendly), people would rather have nothing to do with saving whales, the environment, or other scientific problems. One that I know is a problem is the degradation of the coral reefs. Coral reefs are important to the survival of many fish species, mollusks, etc. Also, the reefs can provide protection to coasts (known as barrier reefs). If the coral reefs disappear, these certain fish species will not have homes nor will they have food. As for the whaling problem, if whales are continually hunted, the species may die out. After taking a course on marine biology (and watching Blue Planet), I realized that if whales die out, many other organisms within the oceans could die out as well. When a whale dies, its carcass sinks to the bottom to become food for the dwellers of the deep. Talking about everything dying because of the extinction of something such as whales may seem a little extreme, but every action has a consequence. If something gets really bad, other changes will start to take place, causing more and more problems in the environment.

More recently, Eco-friendly products have made their way onto the market. It has been a growing trend recently even though there has been evidence of harm to the environment since the 70s. Maybe it is just me, but it seems like help comes at the last minute. People don't care about certain scientific issues until it becomes relevant to them. Sadly, by the time it does become relevant to them, there may be nothing we can do to correct the problem.

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