Water crisis

In the last few years, there have been several places in the world that have suffered from severe drought. Naturally, draught is caused by prolonged shortages in the water supply, however, in later years they have gotten more frequent and worse. This has its reasoning in global warming and severe climate change. Making it even more necessary to drink water from plastic bottles. Two of the places that have been affected the most are Australia and South Africa. How does the drouth affect the people and places it hits?

One example of a town struggling with their water supply is Murrurundi. Murrurundi is a town located in New South Wales, Australia. Day zero is the day the town ran dry and no longer had the water to sustain itself. The town now survives on tanked and transported water, which is brought in every day from other cities. Every day their water supply must be carted in by 5-6 water trucks. The transported water is poured into something which looks like a mud pool in a reservoir. However, because of the water´s high content of chemicals, the habitants do not let the water pass their lip. The water restrictions are caused by drought triggered by global warming.

The habitants are now struggling to survive on a strict level-six restriction. They are telling the ABC News that they do not drink the town water. This leads us to the conclusion of them buying bottled water as their drinking water, and use the town water for other purposes instead, such as watering plants for example. Plastic bottles are a huge global issue, and pollutions the environment. In Norway, we have a system where we recycle all the bottles we use. The machine we use is called a reverse vending machine. These types of machines exist in every grocery store. If you give your bottle(s) to this machine, you get a percentage of the original price back. This is called “pant”. It is printed out as a “cupon” which you can either cash out or use in the store. You basically make money on recycling! The sum is not colossal, it is around two or three Norwegian kroner. However, when you collect more bottles you get a higher percentage back.

This is what the pant logo looks like.

The world consumes over 20 000 plastic bottles every second. In 2017, Norway recycled around one billion plastic bottles, making us the best country in the world at recycling plastic bottles. We challenge you to start thinking about doing the same.

https://annmic.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/img_5833.mov

In addition to the reverse vending machine, we have an option at our school, where we put our plastic bottles in yellow boxes. The “pant” money from these bottles, is donated to Lesotho, a small country within South Africa

Another example of a town that has struggled with its water supply in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2017 and 2018 Cape Town was faced with a huge water shortage issue. Cape Town’s dam water levels had been on a decline since 2015. However, in 2017 and 2018 the water crisis reached a new low. The water levels were between 15 and 30 percent of the total dam capacity. This water issue has taken a turn for the better, and in 2019 the water level had risen to about 45.6 percent of the total dam capacity. What saved Cape town from this crisis was strict restrictions. For example, were filling swimming pools, fountains and washing cars banned, and water use was restricted to 50 liters per day. To put this in perspective, in 2016 the average water use in California was 321 liters per day.

 The lack of water is a serious crisis, however, there are several things we can do to reduce the severity of the problem. Plastic and other types of wasteful materials are just making global warming worse. So, if we reduce the number of plastic bottles we use and throw a way we can make a smaller impact on the global warming. If you are faced with a problem similar to the one in Cape Town and Murrurundi one solution could be to ration the water supply. Then people will only use the amount of water that is necessary per day. This will hopefully help with the rising of the water levels in dams. 

Written by Thea D, Elise, Andrea, and Thea S

Gran Torino

  • How would you describe Walt’s relationship with his family? Do you know of anyone that has a similar family relationship? 

Walt’s relationship with his family is pretty bad. It seems like the family doesn’t want to get to know him. His two sons both have kids, but neither of them comes to visit Walt if there is nothing they want. Walt is not helping the situation either he doesn’t smile at them and is taking for granted that they are there. It seems like he thinks that they are being rude, that they don’t respect him, and he even says that they are spoiled rotten at one point in the movie. He doesn’t talk to them very often, and when he does, he is annoyed by something they say or/and do, and they are a little scared of him. It seems as Walt thinks his grandkids are rude, and that they don’t have any interest in him, only his things.

  • What does respect mean to Walt? What does respect mean to you?

Respect means a lot to Walt, and since he participated in a war he saw a lot of death and tragedy, and I think he has got more respect for the dead because of that. Walt is old fashion so respect for him is that everyone calls him by his last name and addresses him as “sir” or “Mr”. And when he sees his family behave bad and disrespectful in his wife’s funeral, the bad impression he has of his family becomes bigger.


Respect to me means that people are nice to each other even when they believe in different things. It is about respecting that people are different and accepting that not everyone is going to do exactly what you want them to.

  • Midway through the movie Thao is required to work for Walt. How does this change their relationship? Have you had a similar experience where a relationship has changed due to a different type of interaction with someone? 

Midways through the movie Thao has to work for Walt, as a consequence of this, they become friends. Walt’s impression of Thao changes from a guy who tried to steal his car to a boy who was hard working and had a disadvantage in life since he grew up with gangs and violence in his neighborhood and even his family. Walt realizes that it is not Thao who wanted to steal his car, but that he had to. When Thao started to work for Walter it was the beginning of their friendship, where Walt sort of was protecting Thao and his family. I believe that his caring feelings towards Thao’s family come from him not being able to connect with his own and needed someone in his life to caring for him after his wife died.

  • After the attack, Walt gets a haircut and shave, gets a new suit and goes to confession. What is the significance of these actions? 

I think all these actions mean that he was prepared to die in revenge for the attacks. When he gets a haircut, he pays extra and tells the barber to keep the change as if he won’t be needing them anymore. Another thing I saw was that he got himself a nice suit and he had never done that before. He also goes to a confession that was his wife’s last wish and he probably wanted to leave this world at peace with himself. Walt was also sick. In one of the last scenes we see Walt’s funeral and his casket is open, that is probably why he made himself look good.

  • At the end of the movie, Walt sacrifices himself for Thao’s family and the neighborhood. Was there any other way to get the same result? Why did Walt do what he did? Would he have done the same for his family? What makes or allows a person to make such a sacrifice for someone else?

I don’t think there was any other way to get the same result, however, there were other ways to get the gang into jail. If they had just told the truth in the first place. After they shot at their house and beat ut Sue. Walt did what he did to save Thao´s family from the gang, I also believe that he did it to feel better about himself because he had done a lot of bad things in his life. The fact that he was sick made it easier for him to sacrifice himself for the people he cared a great deal about. I am not sure if he would to it for his family just because they did not seem to care about him at all, they just wanted his belongings. I think that the family that lived next door became his real family at the end.

Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism has been around for ages. One can argue that multiculturalism has existed since beginning of modern time. But what exactly is multiculturalism?

Multiculturism is an ideology that promotes the merging of different cultures. It is a term used to describe when several cultural or ethnic groups exist within one society. Another meaning of the term is that it incorporates ideas, beliefs and or people from many different countries and cultural backgrounds. We can see examples of multicultural societies all around the world. A good example is Los Angeles, which is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. There are people from approximately 140 countries and with more than 86 different languages. The main reason for this is that California has an immigrant-friendly law which makes it a popular destination for people dreaming of making a new life in the U.S.

As described earlier multiculturalism is a wide term. Multicultural society, on the other hand, is a more specific term. It is often used when it comes to different places and cities, which contains people with different nationalities, language, religions etc. Multicultural societies are important because they reduce the ignorance and increase the knowledge about the various cultures and may potentially reduce the fear of the unknown. Such societies are important since it also encourages dialogue between people with different backgrounds and cultures that have diverse perspectives. There are many advantages in multicultural societies, for instance, that people become more tolerant and respectful towards other traditions and cultures. With people who think differently, creativity towards problem solving will be increased.

“The more your network includes individuals from different cultural backgrounds, the more you will be creatively stimulated by different ideas and perspectives,” according to research by Harvard Business School professor Roy Y. J. Chua. “Importantly, these ideas do not necessarily come from the network members who are culturally different from you.”. Everyday things such as food variety and larger selection of clothing will be improved in a multicultural society. As an example, we can look at the Brexit situation in the UK. Statistics on who wants to leave the EU show that people who are exposed to different cultures from a young age are more likely to vote to stay in the union. People who are less exposed to multiculturalism are more likely to vote to leave. This shows that multiculturalism leaves a more open mindedness and a larger degree of acceptance for different views, values and behaviors of other cultures.    

However, there are some challenges. The main challenges are language barriers, social tension and civil disagreement. In some countries in Europe such as Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands multiculturalism has created parallel and segregated societies where the cultural minorities retract to their ethnic “territory” and fail to interact with the cultural majority. If the society is not able to successfully integrate the various minorities, multiculturalism can lead to unwanted consequences. A more successful example is Canada. Here multiculturalism is so integrated into the society that it is a source of national identity and is used as a tool to unite French and English-speaking Canadians. Canada was also the first country to promote multiculturalism. In the United States, multiculturism is not established as a policy on federal level, but ethnic diversity is still common in both urban and rural areas. 

There are both pros and cons to the ideology of multiculturalism. Nevertheless, there are more positive than negative sides to multiculturalism and the advantages surpass the disadvantages. Multiculturalism is going to increase and become more and more common in every society as the globalization of the world continues.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiculturalism

https://www.theclassroom.com/the-disadvantages-of-cultural-diversity-12082787.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diverse-and-competitive/201507/multiculturalism-around-the-world

American factory

In the documentary we see the inside of an American factory that is owned by a Chinese billionaire. There are some obvious cultural differences in the work habits, and in this documentary the people in charge are the Chinese. The work conditions in china are rather different than what they are in America.  

For an example the work hours are really different in the two different countries. In china there are shifts that last about 14 hours, but I America there are las that prevent that from happening and the max work hours are 8 hours.  

Another example are that in America being a part of an union is really common and is a huge help for the workers. The unions are there to make sure the workers gets payed the right amount, that the hours are reasonable, that they have time to eat and that the conditions the workers are in are good for the healt. However in china this is a threat for the efficiency and does so that the company don’t make as much money. So when the Chinese billionaire opened the factory in USA he was worried about the unions so he sort of made them illegal in the company.  

A third example is that in china the workers are expected to make a unreal amount of product every day and they deliver. They have to long hours and get paid to little, on the other hand they work much faster and more organized than the Americans. The Americans are more lazy than the Chinese, and they are used to be treated better in the workplace than the Chinese are.  

The Chinese know just how to get the Americans to work more efficient. Because in America you get used to be patted on the back and they love competition. So to make them better worker in their eyes they started to bribe them with more money. The money also worked as a tool to make them less interested in joining unions.  

Global warming

The climate is changing, whether it´s caused by the course of nature or by humans, is yet to be determined. 

Some people believe that climate change does not exist and that humans are not having an effect. This is because these people often haven’t had real education religious ideas spread by climate change deniers like president Trump. Some things these people use as arguments are:

Climate change has happened before. We have seen the climate both plummets dramatically in temperature and rise dramatically with the rise and fall of the Ice Age 2.4 million years ago. Some people state that if this change occurred 2.4 million years ago, millions of years before human technology was created with the ability to emit gases that have a negative effect on the world’s climate, then the change was due to natural causes. 

Others believe that there are in fact the humans that are responsible for the global warming, however some may use the argument where we know for a fact that the climate has changed in the past. This is not a something people should use as an excuse to do whatever they want because there has never been a global temperature this high before. Scientists have figured out what the consequences are going to be, and they are critical.   

Whether or not you believe it, the main cause of global warming is the greenhouse effect, where greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, methane and chlorofluorocarbons, gets trapped within the Ozon Layer, and prevents the heat and sunbeams to exit the atmosphere. As a result of the greenhouse effect, the global temperature increases, which leads to several disasters and changes in the near future. Human activities, like the burning of fossil fuels, have expanded the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by more than a third since the industrial revolution. The rapid increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has warmed the planet at an alarming rate.

Climate change has consequences for our oceans, our weather, our food sources and our health. Ice sheets, such as in Greenland and Antarctica, are melting. The extra water that was once held in glaciers, causes sea levels to rise and spills out the oceans, flooding coastal regents. Warmer temperatures also make the weather more extreme. As a consequence, intense major storms, floods and heavy snow falls occurs. Furthermore, longer and more frequent droughts, which post challenges, arise. Some other challenges, caused by the extreme weather, are that growing crops becomes more difficult and the areas where plants and animals can live, shifts. Water supplies are diminished. I addition to creating new agricultural challenges, climate change directly can affect people´s physical health. In urban areas, the warmer atmosphere creates an environment that traps and increases the amount of smog. This is because smog contains Ozon particles, which increase rapidly at higher temperatures. Exposure to higher levels of smog can cause health problems, such as asthma, heart diseases and lung cancer.  

Even if the earth’s climate has fluctuated in the past, the carbon dioxide has not been this high in hundreds of thousands of years. 

Another argument people have to combat the idea that climate change is that there is a higher power controlling or looking over our lives. Religious people who believe in a god or gods state that their creator would not give humans the power to affect the earth in this way. Statements like “We are too insignificant,” or “God would not grant us this power” are common among people who hold this belief. And for a religious person, this makes a lot of sense. 

Another reason people believe that the change to the world’s climate is natural is the sun. It is known that over the past few hundred years the sun has developed sunspots, causing an increased amount of heat to radiate towards earth, effecting the overall global temperature. 

Although to some these claims may seem sound and logical, Climate Change is still a very real threat, and studies by thousands of scientists show that the root cause of the change is human impact on the amount of greenhouse gases released into the environment. This argument only highlights the importance of remaining skeptical and not always believing what you read.

Human activities, from pollution to overpopulation, are driving up the world ́s temperature and fundamentally changing the world around us. While the rapid rate of climate change is caused by humans, humans are also the ones who can combat it. If we work to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, which don’t produce greenhouse gas emissions. We might still be able to prevent some of the worst effects of climate change. The only way to stop the climate change is to release much less climate gases than we do today. We are the ones to blame, but also the ones with the power to make it right again. 

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