Thursday, April 24, 2014

Don't be Mean, Go Green

How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice…or is global warming already doing this?

Global Warming
We have all heard it before but what is it really? 

Global Warming is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the Earth's atmosphere caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide and air pollution.

Carbon Dioxide is produced when animals, plants and bacteria breathe, by the natural decay of organic matter, by volcanic activity, and when any material containing carbon is burned such as oil, coal, natural gas, or wood.

What Causes Global Warming?
Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide and other air pollution is collecting in the atmosphere like a thickening blanket, trapping the sun's heat and causing the planet to warm up. There is proof that the Earth is actually getting hotter each year. Over the past 50 years the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. 

Recorded Proof:
In 2002, Colorado, Arizona, and Oregon had their worst wildfire seasons ever, and in Montana, Colorado, and Kansas droughts created severe dust storms. Floods in Texas, Montana and North Dakota, also caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage.

Facts about Global Warming:
-Global Warming makes hurricanes much more dangerous. Since the ocean is getting warming, tropical storms are able to pick up more energy and they become more powerful.
-Global warming contributes to melting glaciers, early snowmelt, and extreme droughts. These droughts will eventually cause more of a dramatic shortage of water.
-The United States is the largest source for global warming
-Americans produce 25% of the carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuel burning.

Before doing research on this topic, my family and I were never too strong about going green. We never recycled and we never once thought about anything that had the label: "Eco Friendly" But I can tell you now that I am going to make my family recycle and that I will be more conscious of the energy that I use.

Benefits of recycling:
1. There is too much garbage in the world and recycling reduces the amount of garbage sent to landfills. Today, we dump more than 100 million tons of trash into landfills annually.
2. Landfills cause a toxic soup called leachate which creates huge amounts of pollution that contribute to global warming.
3. Making brand new products without any recycled materials causes natural resources to deplete.
4. Recycling sometimes uses less energy. Making something from recycled materials means using less resources
5. Recycling can save companies and cities money. Cities have to pay for the amount of garbage they have. Often times a companies source of income comes from recycling.

What should be done?
-More companies should switch to natural gas to fuel their electricity plants instead of burning fossil fuels. 
-The United States should use more renewable sources of energy such as solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, water energy, etc.

What can you do to help stop global warming?
-Consider buying energy efficient products such as refrigerators that use 15% less energy than the federal requirement
-If you plan on buying a car, consider an eco-friendly car
-Join the National Resources Defense Council in their campaign against global warming 

Saving a tree is great, but saving the world is even better. For more information on global warming and going green visit these links.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The F Word.

What comes to mind when you hear this word? Is it women burning bras? Is it women with armpit hair and unshaven legs? Is it women hating men? 
If any of these images came to your mind, I don't blame you, these images have been associated with the word feminism since women fought for equality in the 1970s. However, all of these images are negative perceptions of feminism. Feminism, simply put, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. 

If I asked anyone in a room whether they believed that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men, I know that all of them, with the exception of maybe 1, would raise their hand. I know this because I have done it before.

In my first semester of college I took a women studies class and we dove into the topic of feminism. My professor stood up and asked, who here believes that women should have the same hourly wages as men? Every woman raised their hand. She then asked who here believes that women should have the same opportunities as men? Again the same result. She then said well all of you are classified as feminists.

I'm here writing this blog to inform you on what feminism truly is, and why being a feminist is not a bad thing. Quite frankly, most women and men ARE feminists, whether or not they actually know this. Feminism is a very complicated subject and there is a lot to discuss, but I will lay out the basics.

What is Feminism?
Feminism describes a culture in which women, because they are women, are treated differently than men, and because of this, are put at a disadvantage. Feminism assumes that such treatment is cultural and thus possible to change and not simply “the way the world is and must be”. Feminism consists of activism, individually and in groups, to make personal and social change towards a more desirable culture.
An early issue that feminism attempts to change, is the idea that women are only useful for work in the home. This idea discourages women to pursue careers in business, health, science, math, etc. This idea makes women to be seen more as a trophy wife and the sole caretaker of the kids and husband. Feminism encourages the idea that women can be just as powerful as men. Women do not have to nor need to be stuffed up in a house all day doing house chores and cooking meals.
The term feminism loaned itself to a movement determined to secure and defend equal rights and opportunities for women.
The actual term feminism dates back to the 1880s and was coined in France. It migrated to Britain a decade later and came into usage in the United States in the years preceding World War I.

Feminism is split up into three movements.
First-Wave: FIrst wave feminism was primarily concerned with achieving basic political rights such as the right to vote. Its origins are in the radical, new philosophies of the late eighteenth century known as the Age of Enlightenment, also called the Age of Reason.
Second-Wave: Second-wave feminism began in the early 1960s. The forty years between this period and the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment were full of political, economic, and social gains for women, but second-wave feminists in the United States pushed for full equality in all facets of society and for those rights to be enshrined by law. Second-wave feminism was tied to civil rights movement.
Third-wave: Third-wave feminism is a term identified with several diverse strains of feminist activity and study. Third-wave feminism began in the early 1990s and continues to the present. It deals with elements of anti-racism, women of color, transgender politics, a celebration of sexuality, etc.
Feminism in the 21st century has been up to much debate and criticism. Some believe that feminism is a valid movement and others believe that it is outdated. Those who believe feminism is outdated argue that women now often choose motherhood and marriage over thousands of potential lifestyle choices. Which supports to the idea that women are destined to be in the house and kitchen. Those who believe that feminism is a valid movement have pointed out all that has been achieved for women in the areas of job security, domestic-abuse laws, reproductive rights, and other significant areas that affect a woman’s freedom to lead a life she chooses.
While women have gained countless rights and opportunities over the past years, there are still many discriminations against women, such as in the workplace.  
Click on this link to learn more about all the achievements of the women's rights movement.
The term Feminism is not bad. The protection of women's rights and freedom is not something that we should have to fight for. Yes, I do believe that I am a feminist for I believe in all of the ideas that feminists' support. What is negative about equal pay, protection against domestic abuse and sexual violence, reproduction rights, and divorce rights? If you support these ideas as well, well, you are a feminist.

Learn more about women's rights:

I'll Fill the School with GLEE...

If you Vote ME for ASB

Remember when it was that time at the end of the school year when there were posters hanging everywhere around your high school with catchy slogans and glittery decorations for the upcoming election. Then you were shuffled into the gymnasium to hear your fellow peers explain to you why they were the right choice for whatever position they were running for. You may have thought that this was a waste of time, but elementary, middle, and high schools everywhere did this for a reason. This reason was to let you know that you have a voice and an opinion that needs to be heard. For years we have practiced voting, but why is it that when we are given the choice so few people in California actually vote? Well I am here to find out and tell you why you should vote!

The population in California in 2012 was 38.04 million
In the 2012 election there were 13,202,158 votes
This is not even half of the population of California.

Reasons for not voting (2008):

In this pie chart the three most common reasons for not voting in the 2008 election were that the voter was too busy, ill, or not interested.

The United States is a democracy which is a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting. Voting is a method for a group such as a meeting or an electorate to make a decision or express an opinion- often following discussions, debates, or election campaigns. Democracies elect holders of high office by voting.

As of today, any citizen of the United States who is 18 or older can register to vote. However, before, this was not the case.

When the Constitution was written only white male property owners (10%-16% of the nation's population) had the right to vote. However, during the early 1800s, states gradually dropped property requirements for voting. Later, groups that had been excluded previously gained the right to vote. Other reforms made the process fairer and easier, and after a long effort from these reforms anyone over the age of 18 is now eligible to vote. In my opinion, this is an amazing right that we, citizens of the United States, have and it should be something that we take to our advantage because many others in different countries do not have this opportunity. We are lucky to be in a country that allows us to have a say in how we want our country to be lead, which is why we need to take the opportunity to register and vote! Being too busy or not interested is not an adequate reason to not voice your opinion.

You should vote because your opinion matters! Voting gives a person the opportunity to contribute to his/her country. Voting also offers a person more insight on current issues and topics in his/her community. I, personally, would love to get involved with my community, and voting is a perfect way to start. So, do yourself a good deed, and vote in 2016 in order for your country to succeed!


Click on this link below to learn more about your voting rights.