Hello everyone. Began a new MOOC (Massive Open Online Class) this week.
I love this new online form of education as it enables me to have the opportunity to study just about any topic I have an interest in, access to some of the best schools around the globe, excellent professors, and a community of global students which makes for such divergent perspectives and interesting conversations. And it’s free. My life took a big turn towards Nirvana when I started taking these classes.
This particular class is offered by Dartmouth College in Hanover New Hampshire USA on the DartmouthX at https://www.edx.org/.
I chose this Introduction To Environmental Science class for a couple reasons: One, years ago I read writings of Andy Friedland’s and used the knowledge in some Riparian Restoration Projects and what a hoot to find one of his classes listed in the Course Offerings for February at EDX.
Also chose this course as a sort of catching up on the current State of the Planet, as it will be filled with current science in regards to how our planet is fairing.
I’m also in the midst of the big changes (taking place by many small steps) that will ultimately have me living a much more simplistic lifestyle with a much lighter consumption of resources and a return to being an advocate for the environment, so this course seems like the place I need to show up to make sure I am being honest with myself and others about this. Right now I am reducing the amount of stuff I have accumulated, and really asking myself before a purchase whether I need it or just want it. I am surprised at just how many times I really don’t need something, and really can’t answer with any legitimacy why I want it.
So I just finished off the FIRST WEEK of this new Class, and it was so interesting. Thought I would share some small part I found lingering in my mind afterwards. . It was about the importance of having/ maintaining a healthy Biodiversity, which means a healthy variety of different life forms here on the planet or in a smaller habitat or ecosystem.
I had never really thought of all the free services we receive from keeping the planet’s life forms diverse and healthy. I actually believe that our planet is the Number 1 Provider of Free Services! A healthy planet with a high level of biodiversity will protect our water resources, keep our air breathable, protect the soil from erosion and help form new soils, break down pollutants, contribute to our climate stability, and help us recover from unpredictable events. It provides food, medicines, diversity in our gene pools, guarantees future resources, provides us a place to play and study, and nurture our emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health to become our very best selves. Many of our cultural values are also formed and based in the health, condition, and inhabitants of our surroundings.
I never thought of what it would cost me in money to pay for those services.
The actual Available Water also got my attention:
97% of our water is in the oceans
3% is fresh water
Of the fresh water 75% of that is stored in glaciers or ice.
Less than 1% of water on Earth is unfrozen, fresh water that could be used by humans.
“You are water
we’re all water in different containers
that’s why it’s so easy to meet
someday we’ll evaporate together.”
― Yoko Ono
Let me know how you are, and have some fun this weekend!