Chas Jones, Ph.D.

2011.11.03. Sustainability Course. Week 2.

2011.11.03. Sustainability Course. Week 2.

To save time and reduce repetitiveness, I will summarize the course at the end of each week. It is important to me to document the Sustainability Short Course that I am participating in, but one post per week will probably suffice regarding the class content. On Monday, we had two interesting lectures by Wilf Swartz (University of British Columbia – Vancouver), a PhD student in Fisheries. The first was a general overview of the history and current state of global fisheries. I really enjoyed that conversation and would love to talk with him more extensively about the topic. The 2nd lecture was about the attempts at the World Trade Organization to get rid of government subsidies related to the global fisheries market because subsidies allow fisheries from some countries to out-compete equivalent fisheries in other countries. Suppressed fish prices and costs of harvest lead to overfishing and excessive numbers of fishing vessels and increased investment in fisheries relative to the actual value. None of these things are good for sustainable fisheries. Bottom line: At present, our fisheries are very over-fished and are likely facing an impending collapse. North Atlantic cod fisheries had a huge collapse twenty years ago. Other fisheries have followed and those types of collapses are becoming more frequent globally.

Dr. Noriyuka Tanaka  on Nuclear contamination and radiation – An interesting lecture on the Fukushima disaster caused by primarily by human caused errors associated with designs for earthquakes and tsunamis.  Lots of background information on radiation and recorded levels of radiation exposure throughout areas of Japan.  The data appears to show that Sapporo has some of the lowest radiation exposure, but doesn’t offer any comparative values, so I have no idea if the values were high or not compared to what I am typically exposed to.

Mr. Majima- Sustainability and the ethics of war – A engaging and intriguing couple of lectures that incite and inspire many tangential thoughts on related subjects.

Mr. Majima – Ethics in Sustainability  – A very good set of lectures by Mr. (not yet has his doctorate) Majima on Ethics in Sustainability.  He has some wonderfully engaging exercises and his lecture style stands out (in a positive way) from may professors that I have had in all of my university experiences (and that is a lot!)  Anyhow, future students of Dr. Majima will find him a great professor, I am sure.

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