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The land down under

Australia is a cool place. I went there once, as a student ambassador during the summer after sixth grade, on a trip with a week and a half in New Zealand and a week and a half on the east coast of Australia. It absolutely was a formative experience in my life, and i got to to cool things like this and this and even a home stay with the aboriginal New Zealanders. I have such fond memories that it really hit home when Dr. Szulczewski said that alot of Americans look at Australia as a kindof modern “pioneer west” – because I literally was talking about how i would like to study abroad there and on top of that dream of moving there when I’m done with school. So yeah, It totally is the pioneer west for me. But I definitly did know about alot of the environmental issues going on there – like the flooding in brisbane due to deforestation, the cane toad infestation (every single one of you should watch this whole thing. as in all five videos. it is quite possibly the funniest learning i have ever done – and I grew up on Bill Nye the Science Guy and the Magic School Bus). Anywho, the big issue that i didn’t know about already was salinization, which is crazy.
But, the answer is simple. stick to what we’ve got, Australia. I know its a big switch, but its all about shifting the focus to things like wines and nuts and kangaroo meat (which is really good btw – I swear to god rooburgers are delicious). Thats obviously the most difficult and farthest-out goal, but utilizing the naturally occurring plants and animals is the real solution to this problem, and any other objectives merely serve as stepping stones, means to this end. Of course, there are a lot of issues that make this transition difficult. Vineyards are difficult to set up, and the lag in production means that there would be some very rough years ahead for farmers who convert directly to wineries –  which is not at all to say that there arent hard hard times already between drought and salinization. Kangaroo meat has a very distinct stigma surrounding it to most of the world, and that’s probably why most of you cringed when you saw the image in the middle of that last article. But Australia and the world need to overcome these issues in order for Australia to become sustainable again.
And i sincerely hope that they do, otherwise i will not be able to move there and live like this. Except that i want nothing to do with this.
Love,
Zach.


3 Responses to “The land down under”

  1. 1 kbrown

    Your trip sounded awesome! I think exporting kangaroo meat is a good idea for Australia. Eating kangaroo meat might be have a stigma now, but if people stop and think about it, it’s really not any weirder than a lot of other things we eat.

  2. 2 sarahdawes

    I’ve very jealous of your having been to Australia. It seems like a fascinating place with so many different environmental beauties. However, I did not know anything about the flooding you mentioned, nor the toad infestation – both are really crazy! And you mentioned the establishment of vineyards as a crop for the country; I was very curious about how grapes would be able to grow in such a dry climate. I suppose I thought they needed a much milder climate with regular rainfall? Either way, I hope it does become an answer for Australia’s environmental problems.

  3. 3 Dr. Szulczewski

    Excellent post- I love the combination of personal anecdotes and actual information and analysis. It tempts me to try a ‘roo burger, that’s for sure. Did you actually try the vegemite too?!


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