Ramon’s Weekly Report #4
Advanced Bioregionalism Education
Autumn Session 2007
October 24th & 26th
This class had a new theme: Pollution. Before starting, I asked the class what they knew about the idea of pollution. They described pollution as the presence of a foreign substance that damages the soil, air or water. We then split into three groups to discuss air pollution in more detail. We were joined by some of the Planet Drum volunteers who helped out in the groups.
After meeting together each group had to read their respective topics and then make conclusions to present to the other groups. We reformed in one large group to discuss what everyone had read.
Lissette said that the air is full of vapors and CO2 which is harmful to everyone’s health. Klever talked about two different types of pollution: natural and artificial or man-made pollution. Natural forms being volcanos, storms, and forest fires. And manmade pollution which is a result of vehicles and factories, for example. The students also talked about the problem of the ozone layer in the atmosphere being damaged by refrigerants and how it is now recovering. Mathew presented on the problem of acid rain.
At the end of class, all the students commented on how developed countries are the ones that are doing the most damage to the world’s environment, and how the United States didn’t even sign the Kyoto agreement. But then I mentioned that there are foundations from those countries that are working to improve the environment in developing nations like Planet Drum and that that is why we have this bioregional education class. At the end of class, Raisa said she would try and ride in her car less and ride her bike and walk more.
On Friday we did field work around the city of Bahia. We decided to call ourselves ‘environmental detectives’ because the work we were doing consisted of counting the buses driving around the city and finding other large sources of pollution.
Within the span of twenty minutes, four buses left to go on their bus routes. Each one was emitting a large amount of smoke. According to this calculation, twelve buses leave every hour and in a normal twelve-hour day of bus service that would be 144 round trips from Bahia to Kilometro 8 and Fanca.
We also found other forms of pollution. At construction sites there was an excessive amount of noise and lots of dust being produced, which is damaging to people’s respiratory systems.
We concluded that the buses should be upgraded because the current buses emit too many contaminants.
There was also an open house at the Javier Rodriguez School and four of the bioregionalistas presented on the bioregional classes.
They received congratulations from the school authorities as well as the other visitors to the open house.
Translated by Clay.