Thursday, September 6, 2007

Another Journal Entry

As I may have said in the last journal entry I'm tending to fall behind in this writing. I guess it is because like so many of us these days I'm attempting to juggle many different hats all at once. Plus, I feel as if the journal entries take away a bit from my ability to keep up with my patterns.

Anyway, in considering what to write about for this journal entry I began to think about how the local emphasis in this class over the more global or international context of environmental conflict has been an interesting element. I have been so focused upon the international element of sustainable development that it can be easy to forget or ignore the richness of the actually place in which you live. In many ways, I think this whole shift from political science to environmental science has facilitated this more localized perception on my part.

In many ways I think this is related to the ability to walk out my door and see nature, the environment and the built structures of society co-mingling together and it gives me a concrete vision, something that I can comprehend in the here and now. Ultimately, I think there is something spiritually invigorating about that. The shift in focus is grounding me.

Plus, I have been asked to choose a topic of study for the Conflict class that addresses a specific environmental issue and it is my job to highlight the conflict and process of mitigating the conflict along with the environmental issue at the core of the conflict.

So the easiest thing and yet something very important to me is the need to address the process of conflict negotiation surrounding the Duwamish River clean up in the south Seattle area. In fact, one of the first classes that motivated me towards this environmental path was a course in Puget Sound Ecology and we even spent a lot of time focusing on the issue of the Duwamish. In fact, I think this was the same year it was designated as a Superfund site.

Anyway, most of the focus I took was on the science of course and address those scientific concerns, where as this class wants me to address the human dynamic surrounding the science, so it is presenting a differing perspective worth analysis.

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