ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION:

5 THINGS OVERLOOKED BY IGNORING THE ENVIRONMENT 

1: COCOA (Main Ingredient in Chocolate): The environment is more important than most people think. Many would be surprised to learn that cocoa (main ingredient in Chocolate) is grown and is under threat from loggers, deforestation and changes in the climate. In addition eight (8) countries (Ivory Coast: 37.1%, Ghana: 21.9%, Indonesia: 11.2%, Nigeria: 5.9%, Brazil: 5.5%, Cameroon: 5.2%, Ecuador: 4.8% & Peru: 4.7%) grow 96.3%  of the World's cocoa supply. With deforestation in the primary climate of where cocoa grows, a change in the climate and contamination from oil spills, production of chocolate would be greatly limited/reduced and cause an increase in global chocolate prices combined with shortages. Imagine a world with expensive chocolate, very difficult to obtain and many people NOT having access to or being able to afford (huge difference between access and affordability, just think Emergency Room care in the US) chocolate. For the sake of chocolate consumption worldwide and to protect the jobs that it provides, we need to come together and protect the chocolate. 

Cocoa Beans at a Chocolate Cooperative in Peru. Personal photo taken by David Monlux. June 2018
Cocoa beans at a Chocolate Cooperative in Peru. Personal photo taken by David Monlux June 2018.

2: VANILLA BEAN is what is used to make vanilla extract, a very popular cooking and flavoring ingredient in many dishes/desserts/drinks around the World. Currently when a combination of the the Earth's rotation, the soil and climate required to grow vanilla, it can only grow between 10-20 degrees north and south of the Equator.  In addition it is limited to growth in only 4 countries that have the perfect conditions for it combined with the correct soil. Those 4 countries are Madagascar, Mexico, Reunion Island and Tahiti. If the current changes in climate keep up combined with rising sea levels, Madagascar, Reunion Island and Tahiti will no longer be able to grow the vanilla bean giving Mexico a monopoly. Even though Mexico would have a monopoly, their growing capacity would be limited due to rising sea levels. Vanilla is currently the second most expensive spice behind Saffron. However if climate change continues and 3 of the 4 places where it is grown get submerged in water from rising sea levels, than Vanilla would become the most expensive spice in the World. In order to protect the vanilla bean, we must work on reducing/reversing the rising sea levels which involves the prevention of the polar caps from melting. 

3: POPULAR BEACH DESTINATIONS: From the popular beaches sung about such as Copacabana in Rio de Janiero Brazil, Cayo de Agua in Venezuela, the luxurious breath taking beaches in Cancun, to spring break paradise in Florida, those beautiful California Girls on the California beaches that Katy Perry sings about, the beaches of Hawaii and so many different stunning island getaways, with rising sea level, these beach paradise escapes will one day soon be covered up unless action is taken. 

Personal Photo taken by David Monlux in Cancun May 2017.

4: POPULATION CHANGES & SWITCHES IN DEMOGRAPHICS: As rising sea levels submerge coastal cities, towns, villages, islands and rural areas, financial capitals such as New York City will be threatened and vacation destinations will disappear. The Oceans separating the continents will increase in distance. One of two things will happen with that. Either large populations will die out OR in advance of the disaster they will move to the mainland continents.  When that happens, mainland countries will be taking in large number of immigrants from island countries. In addition within America liberals and conservatives will be forced to coexist or go to all out war on each other. Typically the coast has been a liberal havens while the heart land has been hard core conservative. With coastal cities submerged in Ocean Water and no longer livable, the two will be living together and this will drastically change the politics. If you like beach vacation get aways and keeping liberals and conservatives in America separate while lowering the number of immigrants, than combating rising sea levels should be a very important priority for you. There are 3 potential bright sides though which include a victory for those rooting to destroy Communist Cuba, those rooting for Ale Gore's ultimate revenge on Florida and at that point the World (especially the US) might actually reach a consensus opinion on Climate Change. 

5: WORLD'S OXYGEN SUPPLY FROM THE LUNGS OF THE PLANET: For those of you who do not know what/where the lungs of the planet are, they are the Amazon Rain Forest in Latin/South America. This one forest provides 20% of the World's Oxygen supply (needed to breathe and more important with an increasing population) and cleans 35% of the World's CO2 released into the air. The following are foods native to and originally from the Amazon Rain Forest that are still eaten today: Avocados, Bananas, Black Pepper, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Chocolate,  Cinnamon, Cloves, Coconuts, Coffee, Corn, Figs, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lemons, Mango, Oranges, Pineapples, Pistachios, Potatoes, Rice, Sugar Cane & Tomatoes among thousands of other fruits primarily eaten in the Amazon. In addition Alkaloids which are used to prevent/cure trees/plants/crops from large amounts of insects and disease also come from the Amazon. Also 121 prescription drugs on the market today have at least one (1) core ingredient that can only be found in the Amazon and 25% of Western Pharmaceutical companies  use ingredients from the Amazon as part of their research. 2,100 Amazon plants fight cancer cells and of those 2,100, exclusively only 525 are native to and only found in the Amazon. 

Walking Tree. Amazon Rain Forest June 2018. Personal Photo of David Monlux. 
Amazon Rain Forest June 2018. Personal Photo of David Monlux. 
Amazon Rain Forest June 2018. Personal Photo of David Monlux. 
Lunar Tree. Amazon Rain Forest June 2018. Personal Photo of David Monlux. 
Middle of the Amazon Rain Forest June 2018. Personal Photo of David Monlux. 
Native Plant to the Amazon Rain Forrest June 2018. Personal Photo by David Monlux.
Native Plant to the Amazon Rain Forrest June 2018. Personal Photo by David Monlux.
Amazon Rain Forest Farm of the Esa Eja People. June 2018. Photo taken by David Monlux. 
Middle of the Amazon Rain Forest  June 2018. Photo taken by David Monlux. 
Overhead view of the Amazon Rain Forest June 2018. Personal Photo of David Monlux. 
The bright moon overhead at 1 AM without the pollution of city lights. Photo taken by David Monlux. 
Green Parrot searching for food in a Clay Cliff of the Amazon. Personal Photo of David Monlux. 
Clearing with drops of water reflecting with the trees from sunlight. No pots of gold found. Photo taken by David Monlux. 
Overhead view of the Amazon Rain Forest June 2018. Personal Photo of David Monlux. 
Howler Monkeys in the Amazon June 2018. Personal Photo of David Monlux. 

COUNTER ARGUMENTS TO THE 5

1: COCOA (Main Ingredient in Chocolate): Despite the deliciousness and role chocolate currently plays for food, obesity is on the rise and at an all time high. The sugar obtained from chocolate is bad for the teeth and if it can't grown any more or is greatly reduced, it will help to improve World Health outcomes. 

2: VANILLA BEANS while beneficial are not required to live. In addition their is artificial flavor and manufacturing of vanilla which means the flavor won't actually be lost while helping to expand cheap affordable access and equality among spices instead of the pure imported snobs. 

3: POPULAR BEACH DESTINATIONS: With an increase in the ocean levels and coastal cities under water, there will be new coastal cities and with more water and less land there will be an increase in sales for the boating, scuba diving and cruise industries. In addition beach destinations will have new names and different locations and with the closer distance more people will be able to go to the beach. 

4: POPULATION CHANGES & SWITCHES IN DEMOGRAPHICS: By the time this happens, politics and value sets will have changed. There is no point in speculating about said alleged changes. 

5: WORLD'S OXYGEN SUPPLY FROM THE LUNGS OF THE PLANET: To stop the production and deforestation would be to destroy the economies of Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. Millions of people would be out of work and half of Peru's GDP would be gone. The economy would tank, one of the last successful industries in Venezuela would be gone and it would be a blow to Brazil's economy during the weed out of corruption presently taking place. In addition by NOT going to obscure places for medicine, the cost of medication will drop. 

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

1: Raise public awareness. Instead of using STEM language, use common people language and promotion. Let the people know that their chocolate is at risk while some of their favorite beach destinations could be no more. Breathing will get more difficult with the less of it their is. 

 

2: Start general public awareness tour programs and contest where people for a low cost or free can go to the destinations that are affected and see the effects first hand instead of a scientist and controversial politicians saying "trust me".  

3: Implement Environmental Education into graduation requirements for High School. 

WHAT THE STANDARD REQUIREMENTS SHOULD BE:

MAJOR FOREST OF THE WORLD & THEIR OXYGEN SUPPLY

Teach the importance of oxygen to breath, the minimum required level for human existenance at the present and future projected population rate while pointing out the remaining forest left. 

DRILL BABY DRILL EFFECT

Teach that oil and natural gas is a limited resource that will one day run out just like humans will one day die from sin. When it runs out it is gone and everything transport/comfort wise the current economy is centered around will be no more. If alternatives aren't developed, the future is bleak when these resources run out. 

RISING SEA LEVELS & ARCTIC POLAR CAPS MELTING

Teach how the melting of the ice caps in the polar regions will cause future sea levels to rise and endanger coastal cities including New York (Wall Street), Florida, Cuba, Cancun and Copa Cabana. 

MODERN DAY LUXURIES LOST & ALTERNATIVE FUELS IN THE WORK

Teach how chocolate will be endangered among other things. Then go on to teach about the current progress made under solar, wind, water and other fuels.