Winter 2018 Final Assignment
1.Current ecological legacies and practices of the US empire are dramatically effecting the honey bee. In Jake Kosek's “Ecologies of Empire: On the New Uses of the Honeybee” he examines the U.S. empire's transformation of nature into military strategy though human-engineering of the modern honeybee into a militarized technology. The bee's abilities in detection and intelligence have been taken advantage of. Their bodies have “small-branched hairs with a static charge, causing them to attract chemicals and biological particles, including a diversity of pollutants, biological warfare agents, and diverse explosives” (Kosek 657). Bees are being used in parts of chemical-detecting devices, trained to associate chemicals as a food source, and are mimicked through processes of swarming and drones. The biology of the bee is being reshaped through the depletion of any contact with nature in order to re-wire their instinctive abilities. These bees are not bees anymore; they're another strategy gain to the U.S. empire. Bees are becoming extensions of human senses and to US military strategy. The transformation of the honeybees into “six-legged soldiers' is an effect of the empire as a process of ecological transformation.
When the Iraqi exiles allied with US occupational forces, marsh restoration for migratory birds became a ‘neo-imperial' process of integrating the Middle Eastern state. In Bridget Guarasci's chapter, “Birding Under Fire: Learning Ornithology in Wartime Iraq”, the restoration became valuable to nature, international beliefs and practices, and US international agencies. Through birding, this environmental utopia becomes an extractive ecology for natural resources. “Analyzing the ways in which birds have been instrumental to Iraqi statecraft requires a rethinking of the relationship of nature to capitalist accumulation and war” (Guarasci 4). The geology of the marshlands allows for plentiful oil extraction. In turn, providing opportunities to foreign contractors and to construct Iraq into a neo-liberal capitalist economy. This extraction was elemental to its conservation. This documentation of biodiversity conservation through foreign expert restoration shows the consolidation of US and international agencies in occupational Iraq.
2. In Michelle Murphy's “Alterlife and Decolonial Chemical Relations”, Murphy describes the body's ongoing process of chemical change and susceptibility to alteration. Although PCBs were banned many years ago, its toxicity is still present in Earth's systems and bodies. Human bodies become an ‘alterlife' from industrial and historical processes. “The alterlife is entangled within a community, ecological, colonial, racial, gendered, military, and infrastructural histories that have profoundly shapes the susceptibilities and potential of future life” (Murphy 497). Exposure leads to all sorts of cancers and body damage. This becomes a historic embodiment of PCB's. The ‘alterlife' continues its course as our genetic makeup is constantly exposed and changed, passing down to future generations. The chemical alteration of the body serves as a site of environmental struggle.
In Mel Y. Chen's “Toxic Animacies, Inanimate Affections” scares over lead paint in children's toys racialize lead exposure in the US. In 2007, worries over lead toxicity became a serious issue in US media landscape. The dangers of ‘Chinese' contaminant in children's toys spread throughout the nation. Before ‘Chines-ness' was seen as toxic, US media informed the public of high rates of lead exposure to black children due to their closeness of lead-polluting industrial centers and contaminated old buildings from lead in paint. After the outbreak of ‘Chinese' toxicity, the vulnerability of lead shifted from black to white children. In this new conflict between Economical powers, black children were no longer seen as relevant. Rather than assessing new capitalist relations, lead was posed as a threat of invasive danger from foreign territory. The foreign invasion of lead was racialized just as how foreign terror became racialized as Arab and/or Muslim following the 9/11 attack. “Lead, then, simultaneously became an instrument of heightened domestic panic, drawing from and recycling languages of “terror,” and a rhetorical weapon in the rehearsal of U.S. economic sovereignty” (Chen 268).
In developing worlds, one of the many life-threatening issues is poor water quality. Many problems develop from the continuous contamination of drinkable water sources. The inability to provide enough water sources for the community is a serious health and environmental issue. Access to clean, drinkable water is crucial for all environments to survive. The limited availibility of these necessities leads to sickness and death. The demand for clean water is high and can end up becoming unaffordable. The lack of clean water becomes a leading concern in third world countries, which holds devastating environmental and health issues.
When clean water demand will become too high, people will be forced to find for a cheaper alternative: soda. Soda ends up becoming the only source of ‘water' they can intake. When soda enters the body, and goes through the system, extreme, toxic effects occur. The body goes through a process of changes. First, when soda comes in contact with your mouth, the sugar and bacteria will form acid which attacks the teeth. The ongoing attacks will soften teeth enamel increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. Teeth will begin to rot. With no ability to brush and clean the teeth properly, they might start to turn brown and decay. When the liquid sugar, is then absorbed into the body, blood sugar will begin to spike. These spikes can overwhelm the body and cause insulin to burst. These increased levels of insulin signals to the body to turn sugar into fat. Then, as the caffeine is fully absorbed, blood pressure rises again, resulting in more sugar being dumped in the bloodstream. The soda's phospheric acid sticks to the calcium, magnesium, and zinc of the lower intestines. When the acid is excreted in the urine, it takes calcium with it, depriving the body and its bones of the important mineral. The caffeine's diuretic properties cause your body to use the bathroom, assuring that the body is evacuated of the bonded minerals.
In the future of this environment, the body will go through a number of alterations. The buildup of sugar and fat in the system will be killing the body form inside out. The body will become more susceptible to brain damage, seizures, obesity, heart failure, and various kinds of cancers. Bones will become very brittle and fragile due to the loss of tissue and immunity will be impaired. The soda will also bring addictive values, changing the body to only want to drink soda. Body failures will become common. The body will have to live with these diseases throughout the lives that will be passed down to their generations; which will only continue to get worse as more and more sugared drinks are in taken. This alterlife provides for a site where human health needs and standards could not be met due to industrial, economical and racial issues.
Millions of children die each year due to limited access to clean water. Many towns lack partial sewage systems and treatment facilities, resulting in many water bodies to be used as open sewers for human waste products and garbage. These countries lack finances to provide them with water pollution management facilities and regulations. This consequentially, cuts down the amount of clean water needed for health, environmental, and economic services, which in turn devastates the countries' development. Soda companies are starting to target developing nations with their products. Companies are taking advantage of the countries vulnerability, due to their lack of knowledge to soda's health effects. Companies are seeing the country as prime marks to market their products. Racial and cultural discriminatory marketing practices are worsening the poor health treatments of these communities. As the scarcity for water increases, its value as an economic commodity rises.
The government often falls short to provide adequate water regulation and cleaning services. More action must be taken to supply these countries water. Access to clean water is essential for everyone, the inability and unwilling to provide for that is coming at a great cost. The body's alterlife from the sole consumption of soda is completely possible and can be happening right now. With no access to water, major health risks are involved. Water is essential for all human life. The continuous intake of soda fights against the body, changing its balance, slowly forcing the body towards death.
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