Carlamere-Lesson 10

The topic I chose for this assignment is about how market forces of globalization are assaulting the Amazon. Over the past forty years, a war has been taken place over land in the Amazon area of Brazil. Many people live in fear, their lives have been threatened, and in extreme circumstances, some have even lost their lives by those who profiting from the removal of trees or order to acquire land. Historically the culprits have been loggers, and cattle ranchers, but now industrial scale farming producers have been joining in the destruction of our precious rainforest resources. This action accounts for over twenty percent loss of the Amazon rainforest. If this continued obliteration continues at the current rate we will see the elimination of plants, animals, and trees native to the Amazon rainforest forever. Furthermore, there will be drought, wildfires and a reduction of river levels, and an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Tasked to stop this illegal land grab is the Brazil’s environmental protection agency, but the agency is understaffed and technically debilitated; additionally, inspectors assigned to monitor thousands of square miles are overwhelmed (Wallace 2016).

Up until recently the Brazilian government as been silent on this manner, but it is now imposing a new law to stop the deforestation that in leading to global warming. The government is requiring landowners to register their track of land and provide information regarding the clearing forest for logging and cattle. This new law will allow the government to award lots up to 250 acres for free to settlers. Additionally, no one will be able to purchase land more than 6,000 acres without an act of congress (Barrionuevo 2009). This is the first step towards correcting the past destruction, but a small step at best.


Barrionuevo, Alexei. Brazil Aims to Prevent Land Grabs in Amazon. 12 26, 2009.

Wallace, Scott. Farming the Amazon. 2016.

Carlamere Lesson 10

Carlamere_Climate Change

The diagram starts with the Wikileaks article regarding the Copenhagen Accord. It shows the relationship between the Accord and the main countries mentioned in the Wikileaks report. The United States is a developed country connected to money and threats, spying and leveraging political allies. China is a developed country; like the United States, China also had a hand in spying through a cyber attack on the CIA. This was an attempt to find out what information the United States gathered on their spying activities. The next country is Ethiopia, which is a developing country. Ethiopia a part of political leveraging and threats made by the United States. The developing countries ended up thinking that the developed countries were taken advantage of them because of their political weakness in contrast to the larger more powerful countries. This does not seem like an attempt to reduce carbon emissions between the large and small countries alike; it reads more like a Dean Koontz book.   However, this is the world we live in; doing what is right is never as easy as it should or could be. Even when we can see the problems that we have created and know the steps that are required to slow the process of global warming we find ourselves hampered by the political system and financial greed. These are the reasons that have created the environmental mess that we call our home and will never be the way that we recover from the damage that we have done to our planet.

I like truth even though at times it can be tough to accept, but with the truth comes answers. I am thankful that Wikileaks published this information; we now know at least some of the problems we face as a society, when it comes to changing our actions. We have to start changing society’s mindset; this is done through persistence, transformability, and adaptability. Human action has changed the state of the Earth; this started approximately two centuries ago, during the industrial revolution. Humans affect climate change through mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation causes less greenhouse gas emissions, but also leads to more climate change, which promotes adaptation that creates better environmental impacts. In order to really make a change the first step we have to do is re-engineer our global economy to a low-carbon model that will redirect billions of dollars to counteract the damage we have done to the environment. The second step is for each person to create his or her own action plan on mitigation; by planning where we live might be the biggest factor in the amount of greenhouse gas we emit. Additionally, by choosing low-impact food; by eating less animal-based food for a plant-based diet will lower greenhouse emissions. Lastly, there is always a possibility to buy carbon offsets; however, this can lead to an ethical question. One can make a case that every person should do their part to reduce their carbon footprint and not just buy a credit that allows them to pollute as much as they want (Pennslyvania State University 2016).



Pennslyvania State University. Climate Change. 2016.

Carlamere Lesson 8

The Nathan map is very informative; it clearly indicates the areas throughout the world that are at risk to experience a natural hazard if corrective environmental policies are not introduced. The three natural hazards that surround my hometown located in New Jersey are; change in tropical cyclone activity, which in the western hemisphere this type of storm is called a hurricane. The second hazard is an increase in heavy rain and the third is a threat of sea level rise.   Additionally, there is a chance of the frequency of hailstorms and tornados. The next possible weather condition change relates to temperature, there is a chance of increasing tropical induced storms called El Nino; furthermore, more La Nina storms are likely to occur. Over the last couple of decades, I have seen the effects of a couple of the aforementioned natural hazards, which is a concern for what the future holds if something is not done.

I chose a level two biohazard the event happened on March 13, 2016, in Beijing, China. Yellow fever infected three people; this is the first case of yellow fever reported in Beijing. Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes and is found mostly in tropical areas. The general symptoms of this disease include fever and chills (RSOE EDIS Staff 2016). It is highly unlikely for yellow fever to occur in New Jersey because we do not have the climate to host the virus. The yellow fever outbreak in China is very small, but it could grow quickly if this type of outbreak occurred in my hometown it would be a big deal. If this outbreak did happen in New Jersey there probably would be considered a very dangerous for the people of the community mainly because we have not been exposed to this before and have not built up immunity to the virus. To reduce the possibility for yellow fever impacting my town there should be mosquito repellent spraying and any water that is not circulated should be removed.

The biggest natural hazard that continually affects the southern part of New Jersey is hurricanes. Most recently hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey in the fall of 2012. The storm started in the Caribbean as a tropical depression, turned into a tropical storm and by the time Sandy hit New Jersey it was 485 miles long. The aftermath was horrifying streets were flooded; trees and power lines were torn down leaving people thousands of people homeless or without power. During the storm New York City reported a seawater surge of 15 feet and the New York Harbor surf recorded a wave of 32 feet (Sharp 2011). Although Sandy devastated the east coast, we rebuilt; however, based on the information from this week’s lesson there will be more severe storms in the coming decades. The projected increase due to climate change, the increasing temperature of the ocean will lead to increased storms and natural hazards.

There are three steps to reduce our vulnerability to natural hazards; the first is to be aware and stay informed of the events happening around town. A part of preparedness is to have a plan for the different types of hazards that can take place in your community. The second step is to know what should be done immediately after the natural hazard occurs. Once you find a safe place evaluate your surrounds and then aid the victims. The final step is to rebuild. The best people to perform these actions are the professional, but if professional help is not available anybody except for the elderly and children should lead a hand. If I ever find myself in the mist of a natural hazard I would first make sure my family is safe and then help my neighbors and community (Pennsylvania State University 2016). I think if we are able to stay calm and use common sense all of us can survive a natural hazard.


Pennsylvania State University. Reducing Vulnerability to Natural Hazards. 2016.


Sharp, Tim. Live Science. November 27, 2011.





Joseph Carlamere: Lesson 7

I live in Swedesboro New Jersey, which is approximately 25 miles from Philadelphia. Philadelphia is rich in history and is the largest city in Pennsylvania, with a population of 1.5 million people. There are different sections of the city, each having a unique type of urban development. Center City, Philadelphia is pedestrian-oriented; meaning there are streetscape amenities, sidewalks with trees, office buildings, residential dwellings, parks, and public interest buildings all within walking distance. There is also an urban downtown section in Philadelphia; people living in this area can access public transportation to travel to work or shopping areas. Then there are people that live outside the inner city that fall within the automobile suburb. People commute daily to work, dine, and visit the attractions of the city. I enjoy visiting Philadelphia, there is always something going on in the historical district, plus the Center for the Arts offers many primetime plays and musicals.

The city that I found interesting in this lesson is Copenhagen. The aggressive urban design focused on “cycling as a social norm” is a tribute to the effectiveness of collective action. The pedestrian-oriented lifestyle in Copenhagen has contributed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the quality of life for Copenhagen’s citizens has improved (Penn State University, 2016). In Philadelphia, you can see some people biking, rollerblading, or skateboarding as a method of transportation, but this type of travel is certainly not the norm. Center City Philadelphia does not have the pedestrian infrastructure to accommodate this type of everyday travel. However, Philadelphia does have a sustainable initiative; there is a “greenworks” project that focuses on repurposing the city, there are also community gardens throughout the city, and there is a tree-planting program that helps decrease air pollution and stormwater runoff ( Staff, 2016).

The second city that I found interesting is Detroit; the urban farming developed on the open lots throughout the city is inspiring. As food prices increase the alternative is growing food for the community that is maintained by the community. This type of sustainable thinking contributes to the reduction of famine, scarcity, and pollution (Penn State University, 2016). Philadelphia has a Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC) that is responsible for creating policies to improve the life of the residents in the city. Through the FPAC initiative community members and groups, city agencies, and non-profit groups collaborate to provide food to many of families throughout Philadelphia (FPAC Staff, 2015). The best part of an urban garden is it can be created anywhere; rooftops, in pots on a patio, or an open field or lot.


“Sustainable Urban Development and Urban Farming.” Sustainable Urban Development and Urban Farming. Penn State University. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

“Phila.Gov | Office of Sustainability.” Phila.Gov | Office of Sustainability. Staff. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

“What We Do.” Philadelphia Food Council. FPAC Staff, 2015. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

Joe Carlamere_Lesson 6

The years leading up to high school were tough at times; some might say that I was kind of a late bloomer. At the end of the eight grade I stood a robust 5’3” tall and was overweight. When hanging out with friends I would always try to not partake in food consumption, not because they would make fun of me, but I felt self-conscious about what they might have been thinking. Over the summer months I grew 5 inches making me slightly taller than the average high school freshman and because of the growth spurt my weight problem worked itself out. I think many people have the same struggle as a preteenager and now looking back I can laugh about the whole thing. However, the need to fit in to what society says is the norm is not always easy; I think many of us still find ourselves worrying about social norms and spending much of our time thinking about what others might be thinking.

It is astounding that we are in the 21st century and famine still exists, for a community, city, or country to not to have access to food is deplorable. Additionally, for famine to be accepting to the point that it becomes a social norm is criminal. I am not discussing famine caused by environmental conditions or plight, but the famine caused by large agriculture commodity trader that are buying up much of the farmlands causing food riots in the Middle East and South Asia. This problem is going to take collective action to solve; there is no excuse for a company to purchase land to grow food and not provide the community in which the farm is located with that food. These same companies are recording triple profits on the backs of the people that are suffering from starvation. Swift action must be taken and it is up to all of us to make it happen.

Lesson 6

Danger Diminished Natural Resource Area

The year is 1945 the Second World War is over and the cold war is just beginning; in New Mexico mining of uranium is at its all-time high, mining companies are making millions and the United States government is getting the material to make atomic weapons, all on the back of the Navajo Nation.  During the middle of the twentieth century jobs were scarce for much of the population, especially in the Southwest, to make ends meet many Navajo men went to work in the uranium mines.  The work was dangerous, the pay was small, and the conditions were deplorable.  At the end of the 1950’s cancer rates for miners were higher than any other area of the United States.  Even though companies disregarded health reports and the warning signs and officials were slow to address the workers concerns; the Navajo miners, were denied compensation for the suffering they went through (Benally, 1997).  The case study can be found at this link

At the beginning of the 1990’s the population in Mexico City, Mexico was 16.8 million and the gross national product (GNP) was a dismal 2,971 U.S. dollars.  The increase in the inhabitants of Mexico City was from the arrival of migrants from the surrounding economically depressed areas.  The population growth directly impacted the Mexico City’s water and air qualities.  In addition, the city was the site of 48% of all Mexican industries; resulting in an increase of demand on natural resources.  In 1992, there was an explosion of one of the city’s sewer system, this led to contamination of the water table resulting in more than 100 deaths.  The outcome resulted in the creation of the National Institute of Ecology and the Environmental Attorney General.  These agencies were tasked with developing environmental regulation and protection guidelines.  However, the increase in the oversight from environmental authorities did little combat the increasing urbanization and industrialization in Mexico City (Pennsylvania State University Library).

The first location described in the above is not comparable to my hometown of Swedesboro, New Jersey.  The total population of Swedesboro based on the 2010 census is 10,300 people.  The majority of the population are upper middle class transplants from Philadelphia suburbs and other areas within the Southern New Jersey.  However, the second paragraph is slightly similar to Swedesboro, but close to the pollution laden Mexico City.  The reason I can make a comparison is because Swedesboro is located between Salem nuclear power plant and Chester refinery.  However, the majority of our community has city water and sewer treatment center, meaning the threat of contamination is minimal.  The one condition that I am concerned about is the air quality.  The byproduct of the refining process and the release of CO2, NOx, and SO2 is something that will require monitoring.


Benally, Timothy, Sr. “Environmental Justice for the Navajo: Uranium Mining in the Southwest.” In Motion (1997). Web. <

“Are Megacities Viable? A Cautionary Tale from Mexico City.” Environment 38.1 (1996). Pennsylvania State University Library.

Joseph Carlamere-Module 4

Part 1-a:  I live in Woolwich Township, New Jersey; our community has a water tower deep well water delivery system.  The way this type of system provides potable water is through pumping water from an underground water reservoir into a cleaning tank.  The water is then processed through a cleaning process and fluoride is added; from this point the clean potable water is pumped into a steel spherical tower tank.  The water is then distributed to the residents of the town through an output gravity feed pipe system; this is created through hydrostatic pressure produced by the elevation of the water tower compared to the low-lying dwellings.  The pipe sizing of the system may be the most important part of the water distribution.  The pipe size decreases in diameter as it moves away from the supply tank, which increases the pressure within the pipes in order to keep the water moving through the supply loop.  Once the water reaches my house it passes through a water meter and used for household consumption.  The water is then disposed through a wastewater treatment plant; the unpotable water is cleaned to about 95% and dumped into the Delaware River.

Part 1-b: I live in a 2 story house with my wife; here is a table of the amount of water we use per/day.

Device Gallons of Water
Shower 150
Teeth brushing 8
Hand washing 12
Shaving 30
Dishwasher 16
Clothes washer 40
Toilet flush 36
Glasses of water 1
Total 293 per/day

Part 1-c: I have to say that I am more than a little embarrassed about the amount of water we use per/day.  In order to use two gallons per/day as many people have to do, I would have to cut out showering, shaving, toilet flushing, washing my clothes, everything, but drinking water.  Ways that I can reduce water usage is by installing low-flow faucets and showerheads.  Additionally, I have to turn off the water while shaving and brushing my teeth.  Small things like these will save water, electricity, natural gas and money. Geography is important when designing a water supply and disposal system; there are many things to consider. For example; an analysis of the water table the location of the supply system and the current and future capacity.  This project really opened my eyes to the amount of water I use. If as a class we can reduce our water consumption by 50%; we will not suffer the “Tragedy of the Commons”.

Module 3: Ethics

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

This question takes into consideration virtue ethics and action ethics. The differences between these two ethical categories are what we should be and what we should do. The virtue ethical properties pertain to the thing we care about; whereas the action ethical property describes the actions we take regarding the virtual ethics. An example provided within this weeks reading; is it more important to be someone who care about the environment, or someone who takes action to help the environment. I think that virtue and action ethics are intertwined; in a perfect world people take care about the environment should and usually do take action.

  1. Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?

The core question with in action ethics is whether the ends justify the means. To determine if the action meets the means is the importance of action itself, or the consequences of the action. In order to make this discuss is to apply justice ethics, which consist of two major principles: one (1) distributive and two (2) procedural. Distributive justice focuses on the consequences of our actions. While procedural ethics focuses on which actions that are opposed to the consequences of the actions.

  1. Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?

Anthropocentrism and ecocentrism essentially focuses on the view that humans are ultimately important and the ecosystem is ultimately important respectively. These two types of ethics are very important to understand sustainability. In order to fully understand sustainability we must understand the other ethical concepts described in the blog and in this weeks reading, Sustainability will have a different definition depending on an individual ethical viewpoint. My definition on sustainability is for current generation to leave the world in better shape than the way we found it.


Module 2_Joseph Carlamere

The biogas video shows the coupling of the human-environmental system and the interactions between humans and the environment. To display the interaction in my system diagram, I listed the components of the social system and the eco-system that have a direct interface with one another than dug a little deeper to identify the non-direct collaboration. To start, by installing a biogas system removes cow dung from the community. This will improve the overall health of the people living in the town; plus removing the dung creates compost, which leads to improved soil conditions resulting in increase agriculture. Another aspect of utilizing the biogas system is better indoor air quality inside the house. This is achieved by removing wood burning stoves and installing gas-burning stoves. A byproduct of this improvement is increased health. The biogas system has increased the local economy too; the women of the town are able to bag soil that is produced by composting. Additionally, local bricklayers are able to earn a living by building the top of the biogas container. Lastly, the children of the town are able to get a better education. The mornings usually consisted of gathering branches and wood; now they are able to attend school. One more interaction between the social system and ecosystem is reforestation and increase wildlife survival rate, which is achieved by not removing excess forestry to burn for cooking.

“Coupled Human-Environment Systems.” Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems. Pennsylvania State University, 2016. Web. 26 Jan. 2016. <>.


Module 1 Getting to Know You: Joseph Carlamere

Hello class, my name is Joseph Carlamere; I was born and raised in the southern part of New Jersey in the town of Hammonton. Hammonton is a farming town known for its blueberries and peaches. I currently live in Swedesboro, New Jersey, which is located approximately twenty miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and ten miles from Wilmington, Delaware. Similar to Hammonton, Swedesboro is also a farming town, but it is growing quickly. I am pursuing a degree in Energy and Sustainability Policy with a minor in Energy Financing. I am also thinking about taking a second-degree program in Energy Engineering if it becomes available through the World Campus. This degree will provide me with the knowledge to address complicated issues such as climate change, energy consumption and renewable energy technologies. Through this course I am looking forward to learning more about the natural and social conditions of the Earth. A few additional tidbits about me; I am a Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles fan, and my wife and I enjoy going to the beach on the weekends during the summer.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph I am interested in the third sub-discipline of geography, environment and society. This encompasses the interactions between the human world and the natural world. It is important to study this aspect of geography because our actions have a direct affect on the current and future conditions of the planet. This impact is seen globally in the form of climate change; this is not a theory rather an actual environmental event. The melting of the glacier ice caps, rising sea levels, and unique weather patterns are the evidence, which explains that climate change is in fact taking place. We all have an obligation to leave the planet, our home in better condition than when we found it; unfortunately this has not been the case for previous generations.