Module 9: Climate Diplomacy

WikiLeaks climate change nit5075My system diagram shows the connection between the WikiLeaks cables and climate change. The article explains how the United States used different tactics to gain support for the Copenhagen accord and highlighted the unethical ways to do business. The diagram starts with the climate change issue because it is the focus of the article and the reason for the Copenhagen accord. In my diagram, climate change is linked to the Copenhagen accord because the U.S saw this opportunity to boost themselves on a global scale and that the accord’s purpose is to reduce the impacts of climate change. The next linkage is the WikiLeaks Cables. This is the center for the diagram for it being the main point for the article. The WikiLeaks Cables reviled how the U.S was able to gain support for the Copenhagen accord. The WikiLeaks Cables also showed how the United States took this issue of climate change and lead the world on changing it. The result of the United States efforts to gain support for the Copenhagen Accord made 116 countries associating with the accord and 26 counties intend to associate with it. The WikiLeaks Cables is also linked to climate change because the United States tactics helped curb the effects of climate change. The last linkage in my system diagram shows the overall results of the Copenhagen accord. The article states that 75% of the 193 countries that are parties to the UN climate change convention and support the accord are responsible for over 80% of current global greenhouse gas emissions.

I believe that it was right for the State Department cables to be made public after the fact. It shows how the negotiations are made between countries and what is the true costs. This kind of collective action problem can be dealt with in different ways. The way the United States handled it would be different if another country was focused on making the accord happen. The issue of climate change is growing and cannot be solved by one country on their own. The individual and collective action changes are ways to begin to create ways reduce the impact of climate change. Some of the ways the United States conducted climate change diplomacy showcased in the WikiLeaks Cables can be unethical. The use of spying and threats were probably used as a last option, but should not have been used to gain support for an important issue like climate change. This effects everyone in the same way and the Copenhagen accord should have benefited all counties equally. Also, the United States does not look as trustworthy if they are spying on counties and threating them for support. The WikiLeaks Cables did raise awareness of how important the issue of climate change is on a global scale. The United State should have worked more closely with the counties wanting the same outcome and have an open discussion with the counties that were more hesitant with the Copenhagen accord. Another option was to go through the United Nations and follow their standards to create another accord on the issue of climate change.

Biogas in India


This image above is a system diagram for biogas in India, with system diagram, we can better understand the relationship between system’s components. In the diagram, we can see that how biogas affects ecosystem and social system, biogas generator uses locally accessible cow dung to produce clean methane gas, and the “leftover” slurry can be used as organic compost, which should be seen as a sustainable development since it doesn’t compromise the resources of the future generations. When comparing my diagram to the one in “What is Human Ecology?”, the same part would be that we both use arrows to show the effects, the different part would be that I use the procedure of producing biogas as a “tree trunk” and present the effects in two categories, but in the reading the author list the major topics under the two categories and find the relationships between the topics. I think the reason why we have differences and similarities is that we both know arrow can help us clear our thoughts and trace the chain of effects, but we have different ways to arrange the information. By comparing the diagrams, I think I would focus more on the correlation between different effects rather than just listing them under different categories, and I would also consider sing line arrows since it makes the diagram cleaner.

Biogas System Hollabaugh


This diagram demonstrates the social and ecosystem effects that the introduction of biogas induces. The arrows indicate how one component interacts with another. For example, biogas produces compost, which can be sold for money, and used for farming. The diagram shows three positive feedback loops (green) and one negative feedback loop (red). One example of a positive feedback loop is that biogas produces compost, which is used on farms, which in turn make more biogas. The negative feedback loop is produced when biogas is introduced. normaly cooking requires wood burning, which requires wood collecting. When biogas is introduced this need for wood burning decreases, which means the need for wood collecting also decreases. Both the wood collecting and burning had adverse affects on schoolwork, time, and health, so the negative feedback loop has a positive effect on the system. When comparing this diagram to figure 1.5 in the Marten reading, it can be noted that there are many differences. This diagram breaks down the social aspects into health, money, time, cooking, and school work, while figure 1.5 uses a broader range of the human population. Figure 1.5 does not clearly show the social benefits such as improvement to health like this figure does, which is something that can be learned by examining both figures. They do use very similar concepts however, which is what makes them similar.

Dorish Nguyen Systems Diagram

Save Bengaluru

My dad used to be a landscaper. He was paid to plant, lay stone, and add fountains wherever his customer wanted in order to make his or her yard pretty. But that isn’t all that landscaping encompassed, landscaping is the coexistence of the environment and humans. As a landscaper, my dad knew what kind of plants went with what kind of soil or was fit to certain seasons and temperatures. Though this is only one example of a landscape, it is an example of how landscape’s can be understood based on systems within them. A system diagram allows for the coexistence of the environment and humans and their impact and relationship to be visually seen. My systems diagram shows the negative effect of the use of firewood for cooking and how it called for a biogas generator, which impacts the ecosystem and social system positively. The biogas generator eliminates the negative effects of firewood, and turns them into a better ecosystem and social system, which both also impact each other. When the ecosystem is improved, so is society, seen through how each positive aspect of the ecosystem corresponding to a positive aspect in society. The core idea of my system diagram is to show the system within Bengaluru, India and the landscape of how humans and the environment can coexist, such as cow manure, a natural process, being recycled into compost, which aids humans and the environment through yielding produce and creating jobs. Since biogas generators created methane to be used as fuel, there is no need for firewood, which is shown to cause negative effects to the people of Bengaluru. Therefore, by using biogas instead of firewood, children no longer need to search for wood instead of attending school, there is less deforestation due to the decreased demand for wood, and the compost made from cow dung increases produce yield and thus improves the economy of Bengaluru. My diagram relates to the “What is Human Ecology?” because it also connects the social system and the ecosystem and talks about how human activities can influence both the ecosystem and social system. In the same way human activities influence, my diagram shows how use of firewood by humans has influenced the use of biogas, which impacts the ecosystem and social system. However, in Marten’s diagram, there is a clear cycle occurring, which nearly everything connects to everything, whereas my diagram shows a connection between aspects rather than a full reoccurring cycle. Marten’s diagram connects each subcategory within the ecosystem or social system to all other subcategories while mine only connects a subcategory of the ecosystem with another from the social system. This cycle versus direct connection causes these differences, but the importance of how the ecosystem and social system create similarities within our diagrams due to their relationship within every human action. If this similarity within the two diagrams were not present, it might not be prominent that the correlation between the ecosystem and society is crucial within systems.

Biogas System Diagram (Module 2) – Bernstein

Biogas_tmb5906_jpg.The core ideas behind my diagram are to take a better look at the landscape in the sense of how the social and eco aspects of the Biogas (Tanks) are intertwined and to serve as an examination of their fluidity. To help simplify, I colored the Biogas (Tanks) box in yellow for a starting point; the ecosystem related boxes are green and the social ones are blue. All in all, I believe my system diagram done a decent job in demonstrating the human-environment interactions. My diagram in comparison to Gerald Marten’s is very different but with a few similarities. They are similar in that they both include (in one manner or another) fertilizer, crops, and the cutting of wood. They are different in that Marten’s diagram took the number of children in consideration and that they listed that the fuel was to be used for cooking – my diagram just has it listed as “New Fuel”. I believe one of the main reasons that our diagrams differ so much is the perspective we took. My perspective is more of a “big picture” and focuses on a little of everything, while Marten’s seems to favor the social/human side of the equation (albeit it in more detail). Having a second diagram to compare to allows me to view different interactions I overlooked when making mine: the gathering things to be buried, for example. Personally I believe that the more complete picture can be found using both the diagrams.

I used a couple key concepts from module 2 to help me construct this system diagram. Biogas production in rural India affects the people and environment there in many ways.  Utilizing the biogas generator utilizes technology to increase the carrying capacity of the system.  When using exclusively firewood for fuel, the people had one resource that could be depleted.  Technology allows people to use a waste product to increase the available fuel for cooking and heat.   I highlighted the biogas generator in a different color because it is the main driver of change in this example.  Once biogas generation is possible, Firewood collection is reduced and people spend less time gathering it.  Fuel is produced from the generator which reduces the polluting smoke of firewood, and gives people an efficient form of energy.  The generator also produces usable nutrients which reduces pollution to the environment and produces income.  The nutrients also boost agricultural production which again gives people income and more food.  The addition of the generator to the system increases the stability of the system because there are fewer inflows and out flows.  My diagram is similar to Marten’s in that there are two main interaction categories of humans and the environment.  My diagram is different because it is more focused on the effect of the generator than the overall cycle.  There are similarities because the purpose of the biogas generator is to effect the dynamics of the social-environmental system.  It shows that these are complex systems and it is hard for a systems diagram to simplify it to just a couple interactions.

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Module 2: Biogas in India

My system diagram presented shows the effect how the new and old ways for cooking has on the social system and the surrounding ecosystem. The arrows show the impact on that particular topic. The diagram shows the positive and negative aspects for using each fuel source. The negative impacts shown are related to using sticks for a fuel source by decreasing health and using child labor. The biogas fuel shows the positive impacts on the social system and ecosystem. The biogas fuel eliminated the need for child labor and has less health concerns. Also, the biogas fuel has helped their economy by selling compost that was made from the waste of the biogas food to the local farmers for fertilizer. This diagram also shows the biogas fuel has more resilience over the old fuel by, not having to depend on sticks and child labor.

When comparing my diagram to Figure 1.5 in the “What is Human Ecology?” article, there are similarities and differences. Both diagrams highlight the components of the social system and ecosystem. Also, both have the same general idea of the human-environment system and how they impact each other. Both show the different components of the biogas fuel and uses of its byproducts. The differences of the two diagrams is that in the Marten’s diagram, it uses the overall population, where in mine, I broke it down into the women and the child labor aspects. Comparing the two diagrams showed how there can be different perspectives and interpretations. Both diagrams highlight the main concepts that were discussed during the video.

Anthony Russo India Biogas System Diagram


The whole problem or cause of this system diagram is that of wood stoves in homes of poor families. The wood stoves cause household smoke which can cause health complications such as eye irritation. Another negative effect of wood stoves is the time consumption associated with collecting firewood. Children are used to help find the wood which leads to them missing school. The IT revolution in the Indian technology capital of Bangalore inspires people to be innovative. People go there and get educated with new technology so they can bring their skills back home. This is a feedback loop because the education of the people is the consequence of them taking advantage of the IT revolution. People such as D Vidya Sagar, who came from a poor area of the country, used what he learned in Bangalore to invent biogas tanks to solve the problem. Biogas tanks use cow dung from the area to produce gas which is used in electric stoves. The waste product from these tanks make a compostable substance called slurry. This substance has created jobs for women of selling the surrey to farmers to use for fertilizer. The farmers believe surrey increases their cash crop yields giving them a better profit. In both system diagrams, animal dung powers the biogas generators. One difference is the positive impact the compost has on women. The two charts can be different due to location. We can learn how huge of an impact this technology has on the local people.