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A Wash (Week Six)

Anne Dalke's picture

I didn't go into the woods this Monday morning, when I was spending the time curled up cozily in my apartment in Center City, watching the news of the "Frankenstorm," the "monster" Sandy, puzzling over the disconnect between my "hurrication" and the media description of the disaster swirling around me. Ever since mturer put the problematics of representation back on the table (naming hurricanes to make them less threatening?), and froggies315 provided that  "awesome" windmap for comparison with the wierd music videos the Weather channel was using for their live coverage, I've been thinking about ecological literacy (okay, well, just thinking about it more pointedly), wondering what more responsible reporting might look-and-sound like.

I may have found one example in this morning's NYTimes: it's about the enormous oyster beds, built up over 7000 years and now entirely depleted, that once formed underwater reefs around the shores of New York, creating "undulation and contour on the harbor bottom that broke up wave action before it could pound the shore with its full force. Beds closer to shore clarified the water through their assiduous filtration...this allowed marsh grasses to grow, which in turn held the shores together with their extensive root structure."

Having destroyed all that, NYorkers made themselves more vulnerable to storm surges like the one that hit the city last night...

I look forward to returning to the woods next week, and attending to what difference weather has made in the interim.


Shengjia-Ashley's picture

I was taking a bus ride from

I was taking a bus ride from philly to New York city the other day. When the driver told me that the bus in entering the city, I looked outside window for my first visual view of the great city with my own eyes. However, I was very disturbed to see a lot of garbage in the swamp areas just outside the city. I passed New Jersey on that ride and saw long-leg birds standing on the swamps there, but I couldn’t see the elegant birds on the swamp areas of New York. Failing to maintain the outskirts is the common problem among big cities. A lot of garbage is also damped on the outskirts of Shanghai- where I came from. People always put much attention to the center of the city and forget to maintain the environment of the outskirts, simply because the clean and prosper center city makes the whole city “look good”. So all the "unwanteds" are swepted to the outskrits.