Environmental Science: Your key to a successful future

Graffiti Admin | April 10th, 2010 | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Environmental Science: Your key to a successful future

AMY KIKUTCHI Environmental Science

What do you want to be when you’re older?”

How many times have you been asked that question by your parents, grandparents, and especially those distant relatives that you see once a year at those dull family reunions? Countless times, no doubt. You see, it’s not too bad when you’re younger because you still have many years of schooling to think about your options. The problem really starts to sneak up on you once you enter in high school. There you are sitting at your gum-infested desk, staring indifferently at your course selections sheet. Hmmm… what to choose…

What we all worry about is keeping our “options open.” The major decision for you is the sciences. You need a group three elective to graduate, which means you need to take a grade 11 science, co-op, or a tech class. Most of us NT students go for the science option. Chemistry, biology, and physics. Which ones(s) should you take? But wait! Let’s not get sucked like an unforgiving tornado into that stereotypical way of thinking that those are the only three sciences we can take! As long as you have passed grade 10 science you can take earth and space science and/or environmental science. And I know you want to take environmental science.

Your face goes blank. Environmental science? What’s that? But do not fear, you aren’t the only one feeling so lost and confused. After asking some people what they thought environmental science was, these were some of their answers…

“I don’t know, you learn about the environment?”

“It’s ecology all over again…it’s stupid. You learn it in grade 10 anyway.”

“A useless course. Who cares about weather and stuff like that? You wouldn’t learn anything useful from taking that course.”

Oh, alright. So you think that you might take it because it sounds like an easy course.


At this point I get ticked. Environmental science might not be numbers and formulas but it is in no way a bird course. Those answers you just read were complete balderdash. Think I’m just joshing you? These are some quotes from students who actually take environmental science.

“People think it’s some stupid course but you learn so much from it.”

“Unlike a lot of other courses, you learn things that are actually useful to you.”

“Oh my god, I LOVE environmental science!” (Yes, love is supposed to be capitalized)

There you go, you have solid proof.

Yet perhaps you are still thinking physics would be a more practical course. But so you know that the speed of light is c=3.00X108 m/s? Unless you are going to become some physics engineer, will it really help you in your future career? Probably not. But knowing that breathing in air fresheners can kill your cilia and cause lung disorders, now that would be helpful to you.

Hoooold on! Rewind that thought. Air fresheners can cause lung disorders? You mean, that stuff that I see in those commercials with happy, smiling families kills you? Yes. To put it bluntly, it can kill you. So now you wonder what else you don’t know about the society you thought cared about your well-being. That titanium dioxide in your foundation can also give you lung cancer? That trisodium nitriloacetate in Tide laundry detergent can give you cancer? That your deodorant can give you cancer? That your insect repellent, your mascara, your baby wipes, your toothpaste, your juicy steak, and your supposedly healthy whole milk can speed you up on your road to the grave? These are the kinds of things you learn in environmental science.

People are just too ignorant. Only too often do we fall into that venus fly trap that the multi-million dollar corporations have set for you. If you want to avoid those deadly digestive enzymes that slowly corrode your soul, you must learn about the things that are really going on around you. An easy way to do that? Take environmental science.

Let me give you an example. I was sitting in environmental science class the other day and my teacher asked us what kinds of foods give us calcium. As if they had practiced this their whole lives, my whole class chorused in unison, “MILK!” I was stunned into complete silence. I felt as though I was the only living being surrounded by a bunch of milk-drinking robots. Fact#1: Just drinking milk does NOT give you all this calcium you thought it would. You need magnesium to fully absorb calcium so that your body can use it. How many people know this? Definitely not enough. Let me re-enforce this. Dairy products aren’t the only calcium supplying foods out there. Other calcium high foods include tofu, spinach, broccoli, peas, sesame seeds, bok choy, almonds, rhubarb… the list goes on. Fact#2: The milk you drink (unless it’s free range organic), contains more harmful substances than that calcium you are trying to get at. The cows are injected with growth hormones, which could give you or your future child premature or abnormal body development. That’s just the milk. Certain containers contain dieldrin, heptachlor, and hexachlorobenzene which could leak into the milk and increase your chances of getting breast, colon, and prostate cancers.

So I ask you, do you really want to drink that glass of milk every morning? Think about it.

So here you are, back to staring at that darn course selection sheet. If you want to become an engineer, than by all means, go for the usual three. But honestly, make sure you know about all your available course options. Environmental science is not useless, and is not a course for airheads. For most of us, it will be more useful for leading healthy lives. Break through the stereotypes, learn to be an individual, be aware, and know what is in the products you buy.

If that smelly Uncle Mitchell of yours asks you what you want to be when your older, even if you still aren’t sure, at least you can tell him that you are well on your way to becoming a healthy and socially active citizen that will one day help crush the corporations’ hold on innocent victim’s lives.

So make a healthy choice that will help you through these vulgar socially constructed norms. Go on, checkmark that tiny box for environmental science. Your future could depend on it.

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