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Kevin Jiang
Dec 02, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Hey everyone, As we wrap up the closing moments of completing this class, I just wanted to tell everyone in this class, both students, Dana, and Kai that this was a class that was something else entirely. When I first registered for this class, I was a student just looking for an interesting class to fulfill upper-level science credit requirements. What I didn't know was how different this class was structured, and even if there were no exams or papers to complete, the learning and participation was more engaging and interesting than the rest of the classes at UBC. I can confidently say that this is probably the only class from my undergraduate experience that I won't be forgetting any time soon. I know that I will be taking away how to think critically and analyze environmental issues at the broader scale, as environmental problems are inherently complex and require much more than surface level analysis. Big props for professor Kai to try something new this term. Don't forget to complete the course evaluation for this course, as it would help the next set of students learn about environmental issues. Looking forward to hearing from the rest of the presenter groups!
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Kevin Jiang
Nov 19, 2022
In #UnleashValues
We were introduced to various sustainable alternatives to the traditional burial plots and cremations in class today. While it's great that we are addressing these inefficient and ecological straining methods, we should also carefully consider the possibility of organ donations after death. Living is already a difficult task already, and those that experience organ failures are unable to enjoy life to the fullest. If we view life as a right, then we should make organ donations after death a mandatory system. All living people should be able to enjoy and cherish the continuation of life, while also respecting those who have passed and chose so valiantly to donate.
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Kevin Jiang
Nov 04, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Having purchased some clothes online recently, I noticed that all companies seem to seal the new clothes (with labels!) inside disposable plastic bags. I found it really interesting that Nike even shipped the package in a paper bag with "Sustainability" in bolded text, even though there was a lot of plastic bags inside. Given Patagonia's reputation with environmental sustainability at the forefront, it was surprising to also see that they use plastic to seal their clothes. I get that these small supply chain issues can be overlooked by management, even if there are good intentions, like shipping the package in paper bags. I will reach out to both Nike and Patagonia to inquire why they use these plastics, and hopefully get them to change these small things. Given Vancouver has already banned single use plastics, I envision that sealing clothes in plastic to ship them will soon be a thing of the past.
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Kevin Jiang
Oct 28, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Very recently, some policies regarding tech e-waste in the EU has made them pass a law for all electronic devices to use UBC C as a universal plug. Apple isn't very happy about this as they have been able to monetize their proprietary lightning cable. It's been rumoured that the next iPhone will switch to USB C as a direct result of EU laws. What I find appalling about this situation is the lack of environmental protection and consumer protection laws we have in North America. I hope that in the future, more environmentally progressive parties in this country are able to pressure our governments into increased corporate regulation and do what is possible to protect the environment and us as consumers.
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Kevin Jiang
Oct 21, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Ok, so the title is very vague but I did that on purpose. Coming into class today, I answered "True" to the qualitative properties of fire over different period of time not being different. That's because the mechanism of fire is not inherently obvious, and I'm sure that many people in the general public would think the same. To tackle the burning hotter problem, we need to address the problem at the source, climate change. Temporary solutions such as controlled burns are just quick results to the larger problem. If we value the wilderness and forests so much, we must take action to protect it. I hope that there will be continued education surrounding climate change, as that would help resolve many of the false assumptions that are drifting out there.
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Kevin Jiang
Oct 19, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Previously I took an agriculture and farming course that was concentrated on use integrated pest management (IPM) strategies rather than conventional pesticide approach to sustainable farming practices. This area of study is relatively modern, especially compared to the widespread use of pesticides as a management and mitigation strategy for healthy crop growth. What is interesting is that farmers are highly reliant on just using pesticides to solve a problem, rather than adapting and using IPM strategies. We already know that there are drastic effects that pesticides pose to the environment, and in the long term they may also cause crop damage. This means that IPM is a valuable tool that can mitigate the use of pesticides, and help protect our planet better. I believe that it is up to us a scientists and researchers to provide these modern solutions to the agriculture industry, to promote a more sustainable farming practice. Those of you in government consulting positions with these industries have to modernize and promote these new practices, because there really only are benefits to adopting this strategy.
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Kevin Jiang
Oct 07, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Water, was one of the few ecosystems services that was discussed in lecture today. Perhaps the most disturbing but also socially accepted thing was enabling access towards trading these ecosystem services. This is probably accepted due to how these services and commodities are valued in our capitalist system. However, even if water is valued in an extrinsic economic sense, there is still intrinsic value that has to be determined by the individual. Water is important ecosystem service to all people, and as such, should not be available to trade in the international markets. We have already seen the disastrous consequences of commodity trading, especially oil, which has been heavily speculated and abused for individuals to make a buck. Also did you know that there are orange juice futures and options that are available for investors to speculate and trade!??? Before commodity trading gets any worse, we should be mindful and prevent further commodities and ecosystem services from reaching the markets. Unfortunately, at the individual level, there is very little one can do about this issue. However, we can do our best by investing our money in credible and environmentally conscious investments. The term ‘ESG’ which stands for environmental, social, and governance are a broad set of investment products that seek to invest in more fair and transparent products.
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Kevin Jiang
Sep 23, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Economic justice gives all people equal opportunities to seek to life a justified and fair life. Big corporations and wealthy individuals shift the balance of power in the economic sense. As a result, few people with large amounts of money control our institutions within society. How does this affect ecological and environmental policies and justice? Well, any economic development in our society is based on economic and social policy. Large corporations and individuals who have (hard) economic power are more likely to use this power to obtain what they want. An example of this would be the halibut example given by Kai in class. When local fisheries and communities are facing economic stress, licenses to fishing are transferred from these struggling communities to those who have the wealth to monopolize industries. Of course, these things wouldn’t happen if every individual had the same economic output and potential. Additionally, the balance of economic power shifts slowly, and the process of wealth transfer is not always just or fair. In the end, it is always up to the government to administer such policies. Big policies such as UBI, environmental policies, and anti-monopolistic anti-trust laws are to be administered by the government. If we are to move to an equal, more just and fair society, economic justice serves as one front that affects both individuals and the environment. Kai also mentioned about the sphere of influence. Economic justice in a sense cannot be accomplished by individuals or communities. We need people in all levels of government to be honest and transparent about their roles and responsibilities, especially if they are highly impactful to their citizens. If current politicians are unable or unwilling to create changes, this means that we (students --> future leaders) are responsible for making these changes.
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Kevin Jiang
Sep 16, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Throughout my childhood, I lived in smaller towns and communities where most people knew each other by name. There was a sense of community and cooperation between people, even if such actions were not verbally discussed. I now live in Vancouver BC, and even with all the people everywhere, feels more isolating than living Columbia MO. Perhaps times have changed, and people have changed too, but we should always attempt to create a strong local community, even if the task seems impossible. Even in a bigger city, there should be ways for governance and individuals to seek to build communities. Local libraries, community fridges, and social events should be shared and encouraged. While not directly related to consumption and materialistic goods, I believe that there is an inherent connection. When individuals are isolated from the community, and modern society promotes competition and 'flexing' of social class and status, people become increasingly depressed about their own state, especially if they believe they do not belong. I felt the same way for a long time living in Vancouver too, and only when I joined clubs and communities that were social and supportive did my view on society change. We should thrive in communities which can indirectly influence global consumption. #UnleashValues
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Kevin Jiang
Sep 16, 2022
In Member Introductions
Hey all! My name is Kevin Jiang and I am a 4th year (actually 6th year but that's another story) Biology student at UBC. Unlike all the other students who have a environmental science background, I can't say that I do, as my studies were focused primarily around biochemical and cell biology. Given that it is my final term of studies, I am taking the opportunity to branch out and take some courses outside of my comfort zone. Currently really excited to beginning this term with professor Chan and the wonderful student body in ENVR 430. I can't wait to learn more about the various environmental issues that impact us in the modern day, and to develop strategies and solutions best used to address these climate issues. #UnleashValues
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Kevin Jiang

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