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Mathew Shum
Dec 11, 2022
In #UnleashValues
After a workshop that was done for Ms. Nelsen’s Grade 12 class the thoughts of the class on plastic pollution were put into a word cloud. the answer to the following questions were also generated after group discussion: What positive future do you imagine for our planet? The class envisioned a world that is and will continue to be free of plastic in the oceans. Some wanted there to be zero use of plastic but the most frequent future that was envisioned was one where plastic pollution is mitigated completely. What features of current systems seem to most impede that future? Their vision of a plastic free/ plastic pollution free world is being held back by the integration of plastic into all the products that our society deems necessary. Everyone is dependent on plastic and it will be very difficult to free ourselves from this dependence. Do you have any ideas for changes that might overcome these problems to achieve this better future? The students believed that spreading awareness to those around us was a great first step towards achieving a better future. They also understood the importance towards being conscientious and choosing products that were sustainable over those such as single-use products. Upon hearing of Plastic-Free by 2030, a campaign done by our fellow classmates, the students also seemed more enthusiastic about brainstorming possible petitions and additional campaigns!
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Mathew Shum
Nov 29, 2022
In #UnleashValues
ENVR 430 was a course i took great pleasure in taking. Being able to learn about so many issues and finding so many great resources to spread awareness. I am really happy that I took this course. I am pleased with the information that I learned in this class. I hope to be able to continue in my journey of learning more about global and local issues to spread awareness. I intend to begin with localized private actions and then choose a few key issues that I take seriously such as wildfires and plastic pollution and push strongly to signal change. I hope that my actions will signal others to make positive change so that our global and local issues can be mitigated and reduced.
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Mathew Shum
Nov 19, 2022
In #UnleashValues
I envision a world where an anti-ecological burial would be a thing of a past. This would allow our bodies to return to nature in a sense through microbes. This would prevent our bodies from remaining in a limbo of chemicals and sealed away. Through traditional anti-ecological burials we are just preventing the inevitable. If we want a better way to remember our loved ones we would move our society in the direction of ecological burials where our bodies and the money associated with funeral costs would go towards conservation. If we are to make ecological burials more of a norm it would allow for a more sustainable future. I am hoping that we push our governments to end the privatization of funerals and death to push for more ecological means. At the very least we need to begin the conversation of removing taboos around death.
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Mathew Shum
Nov 04, 2022
In #UnleashValues
I envision a world that is free of single use plastic products such as plastic bags. With the example of our oceans and how they are filled with single use plastic products. These plastics are having biotic and abiotic impacts on the marine ecosystems. With a ban of single use plastics the production of these kinds of plastics should be halted and remove the source of the continuous pollution of the oceans via plastic. We can push our government bodies to draft bills and legislations to end the production and sale of single use plastics. For the time being a continuous education of the next generation and current generations.
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Mathew Shum
Oct 28, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Using the example of Volkswagon and their avoidance and cheating of environmental law we should push for stronger laws and ensuring they are in place. I envision our governments should take more action in ensuring corporations are held accountable to the environmental laws that are in place. If these companies don't abide by these environmental law we should have boycotts of these companies until their operations realign with environmental policies. This would be done to reduce their market share and have an impact to their bottom lines.
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Mathew Shum
Oct 21, 2022
In #UnleashValues
I envision a future where our population isn't in complete fear of fire. Our population should be educated on the benefits of prescribed burns and how our society should embrace them. What our society can do is have more prescribed burns in the cooler season of spring to reduce the source of uncontrollable wildfires. This can be done to reduce the intensity of wildfires.
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Mathew Shum
Oct 14, 2022
In #UnleashValues
In class today we spoke about complex adaptive systems (CAS). A CAS is a multifaceted system such as the food and agricultural system. This is where there are many different actors in the system that may have adaptive changes when some actors are impacted. this is related to our food and agricultural system in that us as consumers are actors in the system and we can signal changes into the complex adaptive system. We can choose better foods that can lessen our impact on the environment in the energy used per crop. choose foods that use less water. First we must again educate consumers on impacts we can make on the food and agricultural system. As demand shifts, so will the land usage and which crops/ foods are produced. After education, we can actually choose the better foods and crops through research on which are the most sustainable and environmentally friendly. From this food availability and access should be improved. In addition should improve sustainability for generations to come.
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Mathew Shum
Oct 07, 2022
In #UnleashValues
In the future I have a vision of where ecological services such as natural water filtration are protected from the control of corporations or privatization. Having a market be the only ones in control of the protection of natural would leave the ecological service vulnerable to a change in the ideals for the market. If it is no longer profitable for the service to be protected it could then be exploited and degraded. We must ensure that our ecological services are protected and have multiple organizations and government body regulating them to ensure they continue in providing the services for generations to come. The big question of how will we get there is still up in the air. First education of the general public on ecosystem services is required to highlight the importance of them and to bring on the next generation of ecological service protection stewards. Then action must be taken to lobby for support of protecting known ecological services and having government bodies regulating them. Lastly, any services that are controlled by corporations for profit should be given an immediate cease order to evaluate any damages or protection being done. Afterwards the government should at a minimum take control of the management and regulation. Using the example of Nestle's usage of Strawberry Creek in California, 45M gallons of water were siphoned out of the creek to be bottled in 2015. This has drastic impacts on the provisioning aspects of environmental services. This siphoning of water left the creek depleted and had cascading impacts on local wildlife and other park users. This should serve as a cautionary tale as the US forest services did issue permits to the Nestle company. Even with a governing body giving out permits there needs to be further regulation to prevent ecological services from being exploited/ depleted.
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Mathew Shum
Sep 23, 2022
In #UnleashValues
An issue I see regarding injustices today is the injustices surrounding the oil sands in Alberta. As the construction continues for the Trans Mountain expansion project it creates many opportunities to arise. This pipeline would cross through the traditional lands of aboriginal groups such as the Secwépemc. Currently the Kinder Morgan continues without any consultation of the group. This is just one example of environmental injustices surrounding the trans mountain pipeline. In the future I envision these companies such as Kinder Morgan seek out the guidance of all impacted groups to prevent any procedural injustices from occurring. This guidance must also be taken and considered otherwise it would be pointless. As members of our society we must speak out and protest so that governments make it mandatory to seek out aboriginal groups and seek their approval before development occurs. This must be done so that further injustices never occur. Mathew
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Mathew Shum
Sep 16, 2022
In #UnleashValues
I envision a future where "required" consumption is changed. We need to shift our mindset when purchasing something. The items we consume and purchase shouldn't be for a social status or any other signaling. In my future I envision, myself and my peers will not be influenced by manufacturers to buy things we don't need. A place where we are not required to buy anything, just what we need for our own lives. Part of this is a more educated consumer who has their own personal views in the forefront of what they need to purchase and not the ideas of a corporation. Another part of this shift in mindset should have people finding more happiness from time spent with individuals than objects with big price tags. Finding such happiness from objects is fleeting and will only contribute to the climate crisis. I will not purchase items on the fly and think about what I need for my own lifestyle before purchasing something to ensure im not persuaded by anyone but myself. -Mathew
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Mathew Shum
Sep 10, 2022
In Member Introductions
Hi my name is Mathew Shum and I'm in a class called ENVR 430 at UBC. I'm really excited to be in this class to start my own journey towards making a real difference to make positive changes for climate change and sustainability. Over the weeks I will be posting every week about a different issue in hopes to bring about awareness and positive change. I hope I can find your support in sharing anything you find interesting to further the cause. - Mathew
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Mathew Shum

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