Saturday, July 14, 2012

Biosphere 2

Partial view of the Biosphere Ocean
Snowball included a chance to select a learning journey from the many great places to visit in and around Tucson.  Our first choice was going to the Biosphere 2.  This was an attempt to create a completely sustainable system that could support humans and other plant and animal life.  It was an amazing experience.  

Life was was tough for the 8 person crews that inhabited the Biosphere 2.   We learned that they couldn't use pesticides to control any pests that potentially threatened their food supply.   If they had used pesticides they would have polluted their entire world (the biosphere).   At camp, when learning about systems thinking, we learned that there were two types of solutions to problems: often one might be a short quicker one and often a more difficult slower solution. Often times, the solution that you invest time and thought into is planned better and takes into consideration more factors of the system, thus making it more likely to work.   In the example for the biosphere the crew knew that dealing with the bugs manually would be better in the long run, although it was certainly a lot harder for them. 
Standing on the Biosphere beach

We have many choices for attacking the problems we have - do we try for solutions that are good for just today or do we try to attack them for the long term (forever!).  What choices do we make? The biosphere is very similar to our planet. Although each of the 5 ecosystems at the Biosphere 2 were unique, they are all tied together. The water and the air is the same across the world. We treat them like they are infinitely replenishing. Water and air,whether we think about it or not, are finite resources that we easily cause to be severely damaged and even unusable.  

Post by Green Team Student Leader, Jayaram

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