Thursday, September 23, 2004

The problem of the Missouri River

I have become interested in the Missouri River because we have the same problem in my country, Taiwan. Every year the Missourians have faced the shortage of water, but there are many people in other places along the Missouri River facing flood. This water distribution is unbalanced. The Missouri River is a long river and goes through lots of states, but these problems have disturbed the people’s lives and made species of animals homeless. Now there is a plan; the corps of Engineers are going to build reservoirs upstream of the Missouri River. These reservoirs will store the sources of water, and then give the water to everywhere according to people’s need. However, many environmental groups are worried that dams and reservoirs are artificial, and it will destroy the inhabitants. Besides, this plan will change the original channels, and the environmental groups criticize this fault; they think if the channels change, these will bring incredible damage to lives.

I am planning to write that we should have some arrangements about the situation of the Missouri River. No life can live without water, although water sometimes is very dangerous. Flood and drought are the serious things the Missourians are facing. First, this river has been planned for several years, and now the corps are ready to do this, but we believe that it is not the most wonderful thing but it is the only one thing we can do to make our life better than before. Second, according to the article “Returning to farmland to wetland” (Olson, 2004), we get the information about the fact that there are some solutions to the habitat of birds, and other lives in the basin of this river; this plan will prepare a continuous corridor for them. Third, farmers will move their crops to wetlands to avoid flood.

I found some articles that gave me varied information about the Missouri River, especially about flood and the river plan; and I still need to find articles about what effect this plan will cause, and what the people in the basin of the Missouri River will do.

Lambrecht, B. (2004, Mar. 19). Corps is ready to adopt river plan, but controversy continues to flow. St. Louis Post- Dispatch, p. A1. Retrieved from LexisNexis.
Olson E. (2004, Jul. 6). Returning farming to wetland; Agriculture Dept. aims to ease flooding, benefit wildlife. The Washington Post, p. A17. Retrieved from LexisNexis.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A Mouse's Marriage

Once upon a time, there was a family of mice. The father in the family had always thought that he had a pretty nice daughter, and she had to marry the greatest guy in the world. The mouse father went out everyday to find a guy who was the best match for his daughter.

When he was looking for his son-in-law one day, he felt very hot, and he had to take his jacket off. Then he realized,“Yes, the sun is suitable for my daughter”. He asked the sun,“You are the greatest one in the world, you make everyone sweaty. I would like to let my daughter marry you”. But the sun rejected him, because the sun said that the cloud was better than him. When the cloud floated by the sun, it would cover the sun, and no one could feel the heat and light from the sun.

The father kept searching for the cloud. Suddenly, he found that it became dark because of the cloud covering the sun. The father told the cloud,“The sun told me that you are the best one in the world, so I decided to let my daughter be your wife”. But the cloud rejected him and told the father that although he could hide the sun, when the wind puffed, the wind would separate him into several parts.
After listening to the cloud’s talking, the father started to look for the wind. A Few minutes later, he felt fresh because of the wind blowing. The father asked the wind," The cloud said you are the best one in the world, so I regard you as my daughter’s husband”. But the wind disagreed with the mouse. The wind told the mouse that he should ask the wall, because of the wall always interrupting the wind’s traveling.

The father turned to find the wall, and requested the wall to marry his daughter. Surprisingly, the wall said,“You have already made a mistake, the greatest bridegroom is you, mouse. You know, you always break me; you drill into my body, so you are the best one in the world”.

At last, the father realized that the most suitable for his daughter was a mouse.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Farming on wetland

According to this report,” Returning farmland to wetland,” by Eric Olson, the flood caused by the Missouri River has been existing for a long time, and it destroys the fields in the basin of the Missouri River all the time. Farmers are the first group falling victim to the flood, because they lose their crops which have already been grown by farmers. Therefore, it is good news to change the farms to wetland, reserve places for wildlife, and improve the water quality. This project gains a lot of support, and it will set a long corridor for many species of animals and plants; besides these advantages, this project will decrease the rebuilding cost of harm caused by flood and improve the situation of water in the lands. Although farmers change their farmland to wetlands, they still are the owners and won’t lose anything.

After hard farming, farmers look forward to great crops, but the flood from the Missouri River spoils their work. This program is a good idea. In the end, farmers will be able to get this way to solve their problem, and other kinds of lives are going to have a new place instead of being homeless.

First, people living along the Missouri River are waiting for a method to help them to avoid flood. They can’t have a high life quality and they always are worried about their property. The river plan is a good chance, and it brings hope for a new nice environment. People have things they have already owned, and wildlife will not lose their habitats; they all are given new opportunities to survive.

From another article we got some information (Lambrecht, 2004) that some people do not support this plan; they think this project is not natural. They will build a new place for the fish, birds, and other species of life, and maybe they will die because of new habitats. Why did wildlife choose their original places? There is food there, and they are familiar with the condition. This plan will move them to a place people will build for them, and people can watch them. Why not? It is a good decision.

Finally, this project is designed by experts and scholars, who have planned this project for many years. They will do better and better with new technology; of course, it will bring some troubles to people and the environment in its process, but if they do not do that, the flood will exist as it does nowadays. According to this article, we can understand farmers’ discomfort, and we hope they can leave that situation as soon as possible.

To improve people and their lives’ situation, we have to make process in our life. In spite of a new try, we will never miss any chance.

Lambrecht, B. (2004, Mar. 19). Corps is ready to adopt river plan, but controversy continues to flow. St. Louis Post- Dispatch, p. A1. Retrieved from LexisNexis.
Olson E. (2004, Jul. 6). Returning farming to wetland; Agriculture Dept. aims to ease flooding, benefit wildlife. The Washington Post, p. A17. Retrieved from LexisNexis.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The dispute about the Missouri River plan

According to “Corps is ready to adopt river plan,” written by Bill Lambrecht, the Army Corps is preparing for setting reservoirs to avoid the drought, but this decision will change the flow channels and hurt the lives around the Missouri River, and then have influence on the economy of the Missouri River. They have planned this for 14 years, and they have decided to save water upstream- Lake Oahe, Lake Sakakawea and Fort Peck Reservoir. This article tells that the river plan is to build artificial reservoirs and these will change the flow channels. It is not natural, but brings convenience to people’s lives. But there are some problems. The Missouri River goes through several states; if the reservoirs acquire water from upstream, the people downstream will lack the resource of water. Farmers need this river to grow their crops, businessmen need this river to transfer their products, and many kinds of fish need this river to survive. The environmental experts are worried about this plan, which will decline the amount of wildlife because the channels will change.

Dams will be helpful to improve the problem we are facing today- the shortage of resource of water. People can not live without water; moreover, it is an industrial world, and everything, like plants, agriculture, animals and human depend on water, but now we are unable to distribute it very well.

For getting more convenience and requirement, we need some river plans. This river plan has been designed for a long time, but it has not started; consequently, the problem of shortaage of water has still existed. People complain about this problem and are confused that we are in the basin of the Missouri River, but we have to stand the embarrassment of water being limited. The corps have to make sure that it is necessary to bring more water to people.

Second, the first thing environmental workers are always thinking about is how to protect the animals and nature, instead of improving people’s lives. In this article, they announced the disadvantages of this plan repeatedly, and they hope to affect people to oppose the corps. If people can not have enough demand for basic life, we will not have energy to take care of other things.

Finally, we are not able to satisfy everyone, but we can do our best to decrease the harm to other people, and then think about how to reduce the effect on the wildlife. The environmental groups have the right to help birds and fish, and suggest that the government do something to protect them. This is a free country; everyone can discuss the policy, and then reveal whether they like it or not. Therefore, the government has to choose the best opinion and make people’s lives better.

Although the river plan will hurt the downstream, it will solve the drought problem and use the water in order. This is what we can do now, and with the technology developing, we will find the way to make the situation in wildlife and business better and better.

Lambrecht, B. (2004, Mar. 19). Corps is ready to adopt river plan, but controversy continues to flow. St. Louis Post- Dispatch, p. A1. Retrieved from LexisNexis.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The reaction of the permit gotten by a cement plant

According to “Cement plant gets air permit” by Sara Shipley, the permit to set a cement plant is given among many criticisms. It will bring a lot of jobs and profit to the economy of Missouri state. However, the environmental protectors object to this decision. In their opinions, people could get benefits from this plant, but they neglect that they will have to spend more money and time to clean the air in the future. According to this report, a cement plant will emit nitrogen oxides and this material will cause respiratory diseases. Therefore, environmental groups suggested to the federal agency that the cement plant use technology called “selective catalytic reduction”, but this advice was not accepted because of cost and time. This article revealed that government just valued the short –distance view of profit instead of the plan for the next generation. Nowadays, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has some excuses protesting about using the equipment, including the cost and effect. The cement plant ignores their emission on purpose, and then cheats people by suggesting that their emission just has a little bit of impact on the air.

People hope to get a wealthy and comfortable situation, so the cement plant is important for the people living near St. Louis. But we have to recognize that this plant will bring people some attacks.
First, we got the information from the beginning of this article that this cement plant will be set on the banks of the Mississippi River. It is easy for the plant to gain their materials and export their products, but it is disadvantageous for inhabitants because it will pollute their water resource. There shouldn’t be any buildings near rivers. In many countries, they have rules to ban people from setting factories close to water. Why could the U.S government permit it, especially since it is a highly developed country?

We have faced the hugest economic slump in all the world in these years, and many people have lost their jobs. It is good news for those people because they can earn money from working in the plant, but if we lose health and clean conditions, we can’t make the original clean air come back. Even if the plant tells us that they will reduce the air pollution to the lowest situation, it still has emission from the plant, and it will hurt lives many years later. When people start to feel bad, it will be too late.

Last, government should take strict steps to control the cement plant, and there is technology that can be used to reduce the pollution. Once they decide to allow the plant setting, the role government plays is as a serious judge instead of a friend of the plant. We hope the government and environmental protector will help residents to decrease this damage, and provide more efficient equipment for this plant to check their emission.

No matter whether the cement plant will bring pollution or not, the most important thing is how to evoke people is value of their environment. If people living near this plant are able to remind themselves to notice their surroundings all the time, it means people will protect lives from pollution damage.

Shipley, S. (2004, Jun. 04). Cement plant gets air permit. St. Louis Post- Dispatch, p.AO1. Retrieved Aug. 25, 2004, from Lexis Nexis.