Why do so many people fuss about a carbon footprint and global warming? Our Carbon footprint is problematic because we are the primary source of manmade global warming, contributes to urban air pollution, and contributes to oceanic and coastal acidification. Although there are no ways to reverse or stop the effects at this point, there are ways to alleviate its effects to make it possible to mediate the impact of our industrialization. We might even make somewhat of a recovery.
A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by the entirety of mankind, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent. Every individual, event, organization, service, place, or product. The usual suspects of greenhouse gas emissions are transportation, industry, and electricity production. A carbon footprint is bad because it contributes to climate change. Climate change fully encompasses drastic weather events such as toxic and acid rain, ocean acidification, melting of glaciers and icebergs, and urban air pollution.
According to epa.gov. , The cars and buses we drive account for 27% of greenhouse gases, as of 2020. This is the largest portion of recorded emissions. These gases were counted as the by-product of burning petroleum-based products such as gasoline and diesel from an internal combustion engine. Passenger cars, trucks, utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and mini-vans. These means of travel account for over 50% of the transportation sector’s emissions. The remaining portion is commercial means such as aircraft, ships, boats, and planes. Ways to alleviate the effects of this form of emissions is switching fuels. Things like switching from gas to electric or hybrid and using renewable energies. Even prioritizing public transportation. Using buses and limiting vehicular usage on roads. Another method is lessening travel demands. Optimizing city plans, allowing for easier use of sidewalks and bike paths, and allowing access to pedestrian programs benefits low-emission transportation.
These contributors are more than enough to cause major problems regarding our carbon expulsion. Every day in transportation and industry, we burn fossil fuels, getting to work and working in factories, farms, etc. Our daily lives are made up of the extreme usage of carbon-emitting devices. Should we, too, be asked to change our way of life in the name of the planet, or should we accept that our lifestyles have exceeded the appropriate bounds of earthly resistance and resources?
Caleb Smith-Sims is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.
Race is so deeply felt in this country comparatively as a form of identity, and many find solace in their roots or become defensive over misrepresentation. As Americans, we believe it to be our greatest divisor or our only hope at integration. In this melting pot of a country, why do we find it so important? At the end of the day, identity is what everyone finds the most important. Being able to be uniquely you regardless of your story, ethnicity, nationality, or race and still find acceptance is the ultimate goal.
When speaking about race, many people can give you a multifaceted answer that involves one of three usual rebuttals. The first is usually a brief explanation of their racial or ethnic background. Something along the lines of being “Black,” “white,” or “Native American.” The second answer is usually discomfort with the topic. Some people grow up with backgrounds confusing them or that make the subject of race uncomfortable and, therefore, not central to their identity.
The third explanation would be along the lines of their nationality. You see this example often with individuals of Asian descent, as it becomes simpler for most to identify with their country of origin. For example, when asking senior Mung Siam about how he identifies racially, he said, “If I was asked, I would tell people I am Asian, but as per my ethnicity, it would be Burmese.”
When asking fellow senior Braylon Sims, what was most important, Ethnicity, Nationality, or Race, he told me, “That really is a tough question.” In an attempt to be fully understood and characterized correctly. Race and its intertwined nature with identity are imperative to connect with another person. It is the first step to bringing culture into the play of relationships with others and figuring out why and how we think and act the way we do. When asking Chris Wright, a member of the Black community and fellow MSJ senior, which of his identities were the most important? He said being Black was “integral to his identity.”
After that, I spoke to cross country runner and senior student Christopher “CJ” Johnson Jr on being light skinned seen as mixed, and how it affects his life and identity. Being light-skinned can cause confusion with people less acclimated, as many will try to make someone choose a side, not realizing they’re asking someone to deny a part of their whole selves. When asked whether he internalized his encounters and whether they made him approach situations or conversations differently, he said, “yeah.” I also asked how much race means to his total identity he said, “around 60%,” and it is “not the end all be all” to who he is.
I had asked CJ if race had played a role and, if so, how important. He said it “played a considerable role in figuring out who I am. Having a predominantly white and predominantly Black side of my family led to me having to balance the two. Leading to me more so leaning to the Black side.” I asked if anything led to him leaning to either side, and he said, “family and environment.” The environment seems to be the leading determinant of what makes you in many cases. It is not news that children are products of their environments in many cases, and support and nurturing, will determine their roles as mentors and adults later in life.
When speaking to these students, it is easy to see that even though race plays a massive part in their total identity, it seems to be the culture behind it that means the most to them. Analyzing the importance of their family structure and memories made. I am in no way saying that race is not important or that it defines a person in their entirety, but I am saying that it isn’t always the way things look but the way they are behind the veil.
Up to this point, I had been able to connect with and speak to other students my age, but I needed the perspective of someone with more profound knowledge about how race affects life. Knowing this, I looked to Mr. Shawn Turner for insight into race as it pertains to one’s identity and what he has noticed; being a Black man impacts someone’s upbringing, thought process, and interactions. My first question was how do you identify racially. Asking this question to a Black American is almost the same as allowing someone to differentiate themselves with their nationality. Being born and shaped by America completely converts the lived experience and, therefore, denomination by which you associate as a Black person. As a Black young man, I consider myself strictly Black/Black American. I do this because I cannot comfortably call myself African American since I have no lived experience in or from Africa.
This allowed Mr. Turner to present the idea that, with being Black, in particular, things have context. Mr. Turner said, “I feel like, In professional settings, there is a tendency to want to say African American to identify a place where you came from and then the American piece.” He also said, “I learned to like Black more than African American.” He says this in comparison to white people and how someone whose family came from other countries would not have to be called an “Australian American” or otherwise because they’re being white, would just make them American as soon as they got here. Mr. Turner says, “I feel like as much as African American is used to dignify the Black population, it also feels kind of like a dig in a sense because I have to link you to where you came from and remind you of that but not necessarily do that in the other sense.”
I had asked Mr. Turner if there is any possibility to separate race and identity because many people have the question, ‘why is everything about race?’ or ‘how does it always go back to race?’ As people, we cannot remove any aspect of life and lived experience because it is at the expense of someone’s comfort, especially with race. Because of this, my question was not separate to remove, but separate from having varying levels of importance regarding what gets brought up or how we handle the two. Mr. Turner said, “When you talk about identity, you’re really talking about fractions…that part of my identity adds up to the whole me.”
He proceeds to also bring up the point that, “Race is the one identity of all of them that you can see. And you can’t look at me and see Christian or look at me and see those other things, but I think that’s where race has the most importance in terms of the consequences of your identity.” Mr. Turner says that you could see someone and see they are male or female but could not see that they are Christian. This is to say, a person could be seen as their race and judged as such, but it should not define them because everyone is made of the sum of their parts.
Race can often dictate encounters and one’s portrayed image. Although the image always correlates with lived experience. How do you react to things because of where you came from? What caused your thought process? When analyzing race, the meaningful drawback almost everyone seems to find in some way, shape, or form, is heritage through the culture surrounding race. Knowing where you came from to order the steps in your direction. Race brings community and signifies growth. A person I do not look like, and they do not look like me, are inherently different for that fact. We can not live the same life from that factor alone on top of the difference in the family, area lived in, etc.
Race is one of those genetic factors that tie you to your person. Race is family, history, community, and individuality all at once. I find that better understanding yourself improves your quality of thinking and pulls specific ideas out of the dark. The next time race is brought up in conversation, make it thoughtful; understanding it is one step closer to finding out what it means to you.
Caleb Smith-Sims is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.
Triple-A games are mainstream and high-budget games made by the largest development companies in the business. Game franchises like Call of Duty, NBA 2K, Grand Theft Auto, and more. Form and function, the companies, and by reflection, their games have suffered. Between the companies overworking and mistreating their employees while functionally destroying themselves from the inside. These game developers also injured their reputation with broken promises and game leaks. Companies have built a horrible reputation with gamers between criticism, scummy sales tactics, rushed quality, and lousy rapport with fans because of recent letdowns over heavily anticipated games. It is important to say that this is not the case for every AAA developer, but the frequency of these issues in recent times warrants being addressed.
On December 10, 2020, CyberPunk 2077 was released. This game was under development for nine years under CD Projekt RED. This game was anticipated to be the game of the decade, but has since fallen into obscurity. This game is an example of one of the recent trends of “Release now, fix later.” The gaming industry has long development processes and “due dates” that usually last between 3 and 5 years. These games don’t see the light of day until at least a year before release via trailers. Projekt RED made a terrible business decision and relied on customer patience. By expecting customers to wait even longer for a game that was already in development for 7 years by that point, they had given themselves a time limit. The game eventually could not stop the deadlines and was released as a buggy mess, an incomplete story with a considerable lack of promised features, and no improvement in sight.
In 2013, 2K games continued their profitable series of NBA 2K in which they added a new element of progression through micro-transactions. Fast forward to 2017, when its players started to notice the trend. The game comes out with a premium edition that costs upwards of $100. The people with the money to spend (or otherwise) will start the game with a steep advantage. Those who do not purchase the core game for $50 or $60 are forced into a vicious cycle of working for a few in-game rewards in VC (virtual currency). The use of VC becomes a problem as everything in the game costs VC. The more people complain about the micro-transactions, the more the games get abused by YouTubers and content creators, and all this happens in 9 months.
As big an issue as micro-transactions and unfinished game releases are, they are not the only issues. As presented on crappygames.org, and in my own personal experience, DLC (downloadable content) has been one of the worst gaming issues. The most recent example I can think of is Destiny. The second installment in the series, based around fighting using the power of good and evil to destroy your foes in space, has amassed $200 million since 2017. Destiny was initially released as a complete game with a full-length story and set of endgame content achievable after completion. In 2018 the game released a significant expansion called Forsaken. This content was a completely new storyline, with entirely new content. They repeated this process twice with Beyond Light and Witch Queen expansions, with another expansion on the way in early 2023.
The problem isn’t inherently with the expansions but with everything around them. For perspective, if someone were to purchase the deluxe packaging for all these DLCs, they are expected to pay around $350 alone, outside the minor content. This game does not force you into paywalls for aesthetic equipment or progression, but asks for extreme amounts of time to be equipped with satisfactory equipment. They also decided to change their game model halfway through its life cycle. The game was released at $60 and progressed into a free-to-play model. What does this mean for people who have already bought the game? Nothing. No reimbursements, just more content to spend more money on.
When it is all said and done, the tactics, micro-transactions, etc., could change if it weren’t for the players. I understand this is a hobby for a major population of people, but I also know that we, as players hold immense power in our wallets. All we do is feed the greed in these companies when we continue to consume what is displayed in front of us. We could make gaming a much better place if we all express our criticisms and say goodbye to complacency.
Caleb Smith-Sims is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism Class.
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