Joseph Kelly Alternative Spring Break Reflection Day 3
So far on this trip, I have primarily worked in two houses, bonded with my peers, and learned more about the aspects of natural disasters and relief. Working in the houses, I did a variety of things such as paint prepping, sanding, working with hot mud, and texturizing paint. Many of these things, I didn’t know before this trip. Working with the hot mud was my favorite because I saw the most results by the end of the day from sealing all of the holes in the wall and sanding it down to make it level with the wall.
Something else I learned non-construction related is the impact global warming has on natural disasters. In the 1900’s, there would possibly one major natural disaster every century. But in recent years, there are major natural disasters every 5 to 10 years. Due to global warming, there has been an increase in moister in the atmosphere. As a result, there has been more precipitation, which therefore increases the amount of rainfall and seawater that is the ocean. Within the next 50 years, it is projected that where the downtown campus of Pace is, there will likely be 7 feet of water due to the rising water levels. Something that particularly shocked me was that vegetarians are actually saving the environment because animal farms are actually one of the biggest causes of global warming. While on this trip, I actually learned a lot about vegetarianism because of many of my peers on this trip on vegetarians themselves. While I can’t currently see myself going vegetarian, I definitely gained a new perspective on what it is like.
One of the most emotional moments for me this week was when one of the homeowners gave us her story of Hurricane Sandy. While she described the destruction of her home from being flooded with 7 feet of water and her struggle to live someplace after, she began to get emotional which made me realize that this nightmare is not over yet for some people. Realizing where I was 5 years ago, and how much has changed since then for me made me feel an enormous amount of remorse because for her because not much has changed. Then realizing how many houses are still destroyed from not only Sandy but Harvey as well, it made me more motivated to do more for those that have been affected by natural disasters.
In 5 years, I hope that my impact here will remain. However, with global warming that may not be possible. While many homeowners near the sea are raising their houses to avoid their houses being flooded again, there very well may come a point where the water will be there to stay and nothing can be done then. The longest and most permanent impact that can be made is through the government to raise awareness for global warming and to push Congress to make more previsions to eliminate the amount of greenhouses gases that are let into the environment.