Wednesday, January 15, 2014

First Blog: John Muir

So this is my first blog, and I am a junior mechanical engineering student... So this is a bit of stretch for me. But I can guarantee this will be much more enjoyable than a heat transfer homework assignment for as much as that is worth. So hopefully you like hearing an engineer try to blog.

Since I am starting my first environmental science class, I thought it would be appropriate to blog about the earliest person in the environmental movement on the list, John Muir. Credited with starting the United States national park program, John Muir was an incredibly influential figure in the late 1800's and early 1900's. He was born in Scotland and had a reputation for getting into trouble apparently. His family immigrated to America and he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After a work experience that almost left him blinded, Muir headed out to nature to follow his passion that he discovered during his studies in college. 

John become quite the environmental advocate once he entered the field. He walked from Indiana to Florida and visited Cuba to explore nature. These are minor events compared to what happened after he headed out west. After seeing the beauty of Yosemite, Muir convinced a man of political influence to preserve the area as a national park to protect it permanently. He co-founded the Sierra club, which is still active in wildlife preservation today.  He opposed a major dam for years that was eventually built by San Francisco. From what I gathered from the web page I read about John Muir, he really got America to start thinking about trying to save some of the country's natural beauty. This would be a difficult task in the midst of a rapidly developing nation during or right after the industrial revolution. His passion allowed him to see what other people destroyed in order to achieve "progress". I am certain many viewed him as a crazy environmentalist who  was just standing in the way of things that needed to be done, but society needs people like this to hold onto natural beauty. Hopefully when I get angry with one of these people in the future for impeding my "progress" as an engineer, I can remember to come back to read this blog... Thank you John Muir.

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