Edward Abbey

Edward Abbey best exemplifies a strong-willed environmental activist and an accomplished storyteller. From all of the descriptive terms that can be used to describe him, these two resonated the most with me. As a storyteller, Abbey delivers his stories in a deep, gravelly drone that is strangely soothing to the ear. After listening to him give a speech, I reread certain passages in his novel Desert Solitaire and could clearly hear his voice saturated in its pages.

Abbey appeals to my sense of humor, which is what I like about him the best. Using humor to get a point across is more effective than most people give it credit for. It’s less confrontational and can lighten the darkest of subjects. The PBS documentary Edward Abbey: A Voice In The Wilderness does a good job of showcasing Edward Abbey’s life in its entirety. It does not focus on one part of his life more than the rest, which gives the viewer a more accurate depiction of the man.

To describe Abbey’s personality as a whole would be impossible. The film depicts him as he evolves in age, which means his characteristics change and evolve along with him. He never really fits into one type of category, but the terms that seem to stick with him throughout his life are as follows: rebel, passionate, funny, and environmentalist.

By the middle of the documentary, the film has spun an accurate tale of Abbey’s life. Now it turns to his lasting impact on the environmental movement. Despite hating that his novel Desert Solitaire ended up overshadowing the rest of his novels, the book does have the most lasting impact on the environmental movement. His readers really rallied behind it, even long after his death. I’m most impressed by Abbey’s hands-on approach to writing his novels. Most of them were based on his own experiences, making them authentic to the reader.

Abbey makes a difference in the environmental world by getting the discussion started. His passionate beliefs about protecting the environment were reflected in all of his later works. He may no longer be relevant in today’s world, but the effects of his work remain long lasting and strong. Abbey cultivated the next generation of environmental activists, whether he meant to or not.

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My Connection To Nature…

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My connection to nature is the most prominent at the beach. Whenever I walk across the shoreline, I like to concentrate on the feeling of the sand between my toes. Feeling connected to nature is very important to the psyche, because we are essentially a part of our environment. Feeling out of place in your environment can have a very disastrous effect to your sense of being.

Sitting in the sand in absolute silence was my favorite thing to do while growing up on Pensacola Beach. Hearing all of the different sounds of nature soothed me and helped me concentrate. I would sometimes take my homework outside where I could feel the sun against my back just to soak up those rays of sunshine.

As human beings we need to be aware of our environment and its needs. If we take advantage of everything it gives us without giving anything back, the balance of nature will be skewed. Environmental problems like global warming and pollution are our responsibility. In the weeks following the BP oil spill, I spent most of my days out by the ocean. It was heartbreaking to see the oil residue everywhere. This event really impacted my outlook on our environment’s importance. In order for the issue to become real for me, it needed to effect me directly. Imagining all of the suffering animals was sad enough, but my favorite hobby of surfing had to take a hiatus as well. My stepdad said we would have to stay out of the ocean for a long time. Without the ocean to attract tourists, our local economy plummeted. The oil spill caused a domino effect that ended badly for all of the parties involved. We need to be much more proactive about preventing future tragedies like this from every happening again.

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Amendment Two For The Legalization Of Medical Marijuana Falls Short By 2.38% In Florida’s 2014 General Election

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PENSACOLA, FL –   On November 4th of this year millions of Floridians showed up to vote at the polls on a wide variety of issues, one of which being medical marijuana. This year’s electionhad supporters of the amendment in tears of frustration as the vote was rejected with only 2.38% more votes needed to turn the vote to their favor.

A local artist at Quayside Gallery and mother of three, Julie Morrison expressed her disappointment after the amendment’s rejection. She said, “Not only is medical marijuana safer than most over the counter drugs, it also would’ve reduced the debt of the nation and individual states. The extra tax dollars that would have been provided for the community is a great loss.” According to research done by NerdWallet, the state of Florida stands to make an estimated $183,408,640 from the revenue gained from the sales and excise tax on marijuana.

While most people have their own opinions on the use of marijuana for medical purposes, there are a few facts that must be acknowledged by everyone. First, no one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. Second, marijuana has been proven to reduce eye pressure and muscle spasms, as well as offer some relief from nausea and chronic pain. Lastly, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, states with medical marijuana laws in place had less overdose deaths from commonly described pain medications between 1999 and 2010.

Another Florida voter, Brooke Neal, an 18-year-old freshmen at Pensacola State College, said, “I personally know a number of sick people that would have benefited from the legalization of medical marijuana. Other drugs don’t work for them, and medical marijuana might. That’s why I voted for Amendment Two.” Ms. Neal goes on to say that the choice of marijuana as a treatment option should be between a doctor and his or her patient. Some Americans believe that decisions regarding medical treatments should be left to the doctors who are experienced in treating patients with the types of medical issues that medical marijuana could help.

Florida may have not passed the amendment for medical marijuana this year, but its supporters are hopeful for the future. “We were so close this year to passing [Amendment Two],” says Neal, “so I think it won’t be long until it actually becomes a law.”