The Gilded age was a time between the time periods of the 1870s to the 1900s. Peter B. Levy proclaimed that the Gilded Age, “represented a paradox in terms of the environmental history of the United States. “, in his article “Gilded Age and the environment” (). The Gilded Age represented a time period or rapid urban and industrial growth in the United States. The rise in industrial growth produced the need for workers, therefore causing a growth in the middle class. Unfortunately as the Industry grew in the U. S. , so did the degradation of the environment.
Conversely as the middle class grew, so did the oncern for the protection of the environment. A famous author named Mark Twain, established the phrase, “The Gilded Age” for this time period, in his article “Gilded Age and the environment”. Levy denotes that Mark Twain reviled the political corruption, the uncontrolled industrial expansion, and the controversy of wealth and power. Rapid expansion of the west was a notable matter of this age. As Levy stated, “American bison symbolized the harm done to the environment in the West during the Gilded Age. “(). American bison were the symbol of the west and were noted for their immense numbers.
Due to the westward moving Americans hunting them as a sport and for their hide, they were on the brink of extinction. Other westward moving settlers dug up the terrain in search of valuable minerals, such as gold, silver, and copper. They also drove great herds of cattle into the plains and allowed them to eat the Plaines clean and farmed the land until it was infertile, leaving the plains a dustbowl. Industrialization of the cities led to the pollution and the destruction of nearby water ways. Levy expressed, “Dark sooty air was the rule, the by-product of factory smoke and coal urning stoves and furnaces.
Human and animal waste festered in city streets, and rivers died. “(). Rivers such as the Passaic River in New Jersey, was a large source of fishing in New Jersey before the Civil War. During The Golden Age however, the fish had died as a result of the pollution. These unsanitary conditions of the cities lead to the increased risk of contracting deadly diseases. Some of which consisted of Cholera, typhoid, and tuberculosis. Soon after the middle class Americans realized the effects of this industrial expansion and began demanding reform. More Americans began to participate in outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, and bird watching.
Americans also realized that the natural treasures of the U. S. were also depleting. Levy stated that, “95% of forests in Michigan were cut down”. Over the next several decades, the U. S. Government passed laws protecting national forests and parks. Cities such as New York, began constructing parks as an effort to beautify the city. The Gilded Age was a time period of natural degradation. The celerity of the growth of the nation’s Industry contributed to the destruction of the nation’s natural reserves. Along with the growth of Industry came the growth of the middle class.
Despite the harm of this age upon the environment and the insanitary conditions of the cities, this age led to greater reforms in the preservation of nation’s treasures. In summation this age had both a positive and negative impact on the land and the preservation of it. Critique The article, “Gilded Age and the environment”, by Peter B. Levy, was written in a progressive format. Levy named events as they happened throughout history. However, Levy did not take the traditional approach for depicting the Gilded Age. The Gilded Age was known for being filled with political corruption.
Levy on the other hand, depicted the environmental degradation of the time period. Although this alternative approach was an interesting and informational approach to the Gilded Age, it lacked some of the distinguishing features of this age and Levy seemed to dwell upon the less significant events and facts of this age, such as the population status of individual animals. Connection Peter B. Levy, author of the article, “Gilded Age and the environment”, displayed two major themes in his article. One being the environmental degradation and the overall impact of he Gilded Age.
Another, a bit less prominent and hidden, being the irony of how this age destroyed many parts of the environment, yet it also paved the way for environmental protection laws. This theme ties felicitously with the theme of appearance versus reality due to the Gilded Age’s misleading appearance and its interesting and unexpected innards. The Gilded Age appeared to be a catastrophic time for the environment, but it was in turn was a stepping stone for environmental protection laws for the future generations. Part II “Soon we’ll cure diseases with a cell, not a pill” Summary
In his TED Talks, Siddhartha Mukherjee questions the traditional logic of curing diseases. For many generations, scientists have been curing diseases with a simple model as stated by Mukherjee, “have disease, take pill, kill something” (“Soon we’ll cure diseases.. “). Although simple, this model has cured a handful of diseases, but not enough. As Mukherjee explains, “what number or fraction of reactions can actually be targeted by the entire pharmacopoeia, all of medicinal chemistry?.. 0. 025 percent of all chemical reactions in your body are actually targetable by this lock and key mechanism. Soon we’ll cure diseases.. “).
Medicine can only cure a very small portion of all of the ailments known to man. After experiencing pain in his knee after going out for a jog one morning, Mukherjee explains how he formulated an alternative methodology for perusing the cur for diseases. Mukherjee soon was informed that he has osteochondral arthritis, which is known to be a common ailment. This however caused Mukherjee to begin researching a culprit for the cause of osteochondral arthritis. After many failed attempts, a research student from Australia proposed a new approach to solving this predicament.
He proposed, as Mukherjee explains it, “there is such a thing as a skeletal stem cell… the degeneration or dysfunction of this stem cell is what’s causing osteochondral arthritis” (“Soon we’ll cure diseases.. “). After conduction some research, this hypothesis was proved to be correct. This style of thinking opened a new methodology for curing diseases. Critique Siddhartha Mukherjee used a linear, but effective approach in the presentation of his TED Talk. Mukherjee proposed a problem, then provided a solution for said problem. To support this solution, Mukherjee told a real story that showed the rinciple solution in action.
Although the presentation of this TED Talk was simple and not outstanding in terms of visual support and a captivating story or presentation, Mukherjee’s presentation displayed his firm understanding of the topic of which he was speaking about. He also displayed a new and more versatile method of thinking that may be beneficial to the medicinal field Connection Siddhartha Mukherjee’s TED Talk displays a clear theme of appearance versus reality. Scientists have used the traditional methodology for finding cures for diseases for many generations.
This approach has appeared to be the most effective yet, but Mukherjee believes that this approach can only go so far and that scientists must adapt to accommodate this impediment. Mukherjee proclaimed, “And there’s no perhaps. This is what we’re doing. This is what’s happening, and in fact, we’re slowly moving, not away from genomics, but incorporating genomics… ” (“Soon we’ll cure diseases.. “). Mukherjee stated that scientists have realized the reality of the limitations of the traditional approach to curing diseases and they have changed the methodology that they use to cure diseases.