Ross Hickenbottom, Sports Editor
The 2016 Sagan National Colloquium speaker series kicked off on Jan. 27 with Ohio Wesleyan geography department’s John Krygier introducing Sarah Moore who presented “Tracking trans-national hazardous waste trading: methodological problems and partial solutions.”
Moore is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the co-author of “Environment and Society: A Critical Introduction.”
She earned funding from the National Science Foundation to work with other primary investigators to analyze created data tracking hazardous substances swapped for disposal and recycling among the North American countries: Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
“(We) have some suspicions where maybe an organization like the EPA that might not be doing their jobs,” she said, citing the Flint Michigan pollution epidemic as an example.
The shakiness of reliability reveals itself when “the EPA is writing to me asking how they’re doing regulating hazardous waste,” Moore added.
This particular speech is one of a series of five talks all reviewing separate environmental issues in the western perspective that has been backed by a $50,000 Exploration Grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to collaborate with multiple universities in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
All universities involved study eastern as well as western concepts of waste and how countries in the western hemisphere, particularly Asia, work to reduce waste.
Junior environmental studies major Carter Rae, who enjoyed the informational speech by Moore said, “Most people think that when you throw something away, it goes to the local landfill. But in reality, there is a global and complex economy built around that ‘waste.’ The image of waste is not as garbage but as a commodity.”
Rae also believes more people should become educated on issues such as this, since it impacts the world on such a large scale.
President Rock Jones attended the speech as well and thought “it was fascinating to learn more about how hazardous waste moves in and out of the country and how it’s concentrated in certain regions of our country.”
“I think (Moore) did a wonderful job addressing these issues, which are so detrimental to the world today,” President Jones added.
The remaining Sagan National Colloquium speeches will be taking place on Feb. 4 and 22 as well as April 11 and 18 in either the third floor of Merrick Hall or in Benes Room B in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.