The Three E’s

A Look At the “Three E’s”- Economy, Energy, and the Environment

Human beings have found ways to control the habitats, which we live and in order to use them to our benefit.  Human beings no longer just live to find food and shelter, so we are able to advance and create societies that allow us to have certain luxuries that make our lives easier.  We now have industries and the Economies that rely on the Earths resources in order fulfill our needs.  In this blog we will be looking at the relationship between the Economy, Energy, and the Environment (EEE).  These three areas are very much interconnected.  Without the environment there would be nothing to support the economy.  Before the last century human beings had a population that the Earth could sustain.  But since the Industrial Evolution the world’s economy worked to convert the Earths resources into materials that we as human beings could use.  Humans believed that any problems that came up could be solved with technology, but this way of thinking is unrealistic.  All of this growth in the economies allowed the human population to grow and now there are so many people on the planet that it is unrealistic that our consumption rates can stay the same because the Earths resources are of limited supply.   (3)

The Figure above shows how each of the E’s has seen some type of impact do the the way human beings are consuming

http://media.photobucket.com/image/the%20three%20E%252527s%20chris%20martenson/neuralnetwriter/financial/Education/ChrisMartenson/ChrisMartenson_Chapter2_TheThreeEs.gif

 

Chris Martenson

            Chris Martenson is the author of his popular website, ChrisMartenson.com.  He is an independent economist who most well known for his Crash Course video series.  These videos talk about the significance of the “three E’s” which are the economy, energy, and environment.  Chris earned his PhD from Duke University, and an MBA from Cornell University.  (1)

The Changing numbers of EEE’S

 

In the six videos UK crash course the speaker Chris Martenson speaks about how the three E’s (Economics, Energy, and Environment) are all connected and how the view points of these topics conflict with the reality of the situation.  The way that Economists see the world is that everything being done should lead to growth.  The Economists are working towards experiential growth that will lead to some huge implications.  The way that economies work at this point in time is that all money is loaned into existence.  The problem with this is that there is always more debt than money in the system.   Because this is how our system works perpetual growth is a requirement for the modern banking system. 

 Our system always needs to grow our economy does not do well when it is not growing.  The problem is that in order for this type of growth to continue there needs to be a large supply of resources.  Unfortunately we are growing at such a fast rate that we are depleting all of the Earth’s resources.  We have been borrowing and consuming so much that we have created an issue that has not been seen in history before.

This type of growth is called Exponential Growth.  Exponential Growth creates a graph that looks like a hockey stick.  As seen below.

 

 Human population growth has been growing at an unsustainable rate and is quickly approaching the capacity that the earth can sustain everyone. The figure below shows how with only 2% growth of the economy how many years supply we have left of different resources.

 

 

 

 In the last 50 years some countries that once were able to be energy sustainable have now grown in populations to a point that exceeds what that country can provide for its people. With the resources depleting so will the economies because the Earth cannot supply the resources needed in the environment because they are of limited supply.    With the world reaching its capacity for growth humans need to take a look at how we can deal with having a little less energy every year. 

 

 

 

After looking at this information you can see you the three E’s are related. It is important to realize that the Earth cannot provide for us forever.   Human beings need to either try to reduce their consumption rates or learn to live with less.  I believe that right now there is a lot of waste in how we consume and produce.  It’s important to make changes to reduce our consumption so that we don’t end up creating an environment that we can’t live in anymore.  I believe it is important to listen to what Chris Martenson says in order to realize the problem and create ways to reduce this problem. 

 

Sources

  1. The Huffington Post. “Chris Martenson, Ph.D.” The Huffington Post. 2011. Web. 23 Nov. 2011. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-martenson-phd&gt;.
  2. “ChrisMartensondotcom’s Channel – YouTube .” YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. . N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisMartensondotcom&gt;.
  3. Withgott, J. & Brennan, S. (2010). Environment: The science behind the stories. 4th Ed.San Francisco: Pearson Education
  4. -. Chris Martenson Lecture. N.d. -, -. Google. Web. 23 Nov. 2011.

 

 

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Evolution: A living fossil

Evolution

The world we live in today is made up of millions of different species but it was not always this way. Over time the world began to change and species began to emerge and change over time. When scientist refers to evolution it broadly means change over time, and then biological evolution consists of genetic change in population of organisms across generations. The reason that different species have different appearances, functions, and behaviors is due the changes of genes over time. Biodiversity or ecological biodiversity refers to the variety of life across all levels of biological organization, including the diversity of species their genes their populations and their communities. These evolutionary changes occur to help organisms better survive the environment that they live in. For example the shape of a birds beak may change depending on what foods they eat or where they find the food that they eat. If the bird’s beak changes and makes it easier for the bird to find its food then this allows the bird to survive for a longer time so it can reproduce and pass on its genes to the next generation. Due to evolution and biodiversity the world we live in today is full of a large variety of species and organisms that are all well adapted to their specific environments.

Why hasn’t the Horseshoe Crab changed for millions of years?
The Horseshoe crab is commonly referred to as a living fossil because it evolved during the Paleozoic Era about 250 million years ago. These organisms have had as much genetic variation as many other species, but are so well adapted to their ecological niche that large-scale species radiation simply hasn’t occurred. Today the species remains and is found along the eastern coast of North and Central America. This creature amazes many people because it hasn’t needed to adapt for such a long period of time, and by looking at this animal its still look prehistoric.

Above is a picture of the Horseshoe Crab in the Delaware Bay

The horseshoe crab has a protective hard exoskeleton that once fully formed is impenetrable to most predators. This creature also has evolved to have more then ten eyes. The horseshoe crab needs this much light sensitive equipment to help it mate. Since mating is done in accordance with lunar cycles the creature must be able to spot changes in the moon’s illumination. The horseshoe crab also has a long spike like tail which many people mistaken for a stinger. The crabs use this to steer and to turn themselves over if crashing waves along the seashore flip them on their backs.

These line the shores of the upper East Coast

These adoptions have allowed this crab survive for millions of years with little
threat to their existence until now. Between the 1800’s and the 1920’s about a million horseshoes were harvested each year for use as fertilizers. More recently the crabs have again become a valuable commodity for bait. This occurrence is now hurting the horseshoe crab population. Also population of these crabs are affected by the habitat degradation on the New Jersey side of the Delaware Bay, in form of man made inlets and sandbars. These breaks reduce beach sand deposits and large areas of mud flats form behind the breached shorefronts. The crabs become entrapped in the back marsh and are left stranded here. A decline in the horseshoe crab can mean a decline in many other species to. It is important that human interference does not kill an animal that has been able to survive for all of these years. It is important to support groups that want to presence this living piece of history and help make sure that it is able to survive for millions of years to come.

Many different bird species rely on the horseshoe crab eggs in order to survive

Work Cited
http://earthsky.org/biodiversity/lifeform-of-the-week-horseshoe-crabs-something-for-everyone
http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/36195.html
http://www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins/biobulletin/biobulletin/story799.html

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Evolution

The world we live in today is made up of millions of different species but it was not always this way. Over time the world began to change and species began to emerge and change over time. When scientist refers to evolution it broadly means change over time, and then biological evolution consists of genetic change in population of organisms across generations. The reason that different species have different appearances, functions, and behaviors is due the changes of genes over time. Biodiversity or ecological biodiversity refers to the variety of life across all levels of biological organization, including the diversity of species their genes their populations and their communities. These evolutionary changes occur to help organisms better survive the environment that they live in. For example the shape of a birds beak may change depending on what foods they eat or where they find the food that they eat. If the bird’s beak changes and makes it easier for the bird to find its food then this allows the bird to survive for a longer time so it can reproduce and pass on its genes to the next generation. Due to evolution and biodiversity the world we live in today is full of a large variety of species and organisms that are all well adapted to their specific environments.

Why hasn’t the Horseshoe Crab changed for millions of years?
The Horseshoe crab is commonly referred to as a living fossil because it evolved during the Paleozoic Era about 250 million years ago. These organisms have had as much genetic variation as many other species, but are so well adapted to their ecological niche that large-scale species radiation simply hasn’t occurred. Today the species remains and is found along the eastern coast of North and Central America. This creature amazes many people because it hasn’t needed to adapt for such a long period of time, and by looking at this animal its still look prehistoric.

Above is a picture of the Horseshoe Crab in the Delaware Bay

The horseshoe crab has a protective hard exoskeleton that once fully formed is impenetrable to most predators. This creature also has evolved to have more then ten eyes. The horseshoe crab needs this much light sensitive equipment to help it mate. Since mating is done in accordance with lunar cycles the creature must be able to spot changes in the moon’s illumination. The horseshoe crab also has a long spike like tail which many people mistaken for a stinger. The crabs use this to steer and to turn themselves over if crashing waves along the seashore flip them on their backs.

These line the shores of the upper East Coast

These adoptions have allowed this crab survive for millions of years with little
threat to their existence until now. Between the 1800’s and the 1920’s about a million horseshoes were harvested each year for use as fertilizers. More recently the crabs have again become a valuable commodity for bait. This occurrence is now hurting the horseshoe crab population. Also population of these crabs are affected by the habitat degradation on the New Jersey side of the Delaware Bay, in form of man made inlets and sandbars. These breaks reduce beach sand deposits and large areas of mud flats form behind the breached shorefronts. The crabs become entrapped in the back marsh and are left stranded here. A decline in the horseshoe crab can mean a decline in many other species to. It is important that human interference does not kill an animal that has been able to survive for all of these years. It is important to support groups that want to presence this living piece of history and help make sure that it is able to survive for millions of years to come.

Many different bird species rely on the horseshoe crab eggs in order to survive

Work Cited
http://earthsky.org/biodiversity/lifeform-of-the-week-horseshoe-crabs-something-for-everyone
http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/36195.html
http://www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins/biobulletin/biobulletin/story799.html

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Horseshoe-crab-spawning4

Horseshoe-crab-spawning4

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The Mirarr Clan Confronts the Jabiluka Uranium Mine a Debate of Ethics

Ethics, Justice, and Economics

Environmental ethics, justice, and economics are all issues that intertwine and this intertwining is a source of conflict in many cases. With environmental ethics problems usually occur because people have different care levels when it comes to certain issues. In many cases what is import to one group of people isn’t the same for everyone. Also it is hard to hold one group responsible for environmental issues because they in the end it will be everyone’s issue. Also business and environmental responsibility don’t mix because it is cheaper to be environmentally irresponsible and allow someone else to clean up the mess then to actually practice environmental responsibility. What is most cost effective is costing humanity the most in the long term because companies are using up all of the earths resources and also polluting these resources in the process. Also many companies are not usually concerned with the people in these areas well being. This is where justice comes into play. It is important to hold the companies who pollute the resources responsible therefore laws must be put in place in order to for some justice to be served. No matter what people deem as ecologically ethics it is import and realize that this is not just someone else’s problem but also all of humanities because we all share the same planet.

Who are the Australian Aborigines?

The Australian Aborigines are Australia’s native people. These people inhabited Australia long before the British came and colonized the continent. The Aborigines are located in the heart of the Kakadu National Park in a town called Jabiluka.(2) The town of Jabuir is a northern mining and tourist town of about 1000 people located in Kakadu. Out of these 1000 people the Aborigines make up about 10% of the towns people and nearly a quarter of the immediate area’s population (2). Home to one religious ancestor of the Aborigines people is called Dadbe, or Rainbow Serpent, is located less the two miles away from Mount Brockman. It is believed that if Dadbe is disturbed then disaster will strike.

Who are the Mirarr?

The Mirarr Clan is an extension of the Aborigines people and is made up of about 52 people. They now live next to the Ranger uranium plant, which was made with strong disapproval from the clan in 1976. . The Kakadu National Park is home to thousands of crocodiles, 280 bird species, sacred Aboriginal sites including 20,000 year old rock drawings (2). The Kakadu National park covers nearly 20000 square kilometers and is one of the very few places World Heritage listed for both its cultural and its natural values. This park is managed jointly by its aboriginal traditional owners and the Director of National Parks.(4). The park also holds uranium. Uranium is the naturally occurring radioactive metal, which is valued because it can be used to power nuclear plants, weapons, and various medical and industrial tools. Uranium mining makes up about 7% of Australia’s economic output but the country hopes to expand their mining in order to make even more money. (6)

(1)This is a waterfall that can be found withing the Kakadu National Park.

Mirarr Opposition

The Mirarr continue to fight against the development of a second nearby Uranium Mine at the Jabiluka uranium development post. The reason that the Mirarr continue to fight against the development of this plant is because like many Aborigines people, the Mirarr hold the landscape to be sacred, and the proposed Jabiluka mine would ruin the landscape which they appreciate so much in their culture. The proposed mines are located amongst a number of spiritual sites. Also the Mirarr fear that the plant will be harmful to their health. Since the clan relies on the land for its daily needs if any contamination was to occur to the natural resources it could be detrimental to the clan. With the combination of spiritual sites and the fear of harming their resources the clan does not support this mine being built.

(3) This is one of the posters used to protest the Mining Plant

(4)Clip: Below is a link for a clip featured in the documentary ‘Trespass’ in the clip the Mirarr Clan elders speak of their reasons for opposition and a little bit about the Mirarr Clan culture. http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/trespass/clip3/

Preservation, Conservationist, Environmental Justice Advocate, Neoclassical Economist, Ecological Economist

Preservationist: A preservationist would say that the mine should not be built because was should protect the natural environment in a pristine, unaltered state. The Mirarr Clan would agree with this way of thinking because they fine the land to be important in a spiritual way and do not want it to be altered in any way. A preservationist would look at this Mirarr Clan situation and ask; would it ever be possible to have the land go back to the way it was before it was altered?(6)

Conservationist: A conservationist looking at the situation would say that Australia should put the natural resources to use but they need to be responsible and manage the mines wisely. The conservationist would believe that Australia should use its natural Uranium source but that in needs to make sure that none of the surrounding resources are affected from the mine. A conservationist would ask the question of “What policies need to be put in place to make sure that the surrounds area of the mine is not effected by mine’s activities?”(6)

Environmental Justice Advocate: An environmental justice advocate looking at the situation would say that since the Mirarr Clan owns the land that it is their choice of what should be done with the land should be respected. Since environmental justice activists believe that fair and equitable treatment of all people with respect to environmental policy and practice, regardless of their income, race, or ethnicity(6). An environmental Justice advocate would ask, “Is the creation of the mines taking advantage of the Mirarr Clan and degrading their thoughts and human rights in the process?”

Neoclassical Economist: A Neo classical economist examines the psychological factors underlying consumer choices, explaining market prices in terms of consumer choices and preferences for units of particular commodities (6). With this being said the neoclassical economist would look at the mining situation and say that because the uranium mining provides many benefits to the Australian economy it would be beneficial to mine the land. A neoclassical economist would most likely ask the question “Are the benefits of building the mine worth the ecological and cultural damage that could occur because of this building?”

Ecological Economist: Ecological economist looking at the situation would say mining this uranium would damage the surrounding areas resources. They believe that the underlying issue of population growth is the real problem because Earths resources cannot sustain human societies needs. Ecological Economist looking at this situation would ask what should the government do to slow down the use of the Earths natural resources?

In My Opinion…

Even though I realize that with the creation of the Mine the Mirarr people would have to change parts of their lifestyle I would have to still think the Uranium should be mined. In this case I would most side with the thought process of a Conversationalist because they believe that we should use the lands resources but still try to keep the surrounding areas clean and unaffected by the construction. Though I realize that by creating this mine we are basically ignoring the beliefs of an entire culture I believe that we are helping the country of Australia, which is a larger population. Keeping ethical standards in mind I would use the principle of utility to justify my thinking. The principle of utility states that something is right when it produces the greatest practical benefits for the most people. In this case the creation of the mine would benefit a lot more people then it would harm. It is important to realize that there are ways to mine responsibly so that the Mirarr clan does not loose all of their natural resources. By looking at the bigger picture it is hard to say no to the development of the Uranium mines.

Works Cited

(1) Anaheim. The Kakadu National Park. N.d. Nice Traveling, Australia. Nice Traveling. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.

(2) Farnsworth, Clyde H.. “Where the Sacred Serpent Rests, a Mine Intrudes .” New York Times [New York City ] 18 July 1997: n. pag. New York Times. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. (3)”Jabiluka Uranium mine … should it be operational?.” WebQuest Direct. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. .

(4) “Kakadu National Park – Home.” Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) – Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. .

(5) Moreton, Romaine. “Trespass (2002) clip 3 on ASO – Australia’s audio and visual heritage online .” Latest films and commentary on ASO – Australia’s audio and visual heritage online . N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. .

(6) Withgott, J. & Brennan, S. (2010). Environment: The science behind the stories. 4th Ed. San Francisco: Pearson Education

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A Look at Our Global Ecological Footprint

A Look at Our Species Ecological Footprint

Blog #2

Humans as animals use much more then the bare essentials that are needed in order to survive.  With advancements in technology and science human beings are now over using the natural resources that the Earth provides and this is going to be a problem in the near future if we continue to consume as much as we do.  One way of calculating how much we consume is to calculate an Ecological Footprint (EF).  An EF is the amount of biologically productive land and water required to produce energy and natural resources we consume and to absorb the wastes we generate.  Right now the Earth is approaching overshoot.   Overshoot is the amount by which humanity has surpassed Earth’s long-term carrying capacity for our species.   The carrying capacity is the maximum population size that a given environment can sustain.  The rising population of human beings is a concern and scientists are now beginning to wonder if our planet can handle all of this.  In the following graphs we will compare the EF’s of different nations around the world.

 1.)Oil Rigs

Table 1. EF (hectares per person), their proportion relative to world average, their proportion relative to world area available for selected countries.

Country EF (hectares per person) – (data from ecological footprint) Proportion relative to world average Proportion relative to world area available Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita –(get data from CIA Worldfactbook)
Colombia

1.9

.61(1.9/3.1)

0.73

(1.9/1.78)

$9800
China

1.84

.59 1.03 $7600
Bangladesh

0.6

.19 1.03 $1700
United Arab Emirates

15.99

5.15 8.98 $49600 
Uruguay

4.91

1.58 2.75 $13700
Burundi

0.75

.24 .42 $300
Australia

8.49

2.73 4.76 $41000
Nepal

1.01

.32 .56 $1200
Ireland

9.43

3.04 5.29 $37300
World Average

3.1

1.0

(3.1/3.1)

1.74

(3.1/1.78)

leave this cell empty

Your home country(United States) 12.22 3.94 6.86 $47200
Any one country(Asia)(Turkey) 2.73 .88 1.53 $12300
Any one country (Europe)(Greece) 5.58 1.8 3.13 $29600
Any one country (Africa)(Egypt) 1.7 .54 .95 $6200
Any one country (Americas)(Brazil) 2.6 .83 1.46 $10800
Your personal footprint 6.5 2.09 3.65

leave this cell empty

Looking at the table:

If you look at the GDP of Bangladesh then you can see that compared to the rest of the world this country has a relatively low GDP.  This means that it may be more difficult for people in this area to afford things that consume more energy.  With people consuming less energy they are going to have a lower EF because their lifestyles do not require them to consume as much hectors per person.  On the other hand there are countries such as Australia, which has a high EF of 8.49.  Australia has a much higher GDP then Bangladesh and also it is a country that has a lot more technology dependent citizens.   Also Australia has more cities, which require a lot of energy in order to provide for a large number of people. The reason that the United Arab Emirates has such a large EF is because they are a very large oil producing country.  This country provides a majority of the worlds oil supply and therefore they are transporting a lot of goods and also have made a lot of money.  With this large income they are able to have large cities, which use a lot of energy to power these cities.  This is why the United Arab Emirates has such a large EF.

Looking at the data provided by the table there seems to be a connection between countries EF and countries GDP.  There is a trend that the larger GDP a country has the larger EF the country has as well.  The countries with a high GDP can afford to created a society that is very technologically advanced and there for depends on more energy in order keep the society running smoothly.  By looking at the graph one can concluded that GDP affects a countries EF.

According to the Global Footprint Network the United States has a larger Ecological Footprint then our Biocapacity.  The incapacity of the US has decreased over the last 4 years while our EF has been increasing more and more.  This graph is saying that our country is over consuming and we don’t have the biocapacity to maintain this way of living for the most part.

Looking at my EF

Compared to the rest of the United States, which has an EF of 12.22, my EF is relatively good (6.5) but this doesn’t mean I live an ecologically efficient lifestyle.  At home we always recycle but there are many things that I personally could change in order to live better lifestyle The United states has a very high EF.  My personal EF is much higher then the people of Bangladesh but this is because in the Untied States we depend heavily on technology and transportation, which uses more energy.  My EF is most similar to that EF of Greece.  This is most likely because Greece has cities that use a lot of energy but also in Europe there is more envirmental awareness then the US.  In Greece the cars that the people drive are much smaller then the cars in the US which make them more envirmentally efficient thus giving Greece a lower EF then the US.   If my EF is compared to Turkey I use almost three times as many Earths in my daily life. Turkey has an EF of 2.73 and this is because though Turkey has large cities it also has areas that are not technologically developed.  Also Turkey like Europe has less fuel using vehicles that make the country more efficient in its energy use.  If everyone on the planet lived my lifestyle we would need 6.5 Earths, which just isn’t possible.  As technology expands then we as humans need to make changes in order to help.  It is the countries that have the most cities and the higher GDP that need to be responsible for regulating their energy use.  If people make more of a conscious effort to make small changes it will amount to larger changes that will better the entire world.  These efforts need to be a global change and until something changes we as human will slowly begin to use up the Earths resources until they no longer exist.

References

1.) .  Oil Rig. “Peak Not:Running Into Oil and Gas” (January 31, 2011). Retrieved October 7, 2011 from http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2011/01/31/peak-not-running-into-oil-and-gas/

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#1 EcoBlog

Ecology Blog #1

Welcome to my Ecology blog!  Currently I am in my freshman year of college and I am studying business but I’m not sure what exactly I’m going to do in business yet.  The purpose of this blog is to help me focus what I am learning in my Ecology class into one place that allows me to start to thinking about ecology in the world.  One topic that I know has interested me in the past and has been discussed in the last couple years all around the world is global warming.   I am interested in seeing what if any changes have been made in hopes of slowing down global warming more recently.  I am also interested in learning about alternative fuels because in the future this is going to become a bigger issue since the world’s oil supply can’t last forever.  One significant environmental issue that I have heard of this year is deforestation around the world but I don’t know that much about it at this time.  I am from Needham Mass. and in my town the biggest ecological system is probably the Charles River.  This river almost completely surrounds my town but it isn’t very good swimming water since it had become very polluted over time.  In recent years though the water has been being cleaned so its getting better but it is still a problem.

Environmental Science as a interdisciplinary pursuit

After completing chapter one of the textbook you realize why Environmental Science is called an interdisciplinary pursuit.  Unlike other sciences where you can use a set method to find out an answer, for Environmental Science there is not just one-way to find an answer because the problem can be caused from so many different contributing factors.  For example if in a river a certain animal inhabited a river and for some reason the fish begin to disappear a number of different things could be going on.  The fish could be dying because of over fishing.  If this was the case one must then look at the reasons why the fish would be over fished which could lead to a number of other sciences being examined in order to solve the problem.  Due to the fact that Environmental science has so many contributing studies it has it be considered an interdisciplinary pursuit. I am going into business I believe that even this would be a contributing factor to the environmental sciences.  I know that business deal a lot with proving for a consumer and in order to be able to provide for a consumer a lot is involved.  Having a factory make a product can in itself be harmful to the environment.  Also the way that the products are transported can effect the environment.  There are lots of different factors that contribute to environmental science, which is why it is called an interdisciplinary pursuit.

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

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  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
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