Free Fewer People Mean Fewer Worries Critical Thinking Example
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As of a date, there are currently three pressing environmental issues that are debated upon by professionals. These problems, as listed by Greer, are water shortages, climate change and the lack of good soil for agriculture. One of the solutions that are currently considered to address the problems mentioned above is to create more technologies that could improve the situation. It is, therefore, alarming to note that there is not even a mention of alleviating the population problem that could help in lessening the users of the resources. Seeing that stabilizing the population could be more efficient and less costly than applying further technology, alleviating population problems has been the central topic of the essay Fewer People Means Fewer Worries. The article was written by Allen Greer for the publication “The Australian” on January 16, 2008. The article aims to discuss the main importance and benefits of stabilizing the current world population in order to help address the environmental problems that the world has today. In this article, the writer has fully illustrated the scenarios by which newer technologies might fail to address the environmental problem and only lessening the population or stabilizing it can help.
My objective is to support Green’s notions about the population and its direct impact on the environment as based on the notions proposed in the article. I do believe that despite the slow effect that it has on the recuperating process of our natural resources, stabilizing the population is the perfect solution in recreating the lost beauty of our natural environment. As opposed to creating technologies, stabilizing the population could do no further harm to our natural resources. Lessening the people who thrive on resources from the environment could have a positive effect on re-growing the lost natural environment that we used to have.
Considering the problems of climate change, since the discovery of fire, we have depended greatly on burnt carbon instruments for our energy consumption. Over the years of heavily burning carbon materials for energy, the atmosphere has already absorbed too much carbon dioxide thus creating holes in the atmosphere. As opposed to the temporary solutions that individuals are studying now, I could not agree more with the author with his position on technology. Creating such advances in science will only contribute to further usage of the environmental resources thus sharing the people’s survival through our natural resources. For example, these technological advances are made up of materials that are found in our living environment. The use of metal, copper, iron and the like are needed to complete a device that people plan on addressing environmental issues. Through the use of such materials, our scientists are already contributing to the slow decline in our natural resources. These technological devices only create a temporary fix for a problem that presents a longer time frame. One advancement in technology that is seen as a solution for climate change is clean coal. Clean coal an example, is a technological study that we have today that is currently using machines for its development. Since it is only at its developing stage, this experiment poses the question of uncertainty that it might not work. Because of the posting question of its utility, it would be wise to promote the stability of the population simultaneously now while trying to develop such a device that projects itself to help the environment. Moreover, promoting to use an advanced technology such as this can only make it difficult for the people to revert to the basic and more useful technologies that we used to have back in the day.
Since advancements such as the clean coal promote the further use of our nature’s resources, this brings me to the issues of scarcity. With a growing population and a growing fascination in the world of technological sciences, scarcity in different resources may occur thus slowly lessening the resources that we currently have. As an example, Australia’s natural resources are not only used for feeding the whole of Australia’s population alone. Rather, the country also feeds an additional 160 million individuals across the globe (PMSEIC, 2010). Australia is not alone in sharing its frustrations of scarcity. The Middle East, Northern Africa, and some parts of Asia also have to deal with scarcities. These scarcities deal especially with water since according to Dabelko (2011)3 75% of these countries’ flowing rivers will be distributed for industries within the next fifteen years.
The article has expressed its concerns in great lengths. It has expressed through different scenarios the impact of population growth on our natural resources. On a positive note, the article has clearly made its point about population growth. Providing modern issues and current concerns has helped in putting the article into context. Giving examples such as modern experiments has added to the impact that it wants to stress about the environmental problems that the world is currently facing. Also, his examples of the food projects in Australia have stressed enough concern about population and its impact on food shortage.
Although I agree with the author’s notion of stabilizing the population, however providing a greater impact on the negative effects of technology only provide a one-sided view on population growth. To further express his thoughts, the author could have provided further examples to stress the point of the impact of population growth. Providing examples such as urbanization, food scarcity, energy depletion and the likes could have provided a better basis for his argument on the negative effects of population growth. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2013) has provided cases of unemployment, urbanization, and poverty that the author could have also stressed in the paper. These are just some of the problems that may be attributed to population growth that could have been of use to the author in trying to make such a point.
In addition to the problems mentioned above, I would also have to disagree with the author in his suggestion to revert to the basics. I do believe that we have come far from a race thus making it counterproductive to consider still going back to the basics. While it is true that more and more technological devices could lead to further destruction of our environment, the basic technological advancements that the author is suggesting is also a contributor to the loss of our resources. These basics, although they use lesser resources in the environment, is nothing more than an advancement that thrives on the survival of the environment. Without the resources from the environment, technology will also not survive.
Another consideration is that to make for the article would be to show more objectivity in creating his position. The article without any room for further thinking fully supports the idea of stabilizing the population. However, the author has moved away from citing examples or citing instances that shed light on the positive side of population growth. It does not need to take a great part of the paper. A little citation on the benefit could promote more objectivity than just merely citing the negatives.
The issue of population growth is truly not a matter to delay. It is an issue that needs solutions as soon as possible to catch up with the grave effects that were produced since the time of our ancestors. It is a process that could take greater years to solve if the people do not act now. Population growth is considered both as an advantage and as a disadvantage for the environment. It has its share of economic advantages and disadvantages that may cause problems in the long run. The article has concisely delivered the negativities of simply allowing such a problem to grow. The author has directly proposed a solution to a growing problem that can be alleviated as early as now. The article being concise, and direct has contributed to its purpose of stating such an urgent matter. The directness of the author has added to the point of the issue’s urgency. The article wants to alarm people more and more with each of the growing degrees of negativity through the author’s examples. To further stress the point or the issue of population growth, the author can stress more problems and examples that can further illustrate the problem. This fact may further add to the urgency of the problems brought about by population growth.
Dabelko, G. (2011). Population and Environment Connections. New York: Council on Foreign Relations, pp.2-19.
East West Center, (2002). Population, Natural Resources, and Environment. The Future of Population in Asia. Honolulu: Honolulu: East-West Center, pp.111-121.
Greer, A. (2015). Fewer people would mean fewer worries. [online] TheAustralian. Available at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/appointments/fewer-people-would-mean-fewer-worries/story-e6frgckf-1111115324512?nk=fa246a1090085ca6f874b58d6fe67ed8 [Accessed 14 Feb. 2015].
PMSEIC, (2010). Australia and Food Security in a Changing World. Canberra, Australia: The Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, pp.1-68.
United Nations, (2013). Population, Development and the Environment 2013. New York: United Nations, pp.1-2.
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