Damage to the Environment Is an Inevitable Consequence of Worldwide Improvements in the Standard of Livin

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Damage to the environment is an inevitable consequence of worldwide improvements in the standard of living. Discuss.

Nowadays with the development of the economy and technology, humans pursue various material or mental comforts frequently. The standard of living is a social-economic indicator which reflects people’s quality of life (Steve Dowrick, Y. D., 2001). It can be measured by means of economic indicators (GDP per capita, income distribution, the price level) and social (infrastructure, education, health, culture, employment and environment). For example, manufacturers produce various different products to satisfy the needs and wants of customers. Moreover, infrastructure construction facilitates economic productivity and enhances societal living conditions, which provide essential facilities and infrastructure, such as wind, solar, nuclear power stations that gratify the energy needs of the public. However, maintaining a high standard of living at the same time, it also causes inevitable destruction to the environment. This dilemma includes deterioration of the environment, destruction of ecosystems, air and ocean pollution along with global warming. Although the level of productivity is a significant factor for the improvement of living standards, as more service and materials are available to support a high quality of living, as a result, environmental problems are a serious issue that should receives significant attention. Therefore, destruction to the environment is an inexorable consequence. The arguments of the influence of the environment in terms of acceleration of productivity and widespread infrastructure construction in relation to its effects on the environment will be featured. With rapid growth of the population and living in a consumer-oriented society, although acceleration of productivity upgrades the standard of living, it also contributes to the increasing rubbish problem, especially plastic trash, which harmful to the ocean life. It is well-known that the speeding up of productivity increasing the quantity and variety of products, at the same time it stimulates consumption, thus leading to discarding an increasing amount of refuse. An obvious reason of environmental damage is that a great deal of plastic waste is dumped into the ocean, contaminating the ocean and bringing great harm to marine life. Almost 90% of all floating materials in the ocean are plastic.  Plastic is one of the most harmful pollutants because it does not readily break down in natural environment (Rudd, 2008). Researchers found that Plastic pellets act as a magnet for toxic chemicals such as DDT and PCB's creating poison pills for many animals. (MarineBio, 2008). For instance, plastic parts cause more than one million seabirds and 100,000 mammals and sea turtles die every year (Leahy, 2004). Furthermore, a surprising fact is that about 100 million barrels of oil are consumed as the raw materials in order to produce plastic bags each year. (Natural-Environment, 2008). All mentioned above, high level of productivity for the world is not only detremental to the environment but also is a waste of resources.

On the other hand, high levels of productivity can produce many eco-friendly products for consumers which, do not damage the environment. Morris (1997) claims that production or use of products are considered as the minimal impact on the environment, while it still can create comfortable and environmental quality for consumers. A beneficial example are LED lights, which use one-quarter the energy of traditional incandescent bulbs which means that these bulbs can last longer and reduce considerable electricity consumption (Wills, 2010). Furthermore, the study of Shea (2008) mention that citizens in New York use compact fluorescent bulbs in place of 101,337 incandescent bulbs, which will save 2.6 million US dollars in energy costs and decrease 41 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, it can be said that...
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