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Many people are optimistic about the 21st century and expect scientists to make positive changes to the world. To what extent do you agree or disagree with their optimism? What changes would you like to see in the new century.

As the 21st century continues to unfold, many technologies have arisen, most of which were previously out of the reach of people’s comprehension. While some people are content with the current standard of living and tend to owe it to technical advances, an opposing point of view is that not all these changes to lives are positive. I am of the opinion that there is still room for improvement and many problems remain unsolved. The continued improvement in technology undoubtedly accelerates industrialization but meanwhile leads to the deterioration of the natural environment. Accompanied by technological development, many problems, such as over-exploitation of natural resources, intense use of artificial fertilisers, reliance on automobiles and deforestation, have arisen and intensified. Even worse, little progress has been made toward addressing these problems, possibly because implementing environmentally friendly policies will inevitably impede the development of energy-intensive industries. That is why the use of petrol continues to climb, despite the fact that many countries pledge to curb petrol use and discover or invent alternative resources. Another problem is that many technologies have put people at great risks and highlighted the need for innovation. For example, the spread of the Internet is directly responsible for people’s sedentary lifestyle and many health problems, such as obesity. The rise of the fast food industry, owing mainly to the development in the food processing technology, is linked to diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Many stress-related diseases are attributed to the increasingly fierce competition in society, a result of technological development. Fears of job loss have become one of the most common sources...