Is it possible to protect the environment when many countries require increasing amounts of energy to boost economic progress?
According to Alan M. Eddison, “Modern technology owes ecology an apology.” This is definitely true as economies and technologies have developed recklessly at the expense of the environment. The world has seen huge increases in consumption of the Earth’s scarce resources ever since the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s and countries, especially the developed countries, imprudently emit carbon and other pollutants into the environment, causing climate change. However, since the 1990s, the world has begun to realise the importance of safeguarding man’s only habitat and have shown greater willingness to protect the environment despite the need to progress economically at the same time. Therefore, it is still possible to protect the environment, even when many countries such as the large developing countries like China and India, are requiring greater supply of energy to boost their progress.
As society progresses, the people’s affluence increases as well, especially through education, and as such, there is increased awareness among the world population about climate issues. Theories learnt from Geography lessons on climate and temperatures especially, have alerted many people to care for the environment as people are able to observe unexpected changes in the environment, such as extremely harsh weather conditions and increasing frequency of natural disasters. The increasing knowledge about climate issues has led to many searching for ways to help protect the environment despite the need for society to progress. People are now tapping on cleaner energies such as the solar and wind energies to generate power for industries and homes, which can help reduce the need to use natural resources such as crude oil and coal, which are causes for increasing carbon emissions. Some housing estates in China’s capital, Beijing, have begun installing solar panels on top of roofs of the covered walkways that can generate enough electricity for almost all households for more than three hours during the night. China is seeing rapid economic growth and its increasing affluence, although has led to a greater demand for energy, has also encouraged more cautiousness in dealing with climate change as the Chinese begin to tap on cleaner sources of energy and decreasing their reliance on coal-powered energy, which can definitely help to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment from further harm. Furthermore, the increased awareness for environmental protection has led to more individuals and communities playing their part as well. More individuals and families are beginning to use more efficient lightings at home and reducing the consumption of energy by limiting their use each day. Previously, people could leave their lights and electrical appliances on even when not in use, but now, there is an increasing trend of people, who care for the environment and the welfare of the international community, reducing their consumption by switching off unnecessary appliances. Many have even become advocates for the environment and help by encouraging their community to do so as well. Therefore, in the age of rapid economic progress, it is still possible to protect the environment if individuals are willing to exercise social responsibility by reducing their energy needs.
As the world understands the urgency to protect the environment, governments are also required to play their part, and there is evidence of greater international cooperation between countries. Most significantly in many parts of the world, where governments take office based on the people’s mandate, there is mounting pressure on governments to not only focus on the economic agenda for progress, but at the same time, protect the environment. During the US Presidential campaign, both Barack Obama and John McCain reaffirmed their commitment to introduce...
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