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The Importance of Sustainable Development (Environment Essay Sample)

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Introduction

Anthropology has practically answered the basic questions about human existence: that of our basic nature and origins. Humans have evolved with an advanced mental and cultural specialization, ensuring the continuity of the species as opposed to those who rely on, for example, a specific type of food source (Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development [WCED], 1987, p.29). This has led to the invention of technology that has made human life easier, but also more complex at the same time. The Brundtland Report defines sustainable development as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (Report of the WCED, 1987).

Consumption of Natural Resources

The author suggests that as human beings evolved, there began a marked disconnection between nature and culture. As such, he says that ‘we have become experimental creatures of our own making’ (Report of the WCED, 1987, p.30). Culture is defined as ‘the whole of society’s knowledge, beliefs and practices’ (Report of the WCED, 1987, p.32). This overreliance on cultural systems and not nature has led to the degradation of the biosphere and the extinction of numerous species. Man’s path to civilization is marked by his successive reliance on hunting, with his sharpened wood and rock weapons, later followed by agricultural practices during the New Stone Age period, marking the beginning of civilization. The Easter Islanders are a fine case for this argument. Studies show that the island was once a well-watered, green paradise with volcanic soils able to support widespread agriculture (Report of the WCED, 1987, p. 58-59). However, early explorers found it a treeless, eroded, barren land (Report of the WCED, 1987, p.57). This problem was basically caused by rapid population increase, as well as rampant deforestation for the cultural practices of statue building (Report of WCED, 1987, p.59-60).

This is similar to how people use natural resources today; lush green lands are cut down and replaced with concrete jungles. Man uses natural resources at a faster pace than he can, or will, replace them. This is bound to cause a marked change in our biosphere very soon.

The Collapse of Ancient Societies

The video shows the behavioral patterns that led to the collapse of ancient societies..There was the rapid increase in population further aggravated by the fact that this population was concentrated in small pockets of land unable to sustain them. There was also the problem of misuse of natural resources through deforestation, improper farming practices, over-hunting of particular animals and over-mining particular minerals in particular area among others. All this served to make areas barren and uninhabitable, leading to the collapse of economies and, subsequently, societies.

The world today faces the same crisis. The video shows how far-reaching today’s energy crisis is. The world’s population is increasing exponentially. As a result, there is a marked increase in demand for natural resources, especially fossil fuels. This is also due to our continued increased dependence on automobile with most households owning at least two vehicles. This problem is accelerated by the expanded home to work distance as more people move to the suburbs. Fossil fuel reserves are finite as it takes millions of years for fossils to be converted to oil. With this increased demand, oil companies extract more oil and are constantly in search for more oil fields. This is definitely not sustainable, as oil reserves are bound to run out soon. The question then becomes: how will future generations survive?

Conclusion

Improper development practices are the main reason why ancient societies collapsed. This is because people cannot live and economies cannot flourish where the natural environment has been decimated and rendered uninhabitable. Through examining the effects of unsustainable practices, this paper has shown the importance of sustainable development to present societies.

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Essay on Sustainable Development of Environment

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According to WEEK sustainable development means a process of hang in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potentiality to meet human needs and aspirations. Sustainable development is a development that meets needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

For achieving sustainable development what is needed in global movement as well as significantly increased political will and public pressure in order to persuade industry, governments and institutions to take responsibility for their action. It must be borne in mind that development should not endanger the natural system that supports life on earth. With this attitude towards nature technological advances increase our ability to use earth resources and thus increase the damage.

However, the realization is growing fast that we are in a world of limits and ever increasing growth of material consumption can only damage the life giving physical components of the environment. The concept of sustainable development was highly appreciated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (OUNCE) at a ROI De Jeanne in Brazil, commonly known as Earths Summit. Sustainable development also needs understanding the basic needs of deprived people of the world. It is necessary to provide opportunities in order to satisfy their aspirations for a better and secured life.

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Sustainable development can be successfully achieved by (l) conservation or reduction of excessive resource use (II) recycling and reuse of materials and Ill) more use of renewable resources like solar energy, rather than non renewable resources such as oil and coal. The sustainability of development is initially linked to the dynamics of growth of population. The failure of family planning programmer has been the principal reason for Indian’s continuing backwardness. It is thus essentially needed to adopt a rational, welfare oriented human approach to family planning in order to achieve the goals of sustainable development.

In this respect the developed countries have supranational impact on the global environment compared to developing countries. Besides, industry has always been the primary cause of economic development. Needless to mention that without adequate environmental protection development cannot be achieved to the extend which we require. The kinds of industries that grow fast determine the severity of pressure on natural resources and consequent environmental problems. Apart from industries involvement, global warming stands in the way of sustainable development.

The primary cause of global warming is the green house gases. The generation of excessive amount of green house gases by developed countries is a matter of serious concern. The climatic changes induced by green house gases effects agriculture, and other fields including forestry. It must be released that development at the cost of greenery and ecology, cannot be called as sustainable development. Over exploitation of natural resources, deforestation and the extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture have resulted many changes in the different components of environment.

In this respect it is always desirable to use environment friendly products on controlling agricultural pollution towards sustainable developments. Pesticides are considered as biological control agents like bacteria, fungi and insects which work for pest control in plants. Industrial revolution has led to the development of cities where population has been increased due to what is known as arbitration. The population grog. VT in the cities has led to acute shortage of clean environment. The arbitration adds to air, water and noise pollution to a greater extent.

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Information Technology and Sustainability: Essays on the Relationship between Information Technology and Sustainable Development

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Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are contributing both to environmental problems and to their solution. Will ICT producers, users and recyclers be the major polluters of tomorrow, or will ‘Green IT’ and a dematerialized information society save the climate? This book provides an in-depth analysis of the relationship between ICT and sustainable development, culminating in 15 recommendations – to producers, users and political decision makers – which show the way to a sustainable information society.

Keywords: Information Technology, Environment, Sustainable Development, Environmental Informatics, Green IT, Green Computing, Data Centers, Energy Efficiency, Resource Productivity, Dematerialization, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), E-waste, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Recycling, Technological Complexity, Critical Information Infrastructure, Open Standards, Rebound Effect.



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  • Taschenbuch: 180 Seiten
  • Verlag: Books on Demand; Auflage: 1 (9. Juni 2008)
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  • ISBN-10: 3837019705
  • ISBN-13: 978-3837019704

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Lorenz M. Hilty:

Dr. Lorenz M. Hilty, born 1959 in St.Gallen, Switzerland, is Head of the Technology and Society Lab at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, and teaches ‘Computers and Society’ at the University of Zurich. Ecological and social aspects of ICT have been the focus of his research for two decades. He is the author of more than 100 scientific publications publications in the field, see http://www.empa.ch/hilty/.



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