Final Paper - Knutson 1 Michael Knutson Tillotson ES/RP 101...

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Knutson Michael Knutson Tillotson ES/RP 101 Section 8 8 December 2010 Our Environment: Used and Abused INTRODUCTION As the first decade of the new millennium comes to an end, our planet is unmistakably smaller than it was 200 years ago in the midst of the Industrial Revolution. Downloading and uploading technologies, paired with mobile phones that double as personal computers, allow information to be shared worldwide, instantaneously. Full service jets roam the skies, turning what was once a journey for the adventurous and daring into an eight-hour nap. With this kind of technological advances, it is hard to believe we live in a world that is being depleted of resources and nearing the fringe of self-destruction. The paradox facing the world—especially industrialized countries—is that the same processes that are simplifying our lives and increasing our leisure time are destroying the environment in which we live. Nearly all the consumer products and appliances produced and sold in America are the result of industrial pollution. For years, factories have been emitting large quantities of greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere. Irrigation technologies that were once responsible for our amber waves of grain are now corrupting our soil and polluting our freshwater supply. It seems mother earth is being assaulted from head to toe, while we’re too concern with our economic greed. Fortunately, more and more scientists worldwide have taken notice of the atrocities being committed in our own backyards, and are focusing their abilities towards managing these issues. As was previously stated, a central concern is the diminishment of our natural resources, particularly those with the capability to create energy. As such, extensive research has been— and is still being—conducted in the name of discovering sustainable energy. Sustainability is defined as the ability to endure. In other words, we need an energy source that won’t eventually expire like fossil fuels. Sustainability is also an essential factor when discussing ecosystems. It is important that biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. Finally, sustainability is applicable to society. A sustainable economic system is the goal of every country, industrialized or not. Unfortunately, many countries lack the resources to accomplish such a feat; however, if sustainability in energy and the environment can be achieved, those countries will be more likely to reach out to the impoverished nations of the world. Achieving sustainability is a complicated, as it requires both global awareness and global effort. Robert Gibson, among others, wrote a book in 2005 titled Sustainability Assessment: Criteria and Processes , in which “eight essential requirements for progress towards sustainability” are discussed (Gibson et al. 95). These requirements include working for equality among different societal classes—such as closing the gap between the rich and poor (Gibson et al. 101), and ensuring equal opportunity to prosper for all—as well as being fair to future
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Final Paper - Knutson 1 Michael Knutson Tillotson ES/RP 101...

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