The environment is in a terrible condition and although an environmental apocalypse is not imminent we are definitely headed down that road. Some of the reasons for our Earth’s trouble are overpopulation, consumerism, and overconsumption. The earth’s population is ever increasing; it is only a matter of time before there are not enough resources to support life on the planet and the population begins to die off due to lack of food, water, and other resources. With our current population increase rates the population will double within the next century. ‘Indeed, the world population did double in thirty-seven years from 1950 to 1987.’; (Ehrlich, 1990) The problem with overpopulation is that even if we all reduce our impact on the environment, when the population doubles, so will the total impact on the earth will be doubled.
Consumerism is another thing that is threatening our planet. Everyone who wants to be anyone ‘must have’; whatever is cool at the time. This usually means the biggest, meanest, least efficient car or the fanciest toys, generally leading to wasteful packaging and harmful chemicals or other bad stuff. ‘In short, Impact = Population * Affluence * Technology.’; (Ehrlich, 1990) The problem is that everyone cares too much about societies image of them that they don’t think about the results of their actions. We also have a problem with the consumption of our resources. Many of the resources that we rely like fossil fuels, forests, and water are non-renewable. We are rapidly depleting these and have nothing to use when they are gone.
Our society will have a lot of trouble turning around their habits until we are desperately low on them and it will be too late. It will be difficult to develop alternative technologies because of a lack of government funding, and the people who have the money (oil companies) do not want their income taken away by a different resource. Although there are many problems that we must overcome, it is still possible to reverse our effects on the planet. It will be very difficult and faced with opposition. It necessary to reverse the problem as soon as possible because it will only become more difficult as time passes. We must all do our part and saves this fragile earth.
Ehrlich, Paul R., The Population Explosion (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1990)