Monday, October 13, 2008


“Sustainability development can be defined as developing in such a way that we can achieve our objectives today without compromising the ability of future generations to reach their own goals.” (The Bruntland Report (1987)) What does this mean exactly? Specifically, sustainable development consists of environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, and social equity.

Deforestation and a general disregard towards the environment is also another issue facing sustainability. “Half the world's original forest cover of some three billion hectares has been destroyed in the last 40 years; only 20% of what remains is undisturbed by human activities.”(New Internationalist, Nov. 2000) In addition to looking much prettier than anything man made, trees help to absorb Co2 emissions, and create the oxygen that we breathe. With our forests dwindling, the quality of our air will just continue to decrease.

As the world’s population grows, our resources aren’t, quite frankly. As a matter of fact energy use and the global population are both growing exponentially. In 1950 there were 2.5 billion people on the planet, now there are over 6 billion, and in about another 40 years there are expected to be somewhere close to 9 billion people! At this growth rate we must be aware of the possibility of a food scarcity, let alone an energy scarcity.

We all must make choices have less of an impact on the environment. These simple choices, for example, are to carpool, take public transportation, or walk instead of driving your own car. You can also watch how long you take showers, turn the lights off when you’re done, and not use the air conditioner/heater so frequently. If we all chip in a little, it will make a big difference on the energy being consumed by us on the whole. The development of alternate energy sources would also help to alleviate the global energy crisis, such as windmills, solar panels, and other, undiscovered sources.

To ensure that generations down the road have the lifestyle that we hope they would have, we must ask ourselves how our decisions today will affect impact the environment. Will it be able to replenish itself fast enough to meet our ever-growing demands? Will we eventually be forced to walk rather than drive when our supply of fossil fuels runs out? Of course, no one has a definite answer, but being aware of our fuel consumption habits today could mean a brighter tomorrow.

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