The central question that these readings pose is how the needs of people can be reconciled with the needs of the environment. Although, human beings are a part of this environment, we have an enormous amount of influence on nature.
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In many cases, this influence is not beneficial. This is why the authors of these articles urge readers to think about long-term effects of human activities on the planet. More importantly, people have to understand that their welfare is dependent on sustainable environment.
Therefore, its protection has to be one of their top priorities. These are the main ideas that have to be discussed and critiqued.
One of the concepts that appealed to me is the anthropocene. Generally, it is used to refer to the epoch in which the footprint of human race has become very clear and massive.
Overall, this term appears to be quite appropriate because human beings did change the surface of the planet within the last three centuries, especially since the time of Industrial Revolution. The main problem is that people’s environmental impact adversely affected many species, water, and air.
People often have an anthropo-centric view of the planet, and it is difficult for them to acknowledge that their survival may depend on the bio-physical environment. In my opinion, educators have to change people’s views on this problem, because the protection of environment greatly depends on individual effort.
Furthermore, these articles show that the adoption of eco-friendly technologies is not a luxury, but a necessity for every country. Thus, governments should adopt different policies on this problem.
Yet, there is another issue that has been raised by the authors. They refer to the so-called mass extinction events. It is believed that in the past these events were caused by unavoidable factors such as climate change.
The key issue is that human activities can be the cause of a mass-extinction event, but many people may not realize it. Certainly, it is possible to argue some of these concerns can be exaggerated, but there are some signs or markers of such events, for instance, the increasing rate of species extinction or the deterioration of coral reefs.
Furthermore, one can mention such problems as soil erosion, overfishing, industrial wastes, and so forth. Unless these problems are not addressed, humankind can trigger a true mass-extinction event. This is why many researchers advocate the idea of biodiversity.
One of the most important tasks is to promote the variations in ecosystem because in this way ecosystems can be made more sustainable. If people continue to turn a blind eye to the possibility of such an event, its probability will dramatically increase. This is why I agree with various authors who try to raise people’s awareness about different environmental problems.
Some of the ideas discussed in these articles have been familiar to me. Nevertheless, these readings have prompted me to take a broader look at the role of human beings. On the whole, these articles call for a change in the mindset.
They urge people to acknowledge that economic, social and political sustainability is impossible if the needs of the environment will be overlooked.
Certainly, it is necessary to cope with specific environmental problems such as water pollution. Yet, at first, people have to see that they are a part of nature, rather than their masters.