Environmental Sustainability

During our last I&S class, we were assigned into different groups. We discussed about the issues related to different themes of the environment. There were five themes related to the environment, and each group had to research about the topic they were assigned. The five themes were, 1. Food 2. Water 3. Energy 4. Ocean 5. Cities and I researched on water. I learnt that many people do not have regular access to clean sanitized water due to freshwater scarcity, and this is a leading factor that contributes to the deaths of children from diseases such as cholera. It also traps people in the cycle of poverty. This problem can only be solved if we use the water resources more efficiently. After discussing with my group, I have learnt the five different issues related to the environment. Below is a table of problems, causes, solutions related to the five themes.

Theme

Problem

Cause

Solution

Food Food crisis- Droughts cause less harvest of crops such as corn. This causes meat prices to increase because there is nothing to feed cattle. Natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy Develop new crops using biotechnology. Get government to support the damaged farms.
Water Poor access to sanitized/fresh water. Deaths due to diarrheal diseases such as cholera. Over use of water for farming and industrial purposes. Use resources more efficiently.
Energy Lack of energy Demands for energy is increasing because people are becoming wealthy. Build a bigger energy source. Promote wind mill/turbines. Give more energy to people living in the poor conditions.
Oceans Pollution / Damage -Diversity of natural resources are decreasing. Pollution is causing average temperature to rise, which affects coral reefs and crills. This will affect the food chain and the ecosystem. Development of industries and power plants. Invest more money on environmental sustainability. To do so, economic development activity has to decrease.
Cities High carbon emission causing global warming. Over population. Use of cars that emit carbon dioxide. Get more renewable energy.

Reference for ‘water’:

“Sustainable Earth: Water.” National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2012. <http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/sustainable-earth/water/>.

Response to Tim Jackson: An economic reality check

 

 

“[We are] persuaded to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to create impressions that won’t last on people we don’t care about.”

-Tim Jackson

 

 

 

 

Ted Talk:

Tim Jackson: An economic reality check

As the world faces recession, climate change, inequity and more, Tim Jackson delivers a piercing challenge to established economic principles, explaining how we might stop feeding the crises and start investing in our future.

Summary:

Tim Jackson explains the problems and issues related to the recent problem of recession, a general slow down of the economic flow. Jackson explains, that the basic circular flow of the economy is continued by the flow of this cycle: 1. Firms produce goods for households 2. Firms provide us with incomes. 3. Income is spent on goods and services. 4. Investment given to firms. 5. Investment stimulates consumption growth. However, if this cycle does not continue, or in other words, if people do not keep on buying goods from the market, the economy system crashes. In order to keep the system flowing, it is important to keep on making people buy goods. To do so, the firm needs to keep on creating new materials, new ideas, and provide new experiences. However, it is also important to expand the credit and debt, so that the people will have more money, and can keep on buying more goods but this actually lead to crash of the credit and debt system, as it did in the UK in 2008. Jackson argues that we are oblivious, and we are not doing obvious things that we should be doing. We are buying things that we do not need, and we are not using our money on things that make perfect economic sense. Jackson explains that this is because, the human population want to ‘create a social world, and find a credible place in it’.  He further  argues about the system of economy right now, and he says that we should create a system based on our hearts. Jackson says, what we really need to right now is to put investment back to the economic flow model, to receive investment again. With that investment, we should invest in low-carbon technologies. Jackson also claims that we, consumers in the MEDC have the responsibilities to help lift the 2 Billion people in LEDCs out of poverty, because then there will be more space for them to economically develop. Overall, what Tim Jackson wanted to say was, we should have a better realistic vision of the future from our hearts, and step towards more credible economy. 

Evaluation:

Origin We can trust this origin because, Tim Jackson has an outstanding career profile. He currently works as the Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, and he is the first person to hold this title at a university in UK. He previously worked as the Senior Researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute. He currently works for the government of UK, as the economics commissioner. He is also a director of the Research group on Lifestyles, Values, and Environment (RESOLVE). We can also trust in him because he has conceived many awards for the books he wrote, such as the Public Awareness of Science Drama Award. We also know that this program is organized by TED, which is a non-profit organization, which has been running from 1984 and people all over the world watch this. We know that this TV show is world famous because there are subtitles in many different languages, and there are comments from people of different nationalities. We know that many people watch this because TED has many sponsors, who invest their trust and money into TED. Another reason why we could trust this is because all of their videos is licensed under Creative Commons, which means that they can not put up a false data because they have to also be responsible of the internet users that repost this media.

Value This source is valuable since it explains the economy model of today, and it links to the problems and issues related to it. The talk argues on how the economic model should really be, and how the consumers in the MEDCs are not spending their money on what they really should be spending on. He relates the topic to the environmental sustainability, and how we can change the system of our economy so that people in the LEDCs have some space for growth and so that we could have a sustainable nature. The 20-minute talk clearly states the reality, problems, and solutions to the world’s economic model so it will be valuable to historians in the future because it thoroughly states our economic status right now and it may suggest a solution to the world, if it is in a similar situation in the future. It may also be useful in giving reasons to humanity actions. (For example, if historians wanted to know why consumers were spending money to buy goods when they barely have any money to live on, they would know by looking at this Ted Talk. The answer is because, this will help maintain a circular flow in the economy, overall increasing the income of the consumers.)

Purpose The purpose of this media is to tell the politicians and the financial circles to change the economic model of today because the people who control the world economy such as the Mass media, government, and politicians are responsible for controlling the general economic flow because they control the consumers, who are actually responsible for maintaining the general flow.

Limitation There is no limitation for this media. It covers almost all the background knowledge needed in order to discuss about the topic.

 

My opinion towards the Ted Talk

I found this talk was amazing as it discussed the very main, core problem of the world economic recession, and the deterioration of the natural environment. The talk was clearly organized and structured into five parts, which are: -Introduction -The situation today -Problem -Solution -Conclusion , which made it easy for me to understand. I agree with the opinions of Tim Jackson, and I really enjoy how he related ‘environmental sustainability’ to the world economic problems. I believe that the whole idea of ‘money’ is the big influential factor that accounts to the main environmental problems such as, pollution. If there were no such thing as money, I have a feeling that anybody would choose the right decision in using more eco-friendly products, and products that are more likely to help sustain the eco-system. As Jackson said, it is very sad that many people do not choose the right options that economically make sense, such as buying house insulators instead of air conditioners, etc. It is even more sad about the fact that us, consumers are forced by the firms and the massmedia to keep on buying new products when some of us are not financially capable of spending money. I think that we cannot fix our habit of buying products consistently, if we do not change our minds, and the way we think. Jackson explains that the only reason we buy things we don’t need is because we are kind of forced by our anxieties of “not fitting into the society”, if we do not buy what everyone else has. I agree with the talk, and I think that in order to recover our economic situation, it is necessary for us to have a better realistic vision of the future. I think that this is the hardest part of the issue. It is not easy to change one’s mind and it will be more than hard, and time taking to lose our desire of trying to ‘fit in’ in the society. Though, it is always possible to aim the back side. We can use the mass media and spread this message, or we can help promote eco-friendly products, which will only be a short-term solution because that won’t change the way people think. I think, the only way we can change the way the society thinks, is by losing ‘society’ because otherwise, I don’t think that people will be able to think independently.