Fundamental global problems are problems that affect the world and the population in it at large. Some of these problems occur naturally while others are caused by human beings themselves. Although man appreciates his environment, he does a lot of harm to it either deliberately or advertently. Various organizations such as the United Nations Environmental (UNEP) have come up with programs to counter such global problems (McKone and MacLeod p. 464). This paper thus focuses to identify one fundamental global problem. This paper will also provide a brief argument for why the global problem identified is a fundamental problem. Furthermore, a suggestion will be given of an approach that can be used to improve the fundamental problem. Under this approach, this paper will suggest the measures that the responsible agents may use to remedy the problem or situation. The paper will identify some plausible criticisms of the approach used to improve the fundamental problem.
One fundamental global problem is environmental pollution. This has become a major issue of concern in the past few decades. This problem has been caused by several factors, both natural and manmade which have resulted into various negative impacts such as global warming, floods, erratic climate etc (Singer par 2). One factor that has caused pollution is technology. Technology has been applied in various human activities. To begin with, in industries, technology is the sole aspect. Different industries cause pollution in different ways. Pollution in industries can be invisible, indirect or negligible. In other words, there is no industry that is free of pollution. There are industries that manufacture chemicals, pesticides and medicines. Such industries often release their waste products carelessly into the environment. Chemicals are released into the environment through drainage pipes thus polluting water and soil. Besides, pesticides when used in farms cause air pollution. All these are evidences of environmental pollution. An increase in incidences of environmental pollution has raised concern among various organizations and people. As a result, there have been struggles to combat the menace (McKone and MacLeod, p. 464).
Environmental pollution merits as one of the fundamental global problems due to a number of reasons. To begin with, in the world today, industrialization is rapid and rampant. The large number of global industries in turn causes serious pollution of the environment making it merit as a fundamental global problem. The push for industrialization has resulted to emission of harmful gasses and substances into the environment with little regard on its impact on the natural environment (Turner, 398). Changes in the last few decades are a witness to this.
The other reason that makes environmental pollution to be a fundamental global problem is the fact that it is caused by scientific technologies. In the modern world, scientific technologies form part and parcel of human life. Thus any issue concerning scientific technology in the modern world becomes a global concern. Scientific technologies have led to the innovation of automobiles. Automobiles are commonly used as means of transportation in the modern generation. In the process, pollution has been part of automobile technology and thus causing human miseries. In several towns and cities across the world, public and private automobiles are the greatest polluters of all time. The pollution is caused by the emissions from the millions of automobiles across the world. Other automobiles emit hydrocarbons into the air thus causing air pollution. The emission occurs when fuel molecules burn incompletely after which they react with nitrogen oxides forming smog (Pearce, p. 363).
An approach that can be used to improve environmental pollution is the social approach. This approach is very influential in improving the problem in that it is concerned with the one on one relationship among human beings. The social approach supports the fact that man should take care of his environment. Through this, the fundamental global problem of environmental pollution will have been solved. Environmental pollution has been a major concern in the world for the past few years. Under the social approach, the responsible agents should use various measures to solve the problem of environmental pollution (Pearce, p. 366). However, the lifeboat metaphor by Hardin advises against helping the poor or those most affected by pollution which would be third world countries facing famine and starvation (par 4)
To start with, the responsible agents should encourage and campaign for the recycling of paper, plastics, glass bottles, cardboards and aluminum cans among other waste materials. The implication of this to the environment is that energy will be conserved and there will be a significant reduction of production emissions (Beychok and Milton 30).
Secondly, the other way through which the responsible agents should remedy the situation is by encouraging people to have self-education and adopt good and healthy practices. In addition, the responsible agents should make people aware of the effects of environmental pollution (Beychok and Milton 30).
The other type of pollution that the responsible agents should fight against is air pollution. Air pollution in public places such as market places, streets or places of fun is often caused by people who smoke. In order to reduce air pollution, it is therefore the duty of the responsible agents to advise the individuals addicted to smoking to stop smoking or to follow the smoking regulations. The implication of this is that there will be a significant reduction of air pollution resulting from smoking. Besides, the environment will become friendlier to non-smokers (Beychok and Milton 30).
As discussed earlier, automobiles are the major pollutants in the 21[st] century. In order to reduce emissions from automobiles, there are several aspects that should be taken care of. Therefore, the responsible agents should ensure that the use of unleaded petrol in automobiles is encouraged. The implication of this is that the combustion in automobiles will be reduced hence causing a significant reduction in emissions from automobiles (Turner, p. 398). In turn, the rate at which human beings pollute the environment will have decreased significantly. However, it is possible that the culture of automobile ownership discourages taking care of the environment in a similar manner that Jaggar (par 18) calls injustice through culture. For the culture of muscle cars discourages any regard to proper and economical use of resources to avoid waste.
Moreover, the responsible agents should ensure that the people who own automobiles keep them in good running condition. The implication of this is that it will help avoid smoke emissions thus reducing air pollution. Besides, instead of using automobiles frequently, the responsible agents should start campaigns that encourage people to walk or ride bikes when possible or necessary. This will help in a significant reduction in air pollution making the environment friendlier and healthier (McKone and MacLeod, p. 469). However, not many entities are willing to own up the problem because “one feels less guilty about doing nothing if one can point to others, similarly placed, who have also done nothing” (Singer, par 9).
The other way in which responsible agents can provide a remedy to environmental pollution is by encouraging the use of eco-friendly or organic materials. Organic materials should be preferred to inorganic materials since the inorganic materials are usually made of toxic substances that are hazardous to human health. This will encourage decomposition of human wastes hence preventing their accumulation in the environment. Moreover, responsible agents should ensure that human beings have proper waste disposal systems at home, in the factories or in the market places. This will prevent the careless dumping of toxic substances in the environment thus causing a significant decrease in pollution. People should also avoid throwing or disposing wastes that are in liquid, solid or gaseous form that may cause pollution into the drainage systems, air or soil (McKone and MacLeod, p. 470).
Criticisms of the Social Approach
The approach and argument faces several criticisms. To begin with, the arguments above make assumptions that all human beings are environmentally cautious which not the case in this situation is. Therefore, not all individuals will accept the remedies introduced by the responsible agents such as smoking laws, increased fuel efficient vehicles, carbon taxes and driving of vehicles in good condition among others (McKone and MacLeod, p. 473).
Moreover, the argument and approach above faces criticism since it does not allow for alternative ways of survival. For example, the approach argues that people should not pollute the environment by dumping wastes carelessly or smoke carelessly in public areas. However, the approach does not provide of an alternative that all individuals should do once they halt their previous behaviors that led to environmental pollution.
The other criticism of the approach is that it does not emphasize on the cost of solving the environmental pollution problem. Sen notes that “Condorcet was confident that this problem would be solved by reasoned human action: through increases in productivity, through better conservation and prevention of waste, and through education (especially female education) which would contribute to reducing the birth rate” (Par 22). Once the cost of solving the problem is affordable and cheap, it will be easier and faster to solve the problem. In turn, the whole world will have been saved from the jaws of environmental pollution.
To recap it all, as discussed in this paper, environmental pollution can be caused by several factors. It is evident that the major causes of pollution in the 21[st] century globally are automobiles and industries. The responsible agents should struggle to put in place measures or remedies that will help solve the problem. When environmental pollution is solved, the environment will become friendlier and there will be a significant reduction in human miseries that result from environmental pollution.
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