Development Causes Considerable and Irreparable Environmental Damage
Development has offered mankind unique opportunities to improve their life, but at what cost? The environment suffers daily abuse to fuel man insatiable appetite for the conveniences of modern life. The environmental damages caused by development will inevitably spiral out of control due to the human-environment interactions it promotes and the lack of serious interest in environmental preservation. Our planet is fighting a losing battle to provide for its people and there seem no end in sight. Due to development, man’s daily habits now result in adverse effects on the environment.
Transportation has advanced significantly due to development, greatly improving man’s quality of life. But daily, the bi-products of modern transport contribute considerably to global warming. According to Andrew Jackson, author of Environmental Science: the natural environment and human impact, carbon emissions from land transport alone is responsible for 80% of ozone depletion, yearly. In addition to harmful gases, man also generates significant waste which, due to technological development, now includes cell phones, computer and other devices/materials that are injurious to the environment.
Siyavula Uploaders, a cyber society committed to spreading awareness about environmental issues, technological development has forever changed the face of the planet; from the mining of materials to the production of goods and finally the disposal of waste, our planet has been reconditioned. Thomas Fried, writer for The New York Times, outlined in his ‘Addicted to Oil, that it is the “the big O” that will ultimately bring about the death of our planet. Oil is essential for industrial and economical development and has sparked a global dependence.
The production, transportation and the use of oil all have adverse effects on the environment and man’s addiction, guarantees major environmental damage. Today, man leads a life devoted to convenience at whatever cost. Development wreaks havoc on the planet daily but more alarming is the permanent damage that continues to worsen. As mentioned earlier, global warming is a serious problem being faced by the environment today and it continues to worsen with no solution in sight to meet developmental demands.
There is already a massive whole in the earth’s ozone but factories must keep up with industrial and economical demand, all the while emitting millions of pounds of harmful toxins into the environment (Andrew Jackson). Nuclear damages have also devastated out planet in the past (e. g. the Chernobyl disaster) but nuclear testing continues to aid weaponry development. Man’s addiction to oil continues to rage despite numerous oil spills that have destroyed a vast quantity of sea life (e. g. the recent oil spill in the Gulf).
Sadly, existing problems have failed to open mankind’s eyes to the dangers of development. To further compound this assault on the environment, efforts to counter the adverse effects of development are proving futile. Recycling is a long and tedious process. According to an October 2010 survey conducted by the Eisenman Corporation (an environmentalist society), people are discourages from recycling because of added inconvenience (i. e. trash must be separated into appropriate receptacles and taken to a recycling plant).
Additionally, alternate energies, that could mitigate the high demand for oil, are expensive to harness and convert into useful energy. For example, solar energy has only a 15% efficiency rate. All in all, more environmentally-friendly lifestyles are seen as hassle, because of the inconveniences it poses. For example, alternate means of transportation such as bicycles or even carpooling are less comfortable. Development encourages complacence but when all the earth’s resources have been depleted, what then? Thankfully, there is hope.
Small organizations advocating more environmentally friendly lifestyles are gaining increased support. The Going-Green campaign has gained enormous support due to celebrity promotion. The president of The United States of America, Barack Obama, uses government as a platform for promoting this campaign (i. e. his 2008 Senate Speech). Additionally, urging from environmentalist s has resulted in the establishment of laws to protect the environment. For example, they have lobbied for taxes incentives for manufacturers that produce less waste.
Government now plays a more serious role in environmental considerations; developing policies to encourage environmental awareness and factoring environmental preservation into national budgets. But are all these efforts enough? The environment is in grave danger. Development makes little allowance for environmental preservation and has fostered complacence in mankind. Significant damage has already been done to the environment and it continues to worsen. When will it stop? What catastrophic event will show us that development is killing the environment?