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Environmental Sustainability and Public Policy - Research Paper Example

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Environmental studies Investigate the issues of environmental sustainability and the use of public policy to encourage or enforce the community into acting responsibly in this area. Industrialization and economic expansion have been the hallmark of the 20th century, with most nations opening their doors for trade and commerce with the promise of wealth and massive economic gains…
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Environmental Sustainability and Public Policy
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Download file to see previous pages But as the world now looks in retrospect, it’s evident that this growth has come at a cost. A cost which the future generations will have to bear if the respective practices pursue. Nature has provided us with the vast pool of resources that have fuelled our industrial growth alongside provision of basic sustenance materials such as food, water and air. But rampant anthropocentrism has made most industries oblivious to the consequences of growth at the expense of a degenerating ecosystem. While economists have historically acclaimed that human beings have unlimited wants but limited resources, the emphasis has lied on financial resources. Natural resources have always been thought of as being infinite. This thought has eventually led to what Garrett Hardin deemed as the Tragedy of the commons, multiple individuals acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, depleting a shared resource without any consideration for the future sustainability of that resource. This phenomenon has gained due attention from scientific circles and has inevitably transcended to political and administrative circles as well. By virtue of sharing a common environment, global initiatives are being taken to analyze the extent the environmental damages have taken place and modify the practices that need to take place. We are dependent on the environment for our survival and growth, and in return the environment requires our reciprocation for its sustenance. Facing countless environmental issues, the onus for environmental sustainability lies on governments, industries, citizens and every inhabitant of this planet; by virtue of being stakeholders. Some of the most pressing environmental issues that have surfaced include: Biodiversity: To protect ecosystems and curb extinction of species, otherwise it is bound to cause discrepancies in the natural food chain. This will automatically be a great loss for the environment and pose as a hurdle in sustainability. Climate change effects on ecosystems: The melting of glaciers and over all global biodiversity depletion is causing damage to the ecosystems as animal habitats are changing drastically. Oil pollution: Global oil mining and leaks such as the BP New Mexico leak have created massive setbacks in the animal population and permanently damaged sea beds. Several animal species are now included in the endangered species list as a consequence. Thus, it is the prime purpose of governments and environment protecting agencies to look into more environmental friendly energy sources and for now, a safer incident-free transportation system. Biosafety: To add artificial ecosystem catalizers in place of endangered species to add value back to the system and assuage the prevalent damages in the affected region. This is the least our advanced technology can do to add to the environment in place of the damages it has caused. Perhaps science and environmental sustainability can perhaps one day be known as coexisting rather than being antonyms. Global dimming: The reflection of causes an opposite effect of global warming and doesn’t allow the sun’s heat and energy to pass though. This is known to have caused the droughts in Ethiopia. Thus, CO2 levels need to be looked at and controlled otherwise they will play ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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