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Ecological Debt - Essay Example

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Summary
Based on The World Revolution (no date), "Ecological Debt is the liability that industrialized countries have for the damage they have caused to the livelihood of humans and to life in the planet. Such destruction is the direct effect of their production and consumption which constitute an unsustainable model of development, strengthened by globalization, and a threat to the sovereignty of nations…
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Ecological Debt
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Ecological Debt What is Ecological Debt Based on The World Revolution (no , "Ecological Debt is the liability that industrialized countries have for the damage they have caused to the livelihood of humans and to life in the planet. Such destruction is the direct effect of their production and consumption which constitute an unsustainable model of development, strengthened by globalization, and a threat to the sovereignty of nations. Ecological Debt is the obligation and responsibility that industrialized countries of the North have with the Third World, for the exploitation of their natural goods such as oil, minerals, forests, biodiversity, indigenous and peasant knowledge, marine goods, and for the disproportionate and illegitimate use of the atmosphere and of the oceans to dump waste, including the greenhouse gases."
Three Things I've Learned From Ecological Debt
Knowing the definition of ecological debt, I've learned three important things that have opened my mind. First, the major cause of ecological debt comes from the excessive, if not abusive use of natural resources. Industrialized countries are the ones running up an ecological debt by too much consumption of resources from marine, land, forests, oil, etc. coming from the Third World countries. Second, the advantages in the economy of developed countries are causing disadvantages to the countries in the South by inconsiderable exportation of products - both raw materials and prepared goods, and even human services/workforce in very low price range. Between the supplier and the consumer, they take advantage of the monetary aspect, thus ending up exploiting the environment. Furthermore, The World Revolution (n. d.) says, "According to United Nations figures, 20% of the population of the world, the majority who live in the North, consume 80% of the planet's natural resources." Third, because of this imbalance, we are now suffering from the effects we have caused to the Earth. The greenhouse effect is all the more causing the global warming that is now one of the major problems all over the world.
My Ecological Footprint
Using the Ecological Footprint Quiz of Earth Day Network, here are the results of my overall consumption: food - 4.9%; mobility - 6.2%; shelter - 10.1%; good/services - 14.8%. My total footprint is 36 %. This result suggested that if everyone lives the same as I do, we will be needing 8.1 planets.
The Biggest Contributing Factor
Given the fact that the modern world, with all the technologies used and other services acquired, my consumption of goods and services has averaged to 14.8 percent, the highest or biggest contributor to my ecological footprint.
Compared to Others
Based on my total ecological footprint, 36% is very high if compared to the average Ecological Footprint of a person in the U.S. This however, doesn't mean that I have a greater or lower print compared to my classmates. We have different lifestyles and ways of consumptions that will definitely reflect differently with food, mobility, shelter, and goods and services.
What Can Do Average American Citizens to Reduce Their Footprints
Any average American citizen can help reduce the ecological debt by reducing the excessive consumption of resources. Change of lifestyle is a major step that will not only affect oneself, but it will serve as a big contribution in conserving energy, food, and other services. Average American citizens should choose the cost-efficient and earth friendly products in everyday life such as biodegradable materials, use of rechargeable batteries, walk or use bicycle to go to short distance places. Moreover, participation with agencies as well as with the programs of the government to promulgate proper information to the rest of the Americans is a valuable purpose that each average American citizen should aspire to attain.
References
The World Revolution. Ecological Debt. Retrieved April 22, 2008, from http://www.worldrevolution.org/guidepage/ecologicaldebt/intro
The Earth Day Network. Ecological Footprint Quiz. Retrieved April 22, 2008, from http://www.earthday.net/Footprint/index.asp Read More
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