Response to prompt 3: Social and population
As the human population grows space becomes scarce. Not every society gets to live like Americans, sprawled out with huge houses and yards. Our way of life in the USA is in fact rare. In countries like Japan or China a majority of citizens live in close quarters often living in apartments or condos. I believe that the first step for social sustainability is social benefits such as social security, universal healthcare and universal childcare like that of European countries. I believe a well maintained balanced budget is necessary but unrealistic. I believe that another way for social sustainability is well paying government jobs, availability to education and affordable colleges. In order to have social sustainability citizens must be happy, with this being said it is important to have public parks, well-maintained conservation land and protected natural land. I also believe that basic fundamental things such as how to do taxes, how to pay bills, how to build credit and how to properly invest should be taught in high school. I believe all these will make more well-rounded, better-educated and happier citizens.
“This week we discussed animal rights and the conditions in which we treat animals that we eat. We saw many different examples from thousands of chickens kept in stacking storage towers, free roaming pigs, and the comical Portlandia restaurant patrons visiting the chicken they were about to eat. At cost do you think we are going to far or is there more we can do? How should we treat the animals and plants that we eat, and should there be a minimum standard for how these plants and animals are treated?”
I believe there is more for us to do as a species that relies on the lives of other species for food. I believe Organic and sustainable farming should be the way of the future, rather than factory farming. If more people eat local it will be helping local farmers, the local economy and will be beneficial for both the environment and the health of the human consumers. We should treat the plants and animals we eat with respect, the animals should have the best possible life. We also have to think about that fact that these plants and animals are going to be going into our bodies. Wouldn’t you rather have food from a farm where you know the owners and where no chemicals and pesticides were added?
Yes, I do believe there should be a minimum standard. It should consist of laws stating the way animals are treated on the farms, what they are fed and how they should be slaughtered. Large animals should have time everyday to roam free in fields. Chickens should not be crammed to capacity in tiny cages stacked one on another. Cows should not have their utters hooked up to a machine for more than a healthy amount per day. I also believe that each package of meat should tell you what state the meat came from and the name of the farm. I also believe that the use of growth hormones that are detrimental to both the livestock and humans should be illegal.
I believe that as technological advances and economic prosperity grows more desirable the Buddhist religion will lose its influences. I believe that those that practice Buddhism will still believe in the same basic principles but a majority of that population will want to have a prosperous life. For instance it is like how the percentage of the Christian population believe gays should have equal rights or that it is a woman’s choice of what she does with her body. However there will be the percentage of Buddhist who stays strong to all environmental principles by which Buddhism is based on.
Being environmentally friendly is not always economically efficient, but without a prosperous, well taken care of environment we will not have the necessary resources to sustain a stable economy. Most technological advances tend to better the environment unless they are made to have planned obsolescence. I do not believe having less focus on economic well-being would benefit how people see environmental issues. People who are poor and have to worry about basic needs do not think about environmental problems, they are just thinking about what they have to do to survive.
After reading the article by Michael Berliner the view point may seem pretty severe, however there are groups of people in the world who truly believe much of that article is true. Below is a link to a video called “If I wanted America to Fail”. The video is solely about how the environmental movement would completely destroy the US economy, similar to what Berliner alluded to when he suggested that environmentalism is anti-industry. The man in the video describes environmental policy as a “economic suicide pact”. Berliner brings up a good point the intrinsic value is not the same for everybody, so can that be used as a solid argument to make decisions?Do you think that a more eco-friendly government will lead to an economic downturn? Should we guilt Americans to pay more for fossil fuel energy so that they may rely more on renewable resources? Can the globe run on “wind power and wishes” or will humans be reliant on fossil fuels until the are no longer available? Is it possible to find a middle ground that satisfies both parties in terms of economic and governmental policy?
I believe that intrinsic value can be given to any object, even those with a price tag. Intrinsic value is going to change from person to person, but it never changes the market value. Therefore I believe Berliners argument is flawed, I believe this because he is arguing in favor of the free market. Intrinsic value can be given to materials in the free market, for instance someone may say a coal plant is worth more than a fracking site. Just because someone might view something as having more value does not mean it does not have set market value.
I do not believe eco-friendly government will lead to an economic downturn. I believe in the long run it will have the complete opposite effect. For instance, Sweden is one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world and it has a growing stable economy. The economy may hurt at first, but only if the laws and regulations aren’t done gradually. I believe it isn’t guilting them, it is well known that fossil fuels aren’t renewable and are finite. It is important that we start to move towards more cleaner and renewable energy sources. This is where the eco-friendly government would come in. There would be alternatives and therefor those who would want gas-powered cars would be the ones who could afford it; it would be considered a luxury. If our government doesn’t take charge, I do believe we will be dependent on fossil fuels until they run out. The fossil fuel companies control a majority of the world markets and many of the politicians. It is completely possible to find a middle ground between economic and government policies. The parties would have to make compromises and sacrifices, but it is completely possible.
“Do you believe intrinsic value is critical to the continued preservation of nature by humans? Does developing technology further push human society away from nature? If so, what are the potential long-term effects of this more extreme separation?”
Humans give value to things they appreciate or see as useful. This value can change from person to person. Well-developed societies tend to be more capitalistic and materialistic, because of this intrinsic value is an abstract idea to many people. However, I believe intrinsic value is critical in the continuing preservation of nature. If we were to put monetary values on natural resources it could cause the importance of preserving one object to be more important than preserving another, because of its net worth to humans. In actuality everything plays a large role in the natural world and has an importance. Although intrinsic value is critical to preservation, humans like things they can put a price on, things that make logical sense and things beneficial to their own life. Because of this, intrinsic value is an abstract concept that will require the human race to change its way of thinking in order to work in the way of preservation.
I do believe that technological advances push society further from nature. Today, more than ever humans rely on technology for entertainment and everyday processes. A majority of the time we are sitting in front of a computer, TV or phone. Society seems to have lost its enjoyment of playing outside; this has become increasingly evident in younger generations who spend more time playing video games than they do playing outside. Even when we are in nature we rely on GPS, cameras, phones, motorboats, ATVs and cars to enjoy the outdoors. Very rarely do we just exist in the wilderness or explore and enjoy the outdoors without some sort of technology.
The potential long-term effect of the more extreme separation is people losing all connection with the natural world. It could cause a loss of joy the natural world brings, a loss of understanding for the world, a loss of appreciation for things other than the human species. For me, surrounding myself in nature whether I am diving through a coral reef or hiking the superior national forest makes me feel complete, it puts me at ease; it reminds me of who I am and my purpose on this earth. Being in nature reminds me to respect our resources and to protect things that don’t have a voice. The extreme separation could cause more people to be unappreciative of what the natural world brings us, causing many to see nature as just a means to an end, a thing to be used up for human benefit.