Friday, June 5, 2015

Today is World Environment Day

World Environment Day is today, June 5.  This year's WED has an economic theme:  "Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet.  Consume with Care".  The theme of sustainable consumption sounds great, and I agree that environmental degradation does not have to be a by-product of economic growth, but I worry about the free rider problem.

Read about it here at UNEP and  here at IBT (with lots of great but depressing pictures). Cool video from UNEP here


Connor Mensing said...

It's astounding to imagine the article's statement that by the time we reach 9.6 billion people living on earth, three planets will be what is necessary to sustain our current levels of consumption. Population growth is a problem that has constantly intrigued me. While population growth in the poor nations seem to be the highest in raw numbers, assigning weight in terms of how many resources each additional human consumes by country will likely land the bulk of the problem elsewhere (The U.S. perhaps?). One person in the US consumes several times that of someone living in a far poorer nation with a fraction of the U.S. GDP. It'll be interesting to see if humanity will begin to be more hard pressed for technological innovations come the time resources start wearing thin. The key to the world's current population being so large is just that, efficiency made possible by innovative technology. I am almost certain that the world will become more efficient more quickly only when it is pressured to. In the meantime, the incentive will be absent.

-Connor Mensing

Tess Johnson said...

I completely agree with Connor and his ideas of population growth and consumption. When I studied abroad we discussed the earth's growing population at length. It seems to be a big concern to the majority of the population. The earth has a carrying capacity, and no one knows the exact number that it is. I think that it is something that we must always keep in the back of our minds when we consume and make the choices we do.

James Glenn said...

I agree with your opinion a hundred percent and my favorite way to look at this is with a dam. When they build a dam no one want to donate money even though they benefit from this dam because someone else will pay for it and they get the dam for free. With the seven billion dreams most people will not live sustainably because they believe everyone else will.

Jawad Dughmush said...

I understand that whenever there is more people, there are always more problems. When will the solutions to our main problems exist? Recycling? Healthy way of energy production? A solution to population control? We are a civilization that is 200000 years old and we still have so much to learn. I just wish I will be alive to see any of these problems solved. Happy belated World Environment Day!