People use natural resources with little concern about their descendants
The human society evolved and created numerous marvellous things making peoples lives easier, more comfortable, ad more pleasant. Art, technology, and high living standards are important achievements, but these victories have come at a high cost. Human activity has led to a considerable deterioration of the environment in different parts of the world. People use natural resources with little concern about their descendants, which makes some resources scarce. At that, the consequences of these actions are felt today as many people have to fight for better conditions. These conflicts often lead to new problems. This paper deals with some peculiarities of human society and the ways people should address environmental issues.
Conflicts have always been a part of human life, and there was hardly a period of time without a war on the planet. Spinoza mentioned five basic reasons for wars that included greed, fear, jealousy, tribal hatreds, and love of power. It is possible to find numerous examples of the wars that began due to these reasons in the twentieth century. The conflicts that originated from the tension between some countries of the Middle East refer to conflicting ideologies, as well as the desire to control valuable resources (Dahlman and Renwick 26). The military operations in the regions illustrate Spinozas views regarding the reasons for wars.
It may seem that five factors leading to wars cannot be a complete list, but, in fact, it can be reduced to two basic reasons. Greed (resources) and fear are major triggers of any wars and conflicts in world history. The fight for resources that are scarce is the central peculiarity of the relationships between different groups. People want more resources to survive (which can be seen as greed) and attack those who have these resources.
The situation in the Middle East shows that oil is the primary focus of conflicting groups although many of them mention ethnic or religious issues. Fear of losing resources (including wealth or power) make rulers or nations attack others. For example, some crusades and even contemporary conflicts were caused by peoples fear of losing power or some tangible things (land, gold, and so on). Recent Turkish attacks in Syria can be seen as an illustration of this fear as the Turkish leader does not want to lose control over certain territories.
Unfortunately, wars can hardly cease to exist as greed is closely related to such basic instinct as survival. People would see conflicts as the only possible way to obtain the resources they need, while compromise, respect, or flexibility would not emerge in the near future. These qualities can help people avoid personal conflicts if their life is not seriously threatened. The western world promulgates these features, and many people value them highly, which helps them avoid conflicts even at the expense of their interest. There are chances that when the rate of people sharing such values becomes high enough, and when a significant level of prosperity is achieved, people will manage to handle any issues effectively.
Desertification as a Contributing Factor
The lack of resources is one of the primary causes of conflicts and wars, and the land is one of the most valuable assets for any community or nation. However, peoples activities have a negative impact on the environment, for living. North America is the continent characterized by considerable problems associated with land and water. Arid lands constitute a significant part of various parts of the United States, and Americans contribute to the intensification of the issue. Farming is one of the primary causes of desertification in North America. The USA is not the only country that has to address the problem of desertification.
European countries also face similar problems, but the cause of desertification is slightly different (Dahlman and Renwick 22). In Europe, bio-industrial activity is the central factor leading to desertification. European states managed to achieve high economic results, but these gains are associated with a high price.
At that, Asia can be seen as the most affected part of the world where environmental issues are burning. The region has been affected by all the major causes of desertification including deforestation, overgrazing, arable farming, and bio-industrial aspects.
Economic goals were placed at the forefront, and Asian countries achieved remarkable economic results at the expense of the environment. Deforestation has traditionally been one of the primary activities that led to the deterioration of lands. People have needed territories for farming, building dwellings, storing their wastes, and other activities. For centuries, forests were cut down without regrets or any considerations, which led to serious environmental concern in the modern world. Needless to say, that such activities forced rulers to attack their neighbors to obtain control over more resources (mainly land).
Making a Difference
Nevertheless, the growing bulk of environmental and other problems does not necessarily lead to conflicts as many people choose to address issues and make their (and other individuals) life better. Thousands of activists make a difference by drawing peoples attention to the problem and encouraging masses to take action. Such people as Medha Patkar or Phil Forseth managed to change the situation and make those in power more responsible, at least in some aspects. These two activists can also serve as an illustration of the role of personal zeal and commitment. Patkar and Forseth did not have specific qualifications, and they hardly had any formal power to change the situation, but their activities led to particular improvements.
Therefore, anyone can and should try to contribute to solving the most burning (or any) environmental or social problem. The activist does not have to be a wealthy person or a famous politician, this person needs to have a number of qualities. Firstly, an activist should be patient because the involvement in the political or social life is associated with numerous failures and simply hard times. Secondly, it is necessary to be strong and committed to specific goals, which will help the activist remain concentrated on the problem. Thirdly, activists should be courageous to stand for their ideas even when they see no support. The courage of some individuals makes masses follow and force those in power to care about the environment.
Fortunately, there are many brave people who inspire others. Our community is no exception, and the projects aimed at reducing resources consumption and wastes have become popular. People try to use water, electricity and other resources reasonably while trying to recycle or . However, people need to be more responsible when it comes to doing business as well. The control over industries and business people is almost non-existent, which leads to some violations. People are now rather confused and try to decide whether economic growth can be achieved at the expense of the environment, even if the country is facing considerable issues.
In order to make businesses more responsible, activists should be more united and interact with each other more effectively. They should use media and various tools to draw publics attention to the problem. They should also address policymakers for help as this kind of collaboration can result in effective laws and norms. The use of media may seem an easy step to undertake, but it needs certain persistence.
When using social media, activists should provide information clearly and concisely. For that purpose, they should be able to collect data, analyze and synthesize information, create effective messages. Apart from social media, activists should address print media and television to cover larger audiences. The use of such media is a more complicated task that requires putting up notices, arranging meetings, being brave enough to talk about the problem freely.
On balance, it is necessary to note that people live in a beautiful world that gives everything they need. However, irresponsible behavior and greed have led to a significant deterioration of the environment and reduced the bulk of natural resources. For centuries, people consumed the gifts of the planet without thinking about possible consequences. The current generation has to address these problems and develop effective strategies that will be used by their descendant. Although many people think they are too insignificant and powerless, activists from different regions are changing the world for better. It is clear that diligence, commitment, and courage are the primary resources activists need to make a difference.