Reflection: Should We Increase The Use Of Natural Resources?


The earth is becoming hotter as the climate is changing globally due to the rise in temperature. This increase in temperature will eventually lead to a massive changes in the variation or even a mass-extinction of species, a flooding of huge areas of land, a break down of the agricultural sector and a shortage of food and water supply etc. As a consequence, we will see mass-migration, civil war because of lack of food and an increase in famine, especially in developing countries. That’s what science tells us.

So who has the responsibility for preventing the climate change from escalating into a worldwide disaster? Should governments worldwide and international corporation negotiate through for example UN institutions and come to an agreement on radical strategies towards preventing total climate disaster from breaking out in the future?
Maybe the responsibility for doing something about climate change and its devastating consequences lay just as much on the shoulders of the individual?

From one perspective, there is no doubt that if you really want to create a change on the environmental area, you have to work out strategies on an international level. If you don’t have a global agreement between governments, you will not succeed in making any significant changes in the agenda on global climate. However, the problem is that our international institutions, e.g. the UN, are politically weak and insufficient. We can’t depend on our global institutions. They are not capable of solving anything because we haven’t given them enough power to ratify radical restrictions on the agenda of national governments that go against the environment. So far, it has been almost impossible to come to an agreement between the world’s many countries and rulers. The Kyoto Agreement has never been fully ratified. The interests of the world are simply too many and diversified. So where does this leave us in solving the greatest problem of this world?

We might turn to the individual citizen for help. Of course, it will result in a big change if the global consumer altered his or her spending habits. If people changed their habits and their personal ethics significantly when buying goods and handling waste, then the global market would most certainly adjust to the new tendencies. This would mean that the market would radically minimise the spread of anti-climate products. Also, if the global citizen could recognise the importance of minimising one’s use of water and other resources, it would certainly help in the fight against climate change. But it has to be a worldwide movement where all people unite in a global struggle against over-production and pollution. Humankind has to restrict itself, and I am not sure we are capable of doing that.

So what can we do? Maybe we should turn the bottle upside down and instead increase our spending and use of resources. Maybe we should use the logic of capitalism and let the market grow exponentially? With the increased spending and use of resources new technologies will be born which could eventually give us new industries which do not effect the climate. By using more resources and energy, we could give ourselves the platform and wealth for inventing new practices that could make us independent of the polluting resources we use today? “More is better” because it might give us totally new possibilities. The distortion of our natural resources today could also be creative and positive in the long run, if we dare to take the risk? And it that not what humankind has been doing for last decades? Let’s wait and see; maybe the fatal increase suddenly turns into a cooling decrease?

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