"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Monday, July 30, 2007

Demand for energy and water (Global energy and water management)

Hardly needing an introduction, the issue of energy and water is one which has been around for many years. Many people do not think of water as a resource as it covers approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface. It cannot be exhausted. Although water may be a renewable resource, it will soon become too polluted and even scarce in some parts of the globe to be consumed. The same goes for other types of energy, namely fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are now indispensable to the lifestyle we have become used to: “over 85% of our energy demands are met by the combustion of fossil fuels” . Soon, these fossil fuels will run out and the water will not be fit to drink. What will we do then? There have been great responses such as The Green Belt Movement , Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace .Fossil fuels have been extracted since the 1800s but it wasn’t until the 1940s that their utility and use became exceptional. Today, “coal power plants account for at least 60% of our national energy and 52% of the world's demand. We, as a world, burn approximately 1.9 billion tons of coal a year to generate electricity” . The burning of fossil fuel leads to pollution and has dire consequences on the environment as well as on the health of the masses. The need for fossil fuels is of great importance since countries are now going as far as waging war to gain as much access to these resources. natural resources as possible. Water is becoming as valuable as these non-renewable resources. People need water to survive. People who have water make the rules and others need to abide by these rules if they are to survive themselves. Human necessities are being held “captive” by enterprises looking to make a quick buck. Have we stooped so low as to make others pay for their life?Governments and other leaders need to recognize the damage being caused by the extraction and burning of fossil fuels as well as the careless dumping of waste into public water. Already, the “Green Movement” has begun which promotes ideologies such as sustainability, environmentalism, non-violence and social justice. Strict and more harsh penalties should be implemented and rewards given to “environmentally friendly” households and/or enterprises. The media also needs to be more involved: the public needs to be aware of how their actions affect the world they live in.


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