How effective can anti-pollution initiatives be when they are focused on countries that are not necessarily the countries that have pollution problems?


Question 1:

Technology is not always a positive

This week’s discussion is a bit of a continuation of last week’s discussion, and for good reason. The benefits of technology to humans are almost too numerous to list. As with anything, there are downsides to that advancement.

Think of some as useful as plastic. Plastic has been around for well over 400 years…even earlier if we consider rudimentary plastics. The use of plastics have revolutionized life on earth in ways that are too lengthy to detail. However, we also know that plastics are not that easy to dispose of. They are toxic to produce, toxic to destroy, and take years to decompose if at all. Yet, we could not survive on earth even remotely close to the way we do without plastics.

Plastic is just one example of a technology that has provided revolutionary benefits to humans and even our ability to care for the planet, yet it is also a pollution threat and a significant one. In case you have not heard, recent discoveries have hinted at the ability to decompose plastics and reuse them almost entirely. The technology is promising, but remains to be seen if it is as viable as it appears.

Describe a misuse of technology that you have observed within the global community. Provide examples and feel free to expand upon the negative sides of technology that you mentioned in last week’s post.

Question 2:


Pollution—The solution to a very tricky and misleading issue

Have you ever been to another country? Have you ever been to a developing country? One of the things we notice in ALL countries is pollution. Of course, some countries have a lot more than others. This can be simple litter like cigarette butts in the sidewalks to heaps of trash poured out onto the streets. While all countries have some level of pollution, there are many countries where pollution is rampant and….wait for it…even culturally acceptable.

As with all things, there is a lot of fake and misleading information out there for us to absorb. One of these has to do with air pollution. Remember how the United States refused to sign any air pollution treaty and then took a lot of heat from other countries for doing this? Well, there is a perfectly logical reason for this: the treaty that has nothing to do with pollution! There is a lot going on here than meets the eye…

Consider the following:

• Pollution is usually measured as the amount of pollution per person. What this means is that you can have a lot of pollution, but if you also have a lot of people, then your pollution statistic appears lower than it should be. What would happen if we measured pollution as pollution per unit of production?

• Why do some countries that appear to not pollute a lot seem to get criticized for polluting when other countries are obvious polluters and seem to get a free pass?

• How effective can anti-pollution initiatives be when they are focused on countries that are not necessarily the countries that have pollution problems?

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