Sustainability Culture Essay

Submitted By maelza
Words: 1198
Pages: 5

Maria E. Jimenez
FIE-British Life and Cultures
Dr. Fosdal
18 February 2014
Sustainability Lecture: Saving the World for Future Generations According to Henry Hicks, Futerra Creative Director, sustainable development is development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (2014). It means that today, people need to be aware of the social, economic, and environmental impact of their decisions because these decisions will affect resources for future generations (What is, n.d.). Hicks discussed a few human activities that are devastating the environment, such as fracking, terrorism, high food prices, unethical business practices, and racist immigration rules. However, he also mentioned actions that people are taking to care for the environment, such as the use of solar panels, the harnessing of wind energy, local consumption, and fair trade. Three of the issues discussed that interested me were fracking, income inequality, and positive sustainability measures because these issues illustrate the relationship between sustainability and economic development. Despite some economic benefits, fracking is ultimately an unsustainable practice because the negative economic, social, and environmental effects are greater than its benefits. Some countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, adopted the hydraulic fracturing practice, known as fracking, with the aim of creating a more sustainable energy market. Fracking is the process of creating fractures in rocks and rock formations by injecting fluid into cracks to force them further open which releases gas (Fracking, n.d). In the United States, fracking has produced some economic benefits, such as creating jobs, and developing local regional infrastructures. For these reasons, politicians in the UK believe that practicing fracking would provide low cost, clean sources of energy with the potential for local energy independence (Allen, 2014). However, Hicks argues that fracking is not a good sustainable practice because the technique of extracting gas uses a significant amount of water and carcinogenic chemical causing great environment damage. Increasingly, adequate water resources are a big concern because many countries do not have enough water for their people. In addition, the chemicals used can escape during the gas extraction process and contaminate groundwater around the area. This water could then be used by farmers and thereby contaminate vegetables, or can be consumed by millions of people who live near the fracking sites. In 2011, the fracking process caused two small earthquakes of 1.1 and 2.2 magnitude in the Blackpool area, UK (What is fracking, 2013). Furthermore, some research has shown that communities involved in fracking can experience an increase of heavy traffic causing noise pollution, land fragmentation, and the loss of natural habitats. Therefore, fracking is not a sustainable practice for driving economic growth because it harms communities and industries, such as tourism, agriculture, food and beverages, and outdoor recreation (Business Concerns, n.d.). Another issue that obstructs sustainable development is income inequality because it relies on the exploitation of human and natural resources. This is unsustainable for social, environmental, and economics reasons since it results in the depletion of these resources. Although global income inequality has decreased over the past 25 years, it remains a problem because the richest, which constitutes one percent of the world’s population, owns about 40 percent of the world’s wealth, whereas the poor owns only one percent. Moreover, developed countries consume much more natural resources than developing countries. The huge consumption of developed countries has exploited the resources of developing countries and driven closer to many species extinction (Drexhage, 2010). Since natural resources are depleted to satisfy