Sustainability is a critical issue across the globe, owing to increased population growth. In the historical period, it reflected the available resources’ ability to meet people’s needs and maintain them at a specific level. However, the increased social and environmental problems in the contemporary world have led to a universal agreement among experts to add the concept of development to sustainability (Bennett et al., 2017). It has become essential to evaluate the significance of embracing justifiable goals, focusing on ending poverty and safeguarding the ecosystem. According to Washington (2015), sustainable development refers to the capacity to satisfy the present human necessities without adversely affecting the future generations’ ability to meet their demands and achieve societal progress. Generally, it comprises three primary pillars, including economic, social, and environmental elements. Although it is irrational to underestimate the economic principle’s implications, impractical and insufficient ecological and social sustainability strategies have been the vital cause of the problems such as inequality and global warming, which are evident today. Despite various barriers, there is a dire need to formulate logical strategies supporting environmental preservation and social empowerment to promote sustainable development worldwide.
Firstly, ecosystem conservation is a significant policy to attain a sustainability vision. Gold and Schleper (2017) argue that there is a necessity to preserve the biodiversity and environment because any contradicting activities pose a threat to living organisms. Presently, people have adopted modern farming techniques, which involve excessive use of pesticides and other chemicals, which kill the soil microbes, thus negatively affecting the aeration process. As a result, it has become difficult to produce enough yields to satisfy households’ food demands, exposing thousands of individuals to hunger. In this regard, it is essential to recognize that the limited means and available resources on earth cannot sufficiently meet the infinite people’s needs. Over-exploitation adversely influences the environment, thus requiring sustainable development, which encourages the use of the natural resources within the earth’s carrying capacity. This reasoning explains why individuals should accept and embrace alternative energy sources, including solar and wind, instead of relying considerably on hydroelectricity and petroleum products.
Additionally, the promotion of progressive social customs, traditions and political culture remains vital in reinforcing sustainable development. For example, upholding archaic culture in some underdeveloped countries has been the leading cause of female discrimination and unfair sharing of resources. It is shocking to see some societies perceiving women as weaker gender compared to men in the contemporary world. This reasoning has led to the lack of feminine empowerment, thus failing to tap essential females’ expertise as it has been the case in developed nations. There should also be a political culture, which guarantees equitable developments in all parts of a particular nation, irrespective of their contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to Washington (2015), embracing liberal political and traditional cultures promote ethics and activities, which value the dignity of human life and environmental preservation. Nevertheless, countries must be cautious of the existence of possible trade-offs such as democracy dilemmas and develop approaches to address them. Therefore, leaders should identify complementarities, which balance population needs with social and environmental sustainability to ensure meaningful progress.
Significantly, improving training and ensuring effective human resource management would assist in enhancing sustainability globally. People are the managers of any social or environmental program, and thus, they have the responsibility to preserve and utilize the ecosystem rationally. Accordingly, individuals can maintain peace and promote equitable sharing of resources. Indeed, leaders cannot downplay the role of managing human resources appropriately towards achieving the environmental and social sustainability objectives. Gold and Schleper (2017) suggest that social skills and knowledge in protecting and caring for the environment and society’s needs are crucial, and governments must invest in them. The most plausible method to attain these goals is through training and education as well as improving the healthcare systems because a sound mind exists in a healthy body. Awareness creation and expertise can assist in developing positive attitudes toward society and nature. Consequently, education plays an indispensable role in influencing communities to preserve the ecosystem, appreciate human values, and accept practical production methods.
Notwithstanding, there are various barriers, which interrupt the achievement of ecological and social sustainability. For instance, population increase has been the primary concern in realizing equitable development. The high number of people on earth has augmented the demand for food, necessitating the use of technology and modern farming methods (Bennett et al., 2017). In return, there has been the use of chemicals, which destroy the soil humus that contains nutrients needed for production. Besides, people have encroached water catchment areas and forests in search of cultivation lands. This destruction has resulted in reduced tree cover contributing to insufficient rainfall. According to Washington (2015), the recommended proportion of forest cover in every country worldwide is 10%. Unfortunately, most nations have failed to comply with this obligation, leading to extensive desertification. The population should understand that the available natural resources cannot meet unlimited human needs unless used efficiently and prudently.
Greedy and corrupt leaders also lead to social woes and environmental deterioration. For example, they isolate and discriminate against people residing in arid and semi-arid regions causing extreme hunger and poverty (Bennett et al., 2017). As a result, there have been social and security problems such as cattle rustling, among other crimes, as they seek to cater to their daily needs, thus threatening peaceful coexistence. Sadly, these leaders tend to be male-chauvinistic, and they use their power to prevent women from acquiring administrative positions. The females who succeed in politics are exposed to unceasing threats to remain male leaders’ subjects. Fortunately, the liberalism and feminism campaigns have helped alleviate the situation and women today occupy significant leadership positions. However, additional efforts remain crucial in realizing the right place of females in modern society. Lastly, increased capitalism has contributed to establishing factories in undesignated areas, causing water and air pollution. The outcomes have been escalated global warming and outbreaks of illnesses, thus leading to unhealthy communities. Capitalists have also contributed to widening the gap between the rich and the poor, making it challenging to eliminate poverty.
Sustainability development is an essential topic in the contemporary world because it helps identify problems experienced in various social settings, including environmental degradation. People can address these challenges if they develop a sense of self-will. Indeed, appropriate human resources management would assist in preserving the ecosystem and solving the current social ills. Governments need to invest substantially in education and training to enlighten their citizens on the dire need to use the available natural resources prudently by avoiding over-exploitation and unfair allocation. It is essential to preserve the environment because the human race depends on it for survival. Significantly, individuals should embrace progressive social values and traditions to avoid discrimination against any gender or marginalized communities owing to their economic status or sexuality. Irrefutably, with a persistent population increase, the world leaders need to work together towards a unified society, which protects every person’s rights to address social ills and environmental deterioration.
Bennett, M., James, P., & Klinkers, L. (2017). Key themes in environmental, social and sustainability performance evaluation and reporting. In Sustainable measures evaluation and reporting of environmental and social performance (1st ed., pp. 13-59). Taylor & Francis.
Gold, S., & Schleper, M. C. (2017). A pathway towards true sustainability: A recognition foundation of sustainable supply chain management. European Management Journal, 35(4), 425-429. Web.
Washington, H. (2015). Demystifying sustainability: Towards real solutions. Taylor & Francis.
Wangari Maathai And Norman Ernest Borlaug: Works Analysis
Thesis Statement: The works of Wangari Maathai and Norman Ernest Borlaug deal with distinctive topics, but they are united by the idea of improving life in view of the modern difficulties associated with interacting with the environment.
The issues of the environment and the interaction of humans with nature are the topics of different humanitarians’ works. The assessment of natural resources available to humans takes place in conditions complicated by high anthropogenic activities. The works of Wangari Maathai and Norman Ernest Borlaug are considered, in particular, their speeches at large-scale global meetings. Wangari Maathai draws attention to environmental problems in Africa and mainly focuses on the challenges caused by high anthropogenic activities. Norman Ernest Borlaug studies the characteristics of modern agriculture and selection as industries that can potentially help people overcome the issue of hunger and establish sustainable agriculture. The works of Wangari Maathai and Norman Ernest Borlaug deal with distinctive topics, but they are united by the idea of improving life in view of the modern difficulties associated with interacting with the environment.
Maathai’s work is a speech to the members of the United Nations and includes a discourse on the African environment and the difficulties that people in certain regions face (Maathai, 2011). Wars over natural resources are a frequent phenomenon on the continent. Individual ecosystems are destroyed due to deforestation and poor vegetation. Ruling elites dispose of natural resources at their own discretion, which creates scarcity for ordinary citizens.
Borlaug’s work is less critical and more focused on innovation rather than calling attention to pressing issues (Borlaug, 2002). Borlaug addresses his speech to the members of the Nobel Committee and provides an overview of the agricultural complex from a global perspective. The history of the formation of agriculture is described, and the main difficulties and achievements in this area are listed. The consumption of natural resources is analyzed in the context of the impact on the productivity of land and human well-being.
The similarity of the two works under consideration lies in the involvement of the topic of natural resources and their role in people’s lives. People’s poverty is the result of poor environmental control and the misallocation of available resources (Maathai, 2011). Governments’ efforts to help provide all those in need with the necessary food resources are complicated by poor selection and crop management practices (Borlaug, 2002). Both humanitarians emphasize the importance of effective resource management and the implementation of appropriate control practices.
The main differences lie in the discussion of the prospects and the subsequent development of the situation regarding natural resources. Maathai (2011) expresses concern about the fate of Africa and notes the negative aspects of human development due to ineffective leadership. Borlaug (2002) draws attention to positive developments in resource control and mentions innovations in the agricultural sector. The humanitarians’ approaches differ in the degree of optimism about the future.
The works of the humanitarians discussed differ in the direction of their research and the degree of optimism, but they both focus on the problems of natural resource scarcity. Maathai’s (2011) work proposes to assess the current challenges in Africa and draws attention to the issue of the inequitable distribution of natural resources. Borlaug (2002) reviews advances in the agricultural industry and offers unique methods to increase yields and optimize selection practices.
Borlaug, N. E. (2002). The green revolution revisited and the road ahead. Nobelprize.org. Web.
Maathai, W. (2011). Challenge for Africa. Sustainability Science, 6(1), 1-2.
The Problems Of Racism In Modern Society
Racism is one of the oldest problems known to society. Although all humans in their essence are the same, many people are prone to this issue, considering one race better or worse than another. The analysis includes a comparison of two sources devoted to this topic. The first of these, Nikole Hannah-Jones’ article “It is Time for Reparations,” focuses on bigotry, referring to the history of America. The second, the chapter from Thomas Williams’s book “Self-Portrait in Black and White,” tells the story of the author, his life path to the study of prejudice, and the fight against it. This paper focuses on the analysis of ideas about segregation based on data from two sources.
The recent work of Hannah-Jones is directly related and dictated by current events from the United States. The main topic of this article is the relationship between white and black people in America. The author recalls various events in America’s history and explores its impact on society. For example, she emphasizes that although the uprisings are shocking, they have always led to cultural and political changes (Hannah-Jones). The author pays special attention to the marches in all cities of America in defense of the rights of black people.
At the same time, the text reminds all readers that the oppression of blacks has been going on for many years. Although almost 150 years have passed since the destruction of the slave system, bias towards them has remained in society, transforming into unwritten rules and police permits to shoot dark-skinned suspects (Hannah-Jones). Finally, the main idea of the whole article is the inequality of black and white people in society, consisting primarily of the economic situation. According to the author, they had the opportunity to accumulate massive capital throughout their history, while freed slaves were left literally without anything (Hannah-Jones). She emphasizes that the long years of slavery allowed whites to gain privileges and take a dominant position. Following this, to remove the difference, the state must finally pay the debts of the black part of the population in the form of reparations.
The position of Thomas Williams is in direct opposition to the words above. In the chapter Self-Portrait of an Ex-Black Man, the author tells the story of his search for a life position. He has been associating himself with black persons all his life. However, Williams also diligently searched for the roots of racism, trying to understand them after questioning one of the students (126). Despite the widespread belief that there are many racists among white people, he also notes that often persons are too lazy and do not even want to understand other people’s situations.
On the other hand, the author explores the very phenomenon of race as such. Despite the presence of many studies that supposedly confirm the genetic difference between black and white people, the author is inclined to think that race is a social construct (Williams, 146). Ultimately, Williams introduces the idea of abandoning racial affiliation since it only divides people. Instead, he says that human culture, defined at different times by different individuals, should be accessible to everyone (Williams, 149). Finally, explaining the title of the chapter, the author calls himself an ex-black man. He abandoned the categories invented by society since they cannot adequately describe a single person.
Both sources examined to address the problem of racism; however, the principles and approaches to addressing this topic are opposed. A characteristic feature of both texts is that they are aimed at drawing attention to racism as a social and cultural phenomenon. However, the Hannah-Jones article isn’t longer aimed at eliminating racism as such, but at retribution and restoration of historical justice. The author’s main idea is the presence of inequality between the two races, which the state is called to correct by paying off debts (Hannah-Jones). However, even if such an approach would be possible, the implementation of this policy would not solve bigotry and, ultimately, would in no way correspond to the original goal of the Black Lives Matter movement. Merely improving the living conditions of blacks will not force other people to respect them. Instead, due to an attempt to obtain additional privileges, society may split. The proposed methodology and rhetoric conducted by the author can only aggravate the situation between blacks and whites, which ultimately will result in much worse consequences for the whole of American society.
Williams is trying to find some solution that would help people get rid of prejudices about each other and come to terms with differences in skin color. Although his words about race as a social construct are quite controversial due to the presence of multiple genetic studies, the author puts forward several compelling points of view. Firstly, culture should not be determined by skin color but should be accessible to society. In this case, it is necessary to associate certain cultural assets not with the whole race, but with specific groups. For example, without a doubt, black singers helped create jazz and blues; however, respect should be shown to singers in a particular period (Williams, 150). Secondly, the most crucial thought regarding the topic of racism is the conclusion that no one can be fully defined by the category of the race (Williams, 160). The human personality is too complex to describe it merely by skin color. Therefore, each person needs his unique approach, devoid of prejudice. Such access is a means to get rid of racism in society.
Unlike the Hannah-Jones, Williams is trying to turn to racism from a global point of view, not analyzing the situation only in the United States. The first author’s approach in the framework of the large-scale theme of racism is too narrow because she is trying to solve specific economic problems of a close group of people. Simultaneously, the cause of inequality is not eliminated by her approach, since the difference in relations between whites and blacks is far from being only in different accumulated capital. That is why the Williams method is universal and suitable for the society of any country anywhere in the world. He talks about the equality of all people while not forgetting each nation’s cultural heritage. Therefore, this approach is much better suited to the theme of racism and has a more significant contribution to the global situation.
However, these sources leave room for thought, since many questions can be debated. Turning to the text of Hannah-Jones, one can analyze what the consequences of the measures proposed by the author will be. What will happen to the country if the state pays black reparations for years of slavery? How do people unprepared for unexpected wealth manage this money? Speaking about the history and message of Thomas Williams, it is worth thinking about issues of self-identification. If a person denies the race he or she was born, how exactly should he or she relate to his native culture? Would such an approach lead to the destruction of small cultures, since global events would supplant them? Thus, despite their differences, the readings raise many essential issues that equally require attention and discussion.
Hannah-Jones, Nikole. “It is Time for Reparations.” The New Your Times, 2020, Web.
Williams, Thomas. Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race. Hachette, 2019.