Many scholars, researchers and scientists continue to address the issue of environmental sustainability, since the adverse effects that may arise from poor maintenance of the environment may extend deep into the future. The question of whether or not plastics can be controlled in maintaining the environment is thus important in establishing efficient ways of conserving the environment. Owing to the fact that humans are highly dependent on plastics, it is quite difficult to completely replace them, and this means that the environment will be more exposed to toxicity from the component compounds. As a result, this waste will derail the efforts of people to practice environmental sustainability, thus resulting in reduced benefits from the environment. It is thus important for individuals and organizations alike to address the role of plastics in environmental sustainability to find ways of disposing of them without disrupting the ecological balance or find alternative objects to use in place of plastics.
From the article by the New York Times, the author establishes that despite the efforts of individuals to try and live without relying on plastics, the main duty of eradicating plastics lies on the hands of companies. The argument is based on the fact that these companies are responsible for the production of various basic items which they store in plastics and hence should start the process of eradication of plastics. Similarly, the science journal article agrees that most plastics arise from companies. According to Milios et al. companies have numerous uses for plastics in various applications, and this usefulness explains why most companies have tried to innovate and come up with the biodegradable plastic (p.2). This attempt is the effort of companies at trying to minimize pollution while retaining the invaluable resource for purposes of production. However, both articles seem to disagree on the methods with which to prevent environmental pollution by plastics. According to Valliant (n.pag), companies should stop the production and use of plastics to prevent them from altering with the ecological balance as a result of death of plants and animals. However, Milios et al. (p.3) agree that the process of reusing and recycling is the most efficient way of controlling pollution, since the two processes will not have any impact on the environment. In this way, companies will be able to promote environmental sustainability while utilizing the versatile resource.
The author of the New York Times article is a member of an ocean conservation group and is thus interested in protecting water bodies from the pollution that arises from poor disposal of plastics. On the other hand, the scientific journal article was authored by three scholars namely Milios, Davani and Yu who have studied different environmental concepts, thereby making them highly qualified in providing enlightenment on the issue of plastics on enhancing environmental sustainability.
In addressing the issue of environmental sustainability with regards to plastics and their effect on the environment, organizations attempt to produce plastics that are safer and can easily decompose. Additionally, more companies continue to adopt the reuse and recycle principle as a way of limiting the amount of plastics in the environment, thus indirectly contributing to environmental sustainability. These methods are more effective in controlling the negative impacts that plastics have on the environment. It will however be more productive for companies to find alternative material to plastic, since in the long run, more plastic will be disposed of to the environment and result in severe environmental destruction.
Assignment 2: Climate Change
Climate change occurs as a result of a variety of human factors, and the current heat wave is not any different. The current temperatures are recorded to be on a rise and based on past occurrences, higher recordings may have a negative effect on the mortality rate of human beings and animals. Understanding climate change is important in the study of its impact on the health of human beings, plants and other animals, and setting measures to limit the magnitude of these adverse effects.
According to the article posted by Science Daily, the rise in Carbo (IV) oxide and other gases emitted from greenhouses are responsible for the heat waves that people in different parts of the world are currently experiencing. The article refers to a similar occurrence in Europe in 2003, citing that the current temperatures are likely to worsen and be of higher frequency and intensity, resulting in more deaths among animals and human beings. In a similar way, the science journal by Campbell et al. also highlights the major causes of such climatic changes are human activities which contribute to increased temperature levels resulting in heat waves. Additionally, the scholars agree that exposure of animals and human beings to heat is highly likely to affect their health and even results in death (p.210). Both sources agree that the elderly are usually the most affected by heat waves, with the article by Science Daily citing the 2003 Europe Heatwave that resulted in the deaths of at least 70,000 people across the European continent.
In discussing the differences between the two sources, the newspaper article simply states the general impact of heat waves, without providing any conditions under which these effects may be severe. The article specifies that other than heat waves, several other elements such as geographical, medical, environmental and biological factors also contribute to how people react during heat waves. According to research by Campbell et al. (p. 211), pre-existing medical conditions may play a major role in determining the severity of effects of the heat wave on an individual, which is also dependent on their geographical positioning. Another difference is in the predictions made by both sources regarding changes in temperature. The article by Science Daily establishes that there will be a general increase in world temperature. In contrast, the scientific journal explains that geographical differences will determine the amount and impact of the heat wave since it differs for different regions. This implies that certain regions will have the survivable threshold temperature, while other regions will have temperatures exceeding the threshold temperature, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality.
The newspaper article contains more-generalized information and was authored by the San Francisco State University with the help of Biology Professor, Jonathan Stillman. On the other hand, the scientific journal was authored by a number of scholars namely Campbell, Remeny, White and Johnson, and is thus more in-depth.
From the information in both articles, it is evident that organizations can only address this issue by limiting the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Most organizations have found alternative ways of doing away with waste, with most companies looking to reduce, reuse and recycle. This way, there is less emission of gases into the atmosphere, thereby limiting the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to avoid heat waves.
Campbell, Sharon, Remeny, Thomas A., White, Christopher & Johnstone, Fay H. Heatwave and health impact research: A global review. Elsevier. 22 August 2018. Web. Accessed 14 March 2019.
Milios, Leonidas, Davani, Aida E. & Yu, Yi. "Sustainability Impact Assessment of Increased Plastic Recycling and Future Pathways of Plastic Waste Management in Sweden". Recycling, vol. 3, no. 33, 2018, pp.1-21
San Fransisco State University. Potential Impacts of Future Heat Waves on Humans and Wildlife. Science Daily. 12 March 2019. Web. Accessed 14 March 2019. <https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190312170757.htm>
Valliant, Melissa. Living without Plastics. New York Times. 6 March 2019. Web. Accessed 14 March 2019 <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/opinion/letters/plastics-environment.html?>
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