Chapter One:

The development of today’s environment has presented a number of environmental problems. An underlying issue of this is that not everyone can afford to up and leave in order to get away from nasty environmental circumstances. This has some ties with environmental racism and issues of the like. In recent years, those in positions of power have sought to put profits and advancement opportunities over the livelihood of those who were subject to the poor conditions. Not only have these actions had racial disparity implications that contribute to the degradation of areas where primarily people of color and impoverished folks live, the affects of greed have destructive consequences for the environment as a whole.

Other nations must also bare the costs of what is primarily a Global North issue. This has led to a lot of unrest about the procedure to help reverse the destruction done to the earth, as well as preventing more future destruction. Although the United Nations made effort to relinquish these issues from existence, the influence lies within the people in power at the time, and poor management led to a number of mistakes made.

One area of poor execution on environmental control is the UN’s short-term solutions to a long-term issue without giving the proper consideration to the impact on the societies they were inadvertently effecting. Further, the UN puts too much stock into the emission reduction effort because of the the monetary value associated with corporate gain. With real issues such as this, making money can not be at the forefront of people’s agenda, as poor decision making tends to be made. Another area with the execution of these efforts was the poor education on the issues the global north and south faces. Misinformation and no information at all, led to deficiencies in people’s contributions. Another barrier to the UN efforts had to do with the lack of communication between the civil society and the markets – a problem that could be easily remedied and would contribute to a more effective execution of environmental goals to achieve long-term solutions. Finally, a flaw in the execution of environmental solutions had to do with the UN and their doomsday rhetoric about the issues at hand. Instead of worrying people sick about an issue, they could have done a better job of encouraging and mandating solutions to see the necessary changes.

To reverse the conditions of the environment, it requires a reshaping of infrastructure, as well as the way society sees itself in relation to the environment. We must remember, the environmental problems we face are from the past and they must be reversed, but we must also change our actions as they will have an even greater impact. The key to this reversal is setting standards and priorities on what must be addressed. There must be agreement and compromise about these issues in order for things to begin to be done. There is also a certain level of back that must be achieved in order for things to get off the ground. This calls for political and financial back from government, as well as commitment from citizens. We have to unify and get other entities such as, big corporations to see the impact and in turn, pay for their damages.

One of the biggest issues at work is that the United States and the Global North often deny responsibility for their actions and this refusal of responsibility plays a role in why there is little headway on the issue. To reach the environmental goals, there must be compromise from all sides of the issue. Other countries, though not primarily responsible, must be aware of their needs and the implications they come with and have interest in being part of the solution. The authors suggest cutting trade of carbon permits, because those who are allowed to permit just pay their way through to pollute.

The bottom line is that, in the last ten or so years, my generation has been taught to reduce, reuse, and recycle and I believe majority of people would like to “do their part”. While that effort is helpful, it is also too slow in the process of saving the earth from the damage we have already done. We have reached a point where simply recycling is not enough, our impact on the earth requires some intervention on multiple levels. There must be a conscious effort ro know where the main source of pollution comes from and be willing to alter our lives until big corporations are willing to bend in the way of the green life. From a position of privilege, we at the very least owe it to those who are less privileged and less able to alter their lifestyles in an effort to reverse environmental destruction.