Managing Planet Earth

In William Clarks\' Article, "Managing Planet Earth" from the
Scientific American

sustainable development describes the type of planet people want, and also
brings up

the question of what kind of planet people can actually get. It reflects
values for

managing earth where fairness matters. Sustainable development refers to how
people

as a whole want to improve the earth for the better by sustaining it while it
is being

developed.

The three objectives to manage the sustainable development are: To gain the

knowledge and ability to control the human population. To distribute the
energy and

economic growth to all human population now and in the near future. As well
as

structuring the growth so that their potential cannot transform the
environment.

Humans have been living on earth for quit a while. In the past pollution was
dealt with on and individual basis. Today the matter is much greater and
concerns the world as a whole. In recent years environmental matters of concern
have been brought up. Since the beginning of the 18th century, earth has lost
six million square kilometers of forest. Humans also consume more water. In the
past an average human consumed 100 cubic kilometers of water that number today
has jumped to 3,600. The development of industry and aquiculture in the past 300
years has doubled the amount of methane and other chemicals into the atmosphere
and has increased the absorption of carbon dioxide by 25 percent. There is also
a pattern of transformation in the areas of deforestation and soil erosion. The
Destruction of floral diversity, flow of sediments, and withdrawals of water
from the hydrological cycle also plays an important part in our environmental
change.

Another concern with the planet\'s environment is the processing of chemical
elements such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, and sulfur. These
chemicals have a major impact on the earth\'s climate. The human activity
involved with these chemicals has created a disturbance in the chemical flow
that has resulted in smog, acid precipitation, and stratospheric ozone depletion
along with many other problems.

Although there are a lot of environmental concerns there are also a lot of
improvements. In places such as Sweden, Japan, and the northeastern U.S. there
has been a drastic improvement in their regional environment. Forests have
expanded, sulfur emissions have declined, and animals that were once extinct
have been reintroduced into the region.

Improvements must be made in the information of existing price systems,
regulations, and economic reasons. Currently the failure to track down the real
environmental costs of human activities has encouraged the unnecessary use of
resources. The dramatically high prices for many agricultural products have
caused problems with land degradation and pollution in many parts of the world.
There is a need for a formal international agreement in the area of substances
that deplete the ozone layer. Also to discuss the possibility of an
international law for the atmosphere.

With many countries such as the Soviet Union, Kenya, and Sweden trying to
make a difference in sustainable development. The answers to what kind of planet
can people get? And what kind of planet do people want? Can soon be answered as
the development is sustainable.



Work Cited

Clark, William C. "Managing Planet Earth". Scientific American.
Sept. 1989. Vol. 261. No. 3.

Category: Science