Innovation and Sustainability the Long History of Essay

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Innovation and Sustainability

The long history of humankind has been the story of life and death, in relatively equal amounts. The problem of population growth is really the problem of less death, a result of greatly increased technological resources and understanding of the human body. As humans have been living longer lives, and particularly children who had previously been vulnerable in their youth, an increased amount of successful births has pushed Earth's capacity for our kind to its limits. In order to sustain the level of comfort we humans have become accustomed to in the near future, being mindful of the ever increasing worldwide population, new advances must be made. Otherwise, many anthropogenic-induced threats are going to be imminently problematic. For example, global warming has pushed Earth to change its weather patterns already, another fifty or one hundred years of today's carbon emission levels will have an even greater affect on the atmosphere. Also, with an increased number of humans around the world, the scarcity of resources will become more prominent, with the ultra wealthy being able to collect vast sums of money for themselves, and the majority of the world's people unable to live beyond the grasp of poverty. Poor human habits of production and consumption have done much to worsen the problems in the foreseeable future.

Consumption is seen as a healthy activity for humanity, as we become richer, we tend to want to consume more in our daily lives. Even when faced with problems of structural labor shortages, such as unemployment, consumption is pushed in order to retain the economic growth rates that economist's feel are crucial to human progress.
(Turk, Bensel, 2.3) Despite the call for more intelligent consumption, rather than simple catchall consumption, tax breaks and federal subsidy programs have artificially created more consumption than the market should feasibly handle, simply to achieve the political endgame of economic growth. IF a day comes when national economies have permanently stagnated, then perhaps the problem of state-backed consumption can be addressed. Until this time, however, no politician or businessman is going to sacrifice a growing economy for environmental concerns.

Another problem of consumption is the idea of under consumption, meaning that since over a billion of the world's individuals are merely meeting their daily needs, they are not contributing to a world of increased efficiency or sustainability. These people are merely consuming without producing anything in return that may ease the problem in the future with economic growth. This means that in another fifty years, there will still be more than a billion people in the world who are not partaking in the global economy, and are simply stagnating on their own two feet. Another billion people, mostly in India and China, who are going to be new members of the global economy, whose influence has yet to be felt, contrast these individuals. These individuals are going to put great stress on valuable nonrenewable resource such as fresh water, fossil fuels, and agriculture. Especially in a country like China, which has seen double digit GDP growth for decades, the economic impact is unpredictable due….....

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