In the second half of Environment and Society, it talks about many different topics. one of the topics that really started to make me think was water. My current event is about clean water access around the world, so the topic of plastic bottled water had me in mixed emotions. We all know that plastic production has grown rapidly since bottled water became popular, which correlates to landfills being filled up with more plastic in them, as well as bad gases being released in the environment when the trashed plastic is burned. Of course this is bad, but what is even worse is the millions of women and children deprived of clean water. This is where the silver lining with plastic water bottles come in. Plastic bottles filled with clean water, that are sent over to areas all over the world that do not have access to clean water, literally saves lives. Too many Americans take the easy access to clean water for granted, which is why I think are use of plastic water bottles is unnecessary, but for women and children that are not as fortunate, plastic water bottles give them the opportunity to live a healthier life. To me, the benefits that plastic water bottles give to human beings deprived of clean water will ALWAYS out weigh the negatives plastic water bottles give to the environment.
The chapters about global warming and carbon dioxide in this text were very insightful. The way the text talked about the global north and global south was logical and made sense. What I took from these chapters, is that even though individuals contribute to global warming and CO2 emissions, the problem comes down to governments cracking down on large corporations who have the biggest impact on these issues. To me, the only way the world can really see change on these two issues is if the largest contributors in each country are regulated and forced to adapt their industry to a more environmental friendly process. It comes down to this, we either fix it now, or we try to fix it when its to late.
CLIMATE CHANGE POISED TO DEPRIVE THE POOR OF CLEAN WATER
-On World Water Day, March 22nd, WaterAid released its State of the World’s Water report. This report gave a warning that stated “because of climate change, the world’s poorest communities will face an even tougher struggle for access to clean water”. The big threat climate change gives to clean water are extreme weather events, which include storm surges, flooding, droughts, contaminated water sources, dry up rivers, ponds and springs, and contribute to the spread of waterborne diseases. The extreme weather conditions of droughts, flooding, and fluctuating high and low temperatures can be largely attributed to CO2 emissions, the consumption of meat and dairy, as well as industrialization and urbanization leading to deforestation. Today, clean water access is a major issue because there are already 663 million people in the world without access to clean water, with women and children being disproportionately affected. A report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund notes that one in four (600 million children) will be living without basic access to water by 2040. Solutions to this issue consist of improved storage systems to take advantage of rainfall and floods, as well as sanitation systems to ensure the water can be cleaned. These solutions can only be accomplished by an an international effort for infrastructure overhaul. Nicole Hurtubise, CEO of WaterAid Canada, said it best when she stated, “Governments around the world must acknowledge the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene in building climate resistance”. In conclusion, poor areas around the world will suffer more, year in and year out, until governments around the world start to address climate change and realize the threats it gives to the world.