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Importance Of Preservation Of Biodiversity Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1919 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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There are three main arguments in the book. Friedman explains the problems by breaking them down into the simple categories that the world is getting hot, flat, and crowded.

He related that the world is hot by explaining global warming and what problems it causes. Globalization is a main contributor to global warming. People consume more so they demand more to be produced which promotes globalization and global warming. The more we produce the more gas toxins are released into the atmosphere causing our air quality to diminish. Friedman takes an optimistic view of global warming by saying that it will help our economy downsize and force us into developing innovative technologies and eventually free us from depending on oil producing countries.

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Friedman also explains that the world is now flat, meaning that the rise of high-consuming middle classes all over the world is all linked together. As the economy increases the standard of living increases and the middle-class are the ones benefiting the most and causing the most problems. We want too much and waste so much. We buy and buy and buy and then just throw things away after a few uses instead of recycling and conserving. More countries like China and Russia are adopting the American way of living and the planet just doesn’t have enough resources. Eventually, all the natural resources of the world will be depleted and we won’t know what to do.

The last argument is that the world is crowded. The world’s population increases by about a billion every thirteen years. People live longer and there is just not enough space for everyone. We are destroying our forests and jungles to build houses and factories. Pretty soon there will be no natural land preserved for farming and natural habitat.

Friedman wraps up his arguments with one main thesis stating that America can recover from the major problems and by developing new technologies and policy solutions that pertain to energy and environmental stresses on the planet. He predicts that because America is the major contributor to these problems and that we have been facing these problems for some time now, we will be the first to invent these innovative technologies. Once we have these inventions we will be able to sell them to the rest of the world and gain some of the power we have lost.

Part 2- Analysis (15 points) (1.5 pages max for each answer)

Answer any THREE (5 points each)

Why is the preservation of biodiversity important in a hot, flat and crowded world? How can we preserve biodiversity?

The preservation of biodiversity is important because it is what keeps life going on our planet. It keeps species from becoming extinct, it provides crucial services to poor and under-developed areas, and it’s the little things that help us adapt to the ever-changing world around us. We can’t live in a world where species die out regularly. There would be no cycle or continuity. We can’t live in a world of cement and stainless-steel. There needs to be life on our planet in order to produce natural resources to survive.

Rapid climate change and human development are destroying the biodiversity on our planet. It affects the quality of our lives. If we allow the planet to keep running on this destructive path we will kill off the small unnoticed organisms and species that keep everything running. My old basketball coach used to say take care of the little things and the big things will fall into place. Friedman is basically saying the same thing. If we keep the little things running like insects and plants, we bigger and more developed organisms will benefit.

Friedman talks about two main problems with biodiversity. He explains how the poor communities look to natural resources to attain whatever they can to survive. The problem is that too many people are doing this. There are too many poor people depleting our ecosystems. The second problem is globalization. Globalization solves the problem of decreasing the amount of poverty, but it causes so many more. Globalization demands increases in production and consumption which results in competition to get as much, as quick as possible. This causes extinction of all aspects of life on our planet to come much quicker than ever before.

To prevent this, the idea of government regulations and ethics of conservation have to be set forth. Governments can put restraints on where companies can develop and preserve ecosystems. Also there has to be new limits on consumption. Consumption of food, land, fuel and pretty much everything has to be cut in order for our planet to survive.

Friedman basically explains that our ecosystems have to work in harmony in order to preserve biodiversity. Human beings are the cause of this dissonance. At one point our planet thrived and provided humans with all the natural resources it needed. We have over-consumed and destroyed too much of the planet for it to provide as much as it used too. The more we destroy the more we need to develop artificial ways to provide those natural resources. If we just cut back on consumption and work on making the planet work as it used too we will preserve biodiversity.

What is energy poverty and what are its causes? Do you agree that ending energy poverty can help make a hot, crowded and flat world better? How? If you don’t agree, explain why.

Energy poverty is the fact that one out of every four people do not have access to energy. We take for granted the fact that when we walk into a room we flip a switch and a light turns on. In many countries like Africa that isn’t the case. Friedman quotes Freling saying that, “energy poverty means you can’t pump clean water regularly, there’s no communications, no way to have adult literacy classes, and certainly no way to run computers at school or have access to connectivity.” Energy poverty means you do not have access to electricity, it’s more difficult to adapt to climate changes, there is no means to use computers or cell phones which mean you are limited in global commerce, education, collaboration, and innovation. Basically energy poverty limits your ability to do work and therefore limits your ability to thrive in today’s world. It also hinders the ability to acquire basic needs the people who aren’t energy poor take for granted.

The causes of energy poverty according to Friedman are economic growth, increased population, overconsumption, high oil and natural gas prices, rationing, and droughts. There is also the problem that some countries don’t have the facilities to provide electricity and don’t have the funds to build them. Some of these poorer countries are not governed by anyone or thing and are engaged in constant war.

I agree that solving the energy poverty problem would make the world better, but I don’t think it is a cure-all. Providing energy to these poor countries would definitely give them a way to educate themselves and connect with each other, but how do we make that happen? Friedman goes into saying that the problem with education is there is a teacher shortage and an energy shortage. Providing energy does not necessarily solve the teacher shortage. Who is going to teach the teachers? There is a healthcare issue in these poor countries, but providing energy doesn’t mean doctors will want to go to these places, or that there are medicines to cure and help all of these people.

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Providing energy to places like Africa would be a huge leap for them, but my biggest problem is how do we do that, and where does the money come from? Providing ways of education and facilities to run electricity and allowing communication to be easier won’t solve the turmoil going on in these sections of Africa, and will not cure all the diseases and problems they have. It would be a very timely and costly mission that seems like a fairytale.

What is the reasoning behind Friedman’s argument that Mother Nature and the Market hit the wall at the same time?

The Great Recession is when Freidman says Mother Nature and the Market hit the wall. According to Friedman our planet and our markets have been growing at a pace too quick and too destructive to keep up with. Friedman focuses on three main reasons of why the Market and Mother Nature have come to a stop: unethical business and ecological values, under pricing the true costs of risks we partake in, and privatizing gains and socializing losses.

Major economies like the US and China have come out with great technologies, but at a very high price. We didn’t have the means to develop these products so we borrowed them. This is where the unethical business values and under pricing illuminates. If we spend too much money and too many resources there is nothing left, but these new technologies that last for a short period and then are disregarded. Now that these technologies are thriving we cannot return the resources and demand more. We are living beyond our means.

Friedman says that instead of recovering from this recession we should use it as a time to change things. We need to stop living beyond our means and conserve. We cannot keep up this standard of living and pass it on to our children. Something has to be given up. The economy as it is now is unsustainable.

Part 3- Critique (1 page maximum) (5 points)

My impression of the book is that Friedman touches on many interesting and eye-opening topics. It really made me think about how much I really consume. America is a really wasteful country. I especially liked when Friedman touched on the fact that Americans buy ridiculous gadgets, use them twice, and then buy something else. If America focused on essentials we wouldn’t consume so much.

I don’t usually look too far into things like global warming, but Friedman had good facts backing him up and I was really surprised at how real global warming is. I am big on things like recycling and a greener America. It is good that there are people out there trying to inform the world that changes need to happen and that they need to happen now.

Friedman puts a sense of urgency on the fact that changes must be made. He describes and intertwines these problems in a very strategic and understandable way. What I don’t like is that he doesn’t have direct solutions to these problems. He looks heavily to the government which gives the government more control, and in my opinion, isn’t always a good thing. Also, Friedman’s ideas seem very costly and he doesn’t provide explanations on where this money will come from. We are already in an economic crisis, there isn’t any money to work with now let alone put into motion a whole new system of how the world works.

My last argument with Friedman’s ideas is that he is planning everything around the fact that America will develop these life changing methods of energy and fuel. This is a great optimistic attitude, but what happens if we don’t? I hate to be a pessimist, but in today’s world nothing is a definite. You can’t structure a plan around something that hasn’t been developed yet.

Overall I enjoyed the book and have a different perspective on what I consume, and what needs to change.


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