The Future of the Environment
The world is experiencing great pandemonium and the light of hope is being stifled by opportunism, blame and greed. People are in the grip of violence, fear and anxiety. Beliefs are substituting dialogue and self-interest is displacing compassion. The visions of an optimistic future have been censured to plain fantasy. Moreover, it appears that prophesies and pessimism of an apocalypse are all that is left for humans. Environmental researchers perceive that an optimistic future vision is a critical initial step in averting the apparently foreseeable spiral in despair and apathy. Positive future vision is not a revolutionary or new concept. According to Desonie (2009), it is an inherent result of healthy mind. However, presently, when future vision is needed the most, human imagination is restricted by hopelessness and negativity. It is the right time to build up a blueprint for a new future. According to Jepps (2010), people should question their postulations and concentrate on an optimistic future of the environment. If the human race is to survive for several forthcoming years, a positive environment will be critical. In this regard, this research paper discusses the future of the environment. Some of the positive aspects of the future environment are discussed below.
The first aspect is that conversion of semi-arid land will appear inevitable. In the conservative development scenario, agricultural land use increased from about one third to one-half of the earth’s land mass 50 years from now. According to Ozdemiroglu, Tinch, Johns, Provins, Powell, & Twigger-Ross (2006), this increase is evident in subtropical and tropical zones. With many environmental bodies against the encroachment of humans into natural forests in these zones, people are likely to seek alternative land settlement. The alternative land will be arid and semi-arid lands. This will result in the conversion of this land to useful resources that can be utilized in production.
In the next half a decade, the need for environmental transition will have increased, though, in some cases the transition has already began. With the present technology, major progress can be made to avert the effects on the natural environment. These technologies, which are likely to be more sophisticated in the next 50 years than at present, will accelerate the transitions towards the sustainable use of raw materials, land, energy and water. Whereas the inception of these transitions can be recognized, sufficient economic, social, and institutional conditions must be fulfilled in order to realize these transitions.
In the coming 50 years, environmental issues will be linked to efficiency in a more comprehensive approach. In encouraging transitions, the association of environmental issues with boosting efficiency will provide new alternatives for joint actors. According to Jepps (2010), many environmental issues can be dealt with by channeling efforts towards incorporated agriculture and energy policies instead of single-issue policies. In order to maintain the pressures at the present levels, efficiencies of resources will have to increase by a factor of 4 to about 5 worldwide by 2050. In order to re-distribute the available resources more impartially and decrease the pressures towards a sustainable levels, this factor might be as high as 20.
By around 2050, the effects of improved policies would be extremely large (Desonie, 2009). From a technical point of view, there is much room for preventing future rises in resource use, pollution and pressure on natural areas. This is implies that if the best technology could be adopted in all new investments, the forecasted environmental effects would be least severe. More structural dynamics in consumption and production are expected to occur in the next few decades. Some of the dynamics include change of diets, and the shift to renewable sources of energy. These changes are likely to provide humans with more space. However, for these structural changes to occur, they require broad access to knowledge and capital. In addition, most of them require political determination in order to cause sustainability in the world.
Various things influence the environmental development. The first factor is population growth, which is likely to increase in the next 50 years. Presently, about one quarter of the world’s population lives in a region that is using more than 20 per cent of the renewable water. As the population increases, the use of natural resources also increases. Despite some regions seeing an increase in the supply of freshwater from unequal distribution of precipitation, an increase in the use of water is anticipated. According to Desonie (2009), increase in population will imply withdrawals from the water supply for industrial, agricultural and domestic uses. The impact of population on environment can be prevented. Some initiatives that are proving to be fruitful include the family planning. In addition, as the literacy levels continue increasing, people will recognize the importance of balancing the natural resources and population. The benefits of this are realizable within the next 50 years.
The second factor that significantly influences environmental development is agriculture. According to Jepps (2010), agriculture is reliant on soil moisture that is significantly affected by climate changes. Precipitation is the major input in this system. In regions with declining precipitation, as projected by climate models, soil moisture might be reduced considerably. As such, irrigation is playing a pivotal role in sustaining agriculture in some parts of the continent. The transmission of water from agricultural areas to urban raises some critical concerns about the sustainability of the environment and increased carbon footprints. With the improving technology and agricultural methods, the world will be able to shift from such activities. This will provide more water to the agriculture that in turn influences environmental sustainability.
In conclusion, 50 years from now, the environment might improve significantly. These improvements will hold a positive future for the global environment. The first aspect is that conversion of semi-arid land will appear inevitable. In the conservative development scenario, agricultural land use increases from about one third to one-half of the earth’s land mass 50 years from now. From a technical point of view, there is much room for preventing future rises in resource use, pollution and pressure on natural areas.