Quotes from my research

Quote #1:  “The accelerated growth of the human population has propitiated the destruction of natural habitats of many species.  People are invading the habitats of these species, replacing them to inhospitable places and condemning the native species to extinction.”     This quote elaborates on the destructiveness of humans and how the growth of world population is pushing towards an unstable environment.  It details the negative effects that overpopulation has on wildlife creatures and their natural habitats.  This quote is important to my research because hopefully, it will provide emotional appeal to my readers to persuade them that massive overpopulation is extremely harmful to everyone and everything.  To better understand this quote, one should know a general definition of overpopulation.  Overpopulation occurs when the population density enlarges to a limit that provokes the environmental deterioration, a remarkable decline in the quality of life, or a total collapse of population. 

Quote #2:  “Sustainability is defined as the practice of conservation that will allow people to have enough resources through their life and the lives of future generations.  Sustainability is possible by conserving energy, materials, resources, by new technologies, and by ensuring that the number of births is low enough so that there is enough to go around. ”   This quote introduces the term and the much needed concept of global sustainability.  Sustainability is such an important concept to my thesis because the world’s population can definitely see a change with the practice of sustainability.  My goal of my paper is to make my readers understand the connection between overpopulation and global warming.  That connection happens to be sustainability.  The lack of effective sustainability is a large factor that contributes to global warming.  The quote itself gives a straightforward definition about the term sustainability, so I believe a repeat definition is not necessary here. 

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April 19, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

 Sustainability is defined as the practice of conservation that will allow people to have enough resources through their life and the lives of future generations. (Marks, 2008) Sustainability is possible by conserving energy, materials, resources, by new technologies, and by ensuring that the number of births is low enough so that there is enough to go around.  The question that is on everyone’s mind is will it be possible to redeem our planet and achieve sustainability despite several generations of seemingly irreparable damage?   

The facts are devastating, but they cannot be avoided:  this planet is home to roughly 6.5 billion people and there is not enough land and resources in supply for us all.  Though more than two-thirds of the planet is covered with water, only about 0.3 percent is available for human use and reuse. And no more of this renewable fresh water is available today than existed at the dawn of human civilization. Comparatively, as the population of mankind continues to expand, the relative amount of land that is available to us is steadily declining.

 Besides being concerned about the exploding growth in population, there are also concerns of the excessive use and abuse of some of the environment’s most precious naturally produced resources and raw materials such as oil, coal, water, and natural gases. What many people do not understand is that overpopulation is the primary cause of most environmental and economic issues, loss of manageable land, air and water pollution, water shortages, and plant and animal loss.  With a growing population of 76 million people per year, at this rate, we will be living among 11 billion people by 2035.   Even though we do not like to believe it, the truth is that the our growing population leads to less resources for everyone to live off of comfortably and ultimately a much lower quality of life.  This is a crisis that will not be fixed overnight, but if we hope to see quicker results, we must work towards sustainability. The proposed argument will further investigate the importance of global sustainability and how we, as human beings with a purpose to live, can help to curtail the exploding world population and achieve sustainability.

April 14, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Synthesizing sources

This blog post is probably not going to be as accurate as I would have hoped because one of the two sources that I think are the most helpful was the photocopied journal article, the one that I had turned in with the annotated bibliography.  Therefore, for this assignment, I will refer to the second and third most helpful resources that I have found:  one of my scholarly journal articles and the website source that I had listed in my annotated bibliography.  The journal article can be found at http://www.stafforini.com/txt/parfit__overpopulation_and_the_quality_of_life.pdf and the website can be found at http://www.overpopulation.org/ 

To sythesize sources means to smoothly weave summaries, paragraphs, and quotations, into a discussion balancing material from two or more sources with your own knowledge and experiences to explain or analyze a concept.  (http://cengagesites.com/academic/assets/sites/142826213X_WH_Synthesizing_watermark.pdf)  Ironically, the two sources that I find to be the best are vastly different.  Both sources attempt to tackle basically the same issue, but in different ways.  They have very little information that overlaps, only the most obvious things such as why overpopulation is growing to be such a large issue for the human race, what the most common causes are, and the scientific nature of it.  The forms of argument that the sources choose to adhere to are very different from each other.  I have completely read the journal article, but all the information displayed on the website because there is just so much to read and it is constantly updated.  But from what I gather, there is no specific method or process used to form arguments on the website.  The website is comprised of several entries and postings and they are all submitted by different people which results in them all being different.  However, the author of the journal article has an exact methodology for proving his point.  His argument is based on logical appeal and he shows it in a visual way with the use of charts and bar graphs. 

Consider the following quotes found from the website and the online journal article:  

“Nowadays it is understood that the key population-related issue is the destructive pressure human activity is exerting on our life-support systems, posing a growing threat to the sustainability of civilisation.”  

“Consider the outcomes that might be produced, in some part of the world, by two rates of population growth. Suppose that, if there is faster growth, there would later be more people, who would all be worse off.”

Both of these quote are stating two different things, yet they relate in very similar ways.  With these two quotes, I have picked out probably the two biggest reasons why the world’s population should be limited.  In my research paper, I will be able to smoothly weave together all these ideas in a logical way so that it will be completely clear to my reader. 

The reliability of these sources is not definite to my knowledge, especially the website.  I cannot research the educational background of the person who is credited for writing the website because so many people post their knowledge on the website.  This website is reliable to the same extent the Wikipedia is reliable.  I think the information is well guided and generally true, but I cannot be certain that the people who wrote it are really credible. 

I can definitely vouch for the reliability of the journal article.  According to the research I had conducted for my annotated bibliography, I gathered that the author, Derek Parfit is an experienced and highly qualified professor of environmental studies.  I am far more likely to believe his words versus the information that is posted on the website. 

April 12, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Research proposal rough draft

I have thought long and hard about my final decision for my research paper focus.  I wanted it to be out of the ordinary and unique, but still have strong ties to the original topic of global warming.  I also wanted it to be narrow and specific within the topic of global warming.  My focus had changed quite a bit over the last few weeks and I was having trouble coming up with something that I thought would be different, yet interesting.  I wanted to edge away from the typical global warming topics such as causes and effects, what we can do to stop it, and how to save the animals.  None of those topics excited me.  My initial idea was to focus on global sustainability or “going green”.  I wanted to research the practice of sustainability because it is the first step to beating global warming on all fronts. Achieving sustainability will enable the Earth to continue supporting human life as we know it.  I liked this concept because I figured that there would be countless sources to help supply information for my research paper.  This is also something I feel very passionate about and I felt like giving my research paper an emotional edge might be beneficial to me.   However, as I had begun to search for sources pertaining to global sustainability, I was starting to feel a bit less confident about my focus.  I was beginnin to feel less confident about it and I wanted my focus to be much more profound and outspoken.  So, at that point, I had decided to narrow it even further.  I chose to research overpopulation because I can see it being a controversial topic and something that I strongly believe in.  I think that facts, surveys, and statistics combined with my opinions about over overpopulated planet would create a very interesting and unique research paper.  In addition, I have a bit of prior knowledge in this topic because I had taken some classes that discussed the dangers of overpopulation.  This is something I have always felt very strongly about ever since I was introduced to this concept.  Although I feel very confident about my research focus now, I was starting to have doubts that my focus still had connections to global warming.  It makes perfect sense to me how they are related, but it is not enough for it to make sense to me.  The person who is reading my paper must understand the connection.  Not many people realize that global overpopulation is a direct cause of global warming; not the only cause, of course.  I understand that it is up to me to explain the connection between the two in my paper and help my readers understand why overpopulation is creating such a problem for our environment.  In my mind, if I can accomplish that, then I have succeeded in choosing an effective focus. I hope that after reading my paper, people will have a different outlook and perspective on overpopulation.

March 20, 2010. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Searching blog sites

As my topic narrows down, so do my searches.  I am specifically searching titles for overpopulation rather than conducting a broad search for global warming.  I came up with an article that I found using cuil.com.  The link is http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090418075752.htm.  It is titled “Worst Environmental Problem? Overpopulation, Experts Say.”  It further proves my point that the major and underlying cause of our global and environmental crisis is the explosion of the earth’s population and discusses many statistics and the results of recent surveys.  Of course, overpopulation is not the only thing wrong with our planet, but it is an issue that has direct links to the rest of them.  If the population were to decline, the other issues we deal with would not be as consequential.  Overpopulation is the only problem,” said Dr. Charles A. Hall, a systems ecologist. “If we had 100 million people on Earth — or better, 10 million — no others would be a problem.” (Current estimates put the planet’s population at more than six billion.) I would use this article for the hard evidence and statistics.  Using numbers and research results always equates to a reliable and well-organized research paper.  I believe this article is reliable because the tests and surveys were conducted by professionals and college professors. Their data seems accurate and their claims seem believable. 

Using Google blog search, I found a short excerpt that completely contradicts the point I am trying to make about the overpopulation and the climate crisis.  It can be found at http://http://mikechamberslive.com/?p=5939.  I wanted to report on this blog because it gives me the opportunity to present my rebuttal  and try to disprove the case that the author is trying to make.  The piece by Heather Horn is titled “There is No Overpopulation Problem” and that is exactly the point that she is trying to persuade to believe.  The blame is placed not on the number of people in existence, but rather on the insufficient renewability of the natural resources that human beings need for survival.  The article expresses a quote from a man named Fred Pearce:  “In fact, rising consumption today far outstrips the rising headcount as a threat to the planet. And most of the extra consumption has been in rich countries that have long since given up adding substantial numbers to their population, while most of the remaining population growth is in countries with a very small impact on the planet.”  It was also mentioned that it is not our place to worry about the incresing population, but we should let the future generations worry about it.                                                                                                                                                              I must respectfully disagree with the point of view of the author.  Overpopulation is plaguing us and there is plenty of proof out there.  Too many humans means dirty air, dirty water, too few fish to feed us, too much energy to keep us toasty warm or comfortably cooled, and billions of big carbon footprints.  All the numbers add up and all the evidence fits together like a puzzle. 
With a topic like this, it is not a matter of being reliable or unreliable.  It is about which theories and perceptions you choose to associate with.  It is hard to determine whether this information is reliable or not because, of course, no one can predict the future and until then, we will never know who is right and who is wrong. 

March 17, 2010. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Searching news articles.

In my search for news stories pertaining to global warming and overpopulation, I found two very useful and informative articles.  The two articles I read were found using digg.com and newspaperindex.com (which linked me to nytimes.com).  The first article I read was called “Overpopulation is the Real Global Warming” author not available.  This article went beyond the most obvious and immediate causes of global warming and exposed readers to one of the biggest problems that people seem to overlook.  The author profoundly expresses his belief that global warming is inevitably upon us and that the exploding population of our planet equates to a lower quality of life and less for everyone to live on sustainably.  The author also boldly states that out of all the suffering countries of the world, the United States is one of the countries that has been impacted the most.  Because the author of this article is so incredibly passionate, I am hoping I can use this article as an example as make my writing as passionate as his.  Also, I will use this the information in this article to describe just how serious of a problem we are facing and why humans are destroying the planet.  I cannot be too certain about how reliable this source is because the author is not listed and there is no sign of citations or footnotes.  Although it appears that the content is relatively legitimate and believable judging by how much I know. 

The second news article that caught my eye was one I picked up from nytimes.com and it is called “Shrinking Planet” by Matt O’Leary.  The article was relatively short, but it got straight to the point and revealed the ugly truth about our planet.  The main focus of this article was suggestions about how to make a better situation out of a huge problem.  O’Leary states that the best solution would be to limit the size of our population by using contraception methods to reduce the reproduction rate.  I am going to use this article because it seems to me that it is scholarly and reliable because of all the research data and statistics.  When I see numbers and statistics in an article, it says to me that the author has done his homework and he knows what he is talking about.

March 12, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

article

It has become evident that the worlds population has sky rocketed in the last 50 years by by billions.  The abundance of people that inhabit our planet are carelessly throwing around our natural resources and wasting them as if they come in an endless supply.  Life is nothing but an endless competition for survival.  The argument introduces itself with the following quote: “Barring nuclear war – and there is increasing evidence that civil strife and perhaps military conflict are linked to population growth and stucture – the greated challenge of the new century is going to be that of moving from the current profligate use a natural resources to an environmentally stable and sustainable economy.” In the article “Population and Environment in the Twenty-First Century,” the author Malcolm Potts makes use of the term, population explosion.  He states, “In the 1950s and 1960s, when the global population was projected to grow by 3 billion in 5o years, the term “population explosion” captured captured the attention of scientists as well as the public.” 

 

The article mentions the importance of reducing our population and ways to go about doing it such as adoption and limited reproduction.  Potts makes an excellent point when he speaks of family size.  “In general, family size falls most rapidly when couples have access to the widest practical range of reversible and permanent methods of contraception linked to appropriate, accurate, easily understood information about effectiveness and side effects, delivered though a variety of channels of distribution, and backed up by safe abortion.” 

 This article proves a very good point and gives me a good start on what I want to base my research on.  It basically deals with the fact that there are too many people and not enough natural resources to go around for all of us.  I discovered from reading the article that we are heading down a bad road to a devastating end and not even our incredible advancements in technology have the ability to save us.  According to Potts, ” if current predictions of population growth prove accurate and patterns of human activity on the planet remain unchanged, science and technology may not be able to prevent irreversible degradation of the natural environment and continued poverty for much of the world.” 

I know that global warming is a serious crisis and there are many things that constitute the existence of global warming. After reading a few articles and online journals, I began to change my mind and realize what was really important.  It this article that made me think about changing my focus, or perhaps narrowing it.  Instead of focusing on global sustainability and how global warming impacts it, I think that a better topic would be how an overpopulated planet is leading us towards global warming and a doomed planet.  This article will be very useful to me.  It opens me up to another level of understanding global warming and a huge problem that we are facing today.  The content in the article provides examples that are easily relatable to me and statistics and tables that back up its claims. 

March 10, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Library books

Immediately after the library class, I used my print out of the search results as a guide and went to browse through the stacks.  I checked out two books; one that would inform me on the general case of global warming and one that specifically related to my focus of sustainability. 

The book about global warming is called “Climate in Crisis” by Albert K. Bates.  I chose the book because it is short, but gets right to the point and doesn’t exclude any crucial details.  As I skimmed through the book, it seems like it discusses global warming on many different perspectives and theories – those I had never considered before.  Reading this book will help me discover scientific, psychological, and social reasons behind global warming.  I will do my best to incorporate these reasons and theories into my research paper.  I believe this book is realiable enough to be a valid source for my paper and I look forward to reading it. 

The other book was more narrow to my focus.  It is called “Technology, Humans, and Society: Towards a Sustainable World” by Richard C. Dorf.  When examining this book, all I had to do was look at the table of contents to know that this book is exactly what I am looking for in my research.  The book includes chapters on sustainability in business, science and technology, government, information about renewable and natural resources, and social elements of sustainability.  I chose this book because it will provide everything I need to know about my focus and more.  I plan to use information in every chapter and relate them all to my main argument.  There are endless options and things for me to write about with the help of this book.  This book looks like it is very reliable because there are several visual aides and graphs; and furthermore, they all cite their sources.

March 7, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

A deeper look into Google

I clicked on the very first web page that came up in the Google search for global sustainability.  It looked to be the number one point of reference for anything dealing with or relating to sustainability.  Ironically enough, the website is titled www.globalsustainability.org.  It included basic facts about sustainability, recent news, relative research, educational projects, a variety of publications, and even contact information.  Although this website is not very specific, it would be an excellent place to start just to get some background information and examples of research.  Since this website is created by credited professionals, it seems like a justifiable and trustworthy place to get some of my information.

I clicked on the first article that came up in my search on Google scholar.  I found the Google scholar article to be a bit more narrow and effective to my specific field than the web site I found with Google.  The way it described global sustainability is exactly how I had imagined it.  The biggest difference between the two is that the page I found with Google was speaking mostly of sustainability in a general sense, while the Google scholar article narrowed down such a broad topic and only spoke of global sustainability.  It described what global sustainability is, what causes it, and a sustainable use of the biosphere.  This article is considered a “scholarly article,” therefore I trust that it is reliable and trustworthy.

March 3, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Google searches

The search results on Google showed a lot of pages that sponsored, supported, and promoted sustainability.  I also saw websites with suggestions on how to practice sustainability and how to go green.  Of course, there were plenty of websites that were informative consisting of explanations of sustainability and how it pertains to global warming.

The Google Scholar search appeared to be much more research-based and informative.  As I had expected, there were lots of scholarly articles further examining the nature of global sustainability.  It t was helpful, but it didn’t seem helpful enough.

I am more inclined to use Google rather than Google scholar because for what I am trying to research, Google probably covers a wider span of information.

March 1, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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