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Economic Growth and Environmental Destruction

            The United States makes up less than 5 percent of the populations on the earth, yet we easily consume over 30 percent of its resources. Although the human population is growing and it seems our society is doing well, our diminishing resources and wildlife across the globe say different. "We are in the midst of a mass extinction, an event not seen since the disappearance of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago," says the World Watch Institute. The earth is currently in an endangered state due to humans' over-consumption resulting from the pursuit of fulfillment. Schmookler claims, "the materialistic appetite of Western civilization serves as the engine of our environmental destructiveness" (p. 17). It is obvious that human beings are the central problem to our deteriorating world, however, if we are the problems then what is the solution? William Cronon jokes, "The only way to save nature is to kill ourselves" (Cronon) fortunately, this is not the solution. Surprisingly, humans are essential to the preservation of nature, however; unfortunately, we harm nature the most. Some argue that global warming is the main environmental issue that harms the world, and some say that it is biodiversity. However, based off of evidence and careful research, economic growth and our evolving society are the main causes of environmental damage specifically overconsumption and overpopulation. .
             Although today there have been many claims that civilization can progress without causing damage to nature, there are still strong conflicting arguments to this hypothesis. Expansion assumes economic growth, and economic growth is impossible without industry, which needs energy resources. Nowadays, the selection and variety of goods required by common people have changed and increased drastically compared to the times before modern industrial technology was working on a mass scale.

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