The central theme to this course is the concept of sustainable development. Peterson's lecture on January 9th, sustainable development is "the development of a society that is just and desirable for both our and future generations." Dr. Peterson also outlined six problems dealing with sustainable development. In this paper I will relate the countries of Nigeria and China to the problem of natural resource use and industrialization and the other five problems of sustainable development utilizing material from lectures, discussion, labs, movies, and the text. .
The first problem associated with sustainable development is natural resource depletion and rapid industrialization. Nigeria and China are both experiencing problems related to industrialization and the use of natural resources. Industrialization and the natural resource used go hand in hand, because the natural resources extracted from the environment in a said country is the main source for sector of the economy. The natural resource is used to produce a product, which in turn provides capital. The Nigerian society is highly dependent on non-renewable resources, namely oil, which serves as the basis of its economy. In Nigeria, oil production is estimated to peak between 2010-2050. In China, one main natural resource is hydroelectric power, used by the rapid industrialized cities. .
One of the prices paid for industrialization and extracting a natural resource is the Three Gorges Dam in China. The creation of the dam will result in a 350 square mile reservoir, yet 1-2 million inhabitants will be forcibly removed from their homes. Since the silt flow of the Yangtze River will be altered, farming and soil fertility will be significantly altered. And, not to mention, the endangered river dolphin will undoubtedly be driven to extinction. All these consequences will be paid for the price of 18 billion watts of power to spur economic and industrial growth in southern China.