This is a GP Environment Essay question that we frequently teach during our lessons at First Class GP. Environment is becoming an increasingly popular choice amongst students, together with Science & Tech.
Therefore, our team has prepared a GP Environment Cheat Sheet for you on environmental degradation, which has become increasingly rampant in our era. In this Cheat Sheet, you will learn why environmental degradation is such a huge problem to us, as well as the other threats that are equally problematic.
Without further ado, let’s dive into this Cheat Sheet!
GP Environment Cheat Sheet: ‘Environmental degradation is the biggest threat facing the world today.’ To what extent do you agree?
Firstly, as always, we should start by arguing that environmental degradation is indeed the biggest threat facing the world today.
Point 1: Environmental degradation is indeed worrying as it has shown no sign of abating amidst humanity’s economic expansion.
- As the global economy keeps growing, the CO2 level is now at a new high of above 400pm, the highest in several million years. Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are already experiencing prolonged draughts; swathes of arable lands have now become infertile, resulting in many climate change refugees.
- Hydraulic fracturing, where water and chemicals are injected into oil and gas wells at incredibly high pressures to fracture rocks and shale, is used to extract fossil fuel. This has led to changes in geologic faults and been linked to increased seismic activities such as the two major earthquakes in Italy in 2012 which killed 27 people.
Point 2: Perhaps the strongest argument is that environmental problems are a threat to humanity as it gravely threatens our survival.
- The falling populations of tuna and sea turtles (from overfishing and destruction of marine habitat) that prey on jellyfish have led to increase in jellyfish populations in the oceans. As jellyfish consume fish eggs and compete for food with fish that we eat, the world is gradually running out of supply of fish.
- About 30 per cent of Singapore land is less than 5m above the mean sea level. According to the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS), sea levels will rise by 0.25m to 0.76m by 2100. Parts of Singapore may disappear under water if climate change shows no sign of abating.
To gain those sweet evaluation marks, let’s have a rebuttal for one of our points above. Specifically, Point 2.
Rebuttal: There are signs that the trends of environmental degradation are reversing.
- In 2016, almost all governments ratified the Paris Climate Agreement. They are committed to keep global temperature below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- China, commonly viewed as the biggest polluter due to its rapid economic expansion, has shown great willingness to tackle environmental problems. The Chinese government is taking the lead in the Paris Climate Deal.
Now, we can argue that there are in fact other serious threats facing the world today. Perhaps, environmental degradation is not one of them.
Point 1: Despite the multi-faceted threat of environmental destruction, there still remain other equally pressing issues that one should not ignore. The foremost among them is perhaps man’s ability and eagerness to harm one another.
- Countries are increasingly trigger happy. The battle that broke out between India and Pakistan in 2019 almost turned into a full-fledge war. The ongoing Yemeni war between Houthi forces and the Yemeni government started in 2015, with no end in sight.
Point 2: In addition, some underdeveloped parts of the world are still beset by abject poverty.
- Every day, 22,000 children in developing countries die from poverty-related diseases. While this is nothing new, our inability to eradicate such crises is disheartening.
- Even a country like Venezuela is not spared from problems like famine. 10% of Venezuelans have fled the country because of famine, lack of medicine and power outage. Poor governance has arrested the country to a total standstill. The economy is so crippled that people use banknotes to weave handicrafts. Deaths of children have been reported owing to food shortage.
We hope you have found this GP Environment Cheat Sheet insightful and helpful in your revision! We highly recommend checking out our Environment Cheat Sheet archives, as well as our Instagram page (@firstclass.gp) for more content!
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