Analysis of Articles

Precise for two articles What’s your consumption factor Diamond Jared ed the article, ‘What’s your consumption factor,’ which the New York Times published on January 2, 2008. The author identifies significance of the number 32 to both mathematicians and economists and explains the number to be the factor that distinguishes consumption between individuals in developing countries and those in developed countries. Per capita consumption is 32 times higher in developed countries that in developing countries and while people previously presumed population size as a threat to sustainability, per capita consumption is the real threat. Even though population size is larger in developing countries and has higher growth rate, the greater threat is still developed countries. Developing countries however contribute to the threat of higher consumption through emigration to developed countries or through efforts for improving living standards and per capita consumption such as in China. China is a fast growing economy. While its current per capita consumption is 11 times lower than the one for developed countries, its large population means that continued increase in its per capita consumption would be a great threat to sustainability. Increase in its per capita consumption to 32 would increase global oil consumption by more than 100 percent and global metal consumption by almost 100 percent (Diamond 1, 2).
If India could also join China to the 32-consumption level then the global consumption rate would increase by 300 percent while improvement of consumption in all developing countries would increase global consumption by about 1100 percent. Even though Americans suggest that improved governance and better policies could improve lifestyles in developing countries, these may not be valid solutions because economies may not be able to sustain increased consumption levels. Americans are also critical of countries with increasing consumption rates yet these rates are well below that in America. While developing countries may seek to improve their consumption rates towards equality, resource scarcity is a limitation and developed countries may not be willing to reduce their rates. Some of the factors to high consumption rates are however wasteful and minimizing them can ensure a balance with a level of sustainability. Political goodwill appears the necessary tool to this success (Diamond 2, 3).
Be fruitful and multiply
Malakoff David authored the article, ‘Be fruitful and multiply?’ that the Conservation Magazine published in December 2009. The author identifies conflicting opinions on global population trends and conflicting opinions on effects of population size on the environment. Some of the author’s reported sources note positive effects of population size while some report negative consequences with calls for measures to regulate population size (Malakoff n.p.).
An independent report on population trend however reports reducing birth rates, especially among rich countries whose rates are as low as 1.1. While some may argue that the declining rate is good for the environment and economy, it identifies concerns such as reduced labor force that could be a threat to economic sustainability and some of the countries with low birth rates have been trying to promote reproduction. This may have been effective in some countries as data shows a transition into increasing birthrates alongside improvement in human development index. While an increase to a rate of about 2.1 would promise sustainability, developed countries experience population aging while developing countries have a young and growing population, though at a lower rate, and this undermines the role of population trends on the environment and sustainability. Population size can therefore not be relied upon as a basis for understanding global problems and solutions and a humane approach is recommended (Malakoff n.p.).
Works cited
Diamond, Jared. “What’s your consumption factor?” New York Times. January 2, 2008. Web. March 2, 2014.
Malakoff, David. “Be fruitful &amp. multiply?” Conservation Magazine (2009), 10.4, n.p.

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