Analysis of Managing Planet Earth
The main points of this writing can be summed up with its title, Managing Planet Earth. This essay thoroughly explains all the environmental problems occurring on earth, while giving several suggestions on how to solve them. The author, William C. Clark, begins this paper by comparing the human race to a Petri dish of bacteria; his point being that just like the bacteria, humans can eventually use up all the resources the earth has to offer and die. Clark goes on to explain that reaching the goal of sustainable development among humans can be achieved by the answering of two questions: “What kind of planet do we want? What kind of planet can we get?” He throws some numbers up illustrating how a fairly small percent of the earth’s wealthiest residents cause the most amount of damage to the environment, and a relatively large percent of humans live in sub par conditions where their concerns have absolutely nothing to do with the environment and more to do with their struggle to find food and shelter for themselves. Clark’s point being that there is such a large difference in priorities between different cultures on earth, that it is near impossible to get the whole world to work together to improve the earth we all rely on. He then begins to explain how the earth’s natural chemical flows, hydrological cycles and human impacts play key roles in maintaining a healthy earth and how people could improve the efficiency of these cycles drastically if enough effort was put into it. He follows these explanations with specific examples of how humans are degrading the environment and interfering with the earth’s natural cycles.
Clark explains the different impacts different societies have on the world, placing the blame of most environmental problem on high-density, high-income regions and stating these problems are expanding to low-density, low-income regions. He presents and explains several steps to establishing a...