Summary of Article, “Re-Thinking the Good life”
The article begins with a brief discussion on the conditions of life in the City of Bogota, Columbia before the leadership of Mayor Enrique Penalosa. It goes further and provides his leadership strategies that enhanced the quality of life to the residents of Bogota (Assadourian et al, 164). The main strategies employed by Mayor Enrique as indicated in the article, mainly focus on enhancing the intrinsic nature of human well-being through the provision of services, products and materials that meet the immediate needs of the people. Mayor Enrique, as mentioned in the article asserts that a city is not only successful due to materials wealth, but when its dwellers are happy (Assadourian et al, 165).
The other main issue covered in the article is the strategies that have been applied by other nations for instance the United States, Norway, Denmark and Belgium; these strategies basically focus on enhancing the well-being of the respective societies for example: The article indicates two main strategies that have been applied in the in the United States to enhance human well-being. One of the strategies involves unity among consumers to create an effective force that will ensure that suppliers provide their basic needs. Social ties is also another imperative issue covered within the article; the author alludes that good social relations are some of the most imperative issues in regard to high quality of life. I agree with the author on this issue; social ties have been considered an imperative aspect of social and economic development. Proper societal cohesion is important for peace and development (Gao et al, 16). It creates an appropriate platform for people to express their ideas, skills and share information for purposes of socio-economic development. However, in the current society, social relationship or social ties are experienced with a main challenge; increased used of social media platforms. This has affected social relationship in the sense that many people currently prefer spending significant amounts of time on the internet, rather than engage in physical interaction with one another (Gao et al, 18). Consequently, the author pin-points how human well-being can be measured; some of the issues that can be used to measure human well-being as indicated in the article are life expectancy, ecological health, school enrolment rates et cetera. I agree with the author on this perspective; a developed society is characterized by a high quality lifestyle among its members. This can only be determined by a healthy population with a high level of life expectancy and a high rate of knowledge acquisition indicated by high levels of school enrolment.
Summary of the Article, “Transition to a Sustainable Lifestyle with the Earth Charter”
The article begins with provision of a quote retrieved from a Bagamoyo Dialogue, indicating that humans need the environment more than the environment needs human. I agree with this statement (The Earth Charter). Human beings are 100% dependent on the environment for their survival on earth; it begins with their reliance on oxygen to support their life systems. The author goes further to provide a quote from a Delhi dialogue indicating that humans have to change their lifestyle to curb the current future ecological challenges (The Earth Charter). While this statement is true, it is also imperative to acknowledge the fact that certain dimensions of environmental damages occur in a natural manner, assume a scenario of a Hurricane that sweeps an entire city, while eroding the shores of the ocean.
The other imperative issue covered in this article is the ecological footprint; the author posits that ecological footprint basically facilitates an assessment of the pressures or burden impacted upon the natural phenomenon of the earth. It can be achieved through measuring various aspects of human demand on the environment; it may also involve an assessment of the amount of emissions human cause on the earth i.e. carbon emission et cetera. Additionally, the author asserts that ecological overshoot, which means an increase in the amount of human demand on the environment, has increased since the 1970’s. I agree with this perspective on one basis; the society has been experiencing rapid developments since the early 1970’s characterized by a rapidly increasing population and technological advancements (Moldan, 5). There are also three classes of sustainable cultural consumption globally; one of these cultures is the culture of over-consumption, the sustainable cultural class and the struggling class. The author defines the struggling class the one that lives within is environmental limits; well, this may be true in the perspective of the author, but I believe that it is the least populated classes considering the fact that human demands have increased and everybody strive to extract as much resource as possible from the environment. The author also discusses ways through, which changes in relation to environmental protection could be implemented. He provides the 4R’s as some of the strategies; that is, Refuse-Reduce-Re-Use-Recycle. These strategies are pertinent; however, I disagree with the author in regard to their application as they have proved ineffective over the years.
In relation to the article, “Transition to a Sustainable Lifestyle with the Earth Charter”, it is evident that it covers one of the most critical issues experienced in the society. Environmental challenge has been a major problem for the last 4 decades and it is still a major problems. However, the information provided in the article could not be applicable in the current society considering that the rate of consumption or natural resources has increased overtime. This has been attributed by the fact that human population is on the rapid increase, people have become greedy and take all necessary actions to extract the maximum amount of resources from the environment (Moldan, 7). Consequently, the application of the 4R’s, that is, refuse, reduce, re-use and recycle could not be appropriate. This approach has been applied for the last ten years and has not been effective.
In the article, ‘Transition to a Sustainable Lifestyle with the Earth Charter”, sustainability is regarded as one of the most important aspects of environmental protection and conservation. There are three main classes of sustainability cultures; over-consumption, sustainability class and the struggling class. The article provides some of the strategies that can be applied to facilitate sustainability; however, these strategies directly depend on human efforts and begin with lifestyle changes for instance, refusing to purchase products that are considered harmful to the environment. It is therefore a personal observation that sustainability is of paramount importance in the process of environmental conservation and protection.
Assadourian, Erik et al. State of the World: Rethinking the Good Life. New York: World Watch, 2004. 164-179. Print.
Gao, Huiji, et al. "Exploring Social-Historical Ties on Location-Based Social Networks." ICWSM. 2012.
Moldan, Bedřich,. "How to understand and measure environmental sustainability: Indicators and targets." Ecological Indicators 17 (2012): 4-13.
The Earth Charter. Transition to a Sustainable Lifestyle with the Earth Charter. Earth Charter, 0. Print.