Environmental Sociology

Population growth has a negative influence on the environment. It is connected with the rising energy consumption. All human activities increase the use of energy per person. Industrialization results in deterioration of environmental quality. For example, by expanding agriculture and applying technological novelties to maximize productivity, we only aggravate the situation, causing ecosystem simplification. People try to devise methods to improve the environmental conditions: desalting water, application of new irrigation systems, invention of smog-control devices, electric cars, and nuclear plants (Ehrlich & Holdren, 1971, p. 1215). However, there is still negative impact in all these cases. Population growth becomes the main reason of water and air pollution (Cropper & Griffiths, 1994, p. 250) due to larger per cent of waste. Unawareness of the right methods of waste recycling can lead to environmental problems that threaten people's health, bringing epidemic diseases, causing social disruption, and influencing general quality of life (Ehrlich & Holdren, 1974, p. 284). The growth of the U.S. and world population causes nonrenewable (minerals, fossil fuels) and even partly renewable (water) resources depletion. The use of fossil fuels increases concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The possible solution to this problem is the usage of alternative resources. Population growth affects weather conditions causing the global warming effect, increase in daily precipitation, and changes in temperature.

One of the suggested solutions to environmental problems is the population growth control and control over the population density. Population growth control may be achieved through education: teaching families planning children, and prevention of illegal immigration. Failure to manage the population growth can lead to famine, which is currently an acute problem of many countries. By acting together and sharing the methods of population control, people in the world can struggle against the negative effects of human activities.

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The environmental policy in our country includes the laws on environmental protection, which must be and are observed by the citizens of the USA. These laws touch upon regulating air and water emissions in order to avoid pollution (the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act), and energy production (the Energy Production Act). There are U.S. organizations dealing with the environmental protection and motivating people to participate in the activities connected with the issue. These organizations can be easily found on the Internet: EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), AWF (American Wildlife Foundation), and others. Unfortunately, today less and less American people are interested in taking active participation in environmental care. According to the survey, some people understand the possible negative consequences of the global warming effect, but they are not interested in pollution in their neighborhoods. Other people are not aware of the possible danger and do not want to participate in the activities connected with the environmental protection. Only a small part of the country's population is actually worried about today's ecological situation ("The American Environmental Values Survey" 2006). However, as for the observation of the laws on the environmental protection, many U.S. companies set an example to the world community. They take care of their products influence on the environment and of the produced waste, following adequate recycling programs in order to do less harm to nature.

In order to take care of the environment, first, people should start take responsibility for their own activities and then spread this responsibility into masses. The problem of the population growth and control is also solvable if we join efforts not only within the boundaries of our own country but within the world community.

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