Tourism Analysis of Article’s Connection to Sustainability
Sustainability is one of the most debated issues in the world today, especially when it comes to matters related to the environment. Over the years, humans engage in activities that play a role in the destruction of the environment rather than the conserving it, a perspective that has been opposed and strongly rebuked by environmentalists and other environmental bodies such as the UNEP. There is the argument that humans must preserve and conserve the environment and the resources in it for the benefit of future generations. However, humans have largely ignored this notion and continue with practices that contribute little toward the conservation of the environment. For instance, humans continuously cut down trees exposing the environment to factors such as erosion caused by agents such as wind, water, and animals of which man is a part.
One of the ways through which environmental protection can be achieved is ensuring sustainability, which is defined as the way through which natural systems function, remain diverse, and also produce things needed for the ecological environment to stay in a state of balance. Humans are the largest consumers of natural resources in day-to-day life, and this includes the consumption of more power than average, overconsumption of environmental resources such as water and minerals, and the overutilization of available infrastructure such as roads. Apparently, humans have a responsibility of protecting what the environment has for future generations, which can entail recycling, reducing the way or extent to which resources such as power are used, and avoiding the overutilization of available infrastructure such as roads. The perspective of environmental protection sets the stage for the importance of sustainability in contemporary society.
Several studies and articles address the issue of environmental sustainability with the aim of ensuring that humans, who remain the largest consumers of environmental resources, reduce the utilization or consumption of these resources. Today, the increase in the global human population has resulted in competition for available resources such as food, water, power, and others. The competition for food has elicited mixed reactions among stakeholders in the agricultural sector. Some of the interested parties in the global agricultural sector propose that people should use the available food resources sparingly whereas others propose an increased production and supply of genetically engineered crops. The GMO article argues that genetically engineered (GE) crops are fit for animal and human consumption and are not health hazards as alleged. Although GE crops have ensured food sustainability, they have adverse impacts on environmental sustainability.
According to the GMO article, GE crops contain materials that are manipulated in one way or the other to give them artificial characteristics. The most common characteristics of GE crops are that they are pest resistant and they can withstand certain herbicides. The fact that GE crops can withstand herbicides has seen farmers increasingly spray fields with herbicides to kill weeds while leaving the crops, a practice that has become widespread in the global agricultural sector despite its adverse impacts on the environment. I firmly believe that herbicides used to spray GE crop fields contain chemicals that result in air and soil pollution, which have compromised the achievement of environmental sustainability. Of course, the production of GE crops is one of the several practices that have affected ecological nature, and therefore, should be considered a huge threat to environmental sustainability.
I firmly support and agree with the GMO article’s statement that wGE crop production threatens environmental sustainability in various ways. As stated in the article, the positive effects of GE crops aside, they have negative effects on pests, farming practices, as well as agricultural infrastructure. First, by being pest-resistant, GE crops have seen a reduction in the pest population in parts of the world such as the U.S. and Europe, and a perfect example of pest resistant GE crops is the European corn borer. Here, it is seen that GE crop production interferes with ecological balance by reducing pest populations, and this means that the environment in existence today will be different from that of future generations. Pests play a crucial role in the agricultural sector, and the fact that GE crop production has adverse effects on pest populations highlights one of its impacts on environmental sustainability. Further, the article states that the use of herbicides in GE crop production has influenced the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds that have in turn affected farming practices. Today, normal crop production is threatened by the increase or evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds, and this could affect food sustainability and environmental sustainability from a general perspective.
From the GMO article, it can be seen that the adoption of GE crops has not increased yields overall as alleged, especially among U.S. farmers. This is coupled with the fact that GE crop production has led to a fall in the populations of monarch butterflies. GE crops are known to suppress milkweed, which is the only food for insects in the caterpillar state. Milkweed is suppressed by the practice where pesticides are used thereby paving the way for the growth of GE crops. As a result, this practice of using pesticides in growing GE crops caused a declined in the population of monarch butterflies, what is considered a threat to ecological balance and environmental sustainability. Monarch butterflies are the best pollination agents, and the fact that they are on the verge of extinction due to increased GE crop production highlights the latter’s adverse impact on environmental sustainability.
Moreover, the GMO article highlights that 12 percent of all cropland worldwide is covered with genetically engineered plants. Corn, soybeans, and others are some of the common GM crops that are planted in the U.S. and Europe. However, the argument among the U.S. population is that GE crop products are health hazards, and this has seen a significant reduction in the consumption of the same. In Europe, as well, there has been a significant pushback against GE crops, and this is attributed to its adverse effects not only on human health but environment sustainability from an overall viewpoint.
In my opinion, just like it is outlined in the article, GE crops are a huge threat to ecological balance and the efforts made toward environmental sustainability. I believe that the primary objective of ensuring environmental sustainability is to leave the environment in a preserved and conserved state for future generations. Unfortunately, the increased GE crop production practices put the growth of other plants at risk, and this means that in the long-term, the global plant population will be cut significantly. Moreover, I believe that with the use of herbicides in GE crop production, global warming could be heightened, and this highlights how GE crops are not environmentally sustainable in a long-term perspective.