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The article is about the alarming problem of the current population growth in the face of the ever dwindling resources. According to the article the current world population stands at around 6.8 billion and if the current population growth trends are anything to go by the population will have hit 9 billion by 2050. This places population growth at around 32.35 percent. Depletion of resources at the observed rate has been to some degree blamed on the chemical industry. This is due to chemicals that are manufactured by these chemical industries some of which have been blamed for the depletion of the precious ozone layer that has been correlated to global warming. Apparently it is this chemical industry that now claims that it can be part of the solution rather than the problem. The chemical industry proposes that it contribute significantly to food production and the production of alternative energy that can replace the use of oil and nuclear energy that are not too friendly to the environment. However it is important to look at the case presented by the chemical industry before arriving at a quick premature judgment.
The main message of this article is that the world will be faced with a major crisis due to depletion of resources that will not be able to survive with the current resources; with this clearly stated the chemical industry that has previously been a culprit in destruction of environment claims that it can be part of the solution. The article is not conclusive but is open in that it leaves room for the reader to arrive at the final verdict, although it actually aims at convincing the reader to support its claims. The article seeks to implore the reader to actually agree with the notion that the chemical industry can be part of the solution rather than the problem. The article begins by outlining the looming problem; the population is growing at a fast rate and the soon enough resources will not be able to sustain the whole of humanity. The article then goes on to emphasize how various chemical industries have placed population growth as one of their major concerns and through sustainable development seek ways to ensure that resources are available to cater for this population.
Claiming to lead the way is the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA). According to the secretary general of EPCA Cathy Demeestere, the major objective of the association is to place the chemical industry strategically in the development of sustainable solutions. As outlined by the secretary general this decision was arrived at after concerns from several quarters that implored the chemical industry to be “less reactive and more proactive.” According to the article, the secretary goes on to outline how exactly the chemical industry can be involved. This include preparing the world for the overpopulation in terms of the provision of clean drinking water and food, health and decent housing, mobility and the establishment of fast and efficient communication system that will hasten education via the internet.
The article further substantiates the role that can be played by the chemical industry in establishment of sustainable development. The article outlines that according to a member of board of directors of German-based producer BASF Andreas Kreimeyer, the chemical industry indeed has potential in this area. The company’s commitment towards the achievement of this objective is evidenced by the fact that it seeks to direct $1.87 billion towards research to address related issues such as the supplying of food water, energy and mobility to the growing world population. Kreimeyer elaborates that the role that can be played by chemistry in solving future population problems cannot be overemphasized and that: “we will not be able to solve tomorrow's problems with yesterday's or today's concepts.” According Kremeiyer BASF is seeking to partake in the dream through: energy management, increasing agricultural yields, plant biotechnology and nanotechnology; a technique aimed at producing high performance insulation as a way of conserving energy.
The article does well in terms of sensitizing about the rate of population growth rate in relation to the depletion of resources. However, the article fails to conclusively argue its case because of the bias evidenced by the fact that most of the supporters of the claim are actually from the chemical industry. In this case one might argue that with calls from environmental activists, governments and other sectors of the economy for the conservation of the environment, the chemical industry seeks to divert attention from the fact that it has caused destruction by claiming that it can be part of the solution.
The article provides evidence to support the major the main message by for instance explaining that use of photovoltaics specifically solar cell which has an efficiency of 20% the world’s population could be sufficiently supplied with energy from only using 1% of land surface. The article also factually explains that nanotechnology can actually reduce carbon emissions by outlining that for instance if the 24 million old residential buildings in Germany could be retrofitted with the new technology carbon emissions could be reduced by close to 80 million tonnes per year.
The strength of the article is that it provides facts and explains how exactly the chemical industry can be involved in establishment of sustainable development for the expected growth of world population. The major weakness on the other hand is that the article fails to address how exactly the chemical industry plans to reverse or stop the destruction it has already caused to the environment. The article also seems not to be offering a solution to the major problem which is population growth, but rather seeks to provide ways to manage it temporarily. It is obvious that at one time no matter what is done the population will outgrow the available resources and the target should be ways to manage population growth There is a general feeling that the chemical industry owing to the fact that it has lately become infamous due to environmental destruction, which obviously has had negative business, seeks to capitalize on environmental management as a way of rejuvenating the industry. Hence there is lack of sincerity.