Gaining New Understanding

This past week I gained new insight on a global issue I never even thought about.  In my history class, we have been discussing the topic of overpopulation relating to our environmental crisis.  Up until then I had always believed overpopulation was to blame for our current environmental challenges.  My understanding was simply that there were too many people consuming an unsustainable quantity of energy resources.  

In the history class we were taught the reasons why this is not the case and how overpopulation is mainly an issue in undeveloped countries.  The main reason for parents in these countries to have many children is simply because the infant mortality rate is quite high and also the more children, the more support the family receives.  This brought me to a new understanding of the cause of our energy crisis.

In my energy and society class, we have been discussing this similar issue.  Jevons Paradox was discussed as a reason why we consume energy in such an unsustainable manner.  This paradox points out how devices that have been engineered for maximum efficiency have actually led us to use more energy in the long run.  In other words the idea that since we are using something energy efficient that using it more is justified by its efficiency.

History as a subject has never been my strength, but the class has inspired me to dig deeper in order to gain the true understanding of why things are the way they are.  Although the semester is coming to an end and the temperature is rapidly dropping, I wish all GMC students luck with finishing their semester and I hope you all can gain new understanding from the various information learned from your classes!

Good luck and take care!

Andrew O’Neill

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