Environmental Problem: Defined
The environmental issue that my research will focus on is the continued use of fossil fuels as the primary energy source by our global economy: regardless of the proven adverse impacts, from our reliance on these nonrenewable resources; and in consideration of the circumstances regarding the existence of viable alternative sources of energy, given the application of equivalent technologies applied to their systems of conversion.
The focus of this paper is not to identify evidence of the negative impacts realized because of fossil fuel use, in order to prove these problems are in fact produced. Confirmation has been granted through several other research ...view middle of the document...
Also foundational to the focus of the issue being studied, is their continued use not only in the light of the problems they cause; but also in the light of existing substitutes that are viable, given the application of equivalent technologies applied to their systems of conversion.
Fundamental to the study will be an assessment of the functioning and structure of the corresponding economic system. For one, this is the broader social system in which energy as a vital resource applies. Also, when considering the capitalistic nature of the market economy that is marked by specialization and trade an all-encompassing, interdependence exists.
The government and the political structure will also be considered as they apply to institutions of social control. Any other social systems found to possess the structure or political power to exert control at the “community level” will also be included within the analysis because this converts into the ability to influence the causes and outcomes of the environmental issue of concern.
“The American Civil War (1861–1865) made it possible for men of varying degrees of ability to become wealthy overnight. During the postwar decades these new fortunes were used for the exploitation of natural resources and for industrial development. Men such as Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919) and John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937) became folk heroes, although in Rockefeller's case, there were also many who feared and despised him. Few laws regulated competition and few taxes were levied on their profits. In time some of these men exerted considerable influence on their state legislatures and on their senators. Even the philosophy of the age was tailored to their needs. Social Darwinism applied the biological concept of survival of the fittest to human society and decreed the successful businessman the fittest of all. Eventually, the Progressive movement confronted some of the more unsavory practices of the business elite and the corrupt politics of the time. The first faint indication that a change in conditions might be close at hand came in 1887 with the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act followed a few years later by the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890.
Even in a period when business predominated there were certain activities that alarmed the public. The financial manipulations of Rockefeller, for example, indirectly affected the lives of millions who came to fear his company while admiring his personal life. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company was the first trust or monopoly. It effectively controlled the petroleum refining industry by 1879. Other large combinations followed suit, so that by 1890 large companies controlled the production of such products as whiskey, sugar, and lead, and dominated the nation's railroads. The combinations used their size to exploit markets to the fullest.
Pressure mounted for the federal government to take action since individual states were powerless in dealing with the...