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Earth in the Balance

According to Al Gore's book Earth in the Balance the world is at a crossroads facing an environmental crisis in the century to come.  Two main factors contribute to this new crisis.  First of all there is the increase in population.  According to Gore the world’s population increases the size of the population of China every decade.  The second threat to the environment that Al Gore forwards in the book is the increased use of technology over the last century.  These two factors effect the relationship man has with the earth.  Earth in the BalanceThe environmental destruction due to these two factors is immense including such diverse effects as global warming, ozone depletion, death of entire species, as well deforestation.

Gore believes that to solve the problem the world needs to change the relationship between man and the earth.  The problems will not the simplistic notions of either some ultimate form of technology such as nuclear power or genetic engineering or the idea of a dramatic cut back in the use of technology to extreme levels.  The key according to Earth In The Balance is to form new ways of thinking about the relationship with the earth.

One important goal is to educate people of the problems they face.  To understand them people must first understand two things.  First as Gore says, "realize that our power to harm the earth can indeed have global and even permanent effects." (Gore 31-34)  The second as expressed in the following excerpt, "realize that the only way to understand our new role as a co-architect of nature is to see ourselves as part of a complex system that does not operate according to the same simple rules of cause and effect that we are used to." (Gore 34)  The first excerpt is self-explanatory.  However, the second shows that Gore believes that it is the complex relationships involved with the environment that needs to be studied rather the effect.

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