Trilliona’s Article ( How far is recycling the answer to the problem of waste?)

Thesis Statement: Items discarded by humans that are unwanted or are no longer able to function are considered as waste. The problems that arise as a result of waste include environmental pollution and reduction of land (due to increase landfills). Recycling is indeed one of the answer to solving the problem of waste, but there are also other ways to tackle the problem of waste.

In order to solve the problem of waste, there is a need to first solve the root cause. Many of the problems that are linked to pollution is usually due to the selfishness of humans. Humans produce waste but are lazy to discard them off properly. In United States itself, the amount of litter produced is about 250 million per year. Despite government campaigns such as the ‘Keep America beautiful’ campaign, littering still remains a prominent issue even in ‘clean and green’ cities like Singapore. The main cause is the mindsets of people. People often have this selfish mindset, that throwing a small piece of litter will not result in any major impacts on the environment. However, they do not realize that if everyone haves the same mindset, the amount of litter that will build up will be humongous. Pollution of the lands and oceans thus arises. Thus, to tackle this issue, government can raise public awareness about the disposal of waste to change the people’s mindset. Problems of waste cannot be solve just by the act of the government but includes the corporation of the people to do their part to keep the environment clean.

In order to have waste to throw, the waste must first come from somewhere. According to waste statistics, about 30% of waste thrown are packaging waste. In order to make their product more aesthetically pleasing, companies may choose to package their products in fancy and colorful package instead of just plain simple ones. Government can motivate firms to go for lighter but yet equally appealing packaging to reduce the amount of packaging waste. Using packaging waste as an example, the main point that is brought across is that in order to solve the problems of waste, people first need to reduce the amount of waste produced.

Using the example of packaging waste, packaging waste can be categorized into the different materials; paper and cardboard, glass, plastic, metal and wood. Even though the amount of packaging waste is expected to rise every year, according to the statistic by EU, the amount of packaging waste disposed off as solid waste has remained constant. This is because the increase in packaging waste has been countered by the increase in recycling rates of packaging material. Recycling plays a very important role in reducing the amount of waste being disposed off at landfills or incinerated. Recycling allows for raw materials to be reuse. Recycling reduces pollution because the waste is now collected and sorted at recycling centres for further processing instead of being left around as litter. Recycling is sort of a way to reduce the problems of waste by lowering the negative effects. However, it not a very efficient method to solve the problem of waste. In order to solve the problem of waste, the mentality of people has to first change, followed by the reduction of waste that leads to h

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Trilliona’s Article ( How far is recycling the answer to the problem of waste?)

Going green is the privilege of the rich. How true is this?

It is widely advised to “go green” nowadays. Advertisements haunt us regularly on how simple solutions can have a big impact on saving the environment- going green. However, most of these solutions in my opinion are expensive ones, which leads me to my claim that going green is only truly attainable if people are wealthy in the first place.

Solutions nowadays though simple enough are very pricey. This is due to the fact that at this stage of development, it is very costly to carry them out. For example, in Australia, due to the hole in the ozone layer, it is advertised to install solar panels on the roofs of the houses in order to save electricity generated from fossil fuels.  This may seem simple enough, however, the solar panels cost a large portion of the home owner’s income, and it also takes a large time frame to regain the money that has been invested. Thus it can be seen from examples like Australia’s that going green is very costly due to the limitations that arise from the state of technology we currently are at.

Also, it not only costs money as well, but is costs time. This is because solutions nowadays are too impractical to carry out. A survey by keenforgreen.com carried out a survey to find people’s opinions on the price of going green. It was found that people find things like reusing water, or taking public transport to be too impractical due to it being tedious. They found the reason to why it is unfavourable to some people to go green to be due to the fact that people enjoy convenience, meaning that they did not find taking public transport to be beneficial towards their lifestyle.

On the other hand, people may argue that going green comprises of many solutions, such as recycling, reusing, and reducing. Solutions like these are simple enough to carry out, and also can be considered as going green. For example, it is not costly at all to have community events to pick up litter around the streets and forests. However, we must also consider the impact of the attempt to go green. If we were to consider the impact of the three r’s, compared to the impact of the installation of solar panels, the more expensive solution will always be the one with a more significant impact, as they tend to solve the long term problems.

Going green is the privilege of the rich. How true is this?

Yixun’s essay: “Going green is but the privilege of the rich”. How true is this?

11. “Going green is but the privilege of the rich”. How true is this?

Thesis statement:

Solving the existing environmental problems such as global warming and air pollution is indeed costly in terms of the vast amount of money invested in the green energy programmes and other high-tech methods. However, ordinary people do not need to spend much money going green as they can simply take a step to change their lifestyle a bit, by wasting less energy or switching to take public transport. This single step can be taken by everyone regardless of income as long as they have the awareness and the willingness to live a more environmentally friendly life.

Body paragraphs:

The fact that the developed countries where more rich people are living in such as the United States contribute the most to the world’s carbon emissions shows that the rich are causing more environmental problems despite the fact that they seem to put a lot more effort in calling for environmental conservation compared with the poor. The rich has this privilege in terms of choosing the way they prefer to going green only because the lifestyle they are living now and the habits they have are causing more environmental problems than that of the lower class. For example, the rich possess luxury cars which are usually high in emission, so they have a choice not to use them, to go green. On the other hand, the poor are already living a greener life as they do not even have the private motor vehicles to produce so much carbon dioxide.

Some people may argue that only the rich can afford some high-tech instruments that helps reducing waste and save the environment. For example, expensive water saving instruments are only affordable for the rich. But does this mean the poor will definitely consume more water? It is true that there are certain ways of protecting the environment that only the rich can use, but there are always alternative ways for the poor to fulfil the same goal. For example, to pander to the theme of a water-conserving society, the poor can recycle the waste water from washing cloths to clean their floor. We cannot argue that this is an inferior way of saving water compared with the rich as by simply recycling the water instead of buying water saving instruments, the pollution caused during the production of those instruments are eradicated as well. The conclusion we can draw from this example is that both rich and poor can go green, in distinct ways.

But the rich do have some privilege when it comes to the awareness of the severity of the environmental problems. The rich, who have more access to the internet, are exposed to the information on the present situation of the environment all the time. They also receive a more balanced school education, which emphasize more on teaching them to consider and take responsibility of current world affairs and issues including the environmental problems. Therefore the possibility that they will take action to live a more green lifestyle to address the environmental problems is higher than the poor who may not know the severity of the problems well. But this privilege does not really make a great difference in the initiatives of taking action when it comes to protecting the environment. This is because the world has already emphasized so much or even exaggerated the environmental problems that everyone should have the knowledge that we should make an effort to go green.

Yixun’s essay: “Going green is but the privilege of the rich”. How true is this?

Question: What effects has commercialization had on sports?

Yichang’s Passage

Sports have evolved a lot along the course of history. At first, it was a way of people exercising the essential skills of survival. Then, it became a stage for people to showcase their physical superiority. Not long ago, it was a way of entertainment for people to keep fit and have fun. However, recently, with the great leap in communication technologies and globalization, sports are being adulterated with other factors like money. It is literally being commercialized. The effects of the commercialization on sports are two-sided. However, the trend of commercialization of sports is inevitable and inexorable, given the global environment nowadays.

Commercialization can help a sport to survive and progress. With the effect of commercialization, athletes are paid for playing a sport. It is extremely important for some niche sports which need athlete to fully dedicate themselves into training and sports which involve very expensive equipments as people no longer afford to play those sports just for fun. For example, Formula One, or F1 in short, is a very extreme example of sports commercialization. If you go to watch F1, you will see numerous advertisements painted on cars and walls of tracks. The entry tickets are also expensive. However, it is easily justified, given the particular characteristics of that sport. F1 features athletes, or drivers, to compete in the cutting-edge racing cars which can easily cost millions of dollars. A qualified driver needs to undergo a professional and comprehensive training. Moreover, the relating costs of F1, such as transportation and maintenance, are also tremendous. It is impossible for sports like F1 to survive if they are not commercialized. Commercialization can also popularize a sport. Through the broadcast of sport matches and many promotional events, more people get to touch a sport they did not hear of or were not familiar with before. They stand to get involved into the sport if they find the sports interesting or they are fascinated by the charismatic stars of the sport. With the growing number of followers, a sport is set to progress and prosper. For example, China once was an infertile land for basketball. After China’s superstar Yao Ming landed NBA, then NBA commissioner David Stern found it an excellent chance to open up Chinese market and popularize NBA, or more broadly speaking, basketball in China. Stern used commercial tactics like signing broadcasting contract with CCTV5, China’s national sports channel and opening franchises in China to sell official NBA products. He also invited Yao to endorse NBA in China. These tactics proved to be a success. Now, NBA has a strong foundation of followers in China, ranging from teenagers to the middle-aged, from men to women, and more and more people are now playing basketball as a regular sport. Thus, we can conclude that commercialization does sometimes play a positive role in sports.

However, commercialization is a two-edged sword for sports. Too much commercialization or inappropriate use of commercialization can stain sports. Commercialization holds a risk of people being so indulged in money that they flout the basic principle of sports which is fairness. As sports gambling becomes more and more popular, people seek to make money from sports in a cheating manner. They bribe athletes or judges to rig the match in favor of themselves so that they can make a tremendous amount of money from it. It is extremely harmful to sports as it will make people lose interest and faith in sports. Moreover, athletes driven by the lure of money may relentlessly push themselves without caring about their own health and it may cause tragedies of disability or even death of athletes which is certainly not the intention of sports. Thus, we should deal with commercialization carefully as it can easily make tremendous harm to sports and in fact it has already done as shown above.

Question: What effects has commercialization had on sports?

ZiRong’s Essay: “Hosting major sporting events creates more problems than benefits.” Do you agree? (2005)

Thesis statement:

I agree that hosting major sporting events creates more problems than benefits as the problems generated outweigh the benefits from hosting these events.

Argument 1:

One of the problems that host countries encounter after hosting a major sporting event is the stadiums and facilities left unused after the sporting events have ended. Countries spent millions of money to build stadiums infrastructure needed for major sporting events like the Olympics to have these stadiums and infrastructure left mostly empty or under-utilised after the Olympics ended. These Olympic venues fall into disrepair, covered with graffiti and weeds, abandoned. The 2004 Summer Games in Athens is a good example of building facilities needed for the Olympics to have them abandoned with no use. The cost of building the facilities was 4.5 billion Euros, which is an estimated amount of 6.7 billion Singapore Dollars, and an equivalent to 6.7 billion Singapore Dollars lost and wasted. This shows how unprofitable it is to host such major sporting events.

Argument 2:

Hosting major sporting events can also create negative publicity for a country. Once a country is chosen to host a major sporting event, all attention will be focused on them and negative aspects of the country, the process of preparing for the event will be scrutinised, as seen in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. With the Commonwealth Games looming around the corner, venues were incomplete, the theme song for the Games was incomplete, and the transportation, catering, cleaning, sanitation and hygiene of the Games Village were a concern. All of these portray Delhi in a bad light, showing their inability with managing such a major event as well as the poor state of the city, which will in turn cause tourists to turn away from going to Delhi. Such risks of being portrayed negatively in a problem for the countries hosting major sporting events.

Counter-argument 1:

However, hosting a major sporting event does not entail disadvantages only. An advantage of hosting major sporting events is the economic benefits. Major sporting events allow host countries to make new investments and increase development of different sectors within the country. As can be seen in Brazil, the 2014 World Cup allowed Brazil to invest in other sectors such as transport to allow its economy to grow. Expanded airports and improved transport systems are just some of the improvements that was achieved due to the opportunities created when preparing for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Therefore, hosting major sporting events do allow host countries and cities to benefit.

ZiRong’s Essay: “Hosting major sporting events creates more problems than benefits.” Do you agree? (2005)

Sridha’s Essay: “Modern Technology Owes Ecology an Apology”. To what extent is modern technology responsible for our environmental problems?

Thesis:
I agree to a large extent that technology is responsible for our environmental problems. In our everyday lives, we encounter new types of technology that have been innovated to enhance our lives. But we have to realise that the same technology which makes our life easy, also compromises the state of our environment in many ways.

Paragraph 1:
The nuclear sector has experienced rapid growth over the past few decades. Billions of dollars have been invested to pursue research regarding nuclear energy and potential ways to extract energy. The new inventions that have surfaced in this industry have added on to the world’s supply of clean energy. But however, the nuclear industry poses as a hazard as well. Every process has its output and similarly, the cultivation of nuclear energy also has its own waste products which should be disposed in a proper way. But however, the firms which aid the cultivation of nuclear energy on behalf of the government fail to practice safe methods of disposal. As a result of the harmful seeds the firms sow, the inhabitants of earth have to reap the fruits sown by facing the consequences and negative effects. Numerous firms dispose their wastes by burying them underground. Research has shown that burying chemical wastes underground can pave the way for man-made earthquakes. When chemically polluted waste products are injected underground, the underground pore pressure increases, hence weakening nearby faults. If the pressure hits the limit, the tectonic stress will be released in the form of an earthquake. As we can see, the popular belief that earthquakes are only caused by geographic reasons has been proven false. We humans are capable of causing distress to our own mankind through our own actions.

 Paragraph 2:
Technology has permitted many firms to expand their factors of production. Factories are built in huge numbers to satisfy the increasing needs of the human race. These factories are equipped with much technological advancements which enhance the efficiency of production methods. But however, there is a negative side to this factor again. The machineries operated in the factories release toxic gases and this adds on to the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect propels the earth closer towards global warming by raising the planet’s temperature. Although we humans reap the fruits of the technological booms, we also have to remember that at the end of the day, we are at the receiving end of the negative impacts as well. But many a time, the advantages of technological advancements inhibit our potential of weighing the pros and cons in such a way that we tend to be oblivious to the disadvantages. This is what has been preventing us from realizing the dire consequences we may have to face if we do not decrease the detrimental effects of technology on ecology.

Counter – Argument:
Although technology has had some major negative impacts on the environment, it also has its own ways of slowing down earth’s journey to doom. Several firms have been investing money for the research on ‘greener technology’. Green technology refers to technology that reduces harmful emissions and functions in an advantageous way to the environment. Many innovations have been targeted at decreasing the negative impacts in the environment. They serve the same purposes as normal technology but the only difference is that they do not compromise the importance on ecology. Some examples include the hybrid cars designed by Toyota to reduce fume exhausts which in turn, will decrease pollution. Besides, other sources of energy are being used to generate energy for earth and they have minimal damage on the environment. This shows that although technology has its own negative impacts, it also helps us to fight the battle of rising global temperature. But however, we have to compare the extent to which technology helps safeguard the environment.

Sridha’s Essay: “Modern Technology Owes Ecology an Apology”. To what extent is modern technology responsible for our environmental problems?

Raudhah’s Essay – ‘Sports is ultimately about the desire to win at all cost’. Discuss.

Thesis Statement: Sports is ultimately about the desire to win at all cost

Content Paragraphs:

Athletes play sports because of their passion and love for the sport. They train hard for months, for years even, so as to perform well for the upcoming competition. The trainings are physically and mentally tough, but what keeps them going is their motivation. Their motivation to win. Speed skater Dan Jansen is an example of an athlete that persevered through it all, including his sister’s death. He continued with the game that very afternoon of his sister’s death and finally attained his gold medal 10 years after his debut, the medal that he has been longing for. This goes to show that with all the sacrifices made by the athletes, they feel that all the more important for them to win to make the sacrifices worth it. Thus, they desire to win at all cost.

However, there are athletes that participated for the experience. Swimmer Eric Moussambani from Equitorial Guinea gained entry to the 2000 Summer Olympic Games with no elaborate training facilities back home, but he competed in the qualifying race. He lost miserably but fans all around the world were in awe at his perseverance. Athletes like Eric, value the journey taken to get to the very sport or position they are in. They take the mistakes and experience as a lesson learnt and improve themselves.

In spite of that, some athletes just have a very strong desire to win. Take Lance Armstrong as an example. He is regarded as the top cyclist and he is known worldwide. His desire to perform better and win the race led him into doing doping. He wanted to have a more enhance performance that can make it easier for him to win the race. He does it despite knowing that is a violation of the rules. Many other athletes had also resorted to this act. This shows that they are willing to take the risk at a chance of winning the competition. This shows that they have a strong desire to win at all cost.

Raudhah’s Essay – ‘Sports is ultimately about the desire to win at all cost’. Discuss.