Date: Sunday, January 17th 2015
Participants (from 14 countries):
Iran: Noorola, Rojhano, Taregh, Behnam | Argentina: Johny | USA: Rick |Tunisia: Amine | Morocco: Imad | Pakistan: Hafsa | Japan: Masato | Sudan: Seif | Indonesia: Atilla, Dewi | Brazil: Mykaela | Algeria: Soufrah | Mongolia: Ganaa | Philippines: Lala | Bangladesh: Mohiuddin, Azamu
Hosts: Johny, Rick
Panel PRO: Soufrah, Dewi, Rick, Ganaa
Panel CON: Amine, Masato, Noorola
Audience: Lala, Taregh, Behnam, Mykaela, Hafsa, Atilla, Seif, Imad, Gana, Rick, Mohiuddin, Azamu
- The key factor is people’s mortality rate: it is not a problem for nature because we die as fast as we born. Growing human population is not yet a problem for nature.
- Urbanization can actually help nature: by expanding our harvest-able lands, we can fertilize more areas which were not fertile before. One example of this is the city of Las Vegas in the US. Where in the past, it was all deserts but nowadays it is like an oasis in the middle of the desert.
- Not all human expansion destroys the environment. People nowadays build cities in places where there will be a minimal impact to the environment or wild areas.
- Urbanization doesn’t always need to happen in areas inhabited by a large bio-diversity (many species of animals and flora). We can build in places where we won’t cause any large, negative impact to nature.
- There are many examples where animals are coexisting with urbanization, such as in places like India where some species of monkeys live very close to or within the cities. Other places like California in the US, some coyotes and some species of bear have successfully adapted to live in urban areas. There are other examples as well like in Argentina where some species of mountain lions and panthers live in urban areas. All these are examples where nature has adapted to live with human urbanization.
- The key is to build cities that can have some green areas or keep some wild areas like parks and pawns as well as water sources within the city where animals and trees can live, drink and feed.
- There is a difference between urbanization and the increase of human population: Since the human being seems to be the only species that has the potential to change radically the face of the Earth. When it comes to the increase of population of any other animal, there isn’t any greater impact to nature because nature itself always finds a balance. However, human beings have demonstrated that, to some extent, somehow we can be separated from nature. Meaning that when our population grows, so does our impact to the planet. This does not happen with other species.
- When animals expand their population, they do not need much to survive whereas when humans expand their population, they need schools, houses, bridges, buildings, dams, hospitals, factories, roads, stores and so many other types of constructions which reduce enormously the wild areas. Areas which are essential for other species to survive.
- It’s clear that an increasing human population and urbanization cannot coexist with nature given the fact that there has been significant deforestation, air pollution, water pollution and other kinds of environmental destruction. As the human population grows, so does the demands from the natural environment, and humans take everything they need from nature (wood, fish, meet, harvest-able lands, etc.)
- Even if we build in deserts, we will still pollute the air. The Air travels across the planet and can still cause a big impact to the environment and animal life way far away from the cities. Plus, even deserts are the habitat for some animal life.
From team B:
- Amine: “Don’t you think that the cause of many forms of flora/fauna extinction was a result of human urbanization?”
Rick’s answer: “Oh yeah, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it can be done successfully in all cases. The world should not be one big city. There should be places in the world that should remain exclusively for wild life, but there are cases where nature can successfully coexist with people so we need to have both. And the topic is whether nature can coexist with urbanization and the answer is yes, to a certain point. We cannot make the world one big city and expect nature to survive. There are animals that need dedicated habitat that is essential for them to survive.”
Audience summary (Team C):
- Urbanization has an impact and the solution for this is a much more proper urban planning because if we don’t improve it, we will lose more animals, plants and natural resources.
- We also need to improve the way we build and the way we live in our cities because if we don’t learn how to do it, we will lose the biodiversity.
- Up till now, what human have done with the environment has been negative. Our planes flying in the sky produce damaging gases, factories, cars and industries has polluted the air; we have built in places where animals have lived for millions of years and now they are displaced to other areas. Our vessels have contaminated the oceans and some species that have lived in deep waters often times are found displaced due to changes in the water temperatures, as well as often industrial accidents such as oil spills kill many marine animals.. All of this is a proof that there is no harmony between humans and nature.
- As long as we are responsible with our actions and maintain equilibrium, such as reducing the carbon emission and reducing the water pollution, it can be possible.
- Lala voted for team A
- Behnam remained undecided
- Taregh voted for team B
It was a tie. Both teams won. Thanks everyone for participating. To listen to this debate, click on the links below:
For people who did not join the live discussion, feel free to contribute the ideas in the comment blanks below.