1. As countries develop, more and more people buy and use their own cars. Do you think the advantages of this trend for individuals outweigh its disadvantages for the environment?
The number of automobile owners has unarguably climbed in most countries. In my opinion, personal transport brings about more individual benefits in comparison to problems for the environment.
There is no doubt that owning vehicles means numerous benefits on the levels of personal quality of life and convenience. The main advantage of owning a car is that it gives the freedom to travel. Having a car means commuters do not need to be limited to fixed routes and timetables. In addition, personal cars give comfort while traveling, on the contrary to the public buses which are so crowded. Finally, privacy is also one main concern of most people, when taking public transportation usually restrict people’s freedom to talk loudly or share privacy with family members.
Perhaps the major disadvantage of cars, in general, is the huge damage they do to the environment. The more cars we have, the more emission of Carbon Monoxide there is. Consequently, the melting of ice caps and increasing volume at the river banks result in water logging catastrophe of adjacent agricultural land.
However, the environmental damage made by vehicles has already raised public concern, cleaner fuels and environmental friendly measures have been taken all over the world, with vivid examples of Tesla Car and stricter emission standards in European countries.
In conclusion, buying a car brings some environmental concerns, these have been actively tackled with. From my point of view, preserving the environment does not mean forgo the comfort and convenience brought by modern technology, car, in particular. Actually, comfort and environment do not conflict with each other.
2. Some people say that drug companies have the responsibility to spend money on researching medicine to help the poorer countries while others think the main responsibility of drug companies is making money. Discuss both these views and give your opinion.
A key responsibility of the world’s rich countries is to increase the amount of aid provided to the poorer countries, particularly in the field of health. The question is: should drug companies be responsible for finding new medicine for these countries or should they mainly focus on making money?
On the one hand, drug companies in the developed world are under the moral obligation to make their medicinal products available and affordable in the under-developed world so that the poorer people do not die unnecessarily. According to a global survey, an estimated 2 billion people cannot get the medicines they need, with millions in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa dying each year from curable diseases for lack of adequate medical treatment. As a consequence, many pharmaceutical companies have come under harsh criticism over making drugs in order to make huge money only, without particularly being interested in relieving the poorer people of their misery.
On the other hand, the main responsibility of drug companies is making money. It is because running a drug company is an expensive and high-risk endeavor. If a pharmaceutical firm does not make a significant profit, it cannot survive, let alone spending more money researching medicine to help the poorer people in the under-developed world. Too much money spent on medicine for people in the poorer countries may mean drug companies’ lower revenues, which will in turn lead to less innovation in the future. This is probably why some of the world’s biggest drug companies have failed to do what they are supposed to do.
In conclusion, one important responsibility of a drug company is making drugs to cure diseases everywhere in the world, especially the poor countries. But in order to do that, a drug company will have to make profits in the first place, without which it can do nothing.
3. The restoration of old buildings in major cities in the world costs numerous government's expenditure. This money should be used in new housing and road development. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
In the contemporary age, there is a constant debate over preserving history versus making progress. In terms of the old buildings, many people assert 7 that the restoration of them takes up a big proportion of the government's budgets and the money should be invested in the promotion of new houses and road networks. However, I tend to hold a different viewpoint.
It is widely acknowledged that many old buildings are protected today because they are culturally valuable to a nation. Like a native language, many historical buildings form a cultural identity and keep a unique record of a country, so they possess significant value to research into the past and play an important role in the education of future generations.
Moreover, old buildings, if utilized and preserved properly, could actually contribute to economic development. For example, Westminster Abbey in London and the Forbidden City in Beijing, as landmarks of the city and nation, attract a large number of tourists every year, which brings millions of dollars in revenue for the government.
Nevertheless, we are not advocating equal treatment for all old buildings, and some of them do need to be torn down, partly because of safety concerns, and partly because they need to be replaced to meet the need of social development, such as raising the utilization rate of land. Despite this, many more historical buildings deserve our protection and we should not be blind to their worth. Otherwise, we will regret the loss in the years to come.
In summary, I believe that the protection of old buildings does not stand in the way of progress at all. Instead, they play an indispensable role in reflecting history and creating values in modern life. Although the budget of the government is not unlimited, people should think carefully before making a move and deep awareness of conservation of ancient architecture should be highly promoted.