1. It is natural process of animal species to become extinct (e.g. dinosaurs, dodos etc.). There is no reason why people should stop happening this. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Animal species disappear because of changes on the Earth that are caused either by nature or by human activities. While nothing can be done about nature, humans can help save many animal species from being extinct.
Extinction is a natural phenomenon. After all, more than 90 percent of all animal species that have ever lived on Earth are not alive today, and this has had nothing to do with human beings. Sometimes, a natural event, like a volcano eruption, can kill an entire species. It is interesting to know that dinosaurs were wiped out by an enormous asteroid impact on the planet around 66 million years ago, in the absence of humans. Animal extinctions may also be caused by natural occurrences such as climate heating or cooling or changes in sea levels. For example, after the ICE Ages, when the glaciers melted and the planet became warmer, many species died out because they could not live in a warmer climate. In these cases, it is indeed senseless for humans to try to intervene and stop them from happening.
Yet this does not mean that human activity is not at all responsible for animal extinction, especially in modern days. Given that it is a natural process of animal species to become extinct, humans have made it worse, and accelerated the extinction. A new study reveals that the famous extinction of Mauritian Dodo about 300 years ago began the moment Dutch sailors first encountered the bird on the island of Mauritius. As a matter of fact, many animal species have been lost due to the human role in habitat loss, environmental pollution, climate change, over-fishing, and over-hunting. Indeed, human activities have made the extinction of many animals take place long before the nature should have taken its course.
In conclusion, although it is natural process that many animal species have died out, now there are enough reasons to believe that human beings should (and could) take action to prevent animals from disappearing too soon.
2. The international committee should act immediately to ensure that all countries reduce fossil fuels, such as gas and oil. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Today, unprecedented volatility in the price of feedstocks and concerns over global warming with its resulting consequences have spurred a radical change in human society --- cutting down the consumption of fossil energy on the global scope. However, little progress has been made so that it is time now for human society as a whole, if possible, to take immediate action before it is too late.
Admittedly, environmental issues resulted from the mass use of oil and gas are far beyond the reach of individual person or a country. With the combustion of oil and gas in industrial production comes huge amounts of carbon dioxide emissions, thereby resulting in the increase in global temperature. However, efforts made by one or two countries seem pale in comparison to current worse situation. Besides, the consumption of such energy is predicted to last no more than 100 years as both oil and gas are non-renewable energy. Therefore, it is necessary for whole human society to reach a consensus and immediately take concerted effort to search for economically viable and environmentally sound alternatives.
However, when it comes to evaluating all countries, it is far too difficult to play fair on the ground. The phase where each country stands makes a great difference on how well the mission can be accomplished and what can be done to achieve the final goal. Feasibility seems high in most developed countries as they either have already possessed advanced technology or stand poised on brink of the answer to the question. Unlike them, underdeveloped and developing countries have not seem so optimistic due to large population and low efficiency of energy utilization. Therefore, to enforce such an act --- immediately reducing the use of fossil fuels seems far too early for these countries and regions.
In conclusion, it is true that international community should take the role immediately in consideration of global environmental condition. Every country on this planet is obliged to actively participate into this, but it is impossible and more importantly it seem unfair for all countries to cut down the use of fossil fuels given the non-balanced development among different countries.
3. In some countries, the difference in age between parents and children is generally greater than it was in the past. Do you think the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?
The number of older parents is on the rise as people are waiting until their 30s and 40s to start having babies, which has widened the age gap between parents and their children. For the most part, the benefits of this trend outweigh the drawbacks.
The widened gap in age between parents and their children may bring about financial and emotional benefits. Parents who decide to have babies later in life may have climbed the corporate ladder, received promotions, and are therefore financially secure to raise children. With that financial security would come the emotional privilege. Older parents seem to be more stable, relaxed, and less stressed-out than their younger counterparts. Since older parents are more likely to have been settled down professionally, they are able to allow themselves to spend more time with their children.
However, the choice to put off having babies may have negative implications for both parents and children. For parents, it is physically challenging to raise a baby when they are, say, over forty years old. The delayed parenthood is quite unfair for the children too, because their parents probably will not be able to live long enough to see them grow up. Most importantly, when the parent-child age difference is 40 years or more, parents will very quickly become a burden to their children who are just starting their career as young adults. In this case, children might be forced to care for their older parents from a very young age.
For all these disadvantages, I still believe the greater parent-child age gap is a good thing, because it contributes to the economic and emotional well-being of children during the most important years of their growth. Meanwhile, with the improvement of medical technology and social pension system, the potential risks the older parents may experience and the burden they may give their children have been greatly reduced.