News Article Summary
The title of the selected article is “These are the World’s Fastest Growing Cities. They’re all in Africa.” The article, written by Andrei Mihai, was published in ZME Science News on March 23, 2017. The news story is linked to Chapter 5, population, of the textbook. Mihai reports that according to the United Nations, the largest proportion of world population lives in urban areas (n.p.). Only 46% reside in rural areas based on 2014 UN population data. The number of people living in towns and cities is expected to rise while those living in the countryside would remain constant. According to the article, three countries, namely Nigeria, India, and China, will experience urban population growththat will constitute 37% of the global total by 2050 with the population in thesecountries growing by 908 million by 2050.
However, Mihai argues that Africa has the fastest growing urban population numbers out of the three. The rate of urban population growth will pose significant challenges to African cities according to the article,some of which are relatively small still, but they are expected to host additional millions of people by 2050. The author gives an example of Dar es Salaam whose population is projected to grow by 2 million in the next ten years (n.p.).
Population growth whether in rural or urban areas has both positive and negative effects. A bigger population means increased labor force and markets for goods and services. However, population growth is also associated with high unemployment rates, poverty, shortage of food, increase in dependency ratio, a decrease in living standards and social problems such as crime.
The article titled “What You can Do about Climate Change” outlines some of the initiatives a person can take to reduce global warming. The article was authored by Brandon Schoettle and Michael Sivak. It was published in The New York Times online edition on March 25, 2017. The news story falls under Chapter 2, weather, climate & climate change. Global warming refers to the increase in Earth’s mean temperature since the 1970s. The climate change phenomenon characterized by melting of ice at the Polar Regions is a direct effect of global warming. Consequently, reducing global warming is one of the ways of mitigating climate change. Global warming occurs as a result of the accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is the primary source of GHGs.
According to Schoettleand Sivak, 27% of CO2 emissions in the United States come from the transportation sector of which 60% is generated from driving personal cars. In this respect, they advise private car owners to use fuel efficient vehicles, reduce traveling distance by 1.2%, avoid aggressive driving and keep their car tires properly inflated. All these measures reduce the amount of fuel burnt and by extension the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. The article also urges individuals to reduce their food consumption by 2% (n.p.). By eating less, the demand for agricultural produce especially animal products such as meat declines. Hence, agricultural activities such as livestock rearing that lead to substantial greenhouse gas emissions also reduce. The article also recognizes the role played by developed nations such as the United States in global warming. According to Schoettleand Sivak, the United States is responsible for about 14% of global GHG emissions while the country accounts for only 4% of the world’s population (n.p.). These figures show the need for countries such as the US, China, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom and other developed and populous consumerist nations to cut their GHG emissions to reduce global warming.
Mihai, Andrei. (March 23, 2017). These are the world’s fastest growing cities. They’re all in Africa. ZME Science News.
Schoettle, Brandon, &Sivak, Michael. (March 25, 2017). What You can Do about Climate Change. The New York Times.