It is unrealistic to expect individual nations to make, independently, the sacrifices necessary to conserve energy. International leadership and worldwide cooperation are essential if we expect to protect the worlds energy resources for future generations.
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
The speaker asserts that an international effort is needed to preserve the worlds energy resources for future generations. While individual nations, like people, are at times willing to make voluntary sacrifices for the benefit of others, my view is that international coordination is nevertheless necessary in light of the strong propensity of nations to act selfishly, and because the problem is international in scope.
The main reason why an international effort is necessary is that, left to their own devices, individual nations, like people, will act according to their short-term motives and self-interest. The mere existence of military weapons indicates that self-interest and national survival are every nations prime drivers. And excessive consumption by industrialized nations of natural resources they know to be finite, when alternatives are at hand demonstrates that self-interest and short-sightedness extend to the use of energy resources as well. Furthermore, nations, like people, tend to rationalize their own self-serving policies and actions. Emerging nations might argue, for example, that they should be exempt from energy conservation because it is the industrialized nations who can better afford to make sacrifices and who use more resources in the first place.