Society Comparison Paper (Denmark ; Haiti) Essay

Haiti has a failed society partly due the ecosystem while Denmark society lives a successful and sustainably economy. In Haiti, acute poverty forces the population to rely on wood and charcoal for fuel and income, leading to ever more deforestation. Sixty-six percent of Haitians depend on agriculture and small-scale farming, but most cannot produce enough food on the eroded hillsides to even feed their families. When tropical storms regularly hit Haiti, rainfalls ravage crops, bring flooding and wash more topsoil into the sea. The 7. 0 Mw earthquake in January 2010 added new dimensions of suffering and urgency.

And Haiti’s government, which has been chronically weak for decades, has not been able to provide sustainable solutions to these problems (Cho, 2011). While Denmark’s economic freedom score is 76. 2, making its economy the 11th freest in 2012 Index. Its overall score is 2. 4 points lower than last year, reflecting considerable deterioration in public finance management. Denmark is ranked 3rd out of 43 countries in Europe region, and while its overall score remains well about average, the country has dropped out of the top 10 rankings (www. heritage. org).

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Denmark was once at the forefront of nuclear research and had planned on building nuclear power plants. However, in 1985, the Danish parliament passed a resolution that nuclear power plants would not be built in the country and there is currently no move to reverse this situation. In 2010, Denmark generated 38. 6 billion kWh of electricity gross, 44% (16. 9 billion kWh) of this from coal, 20% (7. 9 billion kWh) from gas and 20% (7. 8 billion kWh) from wind. Per capita electricity use is about 6000 kWh/yr and has been largely unchanged for several years. In 2007, electricity prices in the country were the highest in the world (www. orld-nuclear. org). The Haitians energy use is vastly different from the Danish.

The student who studies in the evening and the hospital that must operate around the clock have one thing in common: they need electricity. More than two years after the 2010 earthquake, Haiti’s energy supply remains a significant challenge. According to the U. S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Haiti’s 2007 per capita energy consumption was about 1/10 as much as that in the neighboring Dominican Republic, and about 1/24 the global average. The Western Hemisphere’s poorest country is on the same level as war-torn Afghanistan.

The country needs new energy for sustained economic development (www. worldwatch. org). Denmark population is a little over 5. 5 million people while Haiti’s population is a little over 10 million people. Haiti’s population growth has also triggered the cut down of trees by desperately poor communities who chop the trees for firewood and then use the land to grow crops, the conservationists said. The mountainous forests of Haiti’s Massif de la Hotte region have more critically endangered species than anywhere else on earth, according to Alliance for Zero Extinction, a global initiative of 52 conservation organizations.

However, only 3 percent of Haiti’s original forests remain and they are disappearing at a rate of 10 percent every five years, according to a group of conservation groups including Birdlife International and the Zoological Society of London. In Denmark alone are believed to have more than 30,000 different species. A large group of scientist from NERI and from The Natural History Museum in Aarhus has therefore taken up a tremendous challenge by dividing the Danish landscape into nine ecosystems. The loss of biodiversity has not stopped in any of the nine Danish ecosystems.

This is the conclusion in a new report from The National Environmental Institute (NERI) at Aarhus University, based on the examination of a large variety of species, habitats and processes. The report also shows that once species have been lost, they will not automatically return if the habitat is restored. The fact is that – contrary to the white-tailed eagle – many species are dispersal limited so they will only return very slowly. In addition to that, the destruction of habitats has been so comprehensive that a small increase in habitat availability will not be enough to stop the decrease in species.

In addition to this delay in recovery time, we also experience a damage delay, i. e. species that disappear in response to historical habitat losses. The scientists demonstrate in the report that several threatened habitats in forests increase whereas the corresponding species continue to decrease (www. dum. dk). It’s estimated that charcoal production in Haiti, which involves burning wood at low temperatures, consumes more than 1. 3 million tons of wood each year, so reducing Haiti’s overall charcoal production is ey to curbing deforestation. Eventually fuel wood and timber plantations will be established to promote sustainable charcoal production, but the areas that need reforestation haven’t yet been identified. Smukler noted that reforesting is both labor-intensive and costly, and because it takes 3 to 5 years before realizing any financial returns, it is not easy to devise incentives that will persuade the locals to plant trees (www. columbia. edu). There is broad agreement on energy policy across the main political parties.

In 1999, Parliament overwhelmingly agreed to electricity reform, which aimed to introduce competition to the sector, and promote renewable sources of generation and carbon dioxide reduction measures. Electricity policy has been updated since then, always with large parliamentary majorities. Early in 2008, the main political parties concluded an agreement on Danish energy policy for 2008-2011. The policy set a 20% renewable energy target with respect to gross energy consumption by 2011 and energy savings measures, as well as increased subsidies for new wind turbines.

Beyond this, the government plans to have renewable accounting for at least 30% of energy consumption by 2020 (www. worldnuclear. org). In conclusion, Denmark and Haiti are different in many ways especially as far as the energy they use. In less developed countries like Haiti many of the people who live there are tearing down the ecosystem as a population to survive, in order to maintain life their lives they have to utilize the resources they have such as wood and soil. The wood is a large part of the energy use and soil is used to grow foods and such.

Denmark is different because they have a more innovative approach to energy use and the government helps fund most of them. Wind power is heavily subsidized by Denmark but, because this power is exported at the spot price, the subsidies are effectively exported. Moreover, the countries that the wind-generated power is exported to – mainly Norway and Sweden – are largely carbon neutral with regards to power generation, so Denmark’s exported wind power does not save carbon dioxide emissions, instead displacing carbon neutral generation. On the other hand, wind power consumed within Denmark lowers fossil generation in the country.

References

NucNet: The World Independent Communications Network for Nuclear Energy and Ionising Radiation.. (n. d. ). NucNet: The World Independent Communications Network for Nuclear Energy and Ionising Radiation. Retrieved December 2, 2012, from http://www. worldnuclear. org Cho, R. (n. d. ). Restoring Damaged Ecosystems The Challenge of Haiti a€“ State of the Planet. State of the Planet. Retrieved December 9, 2012, from http://blogs. ei. columbia. du/2011/12/21/restoring-damaged-ecosystems-%E2%80%93-the-challenge-of-haiti/ Columbia University in the City of New York. (n. d. ). Columbia University in the City of New York. Retrieved December 5, 2012, from http://www. columbia. edu Continued loss of biodiversity in the Danish landscape. (n. d. ). dce. au. dk. Retrieved December 5, 2012, from http://www. dmu. dk/en/news/artikel/continued_loss_of_biodiversity_in_the_danish_landscape/ Worldwatch Institute . (n. d. ). Worldwatch Institute . Retrieved December 9, 2012, from http://www. worldwatch. org