Freedom of speech, religion and religious tolerance

Freedom of speech is the liberty granted to individuals to express themselves freely without any censorship. However, the very rights are subjected to certain limitations such as slander, libel, incitement, obscenity and an intention to commit crime. The discussion on Phoenix pastor who is wishing that President Obama would be dead provides a concise example on the practicality of religious tolerance and freedom of speech.

It is profound to underscore the fact that both the Phoenix pastor and President Obama have express right to freedom of expression as stipulated in Universal Declaration of Human Rights in article 19. Therefore, the pastor has the right to freely express himself and he should not be censored on the same ground.

As stipulated in Article 19 of the Universal Human Rights Declaration, the pastor has the right to share ideas and information of all kinds regardless of the periphery involved and in this case, he should not be criticized on the basis that he made the remark against the president of United States of America. On the other hand, the pastor had no right to censor Obama bearing in mind that every individual has the right to exercise his or her freedom of expression.

However, due to the fact that the pastor used discriminatory remarks that could result into incitement and hate speech, it can be argued that he was not justified at all by wishing for the death of Obama. As a matter of fact, even though freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed to all individual, it may not be good taste to openly make such remarks in public both from religious and political points of view.

Furthermore, it is prudent to observe that no single religious code of ethics or principles would permit such utterances at any given time largely due to the fact that it does not promote peaceful co-existence among people, the latter being a core value in religion. Therefore, the Phoenix pastor is unjustified. We can also argue that to some extent, he abused the freedom of religion, freedom of speech and religious tolerance as laid down in the United States constitution (Ontario consultants on religious tolerance par. 1).

In a more critical analysis, the pastor is wrong because there should be a sensible balance when exercising freedom of speech, freedom of religion bearing in mind that religious tolerance should be firmly in place regardless of faith one professes to. In addition, religious freedom of an individual has no impact on the freedom of speech of another person.

Therefore, even though the pastor has the right to exercise his religious freedom, he has no right to interfere with the freedom of Obama in any way. The pastor had no authority or constitutional right to incite his congregation against the United States President even though the latter had commented and apparently gave a nod to contentious debate surrounding abortion.

Moreover, there is need to censor speech on religious issues because individuals have different faiths and hold varying views on certain religious aspects. As a result, the comment made by the pastor was wrong on the basis that he did not merge his religious difference with that of Obama in a tolerant manner but instead tried to suppress the discourse of the speaker. Hence, it was erroneous for him to condemn Obama and wish for his death because he too has the right to speech and religious freedom (Anon par 4).

In a more vivid way, it is also prudent to mention that the very constitution protects the rights of every individual regardless of their political or economic backgrounds. As a president, Obama is also protected by the very constitution irrespective of his religious affiliation or personal take on some matters. If such level of condemnation is permitted in our society and especially at the level of religion, then it may be a real recipe for religious conflicts.

The former United States President, Bill Clinton, once asserted that the best way to practice religious freedom is to use legal mechanisms to protect individuals against hate crimes and discriminations. Hence, on this basis, the pastor was wrong even though he has the right to exercise both freedom of speech and religion, he has failed to observe religious tolerance by spreading hate crimes against Obama and other individuals who may want to express themselves freely.

Furthermore, the pastor did not observe the freedom of religion when he criticized and wished Obama’s death since he abused the anti-defamation policy. Moreover, his criticism was merely as a result of discrimination on the basis that he believed certain religious group support abortion and for Obama, it was not an exception.

Worse still, the pastor failed to put into consideration that religious freedom is the founding principle in United States of America. Hence, he was wrong to remark that president Obama was abusing Christian faith and therefore deserve death. He further failed to honor religious tolerance in the United States of America when he made his speech (Ontario consultants on religious tolerance par 7).

Consequently, the pastor failed to use religion accordingly when he criticized Obama publicly. Religious freedom and freedom of speech should be used for purposes of uniting a nation, securing basic human rights and cultivating prosperity. In addition, the pastor demonstrated his authoritative regime by repressing the members of his congregation and their general ideas in the pretext of creating an environment that will deny them the freedom of speech and religion.

Additionally, his arbitrary and coercive interference in peaceful Christian religion could possibly result into Christians or specifically members of his congregation becoming more resistant towards Obama’s government. His remarks could possibly result into insurgency and separatism of certain religions from the state.

Furthermore, his remark could highly likely result into negative worsening international relations because he linked extremism with certain religious groups. His remark against Obama was a clear indication that he was trying to widen up the existing divide among religious organizations or groups. Moreover, his speech failed to put into consideration the importance of building common concerns and shared values of religious faith to establish foundations of everlasting peace instead of spreading hate speech against certain individuals.

In summing up, it is vital to reiterate that every individual has the right to speech and no religion should be constitutionally supersede the others.

The fact that President Obama did not use his belief system and freedom of speech to cross into immorality by justifying hatred and intolerance, the pastor had no right or moral standing to spread hate speech against him since anyone who supports religious intolerance becomes a minor among the believers and clergymen. The protests against the Phoenix pastor are a clear indication that he was indeed wrong in his assertion.

Works Cited

Anon. Phoenix Pastor Draws Protests after Telling Church He Prays for Obama’s Death. 2009. 24 Aug, 2011.Web

Ontario consultants on religious tolerance. Religious tolerance: Abortions access all sides of the issue. 15 May, 2010. 24 Aug, 2011. Web

United National Environment Programme (UNEP)

Introduction

United National Environment Programme (UNEP) is an international environmental organization under the umbrella of the United Nations (UN). New York harbors the headquarters of the UN while Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna have regional offices and this explains why the location of UNEP offices is in Gigiri, Nairobi Kenya.

Established more than four decades ago, the main purpose of the organization is to correlate human activities with the environment. Fundamentally, UNEP functions in encouraging all sectors within its mandate to preserve and protect the environment. Through voluntary contribution from cluster members and corporate institutions or persons, UNEP acquires finances needed in running and implementing their strategic plans.

Unfortunately, location, bankruptcy, and bureaucracy are some of the challenges that UNEP faces while implementing the strategic plans. Therefore, UNEP, as an environmental organization, provides the funds used to create awareness about human environment; unfortunately, limited financial aids and political issues are some of the challenges the organization experiences.

Under the United Nation system, the United Nation Environmental Program (UNEP) is the main branch that deals with environmental policies. In 1972, the UN assembly established the body to monitor the environment and human activities within the member states and across the world. Although other countries like China are nonmember states, UNEP also monitors their role in preserving or sustaining the natural resources.

With its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and regional offices in other parts of the world (but within member states), UNEP accomplishes its role in controlling human activities like farming, hunting, and industrial activities within the environment. Achim Steiner heads the UNEP activities, and he collaborates with other experts to ensure the continuity of life without negative impacts on the future generations.

Concisely, the purpose of UNEP is to address environmental problems in over fifty states. Internationally, UNEP coordinates or monitors human activities in relation to the environment. Therefore, UNEP facilitates environmental programs at country, regional, and global level.

As aforementioned, the main function of UNEP is to promote environmental science and information (Hiemer 134). Through partnership with corporate institutions, international bodies, nongovernmental organizations, governments of cluster members, and civil societies, UNEP enhances sustainable environmental issues (Rechkemmer 60).

The first function is to monitor climate change in relation to human activities. The past few years have experienced a decline in the forest cover, natural water resources, and wetland areas. Consequently, the weather patterns have changed with increased in global warming, carbon emissions and discharge of greenhouse gases into the environment.

Therefore, UNEP creates awareness about conservation of plants to fight the aforementioned problems. In addition, governments and energy institutions are establishing sources of renewable energy to curb environmental degradation. Secondly, UNEP guides and assesses the environment within countries experiencing political instabilities or natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, wild fires, and tsunamis among others. Thirdly, UNEP restores, monitors, and protects natural ecosystems like the marine, wetlands, and land among others.

The fourth function of UNEP is to govern the environment especially during regional, country, or global developments (Meyer-Ohlendorf and Knigge 30). Fifth, UNEP concentrates on waste management systems in member countries. Through its expertise, UNEP ensures safe disposal of harmful/hazardous wastes like heavy metals to preserve the environment and human health. Finally, it guides, promotes, and assesses the sustainable use of natural resources like land for farming activities or trees for paper manufacturing by human beings.

UNEP relies on financial aid from cluster members countries, international organizations, corporate societies, and private institutions to implement its plans. Major funding for UNEP is from Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, France, and Netherlands.

In addition, other contributions are from trust funds, support kitties, and counterpart groups (bodies within the UN) and the UN regular budget. UNEP uses its funds to implement most of its plans. Commonly, UNEP uses its funds to employ environmental experts who carry out the functions of the organizations.

Secondly, the organization also channels the funds to establish other minor organizations to assist in running its activities. Some of the minor bodies or partnerships under UNEP include Global Programme of Action (GPA), which oversees the pollution of marines especially from land activities, and Montreal protocol that manages the usage of substances that deplete ozone layer, convention of biodiversity, and convention on migratory species/endangered species among others (Meyer-Ohlendorf and Knigge 15).

Moreover, UNEP uses its funds to facilitate and educate communities on emerging issues about the environment. The funds also assist in writing environmental journals and circulars to enhance the creation of environmental awareness or establishment of environmental projects like harvesting of rainwater in rural communities.

Although UNEP has achieved some of its functions like reduction of carbon emissions, the foremost challenges lie in funding, location of headquarters, and other political issues like leadership. Lack of frequent funding from organizations or member countries is the main problem that UNEP faces.

The financial contributions lack assessment, which makes it hard for the organization to draw its expenditure budget. Sometimes, a member state may decline to assist in a given financial year. Most of the UN organizations’ headquarters are in either New York or Geneva.

However, the offices of UNEP are in Nairobi, Kenya, which has led to disagreements from some of the member states. Other states point at the political instability and safety issues as the major problems in Kenya. Sadly, due its location, other states decline to assist in the funding of the organization. Other problems originate from political issues like leadership, which contribute to instability of the organization.

According to Inavova, UNEP has failed in implementing the principal tasks accorded to it; therefore, environmentalists and policy makers are pushing for restructuring of the institution (10). The recommendation to change the organization from UNEP to UNEO by some of the stakeholder is yet to bear fruits. Furthermore, some of the stakeholders recommend the assessment of funds from voluntary contribution to curb bankruptcy in the organization.

In summary, UNEP is a powerful organization that has led to improvement in environmental activities across the world. Established in 1972, the organization is the UN organization that has seen worldwide partnerships and corporations preserve environmental degradation.

The UNEP’s six main obligations focus on climatic issues, ecosystem preservation, environmental leadership, waste management, and disaster management. Other smaller organizations and agreement under UNEP assist in implementing the functions of UNEP. Although the organization draws most of its finances from voluntary countries, especially from the European Union, bankruptcy is among the main problem it experiences.

Political interference and location of the UNEP’s headquarters are the two other problems the organization is yet to handle. Finally, rebranding of the organization name, activities, and funding are the recommendations environmentalists and other stakeholders are pointing at as the possible solutions.

Works cited

Hiemer, Matthew. “The UN Environment Programme: Thinking Globally, Retreating Locally”. Yale human rights & development law journal 1.4 (1998): 132-137.

Inavova, Maria. “Can the anchor hold? Rethinking the United Nations environmental Programme for the 21st century”. Yale center for environmental law and policy 7.3 (2002): 9-14.

Meyer-Ohlendorf, Nils, and Knigge, Markus. A UN environmental organization. New York: Center for UN Reform Education, 2007.

Rechkemmer, Andreas. Uneo — Towards an International Environment Organization: Approaches to a Sustainable Reform of Global Environmental Governance. German: Nomos Publishers, 2005.

Ethnocentrism

Introduction

The terminology ethnocentrism refers to the tendency of people believing that their race, cultural or ethnic groups are better than all the others. Such individuals measure and judge all the other cultural or ethnic groups in relation to theirs.

These judgments are made in relation to aspects like religion, race, behavior, custom and language. The cultural identity of any ethnic group is uniquely identified by the above mentioned aspects. This attitude makes an individual to view other groups as being inferior in comparison to his or her own. (Wood, 2009, p. 163-173)

How ethnocentrism affects individuals

Ethnocentrism is a bad practice because it leads individuals to make false assumptions about other cultures. Ethnocentrism leads people to making generalizations about the customs and cultures of other people that are not true. This leads to false judgment of others using their own ethnic belonging as the yardstick. At the end of it all, individuals may make harmful judgments concerning other communities.

Ethnocentrism makes people to be rigid to change. Individuals who are ethnocentrism hold to their own culture and they can’t appreciate change that is being brought by modernization. Such individuals may end up remaining illiterate by rigidly holding to their own cultures and not ready to empress change.

Ethnocentrism hinders individuals from learning about other cultures. People who are ethnocentric normally don’t take time to learn about other cultures that exist around the world. This leads them to continuing to make judgments that are uninformed about other ethnic groups.

Ethnocentrism hinders individuals from communicating to individuals of other cultures. This is because such people view others as a lesser people or harmful for example a belief that a certain community is made of witches (Capucao, 2010, p. 219-228). This leads to communication break down within the society.

How ethnocentrism affects societies

There are so many ways that ethnocentrism may affect societies. Ethnocentrism closes the minds of individuals from understanding the way of life and cultures of other people. This may affect social interactions among people of different cultures living in the same geographical area. This may end up affecting the functioning of the social group by making it unstable. The society may exist in fear because the individuals don’t trust one another.

Ethnocentrism may lead to situations that are terrible like deaths and wars in a given country. When communities view others from a negative perspective, it may lead to animosity that may cause ethnic or tribal clashes that may end up leading to several injury and death cases within the society.

The way societies look at history and understand it can also be affected by ethnocentrism. The society may believe that those who lived before them were a foolish generation. This is a false judgment that doesn’t put the time gap factor in consideration.

Ethnocentrism may be good for the society especially if practiced in form of patriotism. A person being proud of their own country is very good for the society. This is because the occupants may be ready to fight for their country under all cost. Being proud of ones culture may even be an attraction to tourist hence income generating.

How ethnocentrism Multinational corporations

Multinational corporations are international corporations that deliver their services in several countries. They are foreign hence owned by people of different cultures while serving and employing locals of different cultures.

Ethnocentrism affects multinational corporations on the way they make their strategies of operating in specific areas. They have to decide who to employ, and how to design their products in a given area. Each area may end up having its own strategy due to ethnocentrism.

International business communication can be effected by dialects and ascents. Business may be affected negatively because of a negative perception of a certain race, dialect or ascents. This may cause harmful effects if not handled with care.

Conclusion

The attitude of ethnocentrism has both positive and negative effects to individuals, society, and multinational companies. While ethnocentrism is good for patriotism, it is important that all individuals and societies appreciate the culture of one another. Such an appreciation leads to peaceful coexistence of individuals and societies with varied backgrounds. This promotes unity in diversity among society members. As a conclusion, there is no culture that is superior to the other worldwide.

References

Capucao, D. D. (2010). Religion and ethnocentrism-an empirical theological study. Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV.

Wood, J. T. (2009). Communication in our lives. Boston: Cengage Learning press

Journal entry on Cathedral by Raymond Carver

In the story cathedral by Raymond Carver, the author who is also the persona introduces a blind man who is an old friend of his wife (Schneider par 1). He revealed how the old man met his wife some years back. Being the persona in the story, he unfolds how the blind man met his lovely wife and how she died of cancer later.

The persona felt unease with the blind man since he could not understand some of the things the man would do like smoking and not wearing dark glasses (Carver 187). He also felt uncomfortable with his wife’s relationship with the blind man and experienced a lot of discontent in the discussion. Meanwhile, the persona has used his skills to develop themes and symbols that have substantially created the plot of his story.

Being the protagonist in the story, he deliberately engages the audience in his narration as he exposes human transformation. It is against this background that this essay explores the character traits of Carver as a person of partial understanding who is ignorant to approach reality by his aptitude to socialize with the blind man. Besides, the essay offers a personal reflection and experience on the entire take from the story.

To begin with, it is imperative to note that Carver’s work evokes a feeling of envy and pity in the character of the blind man. The narrator reveals how the blind man’s wife died of cancer yet he never look at her because he could not see. He reveals that the blind man could not understand the TV show and at times Caver was forced to explain it to him.

However, this blind man is envied by the persona for his exact outlook of the world than those with sight (Carver 191). The persona is dumbfounded by the kind of liaison the blind man has with his wife. In the phrase” When we first started going out together, she showed me the poem” (Carver 188), indicates that he did not like the relationship at all He is amazed that, though the man is blind he is far exposed beyond the blind world and, like learning new thing as they surface.

In the phrase “I’m always learning something. Learning never ends. It won’t hurt me to learn something tonight. I got ears,” (Carver 193). I get enlightened by the way the blind man appears sharp and optimistic to life’s issues. He seemed not ignorant of emerging issues since he was ready to learn by himself.

The narrator opted to dislike the coming of the blind man into his house yet, he never new that he was canopied by his own ignorance. In the quote, “My idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were led by seeing-eye dogs.

A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to.” (Carver 186), it is evident that he was agitated by the blind man’s visit in his house. In the first place, he new less about the man and he judged him from his previous experience of a blind man from a movie (Carver 186). Out of his ignorance, he thought that blind men wore black glasses and that they did not smoke (Carver 190).

In my opinion, I do not identify with such a character that holds things with ignorance. Instead, it is wise to be of open minded in order to discover more of what we know and not judge things by their appearance. Additionally, one should not be envious when proved ignorant in some issues.

My impression has been positively transformed from being pessimistic about other people’s disabilities. I felt the need to be sensitive to new issues in order to wipe away ignorance of past experiences. Moreover, I should not look down upon people by their look without a clear evaluation of their potential.

There before, I read the story of ‘A doll house’ by Henrik Ibsen and it reflects to the story “Cathedral” in the fact that, there are characters that are ignorant on issues adjoining them. For example in “A doll house”, Torvald was ignorant of his wife naivety only to realize later that she was playing on him.

The same happened to the persona in the story of “Cathedral” where the persona is proved wrong of his ignorance about the blind man. The similarity between the two stories is that both the authors are the personas in the plots. The difference arises where “A doll house” is a play while “Carver” is a short story.

In summing up, it is vital to reiterate the fact that the author managed to develop his plot well by creating themes depicting the nature of modern society. These include ignorance, religion and diversity of beliefs. He also used symbolism in his work hence emerged creative.

Works Cited

Carver, Raymond. Cathedral. New York: Random House. 2009. Print.

Schneider, Dan. Cathedral by Raymond Carver. 2005. 23 Aug. 2011. Web

An Analysis of the Use of Cell Phones While Driving

Introduction

Popular culture encapsulates the society’s wholesome activities. Popular culture is the expression of a society’s common beliefs, practices, rituals and ideas through various expressions and materials identifiable with a given society (Browne, 2005, p.3). The cell phone is one of the most prevalent communication devices across the globe today.

Nearly all teens and adults in America own at least one cell phone. When used while driving, the cell phone poses a grave danger to the driver and other road users. Unfortunately, the dangerous habit of texting while driving is extremely common on American roads and highways. There are two theories on popular culture that apply to the act and practice of texting while driving. The first theory is the theory of mass society, and the second theory is the theory of the culture industry.

The Theory of mass society, cell phone and texting while driving

The theory of mass society states that, popular culture is an intrinsic expression of the demands and aspirations of the people of a society. The cell phone itself is a cultural icon. In the American society, and especially amongst teens and the youths, cell phone is not only a communication device, but also an entertainment source and a status symbol.

With its widespread use, the cell phone has been the subject of many popular myths that have no logical of scientific foundation. For instance, the widely held myth that radiation from cell phones affects the sperm quality of men persists with little empirical and scientific evidence to support it.

The act of texting while driving is an expression of the status of modern society. As many Americans acquire cell phones and cars, the phenomena of texting while driving, however dangerous, is bound to occur. The average American engages in multiple tasks; therefore, the use of phones to send a quick message while driving is an expression of the contemporary American’s ever-busy schedule and almost ceaseless engagements.

The Theory of Culture Industry, Cell phone Texting while Driving

The theory of the culture industry states that popular culture is an expression of the schism of class within a society. According to this theory, popular culture is an expression of the beliefs, values, practices, and images (icons) of people of lower classes within a society. Within the context of the theory of culture, popular culture is almost equitable to an act of rebellion towards the higher class and authority.

In the US, youths are most notorious for using their cell phones while driving. The act of texting while driving is perpetuated by the popular myth that the youths, especially women, can easily multitask. This myth highlights the almost superhuman abilities of a woman in performing various engaging tasks simultaneously.

Although various campaigns and advertisements by government agencies seek to highlight the dangers of texting and the general use of the cell phone while driving, the dangerous habit continues to persist amongst the youths. Some states like California have even enacted laws against the use of cell phone while driving. As the culture industry theory states, the persistence of this dangerous practice, especially amongst the youths, can be attributed to a rebellion against the authority.

Conclusion

The application of these two theories on popular culture, in the analysis of the popular culture of cell phone texting while driving, enabled an in-depth understanding of the practice/culture. The theory of mass society aided me in gaining insight on the culture of cell phone texting as an emergent expression of the youth of society.

On the other hand, the theory of the culture industry helped me to point to practice as a form of rebellious expression. Therefore, an analysis of the topic through the provisions of these two theories enabled for a much broader and in-depth understanding of the topic.

Reference

Browne, R. B. (Ed.). (2005). Profiles of Popular Culture: A Reader. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.

Kudler Fine Food Marketing Strategy and Tactics

Kudler Fine Food was established in 1998 by Kathy Kudler whose vision was to create a store with all the necessary products for a gourmet cook. The vision and mission of the organization is to support customers with the freshest ingredients for reasonable prices gathered from different parts of the world for passionate gourmet cooking.

Kudler Fine Food is located in three parts of the USA and offers the services of the home delivery. One of the most important marketing strategies the organization implements is its specialization in both food and cooking tools (Kudler Fine Food, 2011). This advantageous strategy helps Kudler Fine Food remain a leader in the niche, however, additional marketing research is necessary to remain successful participants in the sphere of gourmet cooking.

The Areas for Additional Marketing Research for Kudler Fine Food

Basing on the Perner’s research (2008), it is possible to conclude that food industry is a highly competitive sphere of business. To remain a leader, much information should be considered and thorough research conducted with the purpose to use the gathered information for creating a strategic plan for further development.

Using the research conducted by Perner (2008), the following areas for additional marketing research for Kudler Fine Food can be highlighted. The study of demographics is important as Kudler Fine Food should be aware of the age category of those who need its services and predict the future trends for a target audience. The characteristics of the social class are also important for developing a strategic plan.

The information devoted to consumption patterns is important as Kudler Fine Food should be aware of the customers’ privileges, of the decrease or the increase of the demand on specific products. The focus on marketing issues helps understand what spheres should be impacted.

Kudler Fine Food should decide what they are to invest into, brand building, new product line introduction, or attracting more loyal customers. Price politics is also important. The company should conduct a thorough analysis of the product prices and occupy its own niche in this relation. A research should also be conducted in the sphere of competitive advantages, such as product uniqueness, variety and combination of food and tools for cooking (Perner, 2008).

The Importance of Competitive Intelligence for Kudler Fine Food

Competitive intelligence should not be underestimated. Competitive intelligence is aimed at helping Kudler Fine Food to prepare it for “creating new conditions to guarantee the company’s future success in the keenly competitive business environment” and for becoming “one of the most powerful weapons of the future in the hands of company management” (Bartes, 2011, p. 669).

Company’s economic performance is closely connected with the competitive intelligence, so, if Kudler Fine Food wants to remain successful and occupy its niche in food business, it should use this strategy. Kudler Fine Food wants to be successful, and to create a strategic plan for the future actions, it should base its strategic decision on competitive intelligence (Bartes, 2011).

The importance of Marketing Research in the Development of Kudler Fine Food

Therefore, Kudler Fine Food should conduct a marketing research in different spheres and to use competitive intelligence strategy for considering the main spheres where action plan should be implemented. Strategic planning is a guarantee of the company success.

Reference List

Bartes, F. (2011). Action plan – basis of competitive intelligence activities. Economics & Management, 16, 664-669.

Kudler Fine Food. (2011). Official site. Retrieved from http://kudlerfinefoods.info/

Perner, L. (2008). Food Marketing. Retrieved from http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/food_marketing.html

The Engineering Challenges of the 21st Century

Introduction

As the world moves towards prosperity through advancement in science and technology, a reliable and cheap source of energy remains a concern to most governments. This is because energy forms an integral part of the production process that leads to economic, social and political prosperity of a nation.

With increasing competition for the scare energy resources around the world, most governments are threatened by a situation of low productivity. It is evident that the fossil fuel reserves are almost being depleted due to their non renewable nature. This has led to shortages and consequently high prices of energy products such as petroleum.

In response to this situation, most developed countries such as Japan have tuned to the use of alternative technologies to generate power for their production. Nuclear power generation has particularly been used by most developing countries to supplement their energy sources. The choice of this technology is attributed to its great potential in producing large amount of energy.

Besides, the long run costs associated with it are relatively low. However, nuclear power generation has been found to be a very dangerous process if not well implemented. Equipment failures in nuclear power plants have in the past resulted into accidents with serious repercussions on human beings and the environment. In March 2011, an accident occurred in Japan’s Fukushima Duiichi nuclear power generation plant.

The accident occurred after an earthquake and tsunami caused a series of equipment failures in the nuclear power plant. The accident led to lose of lives, contamination of the environment with radioactive materials and evacuation of thousands of Japanese from their homes. Currently, the government of Japan is still grappling with the effects of the accident.

Drawing from the experiences associated with the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in Europe, this paper highlights the lessons that the Japanese government can learn in regard to its nuclear disaster. The experiences in terms of the effects and the response measures used in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident can be considered by Japan to help it address the consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The Benefits of Nuclear Power Plants

A nuclear power plant is made of many materials which are typically radioactive. These materials facilitate the production of energy for human life. Constructing a nuclear power plant involves technological building and Civil Engineering. A nuclear power plant is very useful, but it is also very dangerous when it explodes.

The Terrible Accidents from Nuclear Power Plants

When a nuclear power plant accident involves the breakdown or melting of the viselike portion of the fuel rods in the core of a nuclear reactor, a large amount of radioactive materials get leaked into the natural world (Sevon, T. 2005). Such accidents are complicated and have multiple causes (Clery, D.2011). In order to reduce the damages associated with them, it is important to have a plan for preventing nuclear explosions.

Prevention of Nuclear Explosion

In order to prevent the leakage of the hazardous radioactive matter, the concept of defense-in-depth is used in modern nuclear power plants (Sevon, T. 2005). As Clery, D. 2011 says, the reactors’ design philosophy now is “defense-in-depth”. This concept involves the use of different technologies and duplicate systems that can not or should not all fail at the same time.

There are many steps or levels of defense-in-depth. Level one of the defense-in-depth involves prevention of failures. However, when the failures still occur, the situation is supposed to be arrested by level two of the defense-in-depth. Level two prevents the failures from evolving into accidents. If this step is not successful, level three of defense-in-depth is used to control the accidents in order to protect the fuel rods from being damaged.

Level four of the concept focuses on accident management by preventing the leak of radiogens into the environment. When these four defense levels fail, level five will help to reduce the effect of the emissions (Sevon, T. 2005). The concept of defense-in-depth supports the prevention of nuclear disasters. Building a second shelter will also be helpful in preventing emissions.

Effects of Chernobyl Disaster and Follow-up Containment

The horrible accident at Chernobyl nuclear power plant occurred 25 years ago. However, the serious consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster are still a major problem for the world. Some areas near the plant, especially Russia, Belarus and Ukraine were substantially contaminated by the large quantities of radioactive materials released from the reactor.

Some of the radioactive materials remained radioactive for a long time and polluted agricultural areas, urban areas, forests and water in the affected countries. Lots of radioactive materials were deposited on the surface of buildings and roads by radioactive rain in urban areas. Radionuclides thus corroded and damaged the buildings and roads.

In agricultural areas, radioactive materials were deposited directly on plants. This damaged huge agricultural land in parts of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and others parts of Europe. Many grazing animals eat the contaminated plants and became affected. Soil quality was also affected by the radio active materials.

However, the good information is that the level of radioactive materials decreased quickly after the accident due to weathering. Radioactive materials such as caesium destroyed the ecosystem and balance in the forest. The animals and plants in the forest were particularly polluted. This included the forest products like mushrooms and berries. Radioactive materials also contaminated rivers and lakes. Many aquatic animals absorbed radioactive materials quickly, leading to their destruction.

For the 10 days following the accident, the ruptured Chernobyl reactor continued to release 80 tons of radioactive materials and polluted more than 200,000 km2 in Europe. At present, the surrounding environment has not yet fully recovered. Environment researchers said it will take 800 years to eliminate the pollution.

After the accident, Chernobyl Shelter Fund (CSF) was set up in December 1997 to help finance the Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP). The SIP sets out the tasks to be executed for the successful covering of Chernobyl’s unit 4.

The Shelter Implementation Plan will transform the existing temporary structure into a secure and environmentally sound system. Because radioactive materials have long radioactive half-life, they pose great danger to human beings and the environment if their spread is not controlled.

The purpose of “Sarcophagus” was to seal off Chernobyl’s reactor 4 in order to limit the release of radioactive materials and decrease the radioactivity level to normal. The fundamental of “Sarcophagus” was to pour concrete and chemistry materials on the soil and to build a thick concrete-enclosed shield above the destroyed reactor (figure1).

The chemistry materials were used to absorb neutrons and to release CO2, thereby separating O2 and radioactive materials. “Sarcophagus” could seal off the destroyed reactor completely hence reducing some risks. This project cost 14.24 million US dollars. Moreover, many construction workers died after absorbing radioactive materials during the implementation of this project. Thus it can be seen that the government of Ukraine paid a huge price for solving the problems brought by Chernobyl disaster.

(Figure 1)

Environmental Implications

The environmental effects of Chernobyl disaster can be seen as the most devastating and long lasting. The initial effects of radioactive fallout were followed by generations of medical problems such as leukemia, thyroid cancer, birth defects, radiation sickness, psychological consequences and genetic defects. To examine these effects, they should be separated into environmental and health consequences.

Environmental Consequences

Reactor 4 released radioactive gases and fuel particles for ten days after the initial explosion. This had a major effect in Europe with the damaging effects being felt mostly in Ukraine, Russian Federation and Belarus. These nations experienced the greatest amount of fallout which contaminated everything including lawns, walls, buildings, plants, animals, roads and squares. The dry areas initially experienced the greatest damage as compared to the wet areas which had the radiation seep through the soil.

There was an immediate contamination of milk and green vegetables within the first two months of the explosion. Consequently, there was as an increase in thyroid cancer, especially in children. However, the effects of these radioisotopes were short lived as their half-life was approximately 9 days. The most unstable and dangerous radioisotopes released were too low to be considered a concern.

The most persistent problem is within the forests. The continued recycling of the ecosystems has allowed the radioactive isotopes to remain within the systems without being contained. Even though there has been a decline in the levels of the radioactive isotopes, it is believed that the problem will last for several decades.

Health Consequences

The health consequences that followed Chernobyl disaster can be seen as the most devastating outcome of the explosion as they were long lasting and had the worst effect immediately and after.

Thyroid cancer was the most significant health concern associated with Chernobyl. It was a major outbreak which directly affected all exposed to the radioactive materials and was subsequently passed on to next generations. Even though this problem was initially regarded as a non-Chernobyl related incident by the Scientific Community, it was later reanalyzed as a direct effect of Chernobyl.

There is little knowledge on how radiation causes this health concern. However, as Baverstock (2006, p 1313) states “because of the slow growth of the tumor, it is premature to assume that even lower death rate for current Chernobyl-related cases will be maintained, particularly for cases yet to occur”. An “older age at onset can be associated with a less favorable prognosis” (Baverstock, 2006, p 1313).

Another health consequence was radiation sickness which was more imminent affecting about 150 workers at the time with about 28 dying within a relatively short period, followed by another 20 afterwards. The psychological consequences were quite horrendous.

As Baverstock (2006) claims, they arise from an understandable fear of exposure to an unknown amount of an intangible but potentially dangerous agent, fear for exposed children, mistrust of reassurances from the authorities, and for hundreds of thousands of people, the consequences of forced evacuation from home and land.

For some, the stress from these experiences has precipitated psychological illness; for others, an increased consumption of alcohol and cigarettes; and for still others, dietary changes to avoid perceived contamination.

Some deaths from suicide, cirrhosis, or lung cancer could be regarded as indirect consequences of the accident and the subsequent measures taken. Whatever the view the nuclear industry may have about the irrationality of these consequences, they are real and have an important impact on public health, and so deserve greater attention. (p.1313)

The genetic consequences on workers are still not fully understood due to the limited knowledge. The consequences of leukemia and birth defects have been strongly linked to Chernobyl. However, little evidence and data to support these claims has allowed these issues to go unanswered and left in the dark.

Conclusion

From the above discussion it is apparent that nuclear power generation is a reliable source of energy. However, due to the complexity of the chemical processes involved and the characteristics of materials used, nuclear power generation has turned out to be very dangerous.

Failure to observe safety standards or even natural disasters such as earthquakes can lead to serious nuclear power plant accidents. Such accidents usually have far reaching effects to human beings and the environment due to the release of radioactive materials following the explosion of nuclear reactors.

Of great concern is the fact that it takes several years and significant amount of financial resources to handle such situations. Technical assistance is usually very important in addressing the effects of nuclear accidents. Given the commitment of the affected governments and the advance technology used in response to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, its effects have since reduced significantly.

Consequently, the government of Japan can borrow a leaf from Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident experiences in order to effectively respond to the effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident. The concept of defense-in-depth will particularly be very useful to the government of Japan for its future nuclear power plant constructions. The concept if fully implemented can help in reducing nuclear power plant accidents or the aftermath of such accidents.

Being Unemployed and the Impact of Unemployment as a Broad Issue

Introduction

Sociology can be defined as the organized study of social behavior and human groups or simply the study of society. It is a very important field in our day to day lives. This is because it provides individuals with an informative perspective of what is around them through the relation of individual experiences with the expectations of the society as a whole.

There are various social problems which could be looked at from a sociological perspective for instance poverty, unemployment, homelessness, racism, sexism and alcohol/drug addiction among others (Giddens and Griffiths, 2006). For the sake of this assignment, I will discuss the issue of Being unemployed and the impact of unemployment as a broad subject. A sociological imagination will be used to discuss the connection between individual experiences and the social impact of unemployment.

Being Unemployed and the Impact of Unemployment as a Broad Issue

In as much as we would like to take the issue of unemployment at an individual level, it is not possible since it touches on the society as whole and hence the need to discuss the impact it has on the society. According to Ballantine and Cargan (1994), sociological imagination is the process whereby an individual perceives his or her life in the context of the society around. It will be used to discuss this issue so as to gain a deeper understanding.

Unemployment entails the state of people having no jobs despite the fact that they are qualified and have been looking for employment chances but in vain. Although unemployment is mostly viewed in an economic perspective it is a social problem since it does not only affect the unemployed but also the society as a whole. On an individual level, an unemployed person lacks income, may get depressed; have low standards of living and thus a compromised welfare.

Some of the societal effects of unemployment include increased rates of crime where people engage in criminal activities in an effort to meet their needs. Unemployment is also associated with a rise in divorce rates since people in marriages are not able to solve their financial related problems.

There are also instances of mental and physical illnesses due to stress emanating from lack of jobs. Unemployment contributes to the problem of homelessness as people are not in a position to pay for households. There is also the aspect of greater reliance on government assistance which in turn exacerbates the economic stress on social oriented programs. Taxpayers are also in a problem of having to support the unemployed (Fineman, 1987).

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is evident that the study of sociology is helpful in our understanding of what surrounds us and it helps people to view an aspect that affects them to the overall effects it exerts on the entire society. It helps in the elimination of the thought that ones personal life can only be viewed in respect to his or her successes and failures. Instead, sociology helps one to link his or her life to the society.

Sociology is therefore useful in tackling different issues exhaustively rather than taking them at an individual level. The unemployment issue is for instance well understood when it is looked at on the perspective of the impacts it have on the society as a whole rather than on an individual.

Reference List

Ballantine, J., and Cargan, L. (1994). Sociological Footprints: Introductory Readings in Sociology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

Fineman, S. (1987). Unemployment: Personal and Social Consequences. London: Routledge,

Giddens, A., and Griffiths, S. (2006). Sociology, 5th Ed. Malden, MA: Polity Press

Management Changes

Globalization has resulted in the relentless upsurge of global trade. The process is a culmination of initiation of novel markets thus allowing importation and exportation to augment. It has equally permitted entities to create centres in other countries.

Evidently, corporations are the key supporters and recipients of such a move since they gain entree into untapped markets. Indeed, the past decade, has seen phenomenal expansion in global business in the service and commodity divisions. The telecommunication commerce has developed tremendously.

An example is evident in Vodacom, which is a market leader in the industry. Consequently, it has expanded from its traditional market in Europe and America. This entity has launched its presence in Africa and southern Asia in the last decade. The two markets are lucrative and untapped thus a priority for any entity going global (Manole & Spatareanu, ND).

Entry into new economies has presented the management of these entities with new challenges. These challenges have mainly resulted from the expansion in the entity and entry into other economies. A decade ago, most global firms had subsidiaries in few nations. Currently, entities have subsidiaries in multiple countries thus, posing a huge task of managing these entities. Consolidation of record is an enormous task since the mangers have to convert funds from various currencies.

In addition, conversion of such funds exposes these entities to exchange rate uncertainties. Therefore, the managers have an obligation to coin plans that will mitigate an entity from such uncertainties. These strategies include hedging, which are intricate to design. Indeed, globalization exposes firms to additional risks. Therefore, current managers have prioritized risk management to curb risks resulting from globalization.

Globalization has resulted in changes in the entity hierarchy ensuring representation of subsidiary in the parent entity (Manole & Spatareanu, ND). In yester years, foreign entities preferred to employ expatriates. In its overseas subsidiaries, Vodacom has employed the residents of that nation rather than expatriates. The varying regulations in nations have warranted these nations to employ professional from those who have experiences in the country’s system.

Corporate responsibility and ethics is an aspect of management that has developed enormously due to mushrooming of entities. Essentially, this area relates to the corporations acknowledging the community from which they generate their revenues and not only acting in their concerns but also that of the society.

Conversely, ethics are the norms that the community seeks to enforce. However, the values are not in legislation. These norms encompass sincerity, objectivity and steadfastness. Years back, this aspect of management mattered less. However, currently entities have embraced the above practises. Embracing these practises has meant that the managers act ethically since it gives the corporation an awful image in the community.

Ethics have set certain standards that management ought to accomplish thus, making managing tricky. Managements need to be stringent in their undertaking since their action directly influencing the image of the particular entity. Conversely, corporate responsibility has financial ramification since an entity has allocate funds for this undertaking. Therefore, mangers have to budget intelligently and avoid any unnecessary expenditure (Goodpaster, 1983).

Currently, entities support many benevolent projects globally. Microsoft has undertaken many charitable projects worldwide. The funds expended to support charity work originate from the entity’s coffers. Overtime, the budgetary allocations for corporate responsibility have expanded considerably. The society has assumed this trend and many corporations are participating in the above activity.

Corporate responsibility boost an entity appeal to the society since it show the willingness of the entity to tackle problem facing the community. Adherence to ethics serves as an indication of the management competence and their endeavour to promote positive practises (Reed, 1999).

The changes resulting from corporate responsibility have ensured that entity constantly make allocations for charity. In addition, corporations have acknowledged their responsibility to the society. Ethics have ensured stringently management in entities.

References

Goodpaster, K. (1983). The concept of corporate responsibility. Springerlink, 2 (1), 1-22.

Manole, V. & Spatareanu, M. (ND). What is takes to Export? Evidence from African Investment Climate Surveys. Retrieved from http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/conferences/2011-EDiA/papers/553-Spatareanu.pdf

Reed, D. (1999). Three Realms of Corporate Responsibility: Distinguishing Legitmacy, Morality and Ethics. Springerlink, 21(1), 23-35.

Free market

Introduction

Through globalization, many countries have embraced free-market trading in their economies. In free trade, the government permits traders to conduct business freely without regulations or imposed taxes. Traders mutually agree with buyers on the best price to transact. However, free trade is a bit flawed, and critics argue that it is only theoretically faultless (Friedman, 2003). Therefore, this document critically analyzes free trade, critically considering its positive and negative sides.

In a free-market economy, traders possess the freedom to produce and sell their products and services setting their own predetermined prices, based on mechanisms of demand and supply, and without the government’s intervention (Hayami & Godo, 2005).

Free market also allows producers to increase their supply to the market, and face the risks or enjoy the benefits related to it. Moreover, consumers have the freedom to purchase items at the price predetermined by the traders, in any amounts, depending on their capability and willingness.

Free market also leads to increased competition and consumers have the capacity to acquire the best products and services at a reasonable price. Introduction of new products in the market comes with high prices tagged on them. However, through free-market trade, others copy the idea and introduce similar products, thereby reducing their prices significantly (Friedman, 2003). Moreover, the stiff competition compels these traders to manufacture products of high quality, in a bid to outdo their competitors.

This benefits the consumers significantly, since traders supply a range of high valued goods and services at reduced prices. Moreover, as foreign investors venture into a host country, foreign exchange increases, thereby boosting a country’s economic growth. Free market also increases employment opportunities and improves the citizens’ living standards.

Some of the imperfections of free market are that private investors may not be willing to supply some essential goods and services. For instance, they may not engage in education, since it is not profitable (Gershon, 2009). Moreover, if they manage to supply these services, they are not able to cater for all residents. In addition, since markets are free, powerful traders may dominate markets, thus lead to rise in monopolies.

Some of these monopolies increase prices of commodities, and thereby result in exploiting the consumers, since there is little or no government intervention in controlling prices (Friedman, 2003). Besides, these companies target wealthy people and mostly supply luxury goods, since they are inclined in profit maximization. They overlook the poor consumers, thereby leading to an unbalanced economy. This may also lead to overconsumption of injurious products such as cigarettes and alcohol.

Moreover, since these investors venture only in the highly profitable businesses, there is uneven utilization of resources, resulting in wastage of useful resources. Conversely, there is a rise in pollution, since traders increase wastes while trying to maximize their profits through increased production (Gershon, 2009).

Additionally, unhealthy competition may arise, since the government does not control the number of businesses present in a particular market situation. As a result, strong traders may push less powerful traders out of the market, and thus aggravate the problem of unemployment in the host countries (Friedman, 2003).

It is evident that free markets have their merits as well as demerits. Some of the merits of free market are increased efficiency, production of high quality goods, and increase in foreign exchange. On the other hand, free markets may lead to monopolization and exploitation of consumers. In addition, there may be unhealthy competition, thereby leading in job displacement. In my opinion, it is advisable to minimize the negative aspects of free trade and use it to boost a country’s economy.

References

Friedman, K. (2003). Myths of the free market. New York, NY: Algora Publishers.

Gershon, R. (2009). Telecommunications and business strategy. New York, NY: Rout ledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

Hayami, Y. & Godo, Y. (2005). Development economics: from the poverty to the wealth of nations. Oxford, OX: Oxford University Press.