The world is consuming natural resources faster than they can be renewed.

The world is consuming natural resources faster than they can be renewed. Therefore, it is important that products are made to last. Governments should discourage people from constantly buying more up to date or fashionable products. To what extent do you agree with this statement?


Over the last 30 years the West has witnessed the East strive for a larger 'piece of the economic pie', aiming for similar living standards to the EU and US. This has increased pressure on natural resources and prompted suggestions for governments to limit consumption. This idea is severely flawed because it reduces product safety and building products to last would harm the poor.

Firstly, the suggestion that governments should discourage consumers from purchasing 'up to date products' would eliminate the opportunity to improve their safety. This is because as technology improves, new discoveries can be used to increase their utility.

Take for example the car industry, here technology such as ABS brakes, air-bags, seat belts have all been derived from a constant flow of improvements. Therefore if the authorities were permitted to limit purchases, car companies would be reluctant to invest in new features, and safety would never improve.

Secondly, it is true we are consuming more, through ever increasing populations, nevertheless, the argument that 'products should be made to last' is redundant. If products were built stronger they would be more expensive. This would harm the less wealthy consumer, furthermore with modern technology these products can often be recycled at a later date anyway.

Glass, plastic, paper, batteries, and even mobile phones are now collected to be re-purposed, reused and recycled. Therefore durable products are unnecessary and would harm lower income demographics.

To conclude it is clear that if the public sector were allowed to discourage consumption it would harm product improvements and ultimately consumer safety. Meddling with product durability would most likely harm the poor. Therefore I am strongly opposed to both of these notions.

Advanced English Vocabulary - One Minute Videos on YouTube

Proceed to the list of Advanced English Vocabulary.