Environmental Degradation And Renewable Energy

The global community relies on the surrounding environment for food production, transport, and economic development. Most of these actions put pressure on the available natural resources. Environmentalists and sociologists have identified new ways of collaborating to find solutions to the challenges associated with global warming and climate change. When left unaddressed, societies might become unsustainable, lose key resources, and trigger additional problems. Sociologists acknowledge that the emergence of these challenges affect people’s livelihoods in different ways. Environmental concerns are also affecting the survival of future generations. Increasing populations are also maximizing the demand for nonrenewable energy that is directly linked to environmental degradation. This paper presents the responses of five online-based interviewees regarding their understanding of environmental degradation, conservation, and the importance of renewable energy.

Literature Review

Environmental sociology has emerged as an important field intended to analyze the relationship existing between human beings and their surroundings. The forces of migration, urbanization, and globalization are compelling human beings to overuse natural resources. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (2020) observed that human actions were directly linked to the challenges and processes of climate change. For instance, agricultural activities, deforestation, and construction of infrastructure and buildings were observed to affect the integrity of the natural environment (Strielkowski et al., 2021). In most of the cases, different regions were experiencing unprecedented predicaments, such as habitat losses, global warming, and unexpected weather patterns. These issues have triggered human conflicts due to the increasing demand for scarce resources, including water and pastures for their animals.

In the developed world, urbanization has triggered additional issues that are directly linked to the problematic issue of environmental degradation. For instance, Majeed and Luni (2019) observed that more people in different cities were finding it hard to get quality jobs. They were also exposing themselves to numerous pollutants and dangerous gases. Those in informal settlements were unable to access toilets or healthy food materials. Such outcomes were affecting their overall social and health experiences of many citizens (Strielkowski et al., 2021). These developments were compelling different agencies and governments to allocate additional resources to meet the changing demands of these citizens.

The connection between environmental degradation and poor societal outcomes are documented in many works. For example, Lu et al. (2020) observed that some people in troubled regions or characterized by inadequate resources experienced numerous problems. Some were observed to engage in disputes revolving around land and scarce resources. In different locations, Majeed and Luni (2019) realized that cases of criminal acts remained common. The absence of proper mechanisms to make the surrounding environment sustainable affected the overall life experiences of more people. For instance, Strielkowski et al. (2021) were convinced that most of the people in urban centers were unable to access quality water or reliable services. Some of them lived in congested neighborhoods, thereby exposing themselves to pollutants, poor hygiene, and communicable diseases.

The need to reverse most of these predicaments is a strong force guiding policymakers, decision-makers, and government agencies. Climate change emerges as a systemic problem that is directly linked to different aspects of the environment. Lu et al. (2020) identified emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the use of nonrenewable energy resources as problematic issues. Scholars have identified the challenges associated with crude oil and gas and how they promote both environmental degradation and climate change. Relying on this knowledge, Islam (2017) supports the use of renewable energy sources to help make the natural environment more sustainable. The use of renewable energy sources has gained the support of many stakeholders. Such options are environmentally-friendly, sustainable, and capable of minimizing GHGs emissions. Strielkowski et al. (2021) adds that a multifaceted approach would be appropriate to safeguard the environment for posterity. Unfortunately, not all people were aware of this reality and how it appeared to threaten the integrity and sustainability of planet Earth.


This study uses a critical discourse analysis to deliver the views and responses of five individuals. The participants were recruited through the use of social media networks. The researcher offered the opportunity to individuals who wanted to engage in an online interview. Those who accepted to be part of the process were interviewed through Zoom. Since the specific method for study was directed content analysis, the investigator utilized open-ended questions to acquire as much information as possible from the targeted respondents. Probes were also considered to gather adequate details from the participants. The information gained was then coded depending on the nature of the questions. The researcher went further to re-contextualize, de-contextualize, and compile the data gained. The specific questions included:

  1. What is your view of environmental degradation? Probe: what are some examples of degradation?
  2. What are the causes of degradation? Probe: Provide some examples.
  3. What are the negative impacts of environmental degradation? Probe: Some examples.
  4. How does environmental degradation relate to sociology? Probe: provide some examples detailing such a relationship.
  5. How can we reverse these impacts of environmental degradation? Probe: What good initiatives could you be aware of?
  6. What is the role and future of renewable energy and how can it address this problem? Probe: Provide some examples of renewable energy and how they could protect the integrity of the natural environment.


From the completed investigation, the identified respondents offered convergent views and answers. Despite their differences in terms of gender and countries of origin, the interviewees had more or less the same understanding when it came to the issues of environmental degradation. The five individuals identified environmental degradation as a negative consequence of human activities. They believed that the trend was directly linked to urbanization, deforestation, and the increasing demand for resources (Strielkowski et al., 2021). The respondents identified loss of forests and habitats as some good examples of environmental degradation.

For the second question, the participants understood that the causes of environmental degradation were complex in nature. Some of them identified minimizing and agricultural activities as practices capable of deteriorating natural environments (Majeed & Luni, 2019). Pollution and increasing populations were also identified from the study. The waves of urbanization and deforestation were considered as dangerous since they relied heavily on resources that support the overall integrity of the natural environment.

The third question was intended to learn more about the negative issues arising from environmental degradation. From the respondents, it occurred that the challenge affected bio-systems and habitats. Some of the respondents believed that climatic changes and global warming were the results of degrading environment. Other key observations made include the rising levels of sea water, melting of polar ice, and continued extinction of both animals and plant species (Islam, 2017). The respondents were also concerned that the global community was not doing enough to address this concern.

When it came to the fourth question, the respondents identified environmental degradation as one of the causes of social problems. For instance, they viewed population growth as a leading factor in the overall integrity of the natural environment. Loss of livelihoods and resources triggered disagreements and additional problems in different communities (Strielkowski et al., 2021). Some regions were facing cattle rustling, loss of grazing land, and water scarcity. These issues were directly linked to poverty and inability to record meaningful social mobilities (Islam, 2017). In extreme cases, climatic changes were known to trigger unprecedented weather events that destabilized communities.

For the fifth question, the respondents identified proper land management, reduced pollution, and use of renewable energy sources as viable options to deal with degradation. They believed that all people could be part of the process while allowing governments to formulate effective policies (Islam, 2017). The responses to the last question revolves around wind and solar energy sources as appropriate and capable of helping address the problems of nonrenewable energy sources. These responses were timely and capable of guiding the global society to deal with environmental degradation since it was directly linked to the problems many society encounter today.


The completed content analysis study presented a number of observations regarding the issue of environmental degradation. Within the past four decades, human beings have engaged in numerous activities that have led to the deterioration of natural processes and bio-systems. From the study, most of the residents were convinced that clearance of forested land and subsequent disturbances led to loss of habitats (Islam, 2017). Vegetative cover was also reducing significantly due to the increasing need for land to construct houses and other infrastructure systems. Mining activities and research activities were also critical when it came to the question of degradation.

The study outlined other key malpractices that could be linked directly to climate change. For instance, continued use of nonrenewable fossil fuels led to increasing levels of GHG emissions. Some of these sources include crude oil, natural gas, and coal (Majeed & Luni, 2019). Their use has been associated with pollution in different parts of the world. Urbanization is associated with high levels of municipal wastes. The immigration of people from rural areas compels them to maximize their ecological footprints in the cities of their choice. The emerging problem would be the increasing demand for scarce resources.

From a sociological perspective, the nature of these challenges is associated with climatic changes, global warming, habitat losses, and unprecedented weather events. Whey these issues occur, communities might lose lives and sources of income. In worse cases, the affected people might decide to engage in criminal activities or other malpractices that might disorient the integrity of communities (Majeed & Luni, 2019). When unaddressed, these challenges can affect the overall integrity of societies. Without sustainable solutions, most of the people might be unable to pursue their goals. The use of nonrenewable energy sources would also continue, thereby worsening the possible experiences of future generations.

The good news is that members of the global society can rely on various strategies to reverse these challenges. The identified responses were categorical that renewable energy sources were needed than ever before. Some of the notable ones included wind and solar energy. The move to engage in sustainable development could guide more people to protect the integrity of the natural environment (Lu et al., 2020). The researcher found out that more people appreciated the possible role of the government towards promoting environmental sustainability. The involvement of all key stakeholders could help reverse the negative impacts recorded in the world today.

The emerging findings from the content analysis reveal that a paradigm shift is needed to deal with the problem of environmental degradation. The recorded challenges in different parts of the world show that the planet might become unsustainable in the near future. The provision of appropriate resurges and the launch of proper campaigns could sensitize more people about these issues (Majeed & Luni, 2019). The consideration of additional recommendations could guide communities, nations, and all other key stakeholders to identify better sources of energy and conservation strategies.

Conclusion and Recommendation

The global community is presently experiencing numerous challenges associated with climatic change and global warming. These outcomes have emerged due people’s inability to safeguard and protect the overall integrity of the natural environment. The completed study has indicated that human malpractices have continued to strain natural habitats and biological processes. Some of these initiatives include urbanization, globalization, agriculture, and construction. The respondents revealed that a multifaceted approach integrating government policies and the efforts of all citizens was needed to reverse these developments. The inclusion of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, could help reduce GHGs emissions associated with natural gas and crude oil. The consideration of most of these issues could make it easier for the global natural environment to stabilize and be in a position to meet the demands of future generations.


Islam, M. S. (2017). Sustainability through the lens of environmental sociology: An introduction. Sustainability, 9(3), 474-484.

Lu, Y., Khan, Z. A., Alvarez-Alvarado, M. S., Zhang, Y., Huang, Z., & Imran, M. (2020). A critical review of sustainable energy policies for the promotion of renewable energy sources. Sustainability, 12, 5078-5107.

Majeed, M. T., & Luni, T. (2019). Renewable energy, water, and environmental degradation: A global panel data approach. Pakistan Journal of Commerce and Social Sciences, 13(3), 749-778. Web.

Strielkowski, W., Civín, L., Tarkhanova, E., Tvaronaviciene, M., & Petrenko, Y. (2021). Renewable energy in the sustainable development of electrical power sector: A review. Energies, 14(24), 8240-8263.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. (2020). Pathways to sustainable energy – Accelerating energy transition in the UNECE region. United Nations.