• The Tuition Contest

Featured Essay from Chase P.

Chase is a student at UCLA and discovered The Tuition Contest on

Our planet is a miracle. The fact that we’re even alive today, considering all the factors that we, as humans, need to survive and how our planet formed to perfectly provide all that is nearly impossible, according to astronomy. It’s no doubt, then, that we need to take care of the greatest gift we’ve been given. Despite its benefits, there are potentially disastrous dangers threatening our planet in the next decade.

The first, and most controversial, is global warming. The planet’s CO2 levels are higher than ever and whether or not humans caused this is of little concern, considering the serious consequences we face. The concern should be on combatting this problem. With the exponential rise and advancement in technology, it’s easier than ever to create clean energy such as solar or wind. The major counterclaim to clean energy is that it’s less efficient than traditional methods like coal, however these new technologies are only getting better. Even compared to five years ago, these methods have drastically improved their effectiveness. At least for now, the sacrifice in efficiency is more than fair to maintain a healthier planet.

In some cases, cleaner energy has proven to be more efficient and better than traditional energy sources. Tesla’s introduction of all-electric vehicles has revolutionized the automotive industry. No one believed that electric cars would ever be as efficient or reliable as internal combustion engine cars, but Tesla’s vehicles are far cleaner and perform better than most auto manufacturers’ cars. They’re paving the way (pardon the pun) for many industries beyond just automotive by showing that battery power can be just as effective as gas powered machinery.

Even simply having policies to enforce planting a tree for every tree cut down could noticeably reduce global warming. The problem goes beyond just energy sources, though. With the rate at which the world population is rising, we will be facing a crisis if left untreated. We’re trying to supply for a global population in which the demand is too high for what our planet can sustainably handle. Simply put, there are too many people on our planet. The only plausible solution is to limit how many children a family can have. Even a limit of two children will eventually reduce the population, since some families only want one, or none at all. There is, of course, a moral dilemma with this option. Who wants to be responsible for taking that freedom from people? However, this is looking at having children as a right and not a privilege. If we look at the bigger picture, there’s no future for humans if we continue at this rate. It’s not a freedom but a responsibility and if we don’t take responsibility, then we’ll have no planet at all, face chaos, or worse- extinction. If we view having children not as a right but as a privilege, the moral dilemma will then be on saving our planet. Our responsibility to maintain our population is for the sake of the very planet we live on.

The real issue is humans. The solution to the dangers that our planet faces is essentially up to our willingness to work selflessly together for the sake of a bigger picture. If we can detach ourselves, as a species, from money and greed then we can begin to take the steps toward a healthier, better future for everyone. The only problem is, we as humans typically only work together like that when faced with an immediate global threat. So the real question is: will we work together before it’s too late?


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