作者：北美考试教学中心 托福写作组 黄万竹
A more prosperous and progressive world has been an ever-lasting pursuit for nearly every country. As for our individuals, we sincerely hope that multifarious challenges in our society, from environmental issues to technological puzzles, from social inequity to political debates, will be managed perfectly as soon as possible. Unfortunately, due to characteristics of the nature, attributes of scientific development, and personalities of human beings, those thorny problems can hardly be eliminated within our lifetime.
When it comes to the natural environment, it is undeniable that we have done our utmost to cope with pollution and limited natural resources. Laws and regulations concerning ecological balance have been implemented more thoroughly than ever before, and new clean energy has been replacing traditional energy with a faster pace. Nevertheless, once the vulnerable nature has been damaged, it will take an unimaginably long time to be restored. It is reported that despite the help of modern environmental treatment techniques, it would take even centuries for an inland lake, polluted by industrial waste water, to be completely cleaned up. Worst of all, some destruction, such as species extinction derived from human hunting, is likely to be irreversible. Considering the elusiveness of the nature, we can hardly control it and thus have no choice but to take the consequences of our unscrupulous behavior toward the nature.
We humans might think that even though the nature is not submissive enough sometimes, our own affairs would have been easily solved with the benefits of scientific development. However, this is not the case either. The reason lies in that when old problems seem to be over, new ones keep springing up. Taking the prevalence of machines as an example, which have been celebrated as an ingenious solution to boost the productivity and efficiency in a growing body of fields, including automatic production assembly lines in car manufactures, self-checkout systems in supermarkets, and even machine interpretation. With an intention to enjoy life, many lost their jobs reluctantly owing to the cost-effective alternatives, let alone pursued the so-called cozy life. The same goes for the genetically modified food, clone technology and so on. Indeed, science does fuel the progression of our society, but unexpected difficulties accompanied with novel inventions will undoubtedly serve as obstacles in the long term.
Last but not least, on account of human weaknesses, societal problems show an inclination to continue. Ever since the ancient times, a cascade of reformers have never ceased to explore an ideal way to handle the imbalanced distribution of social resources. On the contrary, polarization of the rich and the poor exacerbates unintentionally because of innate traits of humans. To be more specific, the privileged ones would be intended to occupy more resources, such as more lucrative business, more prestigious schools for their children and more channels of communication. Therefore, their offspring will naturally be well-off. On the other hand, it is highly possible for their counterparts in disadvantaged families to remain their social status for they possess less competitive foundations. Based on this principle, a craving for more wealth and spiritual superiority leads humans to constant domestic and overseas fights, from local injustice to multinational wars. Likewise, it is far from being optimistic that those social issues would be wiped out in the near future.
Given the above reasons, in view of both the history and the reality, problems regarding environment, science and society are unlikely to be solved within a century at least.