Everyday, papers print articles about environmental issues: such as companies illegally dumping toxic waste, oil tankers sinking and losing their cargo, and deserts advancing and drying up lakes. Thanks to the influence of humans, many animals and plants die. In a small country such as the Netherlands, the environment must be treated with a lot of care. The importance of the environment has to be weighed against the interests of the people who are looking for a place to live, work or recreate. Therefore, the interests of all parties involved can clash.
Since many people like salt water fish and are willing to pay a lot of money for it, the North Sea is an intensively fished sea. As a consequence, some species have disappeared and many others are endangered. Some environmental problems have become so severe, that individual countries can no longer solve them on their own. This is why, for instance, many countries have agreed to cooperate to cut the emissions of green house gasses. The depletion of the ozone layer and climate changes are two areas that are high on the international agenda. Nevertheless, the leaders of some world powers are more concerned with their own national economy than with global well-being.
In the long term, these responsibilites cannot be ignored. Eventually, the consequences of the enviromental problems will return: when cod cannot be found in the North Sea any more, and fisherman are no longer allowed to fish as many, the cod will become more expensive, and less people will be able to afford cod to eat.