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The Environment and Economic Growth (Essay Sample)


The task was to discuss how the Environment affects Economic Growth. This sample discusses how the environment affects the growth of the economy,and how it is important to maintain the environment.


The Environment and Economic Growth
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The Environment and Economic Growth
Every civilization’s success is measured by their ability to sustain growth over an extended period of time. In the 21st century, amid the struggle to attain the final stage of economic growth, the age of high mass consumption, the damage to the environment as a result of the pursuit of economic growth has become a concern. This raises one fundamental question, “Is it possible to have economic growth without environmental damage?” No, I do not believe that economic growth is achievable without damage to the environment. This paper will elucidate on this position giving statistical and factual evidence to that effect.
Natural resources are the corner stone of any endeavor towards economic growth. This is because economic development relies on industries, which in turn depend on environmental resources for raw materials. It is common belief that economic growth is associated with the degradation of the environment. This is because the goal of economic growth is the progress and growth of man and not the improvement of the environment. However, this growth is only attainable and feasible within ecological constraints. It is therefore paramount that economic growth be realized with these ecological constraints. For it is within these constraints, that the sustainability of economic growth be realized. In order to achieve the final stage of economic growth, the age of high mass consumption, it is essential that the rate of economic growth be sustained over a considerable period of time (Purdey, 2010). By observing these constraints, environmental damage can be mitigated and possibly averted.
Industrialists hold the notion that restrictions in natural resources can hamper economic progress. However, environmental laws and regulations can be put in place to counter the effects economic activities have on the environment. A good example is the Carbon Tax (Carbon Pricing Scheme) that was implemented on 1st July 2012 by the Australian Government. This was meant to counter the massive carbon emissions from business entities. The policy applied a $10 per ton of CO2 greenhouse on business entities that emitted over 25,000 tonnes of carbon per year (Gaas, Sawyer, & International Institute for Sustainable Developmen, 2013). Revenues from this tax policy are direct towards environmental upgrading strategies by the Australian Government. Through instituting, policies, laws and institutions to check and counter cases of environmental degradation as a result of economic activities such as global warming, economic growth can be pursued with little to no limits. Mitigation measures are essential in achieving economic growth
The anthropocentricism theory places human beings as the most important species on the planet. This is true, considering human beings are at the highest intellectual level as compared to other species on the planet (Purdey, 2010). This theory however holds that natural resources are solely meant for exploitation by human beings. However, this intellectual superiority can be either beneficial or detrimental to human beings. If used carefully, economic growth can e attained while preserving the environment. Otherwise, there would be uncontrolled economic growth at the expense of the environment. For example, Australia is one of the largest producers of Uranium. As a result of extensive Uranium mining, environmental degradation impacts have seen land become useless due to nuclear radiation that is a result of Uranium mining (Bayliss, van, & Bartolo, 2012). Without controlled economic growth, natural resources are rendered useless. In order to counter this, renewable energy sources provide cheaper and readily available re...
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