Economy vs. Environment

The Economy vs. The Environment

“The Economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of Environment, not the reverse. “

Herman E. Daly

                In the early societies, the era after the dinosaurs, our ancestors believed that Earth is made up of four principal elements known as water, air, soil and fire. These four elements not only made up the world they lived in, but also sustained their everyday needs. Back then, they believed that they should respect and care for these elements as they are the source of life. Without these elements, they would not have survived. It is the reason why these elements are sacred for them. However, this concept has changed. Ever since science and technology have been discovered in early centuries, our views on the world and our way of living have been changing rapidly for the past years. Because of our different world views, the way we interact with each other and with our environment are different. Some people are depending more and more on the material wealth, and some still cares about their tradition and beliefs concerning Mother Earth. As a matter of fact, one of the concerns that we have today is the imbalance between the Economy and the Environment.

Economy vs. Environment: history can guide discussions today

Based on the video above taken from one of the articles in the Global Landscape Forum; “On ‘economy vs. environment’: How history can guide discussions today.”, the two CIFOR scientists, Kiran Asher and Jacob Phelps, are discussing about the importance of history in evaluating the environmental and economical conflicts of today, They also touch the topics about the link between the environment and the economy, and the meaning and role of green economy in our society. In their discussion, Kiran Asher says that through history, we are able to protect the balance between the economy and the ecology/environment. This means that by looking back in the past, we are able to learn from our experiences and mistakes in order to prevent it from happening or to find solutions in our problems today. However, as our economy progress, the concern about the environment decreases. In fact, nowadays, the Western Culture influences a lot the way we manage and use the resources available. I mean western culture, because it promotes individuality which results to materialism. People become more and more dependent to material wealth, thus endangering the environment as it is the source of raw materials we use to produce goods and other things used to improve the economy and as well the society. Right now, one of the world’s concerns is Globalization.

                 What is Globalization?

In my International trade course, Globalization is defined as “the inexorable integration of markets, nation, nation-states and technologies in a way that is enabling individuals, corporations and nation-states to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper and cheaper than ever before”, which means that our transportation and communication have been progressing through the discoveries of new inventions/technologies. We are now able to make businesses and communicate with other people around the world. However, there are some drawbacks from Globalization:

– Because of Globalization, foreign countries start to influence the culture of their host country. Therefore, it results to the extinction of a culture and/or war between societies due to cultural differences/values.

-Globalization means we can do businesses cheaper. However, to sustain the global market, there is a need of enormous amount of natural resources to sustain the supplies needed in production.

– I mentioned in my last post about the deforestation. Deforestation also occurs under globalization, because corporations or multinational businesses need a space to build they properties/buildings or factory plants. They also need a lot of logs as raw materials.

There are more disadvantages of Globalization. These are only few of them.

In conclusion, I believe that nowadays, there is imbalance between economy and environment: economy is heavier than environment. I believe that nowadays, we are more and more on the materialistic side rather than thinking on the long-term consequences of what we are doing to our environment. They say that in order to improve our economy, we should have a lot of resources and still think that Earth still has a vast supply of resources, but in reality, there is none. They only think that there is, because they are taking the resources from other places/countries (Globalization). But, what if, one day we can no longer breath? There is nothing left, but the gigantic pile of wastes we stock up everyday? As Dr. Guy McPherson said,”If you think the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money.” Therefore, we should place our environment on our list of three most important concerns before others.


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