Environment the Humanity Has Experienced Case Study

Pages: 4 (1120 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Transportation - Environmental Issues

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Environmental economics is the brainchild of the classical economy theory, suggesting that the best solution to everything in the society -- politics, social issues, environmental management -- is the market. Protecting the environment through market mechanisms, according to environmental economics, is the best way of preserving it. Proponents of environmental economics focus on environmental pollution and depletion of natural resources. Environmental economists try to address these problems by pricing environmental goods, services, and risks with a monetary value. They mostly place a monetary value by surveying the population on how much they are willing to pay for certain environmental goods, services, and risks. Environmental economics also favor taxes rather than other punitive or preventive policies in protecting the environment.

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There are fundamental problems with the foundation of environmental economics. There are too many things in the environment that cannot be measured in money. Setting prices for certain environmental goods, services, and risks is ultimately misleading and dangerous. Risks of climate change in the Arctic regions -- or the planet itself, for that matter -- cannot be measured in monetary values. Business activities may inflict irreparable damage to the environment or lead to numerous health problems if not pursued with ecological consciousness. Measuring these items in money only, especially based on how much people are willing to pay, is very problematic. Ultimately, environmental economics is concerned with economics first and the environment second, i.e. environmental economists are willing to sacrifice the environment for good economics.

Case Study on Environment the Humanity Has Experienced Assignment

The better approach to preserving the natural environment therefore is ecological economics. Ecological economics is a more recent development, established in mid-1980s and draws from numerous ecological concepts. It suggests that markets should learn from and emulate the functioning of the natural ecology. An example of an ecological circular functioning the market can learn from is the assimilative capacity of the environment -- its ability to treat and absorb harmlessly a certain level of polluting waste.

The market economy, ecological economists argue, can embrace the law of the thermodynamics -- that is, a circular economy in which waste products become the input into new production processes. The market economy, on the contrary, today operates based on a principle of profit maximization. For example, many people today prefer dumping recyclable products that contain toxic materials into landfills rather than reuse or repair them. And many businesses that produce goods operate in such a manner that recycling is not profitable; so they package products in such a way that they cannot be reused. People buy more, allowing producers to earn more, but this seemingly profitable way of running businesses has hidden costs that may turn out to be too costly for humans and the planet in the long run. Environmental economics in this case would try to measure the costs of profit maximization and the environmental damage in monetary values. And if the balance sheet of their cost comparison favors profit maximization, they would be willing to continue the current economic system, while ecological economists would challenge the foundation of this system. For ecological economics, the priority should be given to the preservation of the environment, whereas profit maximization is the first priority of environmental economics. For these reasons, I believe, ecological economics is a better approach for protecting the natural resources and the natural environment. [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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