Today, the world has metamorphosed into an entirely different place. Development is an inevitable process and in the past few years, economic development has been constantly on the rise, and so has infrastructural development.
This uptrend in economic development hasn’t impacted the environment in a positive way.
The environment has been exploited to fulfill the increasing need for natural res
ources, mainly fossil fuels, to aid in development and improvement of standard of living facilities.
So, is environmental degradation an inevitable consequence of economic development?
Improving the standard of living basically involves infrastructural development. To achieve this, industrial materials are required. The processing of these industrial materials, like iron and steel, takes up a lot of energy. In addition, there is a liberation of greenhouse gases like Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere which have adverse effects on the environment (everyone knows about global warming).
Secondly, the transportation systems we use today have also become a prime source of pollutants in the atmosphere. Contruction of roads and buildings also lead to environmental degradation. These are a few examples, however the effects of improvement of the standard of living facilities are multitudinous.
We cannot put a stop to developmental undertakings and neither can we let our environment degrade. The environment is directly and indirectly being adversely effected by the highly modernised livestyles we live today.
And this is where the concept of sustainable development comes into play. Sustainable development revolves mainly on the idea of meeting the needs of the present without harming those of the future. It doesn’t put any caps on growth and development, but only puts an emphasis on utmost utilisation of resources. It is a way to minimise the rate of damage to the environment., while striding towards improvement in standard of living. It’s certainly what economies should consider adopting.
The economy vs. environment debates have been on the front for a long time now. Both, the economy and the environment are pivotal for the growth of society. But unfortunately, one comes at the cost of the other. The solution for this long-term clash between environmentalists and economists is very simple- sustainable development. Development that can be sustained along with environmental conservation. It creates a win-win situation, since our economies can grow, our environment is saved and we can breathe.
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