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Discuss the view that the growth of the Global Market Economy is incompatible with the Goal of Environmental Conservation.

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Discuss the view that the growth of the Global Market Economy is incompatible with the Goal of Environmental Conservation. At first sight, growth in the economy would seem to be incompatible with the goal of environmental conservation. There are three main goals of Environmental Conservation (Adams 1990). Firstly, all the natural cycles and processes must be maintained to support human life. Secondly, the preservation of biodiversity in order to act both as insurance against any damage to complex food chains, and as an investment for the future (Adams 1990). The third objective set out by the World Conservation Strategy was the 'sustainable development' of ecosystems; for example, the fertility of grazing lands must be maintained to prevent desertification. In order for today's economy to function, fuels have to be taken from the ground and burnt, goods must be carted from place to place and a certain amount of waste must be produced. ...read more.


A growth in the economy and subsequent increase in affluence (and consumption) could only exacerbate this problem. In order for a growth in the economy to be sustained, the current rate of environmental degradation may have to be increased. Degradation of the environment and consumption of raw materials at a faster rate than can be compensated for by the Earth's natural cycle, is in effect making the world poorer. "Nature has the capacity to recycle wastes and reconstitute them into new resources of concentrated material quality. However, its capacity is regulated by sunlight and photosynthesis, not by economic theory or politics' (Porritt 2000). According to the theory of thermodynamics, when raw materials are burnt, their quality deteriorates. As the access to raw materials becomes scarcer and of lower quality, the world's economy has fewer raw materials on which to support itself. The economy therefore is dependent on the environment, which would mean that for economic growth to be sustained, the goal of environmental conservation must be achieved. ...read more.


Recycling is a key element when trying to make a growth in the global economy compatible with the goal of environmental conservation. To make the economy compatible with the goals of environmental conservation, there are simple precautions that should be looked at. Firstly, material should not be taken from nature at a faster rate than is replaceable. This would deplete resources and would have a negative effect on the eco-system wherever it is extracted. Secondly, materials which do not decompose quickly, should be put back into the environment as little as possible, and wherever possible be recycled. It is unlikely that the decline in pollution as predicted by Simon Kuznet in 1955 will occur before many of the goals of environmental conservation are breeched. This is because the economy in its current state is geared in to abusing the environment to pay for economic growth. The economy as it is now is not compatible with the goals of environmental conservation. It is in its long-term interest however to become compatible. This is because if it does not, resource depletion and pollution will cripple the economy. ...read more.

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