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Is it possible to protect the environment when many countries require increasing amounts of energy to progress

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Introduction

´╗┐Is it possible to protect the environment when many countries require increasing amounts of energy to progress? In today?s world, where world population, industrial production and economic growth are surging at breakneck pace, energy consumption is expanding and mankind?s insatiable desire for energy, arable land and natural resources are both deleting natural resources and damaging the environment. I believe that economic progress today necessitates mankind?s utilization of the earth?s resources and damage of the environment. However, I believe that it is possible to both enjoy economic progress and protect the environment at the same time, especially with advancements in alternative energy technology and a greater involvement of the public, government and public firms in the protection of the environment. There is largely, a false dichotomy between economic progress and protecting the environment. That is because, among other reasons, of the availability of alternative sources of energy ? not that of crude oil or coal ? which can power industries and drive economic progress while protecting or doing only minimal damage to the environment. ...read more.

Middle

This is because alternative energy sources are still in general, not as cheap as drilling for oil and hence are not widely adopted. However, I believe that in the near future, with today?s pace in the advancement of alternative energy technology and in order to circumvent the predicted disaster of oil running out by 2050, alternative energy will become cheaper and widely used to the point that it drives economic progress while protecting the environment at the same time ? a very possible eventual outcome. Another reason why I believe that protecting the environment and economic progress is possible and becoming ever less mutually exclusive is the increase in environmental awareness and desires to protect the environment, whether for altruistic reasons or for self interests. Today, 30% of paper and plastic waste in the USA as stated by the USA Environmental Agency, is recycled. ...read more.

Conclusion

Of course, dissenters would say that such schemes only apply to altruistic people and governments which are few and far between. However, I believe that such choices are increasingly becoming ones that are made based on self-interest as people are feeling the negative impacts of environmental damage. For instance, in 2008, well after the Olympic concluded, Beijing re-imposed car quotas because it was in its interest to reduce pollution levels to protect people?s health and to attract tourists and investors. Thus, I believe that self-interest and altruism are, more than ever, leading to ?green? decisions being made which protect the environment while not or insignificantly inhibiting economic progress. The final reason why I believe progress and environmental protection may go hand-in-hand is that of the system of capitalism and the desire of the business to maximize profits. The increase in environmental consciousness and the desires of consumers to purchase ?green? products and cleaner cars have led to a paradigm shift in markets where companies are now incentivized to produce green products or to sponsor green movements. ...read more.

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