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What are the ecological consequences of global economic growth?

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Introduction

What are the ecological consequences of global economic growth? "There have been five ' mass extinctions' in the history of the earth, when between 65% and 95% of all species were wiped out, due to natural processes of selection and evolution. Some scientists now argue that we are heading for a 'sixth extinction', caused by the actions of humans." (Cock and Hopwood, 1996:17) In the following I'm going to look at the positive and negative effects of the ecological systems of global economic growth and the effects on economic loss, and briefly discuss the concept of 'risk', and the consequences of 'population growth'. I would also like to pay attention to the negative and positive effects of economic growth, such as the effects caused by 'deforestation', and the demands of economic growth, and whether it really is a "global threat." Finally looking at the effects on ecological niche paying particular attention to the wildlife that live on the arctic northern hemispheres, such as the 'Polar Bear' and the consequence of our ever so changing environment, such as our changing climate and whether this is due to human interference and what effects it could have on food chains, and the extinction of certain species and predators. Firstly I would like to discuss the global resource problems and the effects it has on economic growth. ...read more.

Middle

Many environmentalists regarded the interaction between population growth, economic growth, natural resource availability, and waste receiving capacity as the reason why growth has to stop. However there are some positive outcomes as our knowledge of technology widens, enabling us to extract more economic activity from a given unit of natural resources. Therefore, we can try to learn how to control the amount of waste entering the environment by using technology to recycle materials and take waste gases out before they leave the economic systems. (Turner et al, 1994:45) Cock and Hopwood suggest that some 'expert' supporters of population control argue that "the only way to protect the environment and improve living standards is to stop population growth and even reduce the world's population." (1996:67) However one of the main issues with economic growth, which has very recently been under 'scrutinization' as one, might put it, is the recent warnings of a 'global threat' from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, ( The IMF involves the monitoring of economic and financial developments, and the provision of policy advice, aimed especially at crisis-prevention. http://www.imf.org/external/work.htm) Due the current increase in crude oil prices in the international market. Until now, the IMF had expressed little concern that oil prices would affect the global economy, partly because the rise was due to strong global demand. ...read more.

Conclusion

E.g. the black peppered moth, which have the ability to adapt to its surroundings through natural selection. However as we are entering into a more modern world our knowledge of our environment expands, enabling us to enabling us to extract more and more economic activity from a given unit of natural resource. We can try to control the amount of waste entering the environment by recycling materials and taking waste gases out before they leave the economic system. We can also use technology to understand how to change polluting for less polluting ones. If natural resources were to become scarce then this in turn would then actively force people to be more careful in their use of conservation and to switch to other resources by substitution. And although population is a problem in some countries, some countries have realized the benefits of having smaller families. (Turner et al, 1994:48) However, as Cock and Hopwood have initially pointed out is, what is empirical, is the fact that humans have had the ability to increasingly transform the planet and are actively achieving that. Humans also, though, have the ability to foresee the consequences of much of their action and to decide to avoid what could be destructive or threatening, and what is essential about our relationship of human society to the rest of the environment. (1996:18) 1750 words. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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