Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What is more important, our environment or our economy?


Fundamentally, this is the question that we asking ourselves in the political arena. I think this article that contains this observation “The last thing a down economy needs is new regulation, and the EPA is overstepping its boundaries” captures the essence of a deep assumption that some us make.

Two New Reasons to Worry about Air Pollution: Obesity and Diabetes - Forbes The debate over air pollution and, more specifically, the regulation of air pollution, raged on this week as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) watered down its cross-state pollution rule and House Republicans moved to delay new rules on toxic air pollution from cement plants, solid waste incinerators, and industrial boilers. These latest debates come on the heels of President Obama’s move last month to reneg on promises to tighten up smog standards, a decision that angered environmentalists and led to speculation that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson might be ready to walk. In all cases, the argument against regulation goes something like this: The last thing a down economy needs is new regulation, and the EPA is overstepping its boundaries. (October 10, 2011) Information for the World's Business Leaders - Forbes.com

We have become so used to believing that our economy, the systems of economics we have devised to reward ourselves for work, is the fundamental ruling principle of existence. At least one political party has seized on this convenient line of reasoning: in order to survive in this society we need money—in some form or another.

But this question --what is more important our economy or our environment?—is an illusion that we have created in our minds, put forth and maintained by the influential and powerful. Blinded by facts and figures, those that fortify their arguments, they tend to think that the backdrop to our lives, our environment, is a secure and static stage that will remain as it is while we rage on.

We are having fighting each other while the boat that keeps us afloat is sinking. Climate Change, pollution, and the rise of the human population to seven billion people are threatening our existence and our chance to have a sustainable environment, but we don’t care. We are like the endemic peoples that the Europeans discovered when they came to the New World over five hundred years ago: If the endemic peoples of the New World had recognized that those coming on the ships from over the oceans were their enemies, not each other, they could have had a less tragic blow to their existence.

If we don’t find a way to present and address the true threat to our existence—an environment in trouble—we too, with all our technical and adaptive powers will find that we have been robbed of our future.

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