The issue of economic growth versus environmental conservation can also be seen as developed countries vs developing ones. Industrial countries such as the USA and Germany have depended upon polluting industries for their wealth. Now they fear that uncontrolled economic development in the Third World will lead to environmental disaster. They point out that massive clearing of tropical rainforest for farming threatens biodiversity and may affect the global climate. At the same time relying upon heavy industry adds more pollution to the air, soil and water sources, while a richer population demands more energy, often produced from burning dirty fossil fuels such as coal. Developing countries such as China and Brazil point out that they must make industrialisation and economic development a priority because they have to support their growing populations. Developing countries must address current problems; they cannot afford to worry about the distant future. They also point out that as First World countries are most to blame for current environmental damage, it is unfair to demand that developing nations limit their own growth to solve these problems.
This House believes development trumps the environment
This House believes that going green can wait until we can afford it
This House believes that economic development should always take priority over environmental concerns in both the First and Third Worlds
That economic growth, even at the expense of some environmental damage, is justified by the need to feed the rising world population
This House believes “to get rich is glorious”
Rapid industrialisation does not have to put more pressure on the environment. Scientific advances have made industries much less polluting. And developing countries can learn from the environmental mistakes of the developed world’s industrial revolution, and from more recent disasters in communist countries such as China and the USSR. For example, efficient new steelworks use much less water, raw materials and power, while producing much less pollution than traditional factories. And nuclear generating plants can provide more energy than coal while contributing far less to global warming. We are also exploring alternative, renewable types of energy such as solar, wind and hydro-power.
Scientific progress has made people too confident in their abilities to control their environment. In just half a century the world’s nuclear industry has had at least three serious accidents: Windscale (UK, 1957), Three Mile Island (USA, 1979), and Chernobyl (USSR, 1986). In addition, the nuclear power industry still cannot store its waste safely. Hydro-power sounds great but damming rivers is itself damaging to the environment. It also forces huge numbers of people off their land – as in China’s 3 Gorges project.
Hiren Sheth, Sr. Sales , Al Nabooda Group
06 04 2011 16:10:36 +0000
A very good debate indeed Sir!
Firstly I am not against Economic growth. But I believe Environment needs a lot of importance, it is actually asking for lot of importance by creating various things like earthquake and tsunamis.. How long can we ignore the call. What will we do with all the economic growth if our planet would be at the verge of perishing?? We need to do something which combines both , like industries who follow go green concept.
Sheetal Bhandari, BE student, PSG College of Technology Coimbatore
06 06 2011 11:19:01 +0000