Posted in The Environment

General Paper Essay Outline : Can environmental conservation and economic progress go hand in hand ?

Possible Outline :

Stand : The two are incompatible and conflicting.

Body Para 1 (& 2, if necessary) : To begin, governments and businesses that are keen on ensuring long-term growth  may say that capitalist methods can lend themselves to conservation (create a new market for alternative energy sources, ‘green’ products, theoretical efficiency) … Conservation is inevitable because sustainability makes good economic sense.

(Transition) Yet, despite such optimism, there are other arguments that point to how unfeasible it is to make happy bedfellows of conservation and economic progress.

Body Para 3 : Is our default response to conserve, or to find ways and means to meet demand ? Precedents indicate the latter, rather than the former.
… the conventional development trajectory that countries find themselves on entails extensive use of resources, especially initially;
conservation seems more like a luxury for countries that have acquired a certain standard of living
… if simple free market logic prevails, then countries with resources will sell to the highest bidder, rather than conserve

Body Para 4 : Capitalists’ support for the green movement is part of their branding strategy. If the net result is higher sales for them, then it actually means that they have contributed to more resources being used instead of conservation. In othe words, ironically, conservation itself is a movement that uses up resources.

Body Para 5 : For as long as demand or consumption is an indicator  of progress, sustainability will be just a pipe dream
… there are suggestions for global reform for us to turn away from the current measure of growth, but these proposals (to downplay the role of consumption that causes resource depletion) clash with the aims of many  countries

Body Para 6 : Efforts to marry economic growth and environmental concerns fail because of greed. Greed leads to illegal methods when legislation places curbs on the exploitation of the environment.

Conclusion :
Try as we may, economic progress will involve us chipping away at whatever resources we have left.
There is only cold comfort in saying that our conservation efforts have reduced the rate of environmental degradation. The grim fact still remains that economic gain – as we know it today – and the well-being of the natural environment are inextricably, inversely related.


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