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An Equilibrium Between The Environment And The Economy Is An Elusive Concept Nus Environment Economics Assignment

1326 words - 6 pages

AN EQUILIBRIUM BETWEEN THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE ECONOMY IS AN ELUSIVE CONCEPT
Mohammad Tosnimul Hassan
Natural environment contains the primary resources essential to life on earth. Water, the atmosphere and land are the
main components of the mother nature whereas there are many other resources within these components. These include
aquatic and land-based plant and animal species, minerals and energy resources which are key to economic
development. Environment has been relevant to the economy since its classical period, it was recognized by economists
as the ultimate capital. This idea was even carried out by some of the neo-classical economists, but then the era of
industrialization had fueled a kinetic phase for the economy where only the visible economic growth was being considered
as the foundation of development. The solely economic growth focused development approach started taking the toll on
our environment and limited natural resources. In the 1960s the neoclassical economics came under increasing attack
as it overlooked the role of environment in economic growth and human well being (Cutler J. Cleveland, 1997). But,
despite being a serious matter of concern over the time, till now environment could not make its way back to the
mainstream economy. It has been incessantly ignored in the sake of local, regional or global development and perhaps
with the power of global politics.
What happened in the course that environmental economics is being largely ignored by the modern economics? There
are two sets of visible reasons (DODO, 2018). The first one is, formalisation of the theory of economic growth; that is,
the omission of KN (Environmental Capital) in explaining growth was perhaps premised on the assumption that KN was
infinite. The second set of reasons stem from the belief that technology can persistently offset the scarcity of KN. Both
are mistaken premises, KN as a source or sink is mostly finite and although technology can offset the adverse effect on
the environment to some extent, but the idea of knowledge will avert the resource scarcity only provides the freedom to
handle environment in an incautious way. There are also some other misguided concepts that asides environmental
economics, Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) is one of them which implies that as the economy grows, emission load
diminishes. Which eventually supports the idea “Growth first and the Environment later”. But this argument overlooks
some basic issues like irreplaceable damages, the circular cause-effect relationship between poverty and environmental
degradation or the law of externality (DODO, 2018). Therefore, it is clear from all these arguments that, to maintain the
efficiency of the environment as an ultimate source for the economy as well as the sink for the wastes economy generates
in the process an equilibrium between environment and economy is needed. Is it possible to get the equilibrium or it is
just an elusive concept?
Without environment being...

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