The height of human hubris is displayed by those today who tell us we must choose between a strong economy OR a protected, functioning environment. It is beyond hubris - it is a form of collective insanity that now threatens our very existence. They say that the economy in trouble is more important than the environment in trouble.
Anyone with their integrity intact recognizes that there is nothing without a protected, functioning environment. I could live a month without oil, but try going that long without clean water. You must have a healthy environment to have a healthy economy.
Economic growth does not neatly translate into increased happiness of citizens. If all this economic activity is destroying our environment while not making us any happier, why participate in it at all?
Resource extraction and manufacturing for consumer markets has caused wanton destruction of the environment. They are finding this out in the Indian state of Goa where for the past year there has been a ban on all mining activity.
Economic activity is down in Goa, but by most other measures, the ban has been a net positive move. The environment in the state is rejuvenating, with people noticing cleaner air and water in their communities. Many people commented on reduced noise levels, and roadways are sustaining less damage with fewer traffic jams.
Doctors are reporting fewer cases of respiratory and skin problems, hypertension, anxiety and sleeplessness.
If you asked "Economy or Environment?"I would say that is a dumb and misleading question. Then I would respond that we should be realistic like the state of Goa and make the right and obvious choice - environment all the way.
Sacrifices (or what may feel like sacrifices at first) will need to be made, but overall we will end up with a better, more sustainable environment, economy, and quality of life. After all, what good is creating value for shareholders if they don't have a decent planet on which to spend it?