Economics and Environmental Policies by Pavan Gowda

Dec 17th, 2012 | By | Category: Youth Blog

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Every day in the news, I hear how the environmental policies are hindering our economic growth.   I then became curious and wanted to understand how something so good, like taking care of the planet, can actually have a negative effect on us. So I studied about the economy over the summer, but I still could not find an answer. Luckily, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to have a discussion with Dr. Suzi Kerr, scholar and expert on environmental policies and the economy.

I learned how the market works and the side effects of the market.   Every day, we get food, water, electricity, etc., and it feels like there is someone controlling all of it but really it all happens through the market.  A market in simple terms means buying and selling goods. An example is when we go to the farmers market – we, the consumers buy the product (food), while the farmers sell us the items.  But when a market ends up causing issues to others, then it is called a market failure.  Sir Nicolas Stern mentioned, “Climate Change is a market failure”, because manufacturers focused on short term benefits, and didn’t think about pollution, destruction of resources, and proper disposal of items; this resulted in the increase in greenhouse gases, a major factor in today’s climate change.

Another unfortunate reality is, when there are stricter regulations to protect the environment in one region, the companies tend to move away to another region with less regulations.  There seems to be no consequences to those companies for polluting another community and causing destruction to natural resources in another part of the world. I wondered why we couldn’t all sign up on a treaty, so we can all raise our environmental policies.  Well, it turns out that we came real close 15 years ago with the Kyoto Protocol.  But, it seems to be extremely challenging to have everyone on the same page. I think we should continue this effort of forming the world treaty.

It is clear that regulations alone would not solve problems. Educating and raising awareness should be done simultaneously.  Instead of just focusing on economic growth, we should rethink what really is important, and what we really need to be happy. Financial security is only one portion of our happiness. We need good family, friends, and a safe, clean, and healthier environment for lasting happiness.

By Pavan Gowda

To listen to the recorded radio broadcast of the discussion on this topic go to: http://greenkidsnow.org/ewaves.html

(Live broadcast on 12/18/2012 – recorded version will be available later)

About the Author:

Pavan is 12 years old, founder of the non-profit organization, Green Kids Now, Inc., founder of Green Kids Conference, Official Biomimicry Youth Speaker, and an International reporter for Primary Perspectives radio Show. (http://www.greenkidsnow.org)

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