Opportunities of Recession

Jan 27th, 2011 | By | Category: Youth Blog

There are many  environmental opportunities that arise out of recession.

As we all read in environmental literature, businesses are responsible for environmental woe. They are let free to do whatever they want, and they can keep doing things like drilling oil and mining and polluting. America, the world’s major economic power, is heavily dependent on private enterprises, and is also the world’s biggest consuming nation and pollution perpetrator.

I believe that the nations of the world should start having greater control over their businesses. For example, people in Japan like certain seafood which is now being endangered, but they like it so much and there is nothing to stop fishermen from fishing all this up. The government as a law maker and enforcer can control the nation’s hunger for seafood. All around the world,  many people express great concern about endangered animals and environments such as the Assisi fish and the Amazon Rainforest,  but private businesses still go on using these endangered resources for private gain. So governments should put restrictions on all such activities as they sometimes have done.

All I ask is that when there is a big environmental danger, such as species almost dying out, the government should restrict their exploitation. This,  I think, is hardest to do in America. Private enterprise is so uncontrolled here and businesses are going all over the world and are free to do whatever environmental damage they can.

I suppose such measures might naturally come about as the situation of the world becomes more desperate.  The underlying problem here is that human activity that may be damaging the environment is carried out by individuals who make private gain from it, and so they would not be pro-environment. No government control means lack of a system of banning certain activities that are environmentally dangerous in a certain case, like hunting a certain endangered animal. For example, if fishermen are fishing a very endangered sea turtle, governments should ban it. If businessmen are dumping toxic waste somewhere, the law should stop them. But these laws cannot happen to a large extent in a country where all businesses are completely independent of the government, and perhaps where the government is dependent on business. Businesses fund election campaigns for example, so whoever gets elected won’t do anything against them.

Also, the problem can be described as being more basic, with the population not able to break the habit of consuming what it is used to, from oil to food. A long history of governments being subordinate to businesses, perhaps urged on by the Cold War, means that that the business- government relation also won’t easily change.

But now I think that it is easy to do that. There is a big recession in the world, and it is at it’s biggest in America, where it started. The recession has exposed the inability of private business to be a permanently positive economic force in the world. It has also turned the table as government is bailing out big business instead of big business financing government. Hence,  government is in a position to regulate business like never before.

A good sign towards less of a reliance on private enterprises is that the Obama Administration reinstated some environmental laws that were overturned by Bush. Also, the catastrophe of the BP oil spill has discredited the oil industry and emboldened government to scrutinize it more.

As America is both the biggest environmental trouble-doer and dependent on business, I suggest we focus there. The recession gives us an opportunity. There should be a tighter control on all businesses. I call upon a movement to take advantage of the recession to help restrict these businesses from doing any activity that is environmentally damaging at home and abroad. That would include encouraging the Obama Administration to implement the same policies.

But America is not the only problem. There are other countries as well. There should be movements around the world to make it easy for government to restrict businesses from doing bad things in environmentally vulnerable areas.

Even if the private enterprise yoke on world environment is gone, that won’t entirely solve the problem. After all, take the communist states. They did not and are not giving up on polluting industries such as cars and planes and stuff.
The Earth will be more out of harm’s way by human beings if we have governments that make it a point to end polluting activities every where.

When individual human beings and the masses who buy from them are free in their use of the Earth, the exploitation will go on. But if such human activity is centralized, the central system will be more aware and better able to regulate such activity. I do not mean that we should turn communist, or even socialist. I mean that the law and the government should be less subservient to private enterprise and have enough power over them to prevent them from doing anything environmentally damaging.

If such restrictions are moderate, this will not entirely end the environmental damage, as factories will continue to manufacture all kinds of stuff, as the population grows, and as more cities are built. After all, the government cannot reasonably be expected to end all technology. But the environmental burden will be eased when human activity is governed and enterprises aren’t allowed to do whatever they want. The law may ban the use of any endangered species until the population has recovered. It may ban the harming of a polluted area until it has recovered. Human activity in each country will be subjected to a central environmental authority who knows the whole picture. All we need is for the government to be taken over by people with the will to do this.

Businesses fund election campaigns, thus they influence governments. We must change the system so that the government influences private enterprises instead.

The government can centralize the trash system so that everybody deposits their trash more wisely. Government can regulate the car ownership problem. That is, it was America who gave rise to the concept of one four-seated car for each individual. Now, the government can regulate so only one car is allowed for one household.

If the Liberals take over America, things might get better for the environment at home and abroad. And also, I think this war on terror will have a bad ending that will turn America more liberal. However, Obama seems to be falling down, and he might not get elected again. What will happen after that, I have no idea.

Capitalism is a system based on personal benefit that yields benefit for all. My proposal is a campaign against personal benefit that yields public loss. It may be difficult, but it isn’t impossible.

It may seem like I am promoting an undemocratic idea, but basically, I am saying what Action For Nature also implies. They want a movement of people to get involved in environmental issues. That’s what I’m saying, that a big movement should get the governments to influence human activity and stop it from polluting our climate. Recession gives us a social climate that is conducive to change.

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