Economic Growth Without Environmental Damage – Mirage or Reality

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Since the epoch of civilisation man has attempted to improve his standard of living. From being a food gatherer to being a farmer, food and security of well being has been the prime pursuit. In the modern times, economic growth is essential to meet these needs of food and personal security. To think of man going backwards, wherein he subjugates his quest for a better life, would be a myth. Natural resources need to be tapped to provide for artificial comforts and luxuries. And to run these items of luxury, we need energy. That conventional sources of energy are responsible for various types of pollution is unarguable. But even when we consider the non-conventional sources of energy which are often favoured for environment friendly modes of energy generation, they have their limitations. The primary drawback lies in the cost of installation and the associated political will to implement the same. Any change requires a transition time. During this phase, people are required to forsake their self obsession and reach out of their comfort zone to support such endeavours. In a democratic set up, it would be a myth to expect a billion people to accept this. In particular, when we consider tidal energy, the very attempt to optimise the production and meet economies of scale, much distortion will have to be done to the natural course of the site. The same holds true for geothermal energy. When we wish to tap these forms for mass consumption, special modifications will have to be made to the site which inevitably will have considerable negative impact on the environment. Even if were to use wind energy, it would mean blocking the natural speed of a certain current. Its intensity would reduce after it would have crossed the windmill. As a result, the pressure equilibrium that it was meant to bring about will be affected. Atmospheric pressure is directly related to the weather conditions and hence the environment, in total. Thus, the quest to bring about economic growth...
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