Initial Argument

“The great recession appears to have had a big and negative impact on American sympathy for
mother earth”-Allison Linn, ABC news. For the first time in 2009, Americans believed that
economic growth should be put before environmental protection when the two goals conflict
( Environmental protection is a practice or protection of the natural environment on
individual, organizational or governmental levels, for the benefit of the natural environment and
humans. Economic growth is the steady growth in the productive capacity of the economy.
Statistics show that preference for environmental protection goes down as the economy drops.
Focusing on environmental concerns are a luxury that the U.S. cannot afford in tough economic
times. ( A recent poll shows that 54% of Americans think economic growth should
be given priority over environmental protection, while 36% thought the environment should be
given the top priority. That’s the most support there’s been for economic growth in nearly 3
decades. ( These changes show that Americans opinion on environmental
protection are dynamic to what happens in the real world. Based on the previous polls Americans
seemed to value environmental protection but they de-emphasize that goal, due to everyday
concerns like the economy, that needs attention.( Without the economy there is
no “environmental protection.” Without the economy being stable and healthy, there is no money
to help protect the environment. Right now our economy should be
priority.( Some advantages that we have by prioritizing the economy is
that economic growth can help repair damage done to the environment and make it prosper. One
goal the government has is to help the environment is to build more Nuclear generating plants
rather than coal, which contributes more to global warming and Nuclear generating plants don’t.
The government also is exploring alternative, renewable types of energy such as wind and
hydropower. ( To achieve all these goals we must have money which
circles back to the U.S. economy. Jobs are a big deal as well. Carol Muffet, deputy campaigns
director at greenpeace says “In truth what is good for the environment is what is truly good for
the economy, because a shift to better energy solutions would create jobs.”(
With creating these jobs the economy will somewhat improve, but it will take a while. So
improving the economy is a main concern before thinking about luxuries that are unreasonable to
afford. In developing countries, prioritizing environmental protection is something that doesn’t
cross the governments mind because they definitely do not have the money to help the
environment. Putting economic development as a priority helps developing countries in many
ways. It benefits them by them having money to educate their citizens. Many developing
countries have trouble educating their students because they simply cannot afford it. It also helps
them by them by increasing the food population. Everyday that passes earth's food supply
decreases. Earths population is increasing rapidly, it is said that in 50 years the earth's population
will be doubled. To ensure that we will have enough resources and food supplies for the
following years to come we have to take drastic measures. One thing scientist have come up with
is Genetically Modified foods, to ensure that we will have these supplies we need our economy
to be stable. Economic Development can pave the way to feeding the millions of undernourished

people of the world. Developing countries are more economically “hurt” than developed
countries (even though developed countries suffer as well). In order for developing countries to
develop their own economic development base they must put their priorities straight, like the
economy. A case study says “Economic development must be prioritized over environmental
protection in order to rescue the human race, as well as the earth itself.” ( If we
primarily focus on the environment, we will leave a massive gap in our ability to sustain human
life on this planet. The world revolves around money. It is critical to the health and wellness of
planet earth that we focus our efforts on economic development because the people are who will
suffer in the end. A study says “Since 1950, only 12 countries have managed to grow at rates in
excess of 7 percent for 25 years or more. Many more countries—in places as diverse as Latin
America, Africa, and the Middle East—have managed high growth rates for shorter periods, only
to see that growth falter.” ( These countries are developing countries and
show that fixing the economy is not a piece of cake. It takes many years and we have to learn
how to deal with not having these so called luxuries. Therefore I disagree that environmental
protection should have priority over economic development because of the reasons listed above.