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While the importance of maintaining the environment at sustainable levels cannot be undermined, economic development can actually help

to repair the damage that industrialization has brought to the earth's fragile ecosystem. As our natural resources dwindle, innovative thinking in business, science and development will flourish to meet environmental challenges. Industrialisation does not have to put more pressure on the environment. In fact, scientific advances have made industries much less polluting. Developing countries can learn from the environmental mistakes of the developed worlds industrial revolution, and from more recent disasters in communist countries such as China and the USSR. For example, efficient new steelworks use much less water, raw materials and power, while producing much less pollution than traditional factories. Nuclear generating plants can provide more energy than coal while contributing far less to global warming. We are also exploring alternative, renewable types of energy such as solar, wind and hydro-power. Technological advancements have spawned the concepts of facilities that will captured the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) that is emitted when coal is burned for electricity generation. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hopes to help industry add carbon-capture-and-storage capability to advanced coal plants already in the works. Economic Development can pave the way to feeding the millions of under-nourished people of the world. The world population has topped 6 billion people and is predicted to double in the next 50 years. Ensuring an adequate food supply for this booming population is going to be a major challenge in the years to come. Genetically Modified (GM) foods promise to meet this need in a number of ways: -Increased Pest Resistance -Herbicide Tolerance -Disease Resistance -Cold Tolerance -Drought and Salinity Tolerance -Nutrition -Pharmaseuticals -Phytoremediation As you can see, Economic Development, employed in a responsible manner, can be both profitable and beneficial to the world's population. I agree with you in the fact that poor countries do not have the means to take care of their environment. They may be deficient in a number of areas (technology, education, MONEY, and social consciousness), however this is where economic development can thrive. Many of these poor countries have plentiful resources, many of which are quite lucrative to developed, First World Nations. Would it not be in (I will use the term 'our' referring to First World Nations) our best interests to create developmental incentives that would allow us to utilize our technologies to maximize the potential of their resources in exchange for social and commercial infrastructure. The 1995 U.N. established Oil For Food Programme to lessen the burdens associated with the sanctions imposed on Iraq after the Gulf War in 1990 showed how this type of program could work. The reason this was abandoned was due to the US invasion in 2003. If we are talking strictly about economic development vs environment (as the challenge was originally posed) then First World Nations can 'aggresively negotiate' with under developed countries for create this trade relation. Limiting trade with dictoral countries unless they accept such proposals is a good way of jump starting something of this nature. Again I am talking about economic development, not the moral or ethical implementation of such. A possible positive spin of this type of idealism could result in the nations themselves profiting and learning to implement such strategies in their own country. Poor nations will have the opportunites to educate their peoples, increase food production, and begin to develop their own economic development base.

Granted, dictoral countries may not adhere to the principles of such a radical ideal, but that is not the question here. The question posed is Economic Development vs Environment, which should take priority. Positive and proactive approaches to Economic Development must take precedence over Environmental Protection in order to salvage the human race, along with the earth that it inhabits. If we do not address the needs of the human race, over population will eventually kill off all species of the earth, leaving nothing but a barren wasteland.

Yes, utilizing natural resources for industrial purposes WILL be hamrful to the earth in the long run. That is precisely why Economic Development needs to be a primary focus. The world's population has doubled since 1960 and currently sits over 6 billion people. Short of sterilization and regulating or liscensing child births, this number is expected to reach 8.6 billion by the year 2025. How are we to feed and house this growing population? If we stop cutting down trees, stop fishing, stop hunting and the like we would be doing a diservice to not only ourselves as humans, but also to our planet. My arguement of economic development goes beyong raping and pillaging the land with no regards to environmental responsibility. It must entail developing new technologies that can solve problems already created due to the wonton destruction of the environment for our own gain. For example... Phytoremediation. Not all Genetically Modified plants are grown as crops. Soil and groundwater pollution continues to be a problem in all parts of the world. Plants such as poplar trees have been genetically engineered to clean up heavy metal pollution from contaminated soil. It is this type of innovative thinking that could help institute change. Imagine...industrial coal plants (energy efficient) no matter how envorinmental friendly will most likely produce some sort of leeching into the surrounding soil and water. Planting these GM poplars in the vicinity can greatly reduce the amount of damage that this may cause. Couple it with the carbon-capture-and-storage facilites that I mentioned above, also solve the C02 problems. Is this instituted now. No, I agree with you, currently we are killing ourselves and our planet. That is not the arguement on the board at this time. The question posed is which should be a top priority. Primarily focussing on the environment will leave a massive gap in our ability to sustain human life on this planet, and unless you are prepared to allow the eventual estinguishment of all humanity, then it is critical to the health and wellness of planet earth that we focus our efforts on economic development, to institute the type of change that is needed.

The poor need to be fed before we talk of things like global warming, the reasons for which are debatable. Why did ice melt thousands of years back? There was no pollution then. The desire to have a clean environment (clean air, nice trees, more biodiversity, more national parks and green spaces) increases as people get richer. Richer countries are more economically advanced in terms of technology as well - they use cleaner and more efficient methods of generating energy, automobiles, etc. Thus on both the supply and demand side, economic development can help foster a better environment in the long-run.

Taking care of millions of people who are starving is more important than saving natural resources anyway. Just as we cannot expect some developing nations to share the green concerns of developed countries when they are faced with dire poverty and a constant battle for survival. A hungry stomach cannot think about global warming. An uneducated can hardly realize what the environment is. The industrialized worlds emphasis on green issues holds back developing countries. Because this is seen as interference in their affairs, it also contributes to a greater divide between the First and Third worlds. Many also believe it is a deliberate attempt to stop possible economic competitors. After all, the USA and EU already put high tariffs on products made cheaply in developing countries which could be sold in America or Europe. By limiting the development of profitable but polluting industries like steel or oil refineries they are forcing nations to remain economically backward. Obviously the world would be better if all nations stuck to strict environmental rules. But the reality is that for many nations such rules are not in their interests. For example, closing Chinas huge Capital Iron and Steelworks, a major source of pollution, would cost 40,000 jobs. The equal application of strict environmental policies would create huge barriers to economic progress, at a risk to political stability. Rapid industrialization does not have to put more pressure on the environment. Scientific advances have made industries much less polluting. And developing countries can learn from the environmental mistakes of the developed worlds industrial revolution. For example, efficient new steelworks use much less water, raw materials and power, while producing much less pollution than traditional factories. And nuclear generating plants can provide more energy than coal while contributing far less to global warming. We are also exploring alternative, renewable types of energy such as solar, wind and hydro-power. The Green Revolution has doubled the size of grain harvests. Thus, cutting down more forests to provide more space for crops

is no longer necessary. We now have the knowledge to feed the worlds increasing population without harming the environment. Genetically modified crops can also benefit the developing world by requiring much less water, fertilizer or pesticide use while giving better yields. This is another example of economic development leading to environmental benefits. Rapid industrialization does not have to put more pressure on the environment. Scientific advances have made industries much less polluting. And developing countries can learn from the environmental mistakes of the developed worlds industrial revolution. For example, efficient new steelworks use much less water, raw materials and power, while producing much less pollution than traditional factories. And nuclear generating plants can provide more energy than coal while contributing far less to global warming. We are also exploring alternative, renewable types of energy such as solar, wind and hydro-power. It is hypocritical (two-faced and unfair) for rich developed countries to demand that poorer nations make conservation their priority. After all, they became rich in the first place by destroying their environment in the industrial revolution. Now that they have cut down their own trees, polluted their water sources and poured billions of tons of carbon into the air, they are in no position to tell others to behave differently. In any case, as countries become richer they become more concerned about the environment, and can afford to do something about it. For developing countries conservation can therefore wait until they are richer.