ECONOMIC GROWTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE: Air, water, and pesticide pollution
In the last chapter, the significance of the habitat loss problem caused by the new industry creation process that underpins economic growth was documented. In this chapter the impacts of air, water, and pesticide pollution on human health and well being and the health of species and ecosystems are considered. As already noted, understanding the seriousness of contemporary environmental problems is essential to any judgement that economic growth fosters environmental deterioration. Such understanding is also essential to an ethical evaluation of the damage done by environmental problems, an evaluation that necessarily precedes determination of appropriate measures to forestall environmental decline. Again, the central thesis of this work is that new forms of economic activity create new kinds of environmental problems. This chapter is concerned with the seriousness of those problems. The next chapter addresses the question of resistance to resolution of environmental problems by vested economic interests. We will then be in a position to proceed to the final topic of this book, an ethical evaluation of environmental issues and, flowing from that, a presentation of economic reforms that will satisfy environmental standards based on ethical norms.