Environment and economic growth are common aspects of any country that relate to one another. Economic development brings about several changes to the environment with pollution being the most effect on environment. Therefore, citizens differ on which of the two aspects should be given priority over the other. A study done by the Gallup Organization in 2008 shows the change in opinions of the citizens since the year 2000. The opinion change is in a graph.
From the graph, it is clear that the greatest portion of Americans prefer protection of environment to economic growth. The percentage of citizens in support of environment protection has always been higher from the year 2000 to 2008, than that of those supporting economic growth. However, this percentage seems to have been on the decrease from year 2000 to 2004. It has however been somehow stagnant from then till year 2008. The percentage of those in favor of economy has risen from the year 2000 to 2004 but it underwent a decline towards year 2008. The trend is as a result of many citizens becoming more aware on the impacts of environment pollution.
Environmentalism is gradually becoming one of the main American core values. The trend is evident from the graph by observing the period between year 2004 and 2008. Those in favor of environment seem to be stagnant at around 48 percent whereas those in favor of economic growth are on the decline. The data in the graph is further in agreement with another research poll by the CNN group in the same year of 2008. The poll states that 49 percent of Americans were in favor of environment whereas 44 percent were in favor of economic growth. Furthermore, Americans are currently investing in the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles to protect the country from the effects of global warming. They are also at the frontline of searching alternative sources of energy so as to reduce the harmful substances currently on emission to the atmosphere. The above trend is plus the graph data is a clear indication of how environmentalism is becoming a core American value as the years pass by.
It is very difficult to separate economic development from environment protection. The more a nation develops, the more the pollution increases. The two go hand in hand but environment protection should have an upper hand in terms of priority. Humans extract resources essential for economic development from the environment. Moreover, they emit the wastes of production back to the environment. It therefore means, without the environment there would be no necessary resources for economic development. It is therefore, necessary to give priority to environment protection. Secondly, the more pollution there is in the environment, the more the nation invests in health services. Health services are expensive throughout the globe and hence a nation cannot develop economically if it doesnt care about the health of the citizens. They are the ones who take part in developing the economy and hence protection must be given to them.
Finally, economic development is not all about the present. Countries must also focus on the future. Nations must consume environmental resources wisely with a focus on the future generations. Nations must start focusing on sustainable development which always has environment protection as its basis. The generations will only have a good future if the present generation takes good care of the environment. Environment is the key to the future.
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