Environmental pollution is any act detrimental to the environment created by human action. It includes both natural and artificial pollutants. The adverse effects of environmental pollution can be serious issues for global health. They can also be harmful to the economy.
Natural pollution consists of the discharge of toxic materials through natural means, such as breathing fumes, aerosols, solid wastes, or pesticides. These forms of pollution are not considered harmful because they do not produce unnatural quantities of chemical compounds. However, they may still affect the natural functioning of the environment. On the other hand, artificial pollutants are those that are created artificially and are considered harmful because their presence in the environment is caused through human action.
Human beings create many types of pollution. One of these is economic pollution, which results when people use natural resources unwisely to produce economic gain. This type of pollution interferes with the productivity of the natural environment. Other types of pollution are those that result from the alteration of the natural processes in the earth environment, such as the depletion of non-renewable natural resources, the introduction of invasive species, and the disruption of biodiversity. The reduction or elimination of these types of pollutants would have a significant impact on economic growth. However, the adverse effects of these pollutants on the natural environment must be balanced against the benefits they bring to economic growth.
Economics considers the extent to which people’s actions affect the natural environment. Economics attempts to understand the extent to which economic growth or loss is due to environmental pollution. Economic pollution has the most adverse effects on the natural environment. Thus, ecological economics attempts to improve the efficiency with which it prevents and addresses pollution.
Environmentalists and the advocates of ecological economics claim that pollution is not only an economic problem but also a human rights issue. They argue that people’s lives are affected by environmental pollution in various ways, such as unhealthy air, water, food, and soil. They also claim that people’s health and welfare are adversely affected by hazardous wastes, such as asbestos and mercury, contained in a wide variety of everyday products. They also point out that economic growth and environmental pollution frequently do not dovetail; for instance, environmental damages often lead to higher unemployment rates.
Ecosystem economists argue that pollution is an economic problem because the natural world is so well preserved that it’s delicate balance is disturbed by both natural and human factors. They maintain that human interference has led to environmental pollution, and that, given the scale of the problem, any interference will adversely affect the natural equilibrium of the world environment. The natural world is a complex system with several interacting factors and feedback systems. It is difficult to accurately model such a system using economic theory.
Environmental economists are especially critical of economists who fail to see the links between economic growth and environmental pollution. They argue that pollution leads to less efficient consumption and production, economic losses occur in the form of lower income and reduced production, capital becomes scarcer and resources are depleted for the economy at large. The long-term result of all this is economic decline. The inability of the economy to handle the excess production and reduce consumption effectively spells disaster for the economy.
As mentioned earlier, environmental issues have been discussed at length at the symposium, where the topics ranged from the economic impact of environmental degradation to the impact on tourism, especially of the coastal region. A consensus was reached on many issues, though some areas are still highly debated. Future trends in the environmental debate need to be examined carefully, especially as the pressures from today’s fast-paced society grow. In order to save our environment, we have to be more aware and be more proactive towards protecting our ecosystems and, most importantly, preserving and replenishing our natural habitats.