Examine The Claim That Our Environment Is Ruined By Greed

1352 words - 6 pages

Examine the claim that our environment is ruined by greed.

As societies begin to transform and people in many parts of the world grow in affluence, many start to view the pursuit of material goods as a worthy goal. Consumers of today have ever-changing preferences in all aspects and are almost never content with what they possess currently, always searching for another more technologically advanced gadget, or more fashionable handbag. People's desires for more are seemingly insatiable. Wants are more than often deemed as needs and this habit of man can only mean trouble for our environment. The more we crave for what is beyond necessity, the more our environment is degraded to quench our ...view middle of the document...

In order for suppliers to meet the ever increasing demand for goods, more of Earth's depleting resources are withdrawn. In every manufacturing process, fuel is needed and the burning of this fuel to produce energy emits gases into our environment. This emission of gases has far-reaching impacts on our environment and cascading effects on the ecosystem. Hence, it is almost inevitable that as man's insatiable wants grows, our environment will rapidly be destroyed.

Secondly, businesses are driven for profit-making and often utilize Earth's resources in order to gain more. Many believe it is forgivable for businesses to do so as it only right for a firm to make a profit. But to what extent should their actions in order to gain more profits be acceptable? Firms today are exploiting Earth's resources excessively and more than often. The rapid depletion of fossil fuels and increasing amount of pollution in the air and waters are only a few of the consequences of actions of firms only focused on profit-making. Apart from excessively exploiting Earth's resources, many firms also continuously search for ways and means to lower their costs of production, making their products cheaper and more competitive on the market. These firms shift their production processes to developing countries such as China and India where environmental regulations are less strict and then proceed to produce their goods at lower costs to themselves, but a much higher cost to the environment. Hence, it is human greed for more wealth that has brought about devastation to our environment.

However, if viewed from another perspective, greed may just be able to save our environment, instead of ruining it. As countries slowly begin to encourage more environmentally friendly practices using policies such as carbon emissions trading and laying down more stringent environmental regulations, firms are motivated by their greed to discover greener methods in order to increase their profits. Many companies now paint their products with solvent-based paints. By switching to water-based paints, these businesses not only eliminate toxic wastes in their production but also speed up the time taken to get their product to the market and avoid long term liabilities associated with toxic waste disposal. Solvent-based paint is only one of many environmentally friendly methods that have been discovered which not only reduce the amount of damage done to the environment but also benefitted profit driven firms. Hence, in the pursuit of more profits, many firms have switched to cheaper and greener methods of production, reducing the destruction of our environment. Thus it is not true that our environment is ruined by greed.

Furthermore, firms can capitalize on the trend of consumers wanting to purchase environmentally friendly products so as to earn more profit. According to recent research conducted in America, 15 percent of consumers routinely pay more for green products and another 15 percent...

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