Environmental Economics

As we discussed in class, economics areĀ a vital part of not only American life but also global life. I found this to be very interesting, as someone who knows very little about economics I was excited to know anything about how the system operates. But as we started our discussion I found it to be a little unnerving, particularly the “empty” vs “full” worldview. As the environmental movement gains momentum, there are still many people against it and even more roadblocks. Personally I don’t understand how people can have little to no concern about environmental degradation and climate change considering the abundance of research that has gone into proving it. But as we discusses economics and the “empty” vs. “full” worldview I started to understand their perspective a little more. These people are against it simply because they still view our world as empty, with infinite opportunity for growth, when this simply isn’t the case.

As we deplete our natural capital, our man made capital grows exponentially. And when our world was empty this growth was good, it made people money and helped people with their day-to-day necessities. But we don’t live in that world anymore, we aren’t creating to help people acquire their necessities, we grow just for the fun of over consumption, and this is where the problem lies. Until people have an understanding that our natural capital needs to not only exist, but prosper in order for man made capital to have success, we will continue to struggle with the challenges that face our current environmental state.