The Ecological Consequences Of Global Economic Growth

2079 words - 8 pages

The Ecological Consequences of Global Economic Growth

“There have been five ‘ mass extinctions’ in the history of the earth,
when between 65% and 95% of all species were wiped out, due to natural
processes of selection and evolution. Some scientists now argue that
we are heading for a ‘sixth extinction’, caused by the actions of
humans.” (Cock and Hopwood, 1996:17)

In the following I’m going to look at the positive and negative
effects of the ecological systems of global economic growth and the
effects on economic loss, and briefly discuss the concept of ‘risk’,
and the consequences of ‘population growth’.

I would also like to pay attention to the negative and positive
effects of economic growth, such as the effects caused by
‘deforestation’, and the demands of economic growth, and whether it
really is a “global threat.”

Finally looking at the effects on ecological niche paying particular
attention to the wildlife that live on the arctic northern
hemispheres, such as the ‘Polar Bear’ and the consequence of our ever
so changing environment, such as our changing climate and whether this
is due to human interference and what effects it could have on food
chains, and the extinction of certain species and predators.

Firstly I would like to discuss the global resource problems and the
effects it has on economic growth. There is suggestion that the
development process, which in turn then puts ‘development’ in a state
of ‘Risk’, endangers the world’s natural resources such as land,
biomass, and water supplies. (Redclift.M, 1984:20).

Some fact suggested by Jeffery 1981, (as cited in Redclift.M 1984:21)
stated evidence from the study of disaster relief suggests that social
factors are a major element in a society’s vulnerability to ‘natural’
disasters.

In evidence to the earlier comment of ‘development’ being a crisis of
risk, comments taken from professor Giddens discussions of ‘risk’ in
Hong Kong discuss the problems that can occur with economic growth.
Giddens suggest that global industrialised development caused by
humans may have altered the world’s climate, and damaged some earthly
habitats, by increased numbers of storms and recent strange behaviour
of weather. Giddens discusses the term ‘risk’ as having two different
types of characteristics, namely ‘external risk factors’ that is
concerned with nature and tradition. Then there is ‘manufactured risk
factors’ which concerns our developing knowledge upon the world and
global warming. Giddens suggest that what people generally have been
worried about in the past are external risks and what nature does to
our environments, and how living organisms are affected. It could be
said that what Giddens is trying to make one understand, is “not what
nature can do to us, but what we have done to nature.”

Maybe the...

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