Environment vs. Wealth

Last night we read a section in ITMC about environment, sustainability, and how it relates to politics. Currently, the amount of resources consumed and pollution produced in turn are not sustainable.1 Pollution is contributing to climate change, the erratic fluctuations in temperature among different climate regions. Because greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere, countries are trying to use alternative energy such as water, solar, and wind power.1 Pollution control is an externality to governments, because the gains and costs will not result to the same generation.1 This is why a lot of governments choose to ignore climate change for the time being.

Pollution is especially a problem in India, a country that is rapidly developing and industrializing. In 2014 India’s supreme court voted to halt 214 coal mining concessions.2 This was because many people protested the mining, worried that the emissions would destroy their villages and nearby forests.2 President Modi was furious about this as it undermined his “Make In India” campaign – a pursuit to industrialize the country.2

How can developing countries decide between providing industrialization and wealth to their future generations and providing environmental safety?

Modi is the current president of India, a member of the BJP party. This is a very right-wing, Hindu nationalist party. His reign has drastically changed India’s economic and social welfare, as well as secular freedom. Modi’s election was substantial because it won over India’s more institutionalized party – the INC. For the future of environmental awareness, Modi may continue to ignore it and push for his industrialization to make India a more powerful country in the world theater.

 

1 J. Tyler Dickovick, Jonathan Eastwood, Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases (2013).

2 The Editorial Board, “India’s Environment at Risk.” The New York Times (October 1st, 2014) https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/02/opinion/indias-environment-at-risk.html

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