Balancing Act: Environment vs Economy - Strategies for Success

Derek Ma Oct 26, 2023
7 People Read
Table of Contents
  1. Environmental Science: An Interdisciplinary Field
  2. Environmentalists and the Economy
  3. Environmental Vision
  4. Why I Started This Blog

We are at a crossroads.  Do we choose the economy or the environment?

For the past several decades, this has been a constant debate.  The economy and the environment always seem at odds with one another.

During different presidential administrations, we typically see years of either increased environmental regulations or environmental deregulation.  

For example, Democrat administrations tend to seek more and stricter environmental regulations and Republican administrations tend to seek more environmental deregulation and more rollbacks.  

However, this is not always the case.  For example, Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter were all considered environmentally progressive presidents.  However, of the three, only Jimmy Carter was a Democrat.

Nevertheless, the main point that I am trying to convey is that we are clearly not on the same page when it comes to environmental regulations. 

While there are valid points and arguments on both sides, we need to find a good middle ground.

Environmental Science: An Interdisciplinary Field

One of my favorite aspects of environmental science is that it is an interdisciplinary field.  This field involves studying elements of biology, chemistry, physics, social science, economics, and politics/policy.

It is important for us to take into account the social and economic impacts of environmental regulations.  

In a perfect world, we can ensure the complete protection of the environment while continuing to grow the economy.  

Since we do not live in this perfect world, the next best thing is to reach a suitable compromise or middle ground.  

However, this will be easier said than done.  Our politics have become more and more polarized.

One of my favorite articles I read during college also promotes this middle-ground approach, The Evolving Environmentalism.

Environmentalists and the Economy

While Republicans can be known for fighting for economic progress at the expense of higher environmental standards, Democrats and environmentalists are sometimes willing to sacrifice economic health for environmental quality.  

The traditional environmental agenda relies on greater bureaucratic control, regulations, and heightened paranoia over environmental problems.  

However, increased federal control and greater environmental regulations have only increased costs and solidified the fight between economic prosperity and the environment.

As more and more environmental regulations are imposed, the costs to society may eventually outweigh the benefits.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are numerous instances where environmental regulations and gains are well worth the costs.  

However, I don’t believe increasing environmental regulations can be a long-term solution.

There needs to be another way.

Environmental Vision

The authors of the paper, The Evolving Environmentalism, John Baden and Doug Noonan, believe that prosperity and environmental quality can go together.

They have a vision that stresses the harmony between environmental quality and economic well-being.  

A vision that includes the implementation of new strategies such as incentives and community-based, market-oriented trade-offs.

The rise of environmental entrepreneurs and sustainable businesses.  

The growth and expansion of B-corporations, Corporate Social Responsibility, Circularity, and the Triple Bottom Line.  

Why I Started This Blog

I truly believe that we vote through what we buy.  

Every dollar we spend is a vote toward a product, brand, and/or company.  

Together, as consumers, we have immense power and influence.

And with great power comes great responsibility.  I know, pretty cliche, but we do have a responsibility to this planet and to its future generations.

As the great American novelist Wendell Berry might say "We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; We borrow it from our children."

Please vote for sustainable businesses and help make this environmental vision a reality.

Sustainable businesses are one of the keys to creating harmony between environmental quality and economic well-being.

I am confident that this environmental vision will soon become a reality.  

People are becoming more and more socially and environmentally conscious.

I started this blog because of this vision and to help people find great sustainable businesses that deserve your vote.  

The question is, who will you vote for?

Table of Contents
  1. Environmental Science: An Interdisciplinary Field
  2. Environmentalists and the Economy
  3. Environmental Vision
  4. Why I Started This Blog