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The Environmental Values of Industrial Nations and Native Societies - Essay Example

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The Environmental Values of Industrial Nations and Native Societies The environmental values of any given society are always influenced by the dominant economic, political, and cultural factors. These cannot be detached and considered as independent of the social system in place…
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The Environmental Values of Industrial Nations and Native Societies
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Download file to see previous pages Man’s relationship with nature and his environment has always been stimulated by his economic interests and dictated by political decisions. This can be proven by just studying the distinctive characteristics of the values adhered to by industrial and native societies. The industrialized countries of the world today are generally societies with capitalist economic backbones. Capitalism is a system that thrives on the drive of private businesses to utilize the earth’s resources to derive profits. It is basically incidental that such business interest also results in the satisfaction of consumerist demands. In fact, it is because of the interest of profits that prompt businesses to create demands from consumers. As industries owned by private businesses try to create wealth and as the consumers demand for more, the requirement for the massive exploitation of sources of energy, of above-ground and underground land resources and minerals, as well as aquatic resources becomes an imperative. Industrial and capitalist countries tend to set aside environmentalist concepts to make way for economic activities that would satisfy business and consumerist interests. Consequently, this resulted to wanton disregard of the well-being of the environment. However, environmental degradation is not only brought about in the process of the capitalist society’s aim to produce more wealth. The products and production wastes have also resulted in pollution. This is the reason why, globally, it is the industrialized nations that are the major exploiters of natural resources and are, at the same time, the worst polluters. There are sectors in industrial societies though which have seen the necessity to introduce protection for the environment. To some extent, these have compelled their respective governments to introduce regulatory policies in favor of the environment. However, “government agencies and ministries concerned with economic growth … usually have more power and influence on government policy than the ministry concerned with the environment… these agencies generally argue against strict environmental laws and regulations on the grounds that such policies reduce economic growth” (Desai 2002, p.374). In many cases, the government is beholden to business groups, which is why environmental policies by the state are oftentimes inadequate. The treatment of the environment by native societies is very much in contrast to that of the industrial countries. Native populations are generally more conscious about taking care of the environment. They make sure that the resources are not overused or abused while at the same time relying on the environment for their basic needs. Unlike in industrial countries, there are no big capitalists in native societies, which mean that all semblances of production are not at all profit-driven. Instead, the utilization of resources, which may have an effect on the environment, is a result of man’s need for food, clothing, and shelter. However, it is true that the respect and the protection of the environment and its resources can oftentimes be brought about by religious or superstitious beliefs. According to Robert Brightman, “rather than inhibiting overkill, religious definition of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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