Poverty and Its Effects in the Environment

By   |  August 26, 2009

With all the emergence of the state-of-the-art information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as cellular phones and high-speed computers, I highly believe that people around the world are somewhat already aware enough of the environmental havocs that are happening nowadays. I believe that they already know what they ought to do and that, what they should do is to take actions to prevent, if not to stop, these phenomena. However, if this is what I believe in, how come we don’t experience a great restoration of our Mother Earth until now? Stated otherwise, how come it is the other way around? Without surrendering my belief, I must say that there is something that hinders humankind in their moves to recondition their only home in the vastness of the universe. That something, without a doubt, is but poverty…the main suspect that greatly affects the environment.

Poverty is termed as deprivation, or a lack of access to food, shelter and safe drinking water. It is the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support. It is then the state of being poor, the lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts. With these definitions, we can say that poverty is the insufficiency of human’s basic needs (which include money) as well as his/her needs for contentment. We may then imply that in a situation where insufficiency of resources is present, people tend to do things that they don’t normally do for subsistence. In the long run, these “non-normal” things would possibly become usual if not be averted so soon.

In relation to reality, these “non-normal” things that became normal are the harmful steps that we do to nature. Activities such as logging and construction of deadly waste-producing factories are the best examples of these. They became as usual as they are for the reason that humans depend on them too much. Humans believe these things would bring them lots of bucks in their pockets for sustaining their basic needs. They believe its products would lead them to a new world full of ease and coziness. Yes, what they believed in fortunately became true. But in spite of this, even though they realize the fact that as they head towards what they deem to be a utopia, they are gradually being pulled down to hell at the same time, they don’t mind it and continue to do as if nothing had threatened their very existence. They disregard that what they do bear a lot of negativities. They disregard the fact that logging would lead to the alarming loss of flora and fauna which may become cures for certain diseases such as the AIDS which is incurable so far. They ignore that the factories they build would pollute the rivers and groundwater which would eventually result to the shortage of potable water. They just think of ways and means to get themselves away of the poverty they are presently experiencing.

On the other hand, excessive hunting, using of inorganic pesticides, burning of forests, dynamite fishing and the like, bear possibilities of becoming normal if intensively patronized. These are somehow the results as well of poverty and the things that greatly shape our environment in a distorted figure. If humans would continue doing these acts for the reason that these are the lone solutions of uplifting their social statuses, then the world would turn into its ugliest form. Extinction of plant and animal species would happen, soils, air and water would be severely contaminated, and global warming would be a serious threat to each and every one of us.

Stating these points would let us conclude that poverty is the root of the prime activities that cause detriment to the environment. It has been the greatest contributor of our nature’s deterioration and the agent that terribly distracts the once quiet and harmonious cycles of Mother Earth. It seems like in our attempt to heal the wounds of our natural world, the first step to take must be the “evaporation” of poverty. That is the heart of all harm; hence, it must be the one to be shut down first. However, knowing the fact that our natural resources are limited and that we, human beings are competitive in nature, striving to satisfy ourselves, this easy-to-say solution is undeniably an impossible-to-do thing.

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5 Comments on “Poverty and Its Effects in the Environment”  (RSS)

  1. i know poverty is becoming wide and rapidly grows. how shall we make it Ugandans in our corrupt ctry?

  2. I agree with Jess on this one, in that you seem to be putting those suffering from poverty at fault. In modern economics, it is true that developed countries will not allow the “big businesses” to carry out activities that are detrimental to the Environment, so they are left with two choices if they want to continue operating and making money. First, they can implement expensive environmentally clean and aware techniques and technologies, such as properly cleaning tainted water used in chemical production before re-introducing it into local rivers. Or secondly, they can cut the costly environmentally aware methods, by simply move their business to some unknown developing country, whose government will quickly welcome foreign exchange and job opportunities at the cost of the environment. Taking your example of logging to note, the poor that work in this industry simply wish to work and survive, whereas the business wants to maximize profits. If they implemented environmentally friendly methods then that would only have a negative effect on profits, but it would in actuality provide more work in the developing country. So blaming the poor for the effects is without good reason as they are even sometimes referred to as the ultimate recyclists and the minority that make up the rich as the least efficient and most wasteful people on earth.

  3. so your all ideas are tenuous since poverty help in enviromental concervation because poor people have no means for over utilization

    your assumtion is some how right but poverty can lead to under utilization of resorce and that’s why poor people leave in good enviromental places

  4. Your assumptions in this article seem to go too far for my taste. The institution of logging for example, has been around before poverty was even an issue. Mankind has always cut down forest in order to create other things, from the simple campfire to a small village, to the logging industry itself. Its simply expanded with time, as all things regarding mankind has. Giving alternative solutions would likely make your argument stronger, yet choosing deforestation as a connection to poverty is tenuous at best. In addition, the impoverished don’t create these “deadly waste producing factories”. Business entrepreneurs who have the capital to do so create these factories, and the poor may work at them. This doesn’t mean that the impoverished are actively choosing to partake in activities that have a negative effect on the environment, rather, they are simply cogs in the machine that produces waste material that is harmful to the environment. Your overall argument essentially falls flat.

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