Essay Consequences of Environmental Regulations

Essay Consequences of Environmental Regulations

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Consequences of Environmental Regulations

 Pollution can be defined many ways.  The dictionary defines the act of polluting as:  “to make unhealthily impure.”  But what exactly does the word “unhealthy” imply?  Take, for example, a paper mill.  Trees are cut down to make paper.  In the act of making paper, the mill dumps byproducts into the water of a nearby lake; and spews smoke into the air.  The act of cutting down trees is unhealthy to the animals that use the forest as their habitat.  Dumping various toxins into the lake makes the lake unhealthy for swimming.  Smoke in the air causes local residents to cough.  These are some of the unhealthy effects of making paper.  However, consider what might happen if the government stepped in to regulate or shut down the plant.  Jobs would be lost.  Workers might be unable to put food on their tables. Their families might go hungry.  This is an example of making “unhealthily impure” what was once relatively pure.  However, this time it is the government creating the “pollution” not the paper mill.  This is an unnecessarily sentimental argument.  But, it proves a point.  One man’s pollution is another man’s job.

“A good example of this confusion occurred at public hearings on proposed air quality regulations for the State of Hawaii… The hearings dealt with a proposal to ban the burning of sugarcane in the fields in order to reduce the amount of smoke in the air and so to improve the environment.  However, opponents argued that this would also make it uneconomical to grow sugarcane in Hawaii because of the additional processing that would result.  One of the workers from the sugarcane fields pointed out that he lived near the fields, and the air he breathed had much more smoke i...

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...rom companies that specialize in such innovations.

Works Cited

Macaulay, Hugh H.  Environmental Use and the Market.  Lexington, Massachusetts:  Lexington Books,
Schmidheiny, Stephan.  Changing Course:  A Global Business Perspective on Development and the Environment.  Cambridge:  MIT Press, 1992.
Athanasiou, Tom.  Divided Planet:  The Ecology of Rich and Poor.  Boston:  Little, Brown and Company,
Oates, Wallace E.  “Economics, Economists, and Environmental Policy.”  Eastern Economic Journal
 XVI 4 (October – December 1990):  289-296.
Siebert, Horst.  Economics of the Environment:  Theory and Policy.  Berlin:  Springer, 1998.
Helm, Dieter.  Economic Policy Towards the Environment.  Oxford:  Blackwell, 1991.
Lesser, Jonathan A.  Environmental Economics and Policy.  Reading, Massachusetts:  Addison-Wesley,

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