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Cost Of Growth


The relationship between every growing economy and its effects on various ecosystems is a complex one. Economic growth based only on the exploitation of natural resources and ecosystem services will reduce opportunities for increasing growth and prosperity in the long term. Natural resources that are taken care of and maintained in a sustainable manner provide the best basis for every economic growth. 

At some point, the benefits of growth can be overshadowed by its negative effects. Owing to the evolution of geographic relations, the physical environment favorable to one stage of development may be adverse to another, and vice versa. 

Rapid economic growth and the resulting changes in consumption patterns can drastically change the nature and scale of impact on the Earth's environment and natural resources. 

There is no need for conflict between growth and the environment, but this is too often the case if environmental issues are not planned and maintained properly. If growth is achieved at the cost of the natural resources on which every area dependent for their livelihoods, growth can frustrate the goal of prosperity and destroy the healthy progress of whole community.

Since progress in civilization involves an increasing exploitation of natural advantages and the development of closer relations between a land and its people, it is an erroneous idea that man tends to emancipate himself more and more from the control of the natural conditions forming at once the foundation and environment of his activities. On the contrary, he multiplies his dependencies upon nature; but while increasing their sum total, he diminishes the force of each. There lies the gist of the matter.

We need a form of development which takes place within the framework laid down by nature, and not at the expense of nature and the environment.


Maya Gavric, entrepreneur, consultant, realtor, freelance writer, web developer, artist and marketing coach has been working, researching and reporting on the Internet for years. Her numerous articles offer valuable insight and tips on wide variety of topics. In recent times she has paid particular attention to knowledge management on the Internet and environmental problems, exploring how our attention to hot issues might best transform current situation into better practice.

The "Cost Of Growth" reprinted with permission.

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What You Should Know
A correct measure of economic growth must include the costs of various types of wear and tear on roads, factories and other facilities, as well as the cost of consuming and polluting natural resources.
In rich countries as well as poor ones, the actual rate of economic growth can be significantly lower than that shown in conventional economic models, such as GNP.
Certain costs, such as the pollution of air and water, consumption of various natural resources (like wetlands, fish, forests, soil, etc) are not included in the GNP calculations.
Everywhere old and new forms of life live side by side in deadly competition but the later improved variety multiplies and spreads at the cost of less favored types.