Water, Air and Land
According to the classical economist David Ricardo, the drivers of food production such as water, air and land (WAL) are free gifts from nature. No one should have to pay any price to have them supplied, because they are produced and delivered by nature with no cost. However, modern economists argue that this idea helps only rent seekers, and that such natural resources are not truly free. The supply of land in a country is, after all, completely inelastic.
Humans benefit hugely from the services delivered by nature. However, due to an increasing population and the unlimited greed of human activities, limited natural resources are inhumanly exploited and are stressed. To protect nature, the majority of scientists have warned that some planetary boundaries have already been crossed and that sudden collapse is very near. Hence, a huge global debate is going on regarding how to protect, preserve and utilise natural resources in a sustainable way. These issues should be analysed, in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial crisis of 2008, and it should be considered whether our past development has addressed real needs. Father of modern linguistics Noam Chomsky underlined the fact on our Corona virus response that “ventilator shortage exposes the cruelty of neoliberal capitalism”. This seems to imply that, somehow, both nature and humanity are being ignored in the global development discourse.
The development approach following the five stages of growth, propounded by WW Rostow, is a move from agriculture to mass consumption through industrialisation and urbanisation. The five stages of growth has put quantity, quality and capacity of the WAL (water, air and land) at risk due to rampant modification of resources. At their current stress levels, they are unable to produce the services properly. The alarms that are being sounded on global warming, income inequality, and humanitarian crises are the result of materialistic greed. However, Brundtland Commission has ratified the development approach by underlining sustainable development. The Commission has given a huge importance to the environment. Sustainable development is understood as a combination of the three pillars of socio, economic and environmental development. So, limiting human strain on natural resources is the main area of concern to ensure the earth is able to fulfil increasing food demand by reducing stress on climate… CONTINUE READING
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