Anti-Environmental- Response to Round 5, Prompt 1

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Those who agree with the view shared by Berliner and the “If I wanted America to Fail” video have an inherently flawed and short-sighted worldview. Though Berliner’s point that nature’s intrinsic value is different for everyone is correct, it is not a sufficient argument for advocating environmental destruction. Regardless of individual’s perceived value of nature and the environment, advocates of a purely free market do not realize that their ideal societal model is destined to fail. A shift to clean and renewable energy would have a significant upfront cost, and a drastic change in “business as usual”, but this is not necessarily bad.

If the free market prevailed, the economy would indeed benefit in the short term. However, continuing current practices ensures that there will be no resources for future generations- all the oil will have been used up, the soil will be eroded and degraded so much that it cannot support life, and all the minerals will have been stripped out of the earth. So while business may temporarily boom, no more will the “loggers continue to log, and the miners continue to mine.”

Shifting the economy to run on renewable energy has nothing to do with guilting Americans or running on “windpower and wishes.” Supporters of the pure free market model are those who stand to benefit the most from it,  while all of America stands to benefit from switching to clean energy. It is not possible to find a middle ground in this issue, as supporters of fossil fuel are primarily oil companies, natural gas companies, and coal mining companies, all of which will definitely take huge hits in company profits without consumers using their products. A free market system will certainly be the basis of a renewable future, though maybe not the future oil companies desire. It is not possible to reconcile the profit objectives of fossil fuel companies and clean energy, but the economy will certainly benefit in the long term from a sustainable future. 

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2 responses »

  1. Hi there. I really enjoyed reading your response as I chose to reply to the same prompt. I just wanted to say that I definitely agree with you that shifting the economy to focus more on renewable energy instead of fossil fuels has nothing to do with making Americans feel guilty. The market for sustainable products is growing right now, and is estimated to continue growing, therefore, the economy will benefit immensely from products that are produced in an environmentally friendly way as well as the companies that produce them. One step further that we also agree on is that ALL Americans will benefit along with the environment so there’s no reason not to pursue these endeavors.

  2. Fortunately, what we have seen in the last decade with oil prices going through the roof is that it makes economical sense to run on clean energy. As fossil fuels are getting more expensive and technology improving, we see our cars are getting cheaper and running on less fuel than ever before. In fact for the first time ever big manufacturers like Nissan and Chevrolet have come out with electric vehicles. The next generation of top-end sports cars are going to be hybrid as well.

    What we’ve seen with the increase in our energy costs is that it makes economical sense to use clean energy. People will want wind turbines and solar panels because it will actually save them money, and saving the environment is icing on the cake.

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