Response to Buddhism in Japan

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The common idea today is that economic progress will inevitably cause environmental issues. However it is possible to have environmentally conscious as well as economically beneficial decisions  when people have to pay for environmental damage that they incur. I do think that economics have caused a disconnect with the natural world because money is what everyone needs to live and it is not always the most economically cheapest decision to go with what is environmentally beneficial. It may sometimes be hard to choose between the values that your religion taught you and making more money. Another example would be Hinduism in India. To Hindus, everything in nature has a divine presence and should be treated as such. However, India is one of the most rapidly growing countries in the world and has an economy that is booming. They have many practices that are damaging the planet in order to get ahead financially. 

I feel that economic well being is important to a point but then it becomes excessive. Everyone should have a basic standard of living but people do not need to replace their new phone every three months. There is a standard of living that needs to be met by everyone or else they will be more worried about surviving than the health of the planet. But if people cared less about materialistic things and more about the environment, I believe we would see an extremely positive impact. 

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3 responses »

  1. I think you make a great point that the most environmentally friendly decisions are not always the most economically lucrative. While this does create a divide between modern civilization and the natural world, I believe our society can help remedy this if people cut back on overconsumption and instead focus more on quality rather than quantity when it comes to their personal wellbeing.

  2. I just wrote my blog in response to the same prompt and I briefly mentioned ecological modernization. Upon reading your response, I think the ecological modernization theory definitely applies to what you are saying because it favors economic growth without environmental degradation. I definitely agree with you that we can also benefit from cutting back on our wasteful consumer culture. We can still progress without producing and consuming so excessively if we learn to use renewable resources and integrate more sustainable practices. Luckily, the idea of ecological modernization is growing in popularity among scientists, scholars and policymakers so I am optimistic that concern over the health of the environment will become intertwined with concern over the health of the economy.

  3. Your argument against the economy is good but where are the solutions? I would like to point out that the imbalance between economy and environment is a bigger issue in developed countries. We can’t lay as much blame on the people who cannot afford the most environmentally friendly or organic food for they are just trying to get by. Most people in undeveloped countries don’t even own smart phones. They do not contribute to the growing amount of electronic waste each year. It is clear that those with money and lack of principles must be reprimanded and trained. Now that we have pinpointed the party in the wrong, the tactics to amend their actions are narrowed down. Skillenlauren helps by suggesting ecological modernization. It is one of many methods that should be used in order to improve the future.

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