It is not Environment against Economy: Environment needs to be part of economic decisions.

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Tiistai 26.1.2021 klo 18:04 - Mikko Nikinmaa

In the age of Coronavirus Pandemic, the news has virtually nothing else now that Trump is not in the White House any more. In the news it is completely forgotten that environmental scientists warned about pandemics becoming ever increasing threat because of population growth and increased land use already 25 years ago (Daily, G. C., and Ehrlich, P. R. 1996. Global change and human susceptibility to disease. Ann. Rev. Energ. Environ. 21, 125–144). However, the link between environmental distraction and human diseases is rarely brought forward in media, although presently three quarters of new human diseases result from microbes being transferred from animals to humans.

Bradshaw et al. (Bradshaw et al. 2021. Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future. Front. Conserv. Sci. 1:615419. doi: 10.3389/fcosc.2020.615419) have recently written a perspective article about the environmental problems we currently have. The major point is that, although the scientific evidence clearly shows that the present environmental actions are not adequate to enable sustainable development, the political and economic circles still think that environmentalists are overblowing the problems. In fact, the populists everywhere have gained ground everywhere by saying that nothing needs to be done. As they say: “The predominant paradigm is still one of pegging “environment” against “economy”; yet in reality, the choice is between exiting overshoot by design or disaster—because exiting overshoot is inevitable one way or another.” Overshoot means that at present the planet’s resources are overused, human population is too big, and land use causes biodiversity decrease.

The economic and political circles are very worried about leaving monetary debt to future generations, although that is just numbers on databases, and can be cancelled if one so wishes. In contrast, environmental destruction can make life of future generations very difficult, yet policy makers do not think that the life of future generations needs to be thought about by carrying out environmental actions.

Avainsanat: climate change, biodiversity loss, economic growth

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