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Economy vs. Environment: An Ethical Debate

  • 11 Jun 2024
  • 2 min read

India is facing a multifaceted environmental crisis that is impacting the health and well-being of its citizens. Poisonous air pollution is pervasive across the country, significantly reducing life expectancy and contributing to a range of health issues. In Bengaluru, the severe water crisis is causing substantial hardships for residents, threatening their access to clean and safe drinking water. Meanwhile, the states of Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh are still grappling with the aftermath of devastating glacial lake outbursts and flash floods, which caused significant destruction and loss of life.

Despite the gravity of these environmental challenges, they remain secondary in the public discourse and political priorities, with livelihood concerns often taking precedence. This situation highlights a critical ethical dilemma: the tension between addressing immediate economic needs and prioritizing long-term environmental sustainability.

How should policymakers ethically balance the immediate economic and livelihood concerns of citizens with the pressing need to address environmental degradation that has long-term health and safety implications?

To what extent should private sector entities be ethically held accountable for contributing to environmental degradation, and what ethical frameworks can guide their responsibilities towards sustainable practices?

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