Environmental Problems in Developing Nations
The current environmental problems in the developing countries comprise air, water and soil pollution as well as loss and degradation of the forests. These environmental problems are linked to two major factors. First, underdevelopment problems. These problems includes overgrazing, cutting down of trees for fuelwood, poverty, squatter settlements and unprotected water supplies. Secondly, engagement in activities aimed for economic development. This includes activities such as pesticides residues, fertilizer run-off, urban sewage discharge, effluents from industries and others. However, the two above factors goes against the opinion of many environmentalists on the causes of the developing countries environmental problems. Majority of the environmentalists argue that the environmental problems in the developing cannot be understood without looking at the relationship between the developing world and the developed nations. It is out of this argument whereby this paper will discuss how the relationship between developed countries and third world countries has contributed to the environmental problems in the latter. To answer the above statement this essay use several readings that had the similar opinion about the third world environmental problems. For example, Ward & Mahowald (2014, p. 4) argues that if the developed world do not take necessary steps to reduce polluting emissions to the atmosphere it will be for the benefit of the less developed world. This is because the smaller carbon space will be reserved to cater development needs of the growing economies. It is amazing to notice that the emissions of gases in the developing world is for the survival reasons while the developed economies emit gases for lifestyle reasons. This essays goes further to establish the United Sates has refused to reduce its pollution activities unless the developing nations adopts the same approach.
Less developed nations and the developed economies do not belong in the same class and therefore they cannot be grouped in the same category. The contribution to the environmental problems by the third world countries is justifiable. However, for the developed nations it is totally unjustifiable. According to Baek , et al. (2012, p. 6) developed nations operates with the policy of “we the first to arrive here, so it is our right to keep what we have, while those arrived late must live with what they have for the sake of safeguarding earth form environmental problems.” Even though these are not the exact words of the developed nations, their actions can be linked to the above statement. Again, it is unforgettable that historically developed nations have had the responsibility on the global environmental challenges as well in less developed nations (Ward & Mahowald, 2014, p. 2). However, the developed nations has given this a blind have shifted the burden to the growing economies.
Additionally, the developed nations have largely focused current environmental problems ignoring the source of stockpile of emissions already in the atmosphere. The existing inequity between the developed world and the developed cannot be relied upon to solve environmental problems in in the third world countries. This problem can be eliminated by keeping aside the principle equity for the interest of humanity living the third world countries (Flower, 2013, p. 250). This will call for forgoing luxurious lifestyle, consumption and energy intensive based production and other modern aspirations for the benefit of the developing nations.
Several studies have concluded that big disparities in the ecological footprint contributed by poor and rich countries on the global environment comes from the differences in consumption. The author notes that the expensive lifestyle of the rich nations is maintained by the large unrecognized debts that have continued to build up in the poor nations. According to Richard Norgaard, an ecological economist at the University of California, rich nations have developed and continue to develop at the expense of the poor nations (Ward & Mahowald, 2014, p. 2). As a result developed nations owes a huge debt to the less developed nations.
The World Bank and the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment research found the developed nation’s environmental externalities are concentrated on six key areas: upgrading mangrove swamps into shrimp farms, over-fishing, deforestation, agriculture, ozone layer depletion and greenhouse gas emissions (Ward & Mahowald, 2014, p. 5). These areas are the major causes of environmental problems in the less developed nations. This makes it clear that the environmental challenges in third world countries are directly linked to the actions of the rich countries.
As discussed in the above paragraph, the rich countries environmental externalities are intensified in the host country where manufacturing is be carried on. For example, the agricultural failures and deforestation are severe in the host countries than in the home countries of the rich nations. Similarly, there is huge disparity ozone depletion and climate change in the poor countries than in the developed nations. Surprisingly, greenhouse emissions by the developing countries has been much lower compared to the developed nations (Baek , et al., 2012, p. 12). This excessive damage by the rich nations has had adverse effects on the poor economies such as severe storms and flooding as result of the climate change.
Similar studies, show that emissions of CFC from the rich countries have contributed to the notable damage to the poor nations. These emissions have destroyed ozone layer leading to the increased ultraviolet levels. In return they have contributed effects of eye problems and skin cancer have increased the healthcare costs (Ward & Mahowald, 2014, p. 7). Environmental destruction due to climate change caused by the poor nations is huge injustice shifted to the poor nations.
Rich nations again, exploit environment through various economic activities. However, they do not take appropriate measures to pay the damage they cause to the environment. It is evident that the rich nations have amassed a lot of wealth as result on industrial development that has that has become the major sources of all types of products. The rising of industries in the developing nations has forced them to internationalize their operations by shifting them to the developing nations (Morelli, 2011, p. 7). This has led to increase in air pollution, discharge of poisonous chemicals into rivers and reduced forest cover. At the end, the developing environmental problems keep increasing when combined with the already historical contribution of the rich nations.
Some of the wealth nations such as Canada, Germany, France, Britain, USA and China sells industrially produced goods to the world markets and earn billions of dollars (Ward & Mahowald, 2014, p. 2). This happens at the expense of the global nature as well the poor nations in the developing world. From the ongoing debate that has been going on in the past two decades which on reduction of the carbon emissions it is still a hot debate. Both the rich and the poor nations have been blaming one another on which side should the first one to greenhouse gas emission. However, given that rich nations have contributed to the destruction of the environment more than the third world countries they should the first ones to reduce carbon emission activities.
Research indicates the industrialized nations have been able to develop because they engaged on polluting activities long before and their impacts are being felt today (Sagar, et al., 2012, p. 12). From the perception of the poor countries, rich nations become wealth at their expense. This because they started contribution to their environmental destruction even they could start economic activities that could contribute destruction to the atmosphere. Today, the reason why Africa, Asia, South America and other developed nations are experiencing worst infectious diseases, prolonged droughts, intensified water scarcity and heightening water scarcity is because of the environmental injustices they were inflicted to them by the rich nations in the past. This is unfair play because the developing nation have never had an opportunity to burn fossil fuels in large quantities yet they are the ones suffering from environmental destruction than the rich nations.
Single handedly, the United States has been largely blamed for being the major destroyer of the environment and failing to responsibility to compensate for the externalities it causes to the poor nations (Ward & Mahowald, 2014, p. 6). From the perspective of morality and ethics the United States should take responsibility of paying for the environmental damage it causes. Nations in the developing have for centuries suffered from natural diseases and disasters. However, whether poor or rich no country will be spared from ever increasing global warming problem. Therefore, it is the high the rich nations to take the lead in correcting and rectifying their mistakes.
Rich countries should focus on amassing their wealth the notion that their contribution to the environmental problems will not affect the poor nations alone. They will also be victims in the sense that they will suffer the same problems as the poor. Even though their the severity of the impacts may not be the same in the short run but in the long runs things might find themselves the major victims. According to Sagar, et al. (2012, p. 9) there is no need for the man to live lavishly by spending a lot of money for comfortable living at the expense of destruction environment.It is the right time for the developed world to change its mode of economic activities to end their competition towards environmental destruction. The difference between the poor and the rich nations jets in when control mechanism to avoid or reduce man-made disaster natural calamities comes into play. Developed nations have the right and suitable strategies to protect their natural resources. On the other side, poor nations will end up struggling with the situation. Therefore, at the end of the day the poor nations will be disadvantaged because they will be the ones to bear the ill effects of environmental damages.
Saving earth from environmental destruction is the responsibility of the whole world. However, rich nations have been the key destroyers and should be in the front line in ensuring the damages they cause are rectified. The increase of global warming has destroyed agricultural produce, caused cold waves and freak storms and extreme temperatures. If the developed world do not take quick and appropriate steps to end this menace, ice caps will continue melting drastically and with time sea levels will increase beyond uncontrollable levels. Majority of the rich nations have resources to cater for their environmental destruction they cause to their nations. However, for the poor nations it will be a mountain to climb. As result developing world will suffer from disasters and floods as the result of the rich countries actions.
The rich countries are obliged to pay the external damage they have been causing for the rest of the word. Failure to do so, they stand to sacrifice apart from the resources they use to rectify the remedy at their own nations. Sagar, et al. (2012, p. 16) noted that if the world undergoes through irreversible changes, the effect will not befall to the poor countries alone but also by the whole mankind on the earth. Scientists and environmentalist have continued to caution rich nations on the issue of global warming. However, the developed world have given them cry a deaf ear forgetting that they (rich nations) have contributed largely to the environmental destruction. Besides, rich nations have technological and scientific advancements at the expense of environmental destruction. Therefore, they should take the responsibility of paying for the destruction they cause in the developing world.
Environmental damage in the developing world has been as the result of the selfish rich nations. Instead, of focusing on benefiting each country the developed world has locked the developing in the battle for resources. The cost the poor nations are paying as the result of this battle are unmanageable. The increasing global has hampered livelihood and productivity in the poor countries. It is unjustified for the rich nations to stand and watch the developed nations struggle the effects of the climate change. Developed world has the moral responsibility to pay for the damages they cause and stand for what is right. Developing nations have endured suffering from loss of their livestock, lives and damage of their homes because of freak weather conditions caused by the wealth nation. Poor nations are badly treated because of the obstinacy of the developed world admit that the price of reducing and preventing ecological damage should be dealt with according to the contribution of each nation. The nations that contribute large proportion to the ecological damage should pay more if the principle of justice and fairs are the aspects to go by.