Environment for Beginners arrow Pollution Impacts on the Economy arrow What Does “the Cost of Doing Nothing” Mean?
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"We're in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyones arguing over where they're going to sit." - David Suzuki
 

What Does “the Cost of Doing Nothing” Mean?

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We saw that external costs exist and are related to pollution. In order to fight pollution, we need to invest capital to improve our equipment and repair the damages already incurred. Paying for these damages is unavoidable. Ignoring the problem only leads to an increase in natural catastrophes, drought, species extinction, disease, starvation, and an ever-growing worrisome list of problems.

In the case of global warming, money is needed to replace old industrial equipment and improve transport mechanics in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The idea is to invest in new technologies in order to avoid the costs that we face each and every day.

We often hear people say: “The cost of doing nothing will be greater”. This means that if we do not change our old habits, the consequences of everyday pollution will drastically affect the natural state of the planet. Therefore, repairing the damages later on will require much more time, money, and effort than what is presently needed. Unfortunately, the bulk of cost of cleansing the planet of the damages caused by gas emissions lies in our hands since we are the first generation to assume the responsibility.

 
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