Environment for Beginners
Environment for Beginners


"The question is whether we're going to start taking the steps now to avoid the really big jumps that are in store if we don't do something now." - David Suzuki

How to Fight Pollution at a Minimal Cost?

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As explained in the text on pollution costs, the more we pollute, the higher the costs related to the damage. Since the money we make in one place is going to be lost somewhere else, it is to our disadvantage to pollute massively. The costs of the damages often exceed the general wealth we create by polluting. It is obviously crucial to our health but also economically beneficial to avoid a great amount of pollution.

There is a reasonable level we could reach in order to stabilize our ecosystem and optimize our effort. This point is reached when no serious harm is made to the environment, and when the costs of pollution and the investment made to fight it are roughly the same. Today, for example, the costs of the damages are much greater than the money we inject to fight global warming. If the investment was greater, we could lower gas emissions and consequentially slow down climate change. This way, we would avoid natural catastrophes that would be greater in cost then the profit we make by polluting.

We are not talking about eliminating pollution entirely because that would be very unrealistic, and simply not beneficial. We need to extract wealth from this planet in order to suit billions of people, and this cannot be done without polluting. After all, farms are also an important source of pollution. The main idea here is to exploit the resources without harming the balance of nature. Take transportation for example, the planet would not suffer global warming that much if only 50 million cars were running, instead of the estimated 600 million today.

There are approximately 600 million cars in the world
There are approximately 600 million cars in the world

Let’s pretend now that the planet can tolerate an equivalent of 50 million cars (it is just an assumption). Is it worth it for us to bring that number lower if it can tolerate 50 million cars without any problem? Let’s think about how much investment in other transportation it would take to drastically bring down the number to 1 million cars. In fact, that investment should be used in other areas where it would be easier to lower gas emissions, like in power stations.

There are approximately 600 million cars in the world. If we want to reduce the number to 300 million, the effort would be realistic and the result would be very good. We have already started by investing in green mobility which will reduce the equivalent number of cars running. A small amount of money invested to fight pollution would greatly reduce the damages, especially when pollution is strong.

On the other hand, if pollution is light, we would need a large amount of money to reduce it only a little. To reduce the number of cars running from 50 million to 1 million, the effort would be colossal but the reduction of pollution would be small (only 49 million cars less). Compared to the benefits of 300 million cars made with the hybrid system, it would be wiser to take that amount of money and invest it in an area where we can have a bigger impact.

There are several ways to eliminate 100 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and it is in our interest to choose the least expensive one in order to optimize the results. Investing in the development of a motor using harmless energy would be the right investment to do. People are not ready to stop using cars.

When we think about it, the amount we need to invest to eliminate pollution completely doesn’t have an end, and it wouldn’t be possible without seriously changing our way of life, which realistically speaking doesn’t interest most people.

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