The planet is not okay. Increasing temperature, melting ice, and dying nature lives is one of many examples that supported this argument. If humanity doesn't find a solution soon, these few generations may be the last of us. Ironically, people care more about gadgets that satisfy their wants than something they can't live with doesn't exist. For example, John won't die if he doesn't have a smartphone. But his grandchildren will never be born if there are no bees in the world.
So, all people from every part of society try to help in supporting our world. Engineers, economists, or even musicians call every possible individual to change their behavior to save this earth. Engineers scramble new ideas every day to create more eco-friendly machines, and musicians make hit songs to raise people's awareness. Economists, however, use a different direction as to how they help to save this planet.
Economists attempt to help policymakers to deduce an environmentally friendly policy by developing a new field of study: Environmental Economics. The effect of economic decisions on the environment can be digested before being implemented. So, the chances of programs to damage nature are drastically lowered using this subject. Therefore, utilizing environmental economics is one of the few steps to complement the new and greener inventions in many aspects of society.
Government Intervention Is Now Obligated
Economists attempt to help nature by providing a measurement tool: Environmental Economics. By using this, the environmental effect is visible before implementation. So, the chances of programs to damage nature are lower. So, utilizing environmental economics is one of the few steps to make a greener nation.
Furthermore, the view of government intervention has changed from the past. Back then, people believed that disrupting the market's usual flow would only interfere with the capital gained. Nowadays, People demand the governments put heavy emphasis on directing companies to use renewable resources.
As a result, every policy made by most governments is monitored not to destroy the environment. There are also exist many political parties with the primary mission to uphold a more eco-friendly environment in every aspect of the government. The idea of saving the earth is becoming more and more popular with each passing day. The question is: will the vision become a reality before the planet is inhabitable?
Allocating Resources Is a Powerful Instrument
Economics is the study of choices. A real economist will understand society's many aspects to formulate the best idea to allocate resources within limited options. The authority is also an economic organization. Therefore, it also partakes in economic activities. There are many ways the government can dictate the economy, but one of the many crucial tools governments possessed is subsidization.
“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.”
— Laurence J. Peter
The government may subsidize to reduce or increase the value of certain items. For instance, fossil fuels are the number one fuel because of their cheapness and easiness to use. A nation could subsidize renewable energy to cheapen fuel. The price of subsidized power will be below fossil fuels, and more companies will use it instead of regular fuels. The country could support consumer goods too, such as bicycles or buses. The ideas are there.
Yet, some people argued that subsidizing is a temporary solution to a permanent problem. If the cost of renewable fuels is lowered, many companies will use it to produce more items. Therefore, the resources used by the companies are increasing and will be gone even sooner. This notion is known as The Rebound Effect. Yes, this approach may not reduce pollution in this world in the long run. But this is one of the only strategies people have while waiting for a breakthrough.
A More Definitive Answer
The real power of the authority is the ability to regulate the supply and demand of its people. The iPhone wouldn't be a mainstream device if the USA wants it to be sold on its soil only. Therefore, supply and demand is the most influential theory in economics. The environment is also the by-product of supply and demand. Additionally, many absurd things are being traded in the market. Hence, there are many ways to change nature.
The government couldn't exceed a specific pollution generation limit for every year, but companies generate pollution to produce things. For the solution, the government sells a permit to contaminate. It sounds funny to ordinary people, but this approach has been receiving massive success in reducing carbon pollution. With this program, corporations know that they must use more efficient machinery to reduce waste unless they want to buy more permits.
Therefore, there are still uncountable ways to save the planet. Perhaps it will come from more efficient machinery, or it may come from discovering a more practical theory. Even the idea of living on another planet is being talked about shortly. There are still hopes of saving the world while still producing higher quality goods to satisfy people's endless needs.
Answering the Question
Environmental economics still has a long way to prove itself to be a key player in saving the planet. Throughout time, it has proven to be a solution and will most likely be so. But with globalization supporting development in every aspect of life, it is also too soon to call this subject a crucial matter. Only time will know the answer.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
© 2020 Azka Fariz Fadhilah