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Economic growth leads to an increase in technology and awareness helps the environment

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Economic growth leads to an increase in technology and awareness helps the environment

Anderson 04 (Terry, Executive Director of the Political Economy Research Center (PERC), in Bozeman, Montana and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, “Why Economic Growth is Good for the Environment”, Apr 29,
Hansen's essay concludes on an optimistic note, saying "the main elements [new technologies] required to halt climate change have come into being with remarkable rapidity." This statement would not have surprised economist Julian Simon. He saw the "ultimate resource" to be the human mind and believed it to be best motivated by market forces. Because of a combination of market forces and technological innovations, we are not running out of natural resources. As a resource becomes more scarce, prices increase, thus encouraging development of cheaper alternatives and technological innovations. Just as fossil fuel replaced scarce whale oil, its use will be reduced by new technology and alternative fuel sources. Market forces also cause economic growth, which in turn leads to environmental improvements. Put simply, poor people are willing to sacrifice clean water and air, healthy forests, and wildlife habitat for economic growth. But as their incomes rise above subsistence, "economic growth helps to undo the damage done in earlier years," says economist Bruce Yandle. "If economic growth is good for the environment, policies that stimulate growth ought to be good for the environment." The link between greenhouse gas emissions and economic prosperity is no different. Using data from the United States, Professor Robert McCormick finds that "higher GDP reduces total net [greenhouse gas] emissions." He goes a step further by performing the complex task of estimating net U.S. carbon emissions. This requires subtracting carbon sequestration (long-term storage of carbon in soil and water) from carbon emissions. Think of it this way: When you build a house, the wood in it stores carbon. In a poor country that wood would have been burned to cook supper or to provide heat, thus releasing carbon into the atmosphere. McCormick shows that economic growth in the United States has increased carbon sequestration in many ways, including improved methods of storing waste, increased forest coverage, and greater agricultural productivity that reduces the acreage of cultivated land. Because rich economies sequester more carbon than poor ones, stored carbon must be subtracted from emissions to determine an economy's net addition to greenhouse gas emissions. McCormick's data show that "rich countries take more carbon out of the air than poorer ones" and that "the growth rate of net carbon emission per person will soon be negative in the United States." Put differently—richer may well be cooler. Global-warming policy analysts agree that greenhouse gas regulations such as those proposed at Kyoto would have negative impacts on the economy. Therefore, as McCormick warns, we should take great care that regulations in the name of global warming "not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."

Growth bad – enviornment

Economic growth kills the environment. Proven by China.

Toward Freedom 09 (Frank Joseph Smecker, “What China's Economic Growth Means for the Global Environment”, May 21,
As China's economy grows, the nation is demanding the use of more fossil fuels to power its infrastructure as well as an increase in privately owned vehicles. More land is needed to make room for supporting industry and business, and according to Han Deqiang "When Wal-Mart goes to Gweiyang or Beijing, say, they knock out, in an instant, four or five department stores,"(4) directly conducing to job loss. Although China manufactures more than half of the world's electronics and low-cost products, at what expense does the natural environment we live in have to pay? And in the name of expedience and modernity, how far will China continue to foment negligent economic growth? Despite ostensible reports of progress, China is projected to follow a path that will make them the world's leading greenhouse-gas emitter by 2020- this is just one of the myriad environmental repercussions due to China's economic expansion that will undoubtedly fare ill for the entire global population if continued. It is obvious that China has adopted similar methods the U.S. has implemented to further private enterprise, industry development, and economic growth. But as we have learned time and again here in the states, the GDP may go up while the quality of life goes down, e.g. private investors have cashed in on insurance claims immediately after hurricane Katrina; meanwhile, the nation's GDP can go up while thousands of families are left homeless and a city remains in shambles. Another example is urban sprawl - a condition in which the nation's GDP swells upward at the expense of environmental degradation and community disengagement: for every dollar spent at a corporate retailer 15 cents is automatically reinvested back into the community, whereas every dollar spent at an independent local retailer 45 cents is automatically reinvested back into the community.(5) Another stifling fact: in 2000, lucrative sales for the top 200 corporations were eighteen times the combined income of the more than 1.2 billion people living in abject poverty.(6) So much for "democratic" Free trade.

Economic growth is bad for the environment.

Hamilton 03 (Clive, executive director of The Australia Institute, “The greenback effect: economic growth polluting the environment”, Sept 19,
Improvements in the environment do not follow naturally from more economic growth. Keeping pollution and toxic wastes relatively low and reducing them further requires an unceasing battle against the effects of economic growth. Laws requiring cars to have catalytic converters made a big difference, but most experts believe that the sheer growth in the volume of cars is now starting to offset the benefits of better technology. Urban air pollution is expected to begin to rise again. Things will become worse unless environmentalists and the citizenry in general insist on even tougher standards. It will not just happen as incomes rise, not least because tougher standards will be met with vigorous opposition from corporate interests. Even the small step on the path to reducing greenhouse gases represented by the Kyoto Protocol has been fought by powerful vested interests. The governments of the US and Australia have done all they can to sabotage any agreement. Perhaps Bjorn Lomborg would like to nominate the level of national income at which he expects Australia and the US to abandon their opposition to the Kyoto Protocol.

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