Environmental damage is a consequence of many factors including, industrialization, natural hazards and population growth among others. However, the primary cause of environmental damage can be attributed to improvements in standards of living. This paper discusses how enhancing one’s living standards leads to environmental damage.
Living standards refers to the level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to a given geographic area (“Standard Of Living Definition,” n.d.). Economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and social indicators such as infrastructure, health, education, culture, employment and environment are used to measure the standards of living.
The rise in living standards has contributed in our disregard for the environment, we do not care about our environment all we think about is to improve our status. Natural resources are exploited a lot to meet the increasing demand for energy; this is so because as income levels increase many people now prefer to travel in their own vehicles. Over exploitation of natural resources has resulted in scarcity and environmental damage in the end since the place where the resources are extracted is disturbed. Extraction of fossil fuels such as coal and oil emits huge amounts of greenhouse gases when burnt that destroy the ozone layer (“Expressing concern: Environmental Damage VS Rise in standard of Living”, n.d.).
Livelihoods are directly dependent on natural resources, therefore as human beings continue to pursue different ways of improving their livelihoods the environment has suffered a lot. In order to improve their living standards, people have started companies and factories that are degrading the environment by discharging wastes directly into water bodies.
It is evident that rise in living standards affects the environment negatively. However, sustainable use of natural resources lessens the damage done to the environment. Strict rules and regulations can be enforced to ensure sustainability.