Alternative Society – Concern for the Environment

Perhaps readers may think that my previous discussions on the Alternative Society are becoming a bit too abstract. Unfortunately, I cannot avoid that. The main purpose of these discussions is to prepare readers for the description of the Alternative Society. However, I would like to assure readers that I will keep theoretical discussions and references to an absolute minimum in this blog.

There is however a practical aspect to my visions on the Alternative Society. This is the environment. This will be the subject of the next entry. In this entry I would like to announce the creation of a new section called – Alternative Society – Concern for the Environment. In this section I would like to discuss what I see as the main contradictions within our current society with regards to the environment.

I would say that presently many in Malaysia has little regard for the environment. I think only very few exhibit a genuine concern for topics like deforestation, environmental degradation and other matters relating to the environment.

I think that this is very, very unfortunate as the welfare of everybody in the society and arguably the existence of the society itself depends on the environment. If my memory is correct, the old civilizations in Mesopotamia (present day Iraq) collapse due to environmental degradation. And historians have argued that the old Angkor kingdom (in Cambodia) collapsed also because of environmental degradation.

Unfortunately the awareness of people on environmental issues are either lacking or jaded. For example, many think that there is a trade-off between environmentalism and economic growth. The truth is, there is no such thing. In fact, environmentalism and economic growth goes hand in hand. This can be made clear by thinking that the environment is a crucial factor of production. If people let the environment to be degraded, then ultimately these will lead to the degradation of the inputs that will be used to produce goods and services – in the end people will get inferior products. In addition, if people destroy the environment, they are actually harming their potential markets. After all, polluted air and contaminated water can and do make people sick – and people are the market for goods and services.

And such are the issues that will be discussed in this section.

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