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Should developing countries prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict?

Asked by: msmith0126
  • Prioritizing environmental protection will bring economic development in the long-run.

    The world spends about 20% of its budget on the military, on "defense". A.K.A. Fighting countries for oil and sacrificing lives because we don't have sustainable energy. If we can spend at least 1/10 of that money, the earth could be saved. Environmental protection is keeping one’s physical, chemical and social surroundings from harm. The definition for environment includes the social and cultural influences on an individual and on a community. Unless that can be protected and kept from harm, a developing country can never become a developed country. The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson said that “Environmental protection is good for economic growth. Don’t get me wrong – environmental regulations are not free. But the money that’s spent is an investment in our country – and one that pays for itself. Cleaner car standards will mean 950 million tons of carbon pollution cut from our skies; $3000 in savings for each driver of clean cars, and $2.3 billion that can stay at home in our economy rather than buying oil from overseas.” Better environmental policies mean less usage of fossil fuels and more efficient use of energy and therefore efficient use of money. For example, a 2007 study by the Alliance to Save Energy said that if only all Christmas bulbs were replaced with LED bulbs, U.S. would save $17 billion dollars per one year. When fossil fuels and minerals deplete, sustainable energy will bring economic safety in the long-run. Merriam-Webster dictionary says that something sustainable is “able to last or continue for a long time.” Developing sustainable energy will bring economic opportunity in domestic land rather than depending on oil nations for power. Americanprogress.Org says that the American Clean Energy and Security Act can generate roughly $150 billion per year and about 1.7 million jobs. Resources extraction will cause resource depletion which will cause an economic downfall, but investment in environmental protection will protect the society in the future.

  • People over economy

    The trade-off developing countries get for their resources is usually money. They are participating in the global commodity chain. This is how they continue to exist in most cases so I am speaking specifically about countries that do this. The money the country does end up getting is not nearly enough to actually stabilize their economy and the vast majority goes to the small amount of rulers instead of the masses. Algeria is a perfect example. It extracts oil and has a lot of business, but the rulers take all the money. In the process of extracting, they pollute and destroy the environment. Now, 57% of the people of Algeria have no access to clean water and the vast majority of the country is poor. It is listed as one of the worst places to be born on earth. So the country valued resource extraction over protecting the environment and Its people are far worse off now than before. At least in poverty they had clean water rather than being poor and unhealthy. Its conditions like this that cause conflict rather than solving it.

  • YOLO, Holla For a Dolla!

    You see, there is only one earth. Developing countries are developing for the future. A future that may last for an infinite amount of time. If we plan only for the present, we lay a weak foundation for our future. If developing countries do not value the preservation of the environment, there will be no environment for their posterity.

  • We only have one planet

    We cannot let war, or any other human conflict be an excuse to forget we only have one planet. We cannot stand by as our planet dies. No more excuses. There needs to be a program where each country has a neutral environmental person in the UN so during times of war there can be negotiations of environment done even in the worst times of conflict.

  • We need change

    This is my debate topic. I know that the opposing side argues... "mankind" is so important. Well, if we don't protect the earth, there will be no mankind. We are in the largest extinction. YES, the largest in earth history. Why? Because humans are too busy with money and finding the most crap to help their economy

  • Block against- Silly Argument - The Environment is Expendable

    What a load of nonsense! How is the environment expendable? Once an animal or plant goes extinct, there is no bringing it back. Every year, 240 species go extinct about every year creating a problem called bio diversity lost (there are other names for it) which is when in the ecosystem, the different types of animals become less and less and they lose their food or survival needs completely collapsing the ecosystem. If we kept on causing oil spills like the Gulf incident killing the fish, it will cause the ecosystem to collapse (see how I used the same word again) and not only that, it will even affect the economy. Stocks in the fish market will fall and there would be losses of money that can amount to millions. Nature is not expendable, of course we need the resources, but it is sort of like killing the gooses that lays golden eggs. Bull**** to who ever wrote that argument.

  • Life over Death

    If we do not priortize environmental protection, then we will all be wiped from the earth soon. The human race as a whole is too dependent on resources such as oil and petroleum, what happens when they run out? Because they will run out.
    Because of the extraction of resources, such as oil, we are polluting the air with our extraction methods as well, as destroying our environment. If we destroy our environment then we will have no place to live to use the resources we extract. Its really simple, its just the reasons tacked onto it by people are complicated and useless.
    What would you rather, Living but without certain resources such as electricity and oil, of die because of our continual refusal to let go of our IPads and fancy luxury cars meanwhile the world around us (the natural world) is dying?

  • People will live for a longer period of time.

    Already, we know that our planet will run out of resources soon enough. If we allow all countries that are developing to use the amount of resources needed to become fully developed rather than paying attention to the environment, we won't have an environment to protect. Having become accustomed to extracting resources, we'll change as human beings once those resources run out and eventually our planet won't have life on it. Because us not prioritizing environment protection won't only affect humans, it'll affect all life. All because we didn't prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction.

  • Developing Countries Need to Find Better Solutions

    I do not see how just destroying much needed parts of nature to get temporary resources would help us. For example, in Nigeria, oil companies are destroying forests and wildlife just to harvest oil which a quarter of the product harvested is spilled into water such as the Niger Delta. The developing companies should ether enforce or create policies and laws to punish these companies or, better yet, get rid of the companies performing illegal and unjustified actions upon the poor people in the country. Plants and animals are going extinct from these companies like Shell or PetroChina. Another reason why developing countries should prioritize the environment is because it puts them in debt. Imagine, how all the companies cause all these issues in which the country must handle with their already weak economy. These "accidents" are not performed by the developing country, they are produced by the companies. All in all, the developing countries should prioritize the environment over resource extraction.

  • Without the Environment, We Won't Survive.

    It doesn't make since to destroy the environment for resources that will eventually disappear. People keep saying that humans come first. Well, if that's true, than we should try and take care of the things we rely on, especially since we want to make sure that future generations are able to survive. At the rate we're slaughtering Mother Earth with our deforestation, our over distribution of CO2, and our numerous chemical spillovers, our children will end up living on a planet that closely resembles Mars. If we actually believe that humans are more important then our HOME, WE deserve to go extinct, not all of the animals and plants that are jut trying to survive in the poisonous world that we have created. You on the opposing side argue that it will all grow back once the county is developed, but it WILL NOT HAPPEN. Once it is gone, it's gone unless we make a concentrated effort to remedy it. We only have one Earth, one that we are slowly destroying. If we don't get the ideal that "humans are more important" soon, it will be too late for everyone.

  • Humans are more important.

    Should we protect the environment? Yes. Definitely. Should we put the environment ahead of mankind? No. We are more important than the environment, and if we wish to survive, it is necessary for us to extract the necessary resources from the earth and, if we so choose, also have enough to make it easy to survive.

  • Developing Countries don't have a strong enough economy

    While supporting the environment is great, I can't see how developing countries are able to provide economic sanctions while trying to grow their economies. Most developing countries have a wealth of natural resources (oil, minerals, etc.), and sometimes you can't put economic restrictions on the ability to extract these resources. For developed countries, sure. Developing ones are too weak economically to comply.

  • Circle of Life

    The world as a whole is a vicious cycle that revolves around the environment as much as humans. Without trees, humans cant survive and by killing the environment you're simply killing yourself at the same time. By extracting resources you're killing off our already suffering planet and giving these countries a higher risk of becoming less developed

  • A country's main priority is to people.

    In underdeveloped nations, it is paramount to start your economy. If a country cannot stand economically, it cannot stand at all. If a country goes into complete poverty, it cannot defend from invaders or supply for its citizens. People are saying that it is important to protect the resources we rely on, but most resources are in plenty, or aren't relied on. Diamonds are a natural resource of income, and those have almost no use other than jewellery, and there are far too many alternatives to oil for us to rely on that which is extracted.

  • Medicine and World Starvation

    The term resource extraction defines anything that is taken out of the environment. This could include medical herbs, food and research & development necessities. Many people living in third world countries need these resources to survive. There are millions of people that are plagued with malnutrition and diseases. We can't simply deny the lives of innocent children and adults in the effort of saving a RENEWABLE resource. And let's not forget, these innocent children could very well help the environment in the future. Environmental protection seems futile and tiny compared to the ever growing numbers of the sick.

  • The resolution is simply too problematic to properly debate over this.

    The term developing countries is too conflicted. There is no true definition of the word, and also all you people have been forgetting that we are discussing developing countries. That means we're not talking about the UK, or the U.S.A. We are talking about places that have a lower living standard that developed countries, and the problem with that is the fact that is that these developed countries have decided which countries are developing. I negate the resolution, not because I think developing countries should prioritize resource extraction, but because the resolution is flawed.

  • A False Choice

    Depending upon the technology employed, it may permit resource rich developing countries to experience economic growth without any enduring or profound impact upon the ecosystem. The resolution speaks of environmental protection not maintaining pristine conservation or nature preserves. When the overall environment is safe, human development prevails over nature worship.

  • That which is gone can be replaced

    Should developing countries prioritize environmental protection? Certainly. However, spending millions on a faraway goal may cause instability. This is a developing country. The government desperately needs funds. Resource extraction is only one of the several ways to get money, but it is money that will eventually come back to protect the environment.

    Also, new advances may let people be sent to Mars and colonize the Moon. We will no longer need to act as if humanity will go extinct. Resource extraction, defined broadly, includes nuclear fuels and renewable energy in addition to woodcutting and coal mining.

    A famous Chinese proverb states that you should not give a single hair for a faraway ideal. This is true, for environmental protection will be achieved by the Environmental Kuznets Curve. While some companies may harvest resources badly, there are much more environmentally-friendly ways of resource extraction than conventional fracking and the like.

    Why do people think every species is valuable? Extinction is a natural process, and there are usually many species performing the same function in an ecosystem. While the demise of one may be a harbinger of doom, it is most likely a warning to step your act up. A single extinction usually doesn't have widespread consequences.

  • That which is gone can be replaced

    Should developing countries prioritize environmental protection? Certainly. However, spending millions on a faraway goal may cause instability. This is a developing country. The government desperately needs funds. Resource extraction is only one of the several ways to get money, but it is money that will eventually come back to protect the environment.

    Also, new advances may let people be sent to Mars and colonize the Moon. We will no longer need to act as if humanity will go extinct. Resource extraction, defined broadly, includes nuclear fuels and renewable energy in addition to woodcutting and coal mining.

    A famous Chinese proverb states that you should not give a single hair for a faraway ideal. This is true, for environmental protection will be achieved by the Environmental Kuznets Curve. While some companies may harvest resources badly, there are much more environmentally-friendly ways of resource extraction than conventional fracking and the like.

    Why do people think every species is valuable? Extinction is a natural process, and there are usually many species performing the same function in an ecosystem. While the demise of one may be a harbinger of doom, it is most likely a warning to step your act up. A single extinction usually doesn't have widespread consequences.

  • Environmental Kuznets Curve

    In the long run, the best way to protect the environment is for a country to develop. According to the Kuznets curve theorem, as a country develops its level of development and the pressure it puts on the environment form an upside down hyperbolic function. Basically, at first it will cause damage to the environment as it develops, but then after it reaches a certain point where it is economically, politically, and technologically advanced enough it begins to repair the damage it did, and then is able to sustain itself from that point onward without doing damage to the environment.


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