Environmental Economics – Pollution Control

Question: Why is the ‘ecological’ perspective important with regard to pollution control and what deficiencies of the traditional economic policy approach does it address?

Answer: The ‘ecological’ perspective is important with regard to pollution control because it focuses on changing production process to meet environmental efficiency, prevent pollution, and improve recycling and recovery as well as improves the efficiency of production (O’Rourke, Connelly and Koshland). Ecological perspective encourages just-in-time delivery system for industries, which in turn reduces cost of inventory and industrial wastage, which in turn reduces pollution. The ecological approach addresses essential requirements and organizes methodologies required to restructure industries to reduce environmental impact and pollution. It also gathers ideas and conceptualize ecological framework that industrial leaders, academia and government agencies use to design and implement better environmental platforms.

Unlike traditional economic policy, which is stuck in the context of innovating pollution control methods, ecological perspective offers transformational shift of pollution control methodologies towards a more robust and comprehensive policy design for environmentally friendly growth in industry. While traditional economic policy focuses on segments of environmental impacts as brought about by industrial development, ecological approach adopts a holistic scheme for redesigning industrial activities. It works on total transformation of industrial sectors to reduce environmental impacts. In traditional economic policy lacks integrity and strategic management in production of goods. It simple run manufacturing processes to produce goods by drawing raw materials and generating wastes to be disposed of (Frosch and Gallopoulos). On the other hand, the industrial ecosystem focuses on building an integrated and well developed process where manufacturing processes are optimized to reduce waste and the effluents of one process is utilized as the raw good for the other. It can be thought of as a cohesive process that integrates industrial processes, technologies and consumer behaviors you can read about this in the climate change essays.

Question: What challenges does the ecological approach face relative to the traditional economic policy approach?

Answer: Being a new perspective to environmental management, ecological approach faces many challenges, which traditional economic policy approach does not face (Garner and Keoleian). The findings of industrial ecology cannot be applied widely because of the gap exists between research and implementation in concrete political platform (Bringezu). There exists no monitoring tool for observing the mechanism of industrial metabolism across the whole country. The absence of adequate linkage between material flow and economic factors is also a problem that hinders widespread application of ecological approach. To develop an integrated approach that can achieve the goals of environmental cleanliness and pollution control, while retaining the productivity unaltered is highly challenging task that ecological needs to resolve. Proper education and policy development for bringing industrial revolution are two factors that ecological approach must consider to transform the traditional economic policy approach into an environmentally friendly approach. To reduce environmental burden and negative impacts that a useful industrial system introduce is highly challenging for an ecological approach. Being a holistic approach, it requires participation of many disciplines, which is sometimes difficult to arrange (Garner and Keoleian). Expertise from different fields such as engineering, law, economics, business, public health and natural resources are essential to solve many complex situation that ecological approach faces in resolving environmental complexities brought about by industrial activities. Balancing the technological changes with the changing consumer behaviors is one of the major challenges that ecological approach face as oppose to traditional economic policy approach.