Eco-Living Magazine

Environmental Regulations, Public Health, and the Economy

Posted on the 23 September 2011 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Environmental Regulations, Public Health, and the EconomyThe first Five Friday Facts of the month centered on the economic impact of environmental regulations on the economy. If not for President Obama’s announcement earlier this month that the administration has withdrawn support for tighter regulations on smog and air pollution at the risk of harming economic growth, this would not be an issue. What do reduced regulations mean in the long term? The argument that regulations create a climate that is unfriendly for business represents the ultimate in short term thinking.

What if the United States government took the lead and created a regenerative economy that leads instead of reacts. Historically, the US has been an innovator in fields ranging from technology to medicine. This opportunity is no different. The US could increase jobs, build the next generation of products based on renewable materials and resources, and model the regenerative economy that will serve the country going forward. The time has passed for reactionary policies. In addition to the leadership role inherent in this type of economic system, there would be a wealth of secondary benefits. By excising all toxic materials from production, a la Cradle to Cradle design, healthcare costs would be driven down as toxins would be virtually eliminated from the assembly line. A recent New York Times photo gallery depicts just how bad chemical exposure can be for people suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

This pie-in-the-sky thinking is often deemed too idealistic, not grounded in reality. However, as a famous scientist is quoted as saying, “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” The same scientist defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I may be no Einstein, but he was.

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