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Poverty and Pollution

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Many have argued that poverty goes hand in hand with pollution and, definitely, the statement cannot be far from the truth since extreme and high pollution rates happen in the third world countries. In the third world countries, the majority of population is poor and this gives rise to availability of cheap labor. Many foreign corporations and companies stream in to take advantage of the national’s condition by establishing their organizations in the country and employing these destitute people. Their industries will run without following the pollution enactments in the country or rather the governing bodies, which are supposed to keep watching on such acts like pollution will be reluctant to question them, as they are seen as saviors of the country’s economic boost (Beder, 2002). This essay will show how poverty and pollution are interrelated.

Businesses in the third world countries will go on unchecked, even ethically they won’t have any conscience to apply safety measures so that their industries won’t pollute the atmosphere, water, even the soil. All these emanate from the high levels of poverty of the third world countries and underdevelopment that makes them vulnerable to exploitation by the large international companies. In nations like the U.S. and Britain, polluting the environment, water bodies, or the atmosphere, knowingly is against the law and can lead a company into legal troubles with the state, but this is entirely because the nations are economically stable, thus no industry can be set up there and not follow the pollution protocols to the latter. Considering this a question appears:  why these economic superpowers have chosen to go and pollute these third world countries? Naturally, human beings tend to exploit one another especially if one has higher capabilities than the other, - in this case in terms of economical power (Beder, 2002).

The Western nations usually seize advantage of these poor Third World countries and come either to deposit their substandard materials or rather goods, which definitely are un-usable in their countries since they see the third world countries as dumping markets. These harmful, hazardous goods once introduced in the market affect human beings, plants and the particular country at large. For instance if a substandard fertilizer is introduced or rather applied to the soil, it won’t increase crop yield, instead it will affect the soil microorganisms, trees, and eventually end up in water bodies thus affecting the aquatic life as well. Also, some of the international companies manufacture hazardous products and since they cannot dump in their nations, they see the poor countries as dumping sites for that waste. They end up throwing the chemicals into water bodies or lands that belong to poor nations hence affecting the biodiversity to a great extend (Beder, 2002).

How do such countries, organizations, and even companies live, knowing well that their deeds are affecting and degrading the human race, let alone the environment? These corporations and nations think of only one thing, making money and growing their business to folds. They have no care for the mankind, just the see people as tools to be used and pushed around and, satisfied, they do away with them. Countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are the ones these corporations run to in order to exploit their people together with the environment. Thus, these economical superpowers together with their corporations are seen as oppressors of humanity and many third world countries blame them for their poverty due to their exploitation nature (Beder, 2002).

As stated above, a third world country experiences little or no economic growth, hence this is reflected on the citizens as they remain in extreme poverty. A poor person is easily manipulated, especially with money therefore, these local or international corporations are set up in such nations and make use of cheap labor force available. Thus, these industries will operate without following any regulations concerning pollution as they term the people as poor and, since they want to exploit the available cheap labor, they tend to neglect any regulations or carry on any preventive measures, as they do not want to incur any expenditure apparently, as they want to make enormous profits.  Another reason is that the government or rather the relevant institutions supposed to monitor pollution are compromised by these rich corporations through either bribery or the government terming the corporations as economic boosters (The Importance of People, n.d.).

Moreover, most of these third world countries lack remarkable pollution regulatory bodies to be used in monitoring and controlling the pollution rates in their respective nations. Additionally, proper regulations and laws are lacking to ensure that industries do not pollute the environment while operating. Therefore, a collection of such factors gives these corporations a leeway to operate without any fear of any laws or rather regulatory bodies monitoring them. The third world countries are to a great extend economically underprivileged. For any country to become economically independent, it has to own a heavy and massive industrialization that is build up of companies and industries to offer people labor and in turn they earn income. The products of the industries are sold both internally and externally, hence bringing revenue to the government through taxes. With time and continued production and growth of the country industrially, it grows or rather starts developing economically through increased investing by foreigners and, also, locals, thus the nation becoming economically stable.

On the other hand, with increased industrial activity, the companies produce industrial waste and gasses, which are released into the atmosphere and the environment, hence causing pollution. The phenomenon of pollution is given birth by industrial progress or rather economic development as the country grows into economic stability. Therefore, at this stage pollution controls and environmental protection mechanisms are set in to protect the environment from being corroded by the prevailing industrial wastes. When the country becomes economically capable, it drafts regulations to control the menace of pollution and also undertakes extensive environmental protection measures by setting up regulatory bodies to monitor pollution. All this is made possible since the nation gains economical stability and is able to manage and monitor all agencies being involves in controlling and protecting the environment against pollution (Environment, Capitalism, and Socialism, n.d.).

A human being is a human being no matter where he or she is, in terms of locality or financial well - being.  Thus, everyone has the ethical right to an inhabitable environment in spite of the condition of their country. There is no a lesser human being than the other, for instance those citizens of the economical superpower nations have the same humanity rights as those in the third world countries. These rights include those of access to clean water, clean food, and clean air.  A combination of all these rights may render a habitable place and it is only achieved if the place is free from pollution of any kind (Human Rights and Environment, n.d.).

The poorer countries commonly termed as the third world nations have minimal, if none capabilities of even providing food to their citizens let alone preventing pollution. Therefore, it is upon the wealthy nations to take the initiative and assist these downtrodden countries to develop clean sources of energy and greener industries. The reason behind proposing so is that most of these third world countries have much and extremely oppressing issues, which range from lack of food to feed their citizens, civil wars, and even low levels of education taking place. As a result, managing to carry or rather efficiently control environmental pollution is an attainable challenge. This is due to lack of the frameworks and financial boost to carry out these controls.

Seemingly, the same wealthy countries come to invest in these poor nations, therefore it would be within their reach to help these underdeveloped nations attain greener industries and cleaner sources of energy. This can be done by them assisting the respective governments to come up with the appropriate control regulations to govern industrial waste and also, teach the citizens on ways of using clean sources of energy, like biogas and solar energy. The harms of pollution commonly are not restricted to the boundaries of any individual nation. Since the detrimental effects of contamination frequently widen to areas past the nation where the greenhouse gasses started off, the global legal structure is a significant way of controlling this menace of pollution. Intercontinental hard works to manage pollution are many and multifaceted.

In order to ensure that there is uniform worldwide pollution controls standards, plans have to be put in place to ensure these principles are achieved and followed to the latter.  I suggest the full application of regulations and treaties as well as customary international law.  As believed by many observers and environmental activists, all nations have a responsibility, according to the customary international law, not to bring about inter-boundary environmental damage. Declarations were made for instance in the Stockholm declaration of 1972, and the Rio declaration of 1992 in the Earth Summit both of them plainly affirm this principle finishing inter-boundary pollution (Barber & Jeffrey, 1998).

Apparently, there have been over hundred regulations and treaties fighting or rather controlling environmental pollution. For instance, in 2001 there was the Stockholm Convention, which covered Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which advocated for instantaneous prohibit on specific chemicals, and fully curbing the application of others, and directed the POPs to be managed and predisposed of via ecological sound ways. Other treaties, like the Kyoto Protocol, addressed the issue of climate change and green house effects, were introduced by the UN in 1997 (Human Rights & Environment Program, n.d.).

Enforcement of the above laws, treaties, and regulations proves to be an enormous challenge to enact globally but through international Conventions. Pushing these countries to comply with law, is part of ensuring that the environment is protected. For nations, which do not comply I would impose severe economic sanctions, and also threatened them with negative publicity and this would definitely convince them to conform to their responsibilities of control environmental pollution.

The world economical giants, for instance like the USA, UK, Japan have the responsibility of keeping this world a clean and safe place for humans to inhabit. Each nation should take care of its citizens together and not limit its care, thus it should extend it to the neighboring countries and by doing so this universe will be made a much safer place to live. Even the poor countries, which are definitely unable to carry out environmental conservation and protection from pollution, should take the initiative to educate its people on the importance of conserving our environment. Charity begins at home and by encouraging people to start with the small initiatives like avoiding contaminating our water bodies, avoiding deforestation, as this will affect the ozone layer adversely, to even obeying the set in rules and regulations prohibiting environmental pollution (Human Rights and Environment, n.d.).

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