Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pollution Often Not Factored in Price of Products

China smog bad for health, good for business doesn't reflect the true costs of its status as the factory of the world. For higher profits, the pollution is 'outsourced' to another country.

Picture by Associated Press of skyscrapers obscured by heavy haze in Beijing

1 of the failings of modern economics is that externalities such as consequences resulting from pollution are not factored into the price of the finished product.

Part of the cheapness is from the lack of pollution reduction controls in factories in developing countries. The cheapness is 'subsidized' by the citizens of the manufacturing countries.

On a more localized scale, the producers in manufacturing countries pay with:
  • higher health bills
  • higher death rates
  • contamination of their surroundings
  • birth defects

On a global scale, everybody must pay with:
  • consequences of climate change
  • poisons passed around the food chain into our stomachs

Think again before deciding to 'overconsume'. Spare a thought for the future generations.

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