The individuals in effect make up the society and hence have to decide what they want to do with their resources but the ultimate decision maker is the government who has to look after the environmental as well as economical side of each decision. The society's concern is to increase their welfare from the amount of resources that they have and the government has to take the decision with economic viability in mind, the case points out that the only way to strike a balance between the two is to have a free market economic system in place which will balance the amount of resources that need to be put in to reduce pollution and those that need to be employed else where. The major economic concepts in the case are of opportunity costs and cost benefit analysis, these concepts are the binding factors for the environmental and economic side of the argument.
The analysis can be divided into two portions: the scientific point of view and the ethical point of view, talking of the scientific point of view the first thing that is to be understood is that all things that are achievable in a laboratory are not achievable in the world outside it for example clean water only exists in laboratories and not outside them. But who is to decide what clean is What is clean for some one is not clean for some one else and hence there is no agreement. ...
extent does it have to be curbed Should it be cut off from its roots Should it be allowed to remain at a level These are the questions that have to be answered by the scientific side of the issue. When we speak of science, inevitably we have to speak of economics because it is economics that shows us the way to have a cost effective method of curbing pollution. Such methods and processes should be introduced, which tend to minimize maximum amount of pollution using the minimum amount of resources available. The first thing to understand is that there are a limited number of resources that every community has on its disposal and it has to decide how and where to use these resources, hence not all the resources can be used to curb pollution because then the community will have nothing to eat, wear and will have no shelter over their heads. On the other hand if none of the resources are used to curb pollution then pollution would become a major issue for that community. Hence this shows that we have to strike the right balance, that is, the right decision in the right area at the right time. As stated in the case, the right balance can only be achieved if there is a free market economy in place. A free market economy is one where every individual seeks to attain his or her goals in any suitable way he or she wants without any specific restriction or restraints and hence increase his or her satisfaction. By doing this they increase the over all utility of the community and hence in a free market economic system there is a negligible role of the government. Adam smith, the father of economics, said the free market economy operates as if an invisible hand guides each and every individual to attain their goals, and keeps on shifting the economy to the right equilibrium