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Motives and the Environment.

Many writers stress that people must change their attitudes and motivations in order to reduce the impact of human activities on the environment. A sea change in attitudes away from a consumer-driven economy would be needed to create a green economy.

Economics on the other hand talks extensively about the role of markets in harnessing self-interest to serve the greater good. As Adam Smith wrote, “But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. … We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.”

Economics also provides numerous examples of unintended consequences of either personal or government actions, so a good intentions are also not a sufficient condition for doing good.

Do you think that it is possible for self-interest and even greed to be harnessed to protect the environment? Do you think that the pursuit of more for ourselves necessarily means that nature will be compromised?

You are to write 2 to 3 pages (double spaced) on this topic and reference at the end page.

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