Neoliberal Orthodoxy

Amazing Essays
According to Miguel Gonzalez’s lecture on environment and development, “each inhabitant of the global north consumes 10 times more energy, 19 times more aluminum, 14 times more paper, 13 times more iron & steel; than someone from the south” (Gonzalez, 2016) However, this does not mean that inhabitants of the global south do not contribute to global depletion of natural resources and environmental degradation. As the essay question highlights, both developed and underdeveloped countries create their own distinct pressures on the global environment and these pressures vary in their causes, manifestations and consequences.

There is a myriad of environmental issues which face the world today, some of which have been persistent since the 1970s,
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Characterized by a large number of multi-national corporations which exist in a free-market system with little to no government regulation; as well as privatization of several social services, the neoliberal orthodoxy does not always serve the goals of sustainable development. Defined as “development that ‘meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’” (Sick, 2012), sustainable development does not always align with the ideals of neoliberalism. As Sick writes,

“the privatization of extensive, difficult to delimit resources like forests, fisheries, rangelands, wildlife, and freshwater systems can lead to increased social inequalities as some people are denied access to resources upon which they had previously depended; also, such privatization can exacerbate environmental degradation” (Sick,
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In line with the ideas of Colombian anthropologist, Arturo Escobar who Sick introduces, “sustainable development does nothing to challenge the foundations of capitalist development and its inherent focus on economic growth but merely has been a way of incorporating ‘nature’ into the discourse of a world capitalist system” (Sick, 2012) This is to say that while the efforts of a number of developed countries, under the banners of earth summits and world commissions might make minor adjustments to the global market system and its effects on environmental sustainability, it does little to tackle the underlying problem of the capitalist economic framework which accommodates these detrimental environmental

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