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Ecological Modernization

Poverty has grown to become a world epidemic affecting environment and its factors and negative way. In recent years many sociological scientist have opined that poverty has caused great environmental damage. The following essay is comprised of at first ecological modernization in which the changes in technology and their impact on the climate and environment have been discussed in details. In the second part the factors of poverty which have been caused by the change in environment have been discussed and examples have been illustrated in support of the theory. Third part of the essay contains the sociological problem of poverty caused due to different reasons and how it affects people all around the globe. To end of the discussion in the essay reduction methods of poverty and how poverty can be dealt with proper methods of mitigation have been discussed. The following essay is a holistic discussion about poverty and its environmental causes.

The theory of Ecological Modernization came into existence in 1980 and was coined by number of sociological scientist of Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom (Berkes, 2017). The first definition of the Ecological Modernization Theory was stated to be the technological modifications in the mode of production and the environmental changes (Ewing, 2017). There was an attitude of criticism towards the bureaucracy of the state which has promoted this modernization. It depended on the favorable attitude towards the environmental reforms and the actors of market which supported the genesis of those reforms. But the actual concept of Ecological Modernization is based to create a sustainable approach to tackle the environmental issues with the key factors being the science and its technological advancements (Chandrashekeranet at al., 2017).

The evolution of industrialized civilization concerning an environmentally balanced society of manufacture, constructed upon the concept of a transformed connection between the economy and ecosystem. In place of the strong ecological hold of fundamental reformation of society, ecological modernization has more to do with “robust” varieties of sustainability in which it contains a procedure of the advanced modernization of the establishments of contemporary society, as differentiated to their annihilation or destruction (Ewing, 2017).There are three main concepts which has brought the Ecological Modernization into limelight are reformation of consumption and production to achieve the goals pf ecology (Chandrashekeran et at., 2017). This will be achieved by diffusing and infusing the clean technological methods for production and separating the economic development factors from the use of resources and emissions caused by the industrial production. The second one is making the ecology economically profitable. Stakeholders should need to understand the economic value of the environment. And the last one is incorporating the policies of environmental goals into other manufacturing policies (Garchitorenaet et al., 2017). 

Environment plays a vital role in the lives of people located in any part of the world. It is the major source of food and energy for people and without proper environmental balance in the country there will be a state of poverty, depravity and malnourishment which many countries are prone to For example, in Bangladesh there is a problem of drinking water caused by the textile industrial waste which contains harmful chemicals. Their outlet is in the ponds and rivers from which the entire Bangladesh gets its drinking water. Whereas Vietnam has been prone to war for almost 50 years in which chemical weapons were used. This has destroyed the soil quality of the Vietnamese forests and also the quality of air. People have been majorly affected due to lack of resources of food which has made them poor. Indefinite use of natural resources and establishing huge industries and factories harm the environment of a place actively and passively (Gibbs et al., 2017). The industrial owners knowingly exploit these environmental fodder to maximize their profits but they ignore the ecological consequences which the native people of that place have to face (Kohler & Brondizio, 2017). 

Environment Factors of Poverty

Industries who do not comply with the environmental standards of emission and use of materials for their production tend to degrade the ecology of a country. It destroys the diversity of ecology of a place which is the basic tool to produce food and fodder for the livestock. Harmful gaseous emissions from the factories increase the pollution of a place which in turn degrades the quality of air and negatively impact other ecological factors. In the African countries where the land is not fertile to grow basic food items there is unfathomable state of poverty and people do not have food to eat and clean water to drink (Isaksson, 2017). This state has been a result of the environmental degradation caused by the industries for example, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. There are many environmental factors which leads to poverty and those factors are discussed below.

Air Pollution: Presence of harmful gases in the atmosphere degrade the environment and ecological health. Due to this reason there is no proper rainy season which is a dire need for farming and agriculture which is required to grow staple food items to feed the people of a country and the livestock. These problems are majorly seen in Afghanistan, Iran, Egypt and Qatar. This creates a huge problem of poverty as the food items which they have to but are sold at higher rates which they cannot afford (Kohler & Brondizio, 2017).

Soil Pollution: Due to degraded quality of soil, people are not able to produce items which can be sold in the market and can be traded to different countries. The small amount of grains and staple edible items are consumed by themselves. Sometimes the harvest is destroyed which leads to more impoverished citizens (Isaksson, 2017). Due to insufficient energy requirements the people are vulnerable to a number of diseases. For example countries of Africa are the hotspot of new endemic diseases which have virtually no cure (Gibbs et al., 2017).

Water Pollution: Water is the elixir of life. If African countries, most of them are deserted areas have a huge scarcity of water which is caused by toxic industrial waste which have polluted the rivers and lakes which were the main secures of drinking water for example China, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Zambia and Dominican Republic. To stay alive people have to buy water at raised prices and from distant places which has made them poor (Ling Guo et al., 2017).  

For all countries the most basic agenda in context of the economy is to eradicate poverty. The Theory of Ecological Modernization can help people to come out of their impoverished lifestyles. The Ecological Modernization Theory has started a new global environment discourse. In this system, the emphasis is given on the nations where poverty is at its peak and the causes for it are directly related to the ecological modernization.

Poverty is a social problem which has its roots deeply embedded in the social and now ecological status of a country. Poverty prevails to the lack of resources and low levels of incomes and scope of economic development of people of a place (Longhofer & Jorgenson, 2017). The reason behind this state of social health is the unchecked use of ecological and environmental resources done by the capitalists. Poverty is caused by the lack of basic amenities to the people which stops them from thinking beyond the basic needs for survival. The Theory of Ecological Modernization appeals to the alterations in the global environmental practices which allows the poor people to live their lives with dignity and without fear of dying due to the scarcity of food and water.

Air Pollution

Poor people are not able to make use of the natural resources which are remotely available in their area as they do not have the means or the healthy man power which can make things work (Peterson, 2017). The Theory of Ecological Modernization can help these people to come out of their misery and do sustainable things to keep their environment healthy and even benefit from it. In rural areas the problem of poverty is paramount. People living there do not know the ways in which they can revive their ecology and reduce the problems and issues of poverty which they face due to the depleted ecological system. New innovations and developments in technology can help them in creating a sustainable life.

Health being the major factor for the lack of money and economic factors has restrained many countries from developing. Disease prone citizens of a country cannot do hard work and think beyond their survival (Raluto, 2017). Some of the basic points which form the foundation stone of Ecological Modernization Theory and the way it explains poverty is discussed below.
Natural resources are not limited to sustaining life which aregood quality air, fresh drinking water, productive soils and green trees which produces oxygen and takes in carbon dioxide. They also make the elementary commercial assets of huge number of people. Soil degradation which is done by erosion, misuse of chemical fertilizers, overgrazing and increase in salinity due to poor water management cause decrease in income for minor farmers and lead them to poverty (Sapinski, 2017).

Poverty makes people to cut forests and make incorrect use of wood and other options for cooking, warming, building shelters and techniques, thus divesting weak groups from vital goods and speed up towards the declining spiral of poverty and ecological degradation. Inadequate access to learning and to new methods of living makes it tough for underprivileged people to procure accessible natural resources in an ecological and proper manner, thus generating damage of livelihood chances and of natural diversity. Poverty keeps people at one place and spend a lot of time in using the resources of that particular place which degrades the quality of land and soil and damages the economic assets (Stretesky et al., 2017). Lack of resources increases the chances of poor waste management which in turn creates health hazards.

Poverty being a social disease can be handled and reduced by making amendments in the government policies. Areas which needs reforms in the process of poverty reduction are:

Improving Governance: Countries where poverty is in large quantity and areas need to form policies which are pro poor and cater to their basic needs of alleviation form their state of impoverishment. There should be reduction in over-exploitation of natural resources so that the ecological balance of the place can be maintained and proper use of that ecology can be done to provide poor their basic amenities.

Expansion of asset base: There should be a tenure based regime for every agency in the government to harness the natural resources. Women should be made in charge of these environmental programs as they are seen to be more concerned towards the protection of ecology (Yliskylä-Peuralahti, 2017). There should be expansion in social protection and better availability of climatic data so that proper agricultural practices can be done.

Soil Pollution

Quality of Growth: To increase the quality of growth the environmental factors are ignored in many countries. There should be economical growth but not at the price of ecology. Many countries have seen to risk their environment to reach economic goals and after some years this degraded environment has proved to be catastrophic to their economies resulting in complete failure due to resources exhaustion.

Reforms in Trade: There should be trade reforms which promotes the eco-friendly product manufacture and trade so that the countries should pay more emphasis on practices of ecological sustainability.


Thus it can be concluded from the above discussion that The Theory of Ecological Modernization has changed the viewpoint of many developed and rich countries and has diverted their focus from the prevalent capitalist mentality of production towards eco-friendly ways of manufacture. There have been a lot of fuss on the global level to keep the environment clean and there should be technological innovations and modernization which can provide better and clean ways of production in the industries. These practices have been focused on reducing the poverty which is prevalent in most part of the world. Identification of factors of poverty have been done which are related to the negative ecological impacts of industrialization and its practices. Countries have been looking forward to invent practices which prove to be sustainable in poverty reduction as it poses to become a social disease and a threat to future development of a healthy society. 


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