Posted in Research

What if Environmental Scientists had as Much Influence as Economists?

An article written by Neil Irwin on the New York Times explored the differences that might happen if sociologists had as much influence as economists. I try to write a brief perspective on the changes that may happen if environmental scientists had as much influence as economists.

The importance of environmental science

Living in a disaster-prone country and natural resource haven, Filipino environmental scientists must participate in generating economic outcomes that are ecologically beneficial for present and succeeding generations. Resolving issues on unemployment, poverty, and miseducation reach beyond economics. As economists may view job security and poverty level on monetary and incentive terms, environmental scientists reveal how insufficient income and job insecurity pushes people towards illegal small-scale activities like poaching endangered species and logging in restricted zones. Educational attainment is also recognized as a predictor of environmental knowledge.

An environmental scientist perspective

If environmental scientists were largely influential,

  1. City planning would consist of strong scientific background. Population growth and city progress is more than quantity and monetary: it is spatially-distributed.
  2. Mining perspectives can be supported or rejected through cost-benefit analyses. The livelihood of the present generation and resources of future ones will not be evaluated according to personal and visual preferences.
  3. Political will can be exercised towards the phase-out of old jeepneys because of GHG emission estimates. Filipino heritage must take a backseat to public health: communal responsibility is necessary.
  4. Research and development towards disaster resiliency and preparedness will be accompanied by the availability of open data for spatial analysis will be promoted heavily.

Conclusion

A shift towards environmental science has already happened in the Philippines in the face of various disasters: weather forecasts provide deeper details; disaster drills are periodically conducted; and topics like the Paris Agreement are discussed in regular round tables. There is greater improvement ahead. Legislative action must be performed not only for improving income levels and purchasing power but also with climate change adaptation and mitigation as primary consideration.

What changes will the country undergo if your profession is at the forefront?

 

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Author:

I am an Environmental Scientist, Geographer, and Researcher. I am especially interested in urban phenomena and planning.

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