The Quality of Life: What Quality? Whose Life?
ABSTRACT: As a consequence of industrialization, we face unprecedented
pressures on the carrying capacity of the earth. Desertification, pollution and
global climate changes can only increase these pressures, and will cause vast
increases in the number of refugees and widespread risks to human health.
Increasing inequalities between rich and poor nations are potential causes of
conflict. Since the industrial countries are mainly responsible for our economic
problems, they must give a lead in global arrangements to alleviate them. A
major change in our habitual patterns of thought is essential, in which we reassess
how we perceive values, and how we measure wealth and well-being. This must
be accompanied by governmental action: on population numbers and the refugee
problem; on the efficient use of energy; on new methods of land use, and on
regulation of damaging industrial activities. To act in these ways, governments
must reorganize their domestic policies and increase international co-operation.
KEYWORDS: Climate change, economic values, environmental policy