Essay Dominant Social Paradigm and Its Impacts on Environmental Policies in the United States

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vRunning head: MONOGRAPH 1

Dominant Social Paradigm and its Impacts on Environmental Policies in the United States

Venkata R Prasad Goparaju

Date: 15 October 2008
Every country has societal values and principles that are derived from and are the basic for the evolution of respective civilizations. These principles may vary in response to changing conditions and perceptions as is evident, say for instance, from the works of Smith (2003). Such values and traditions were collectively termed as ‘Dominant Social Paradigm’ by Pirages and Ehrlich in 1974 (as cited in Kilbourne, Beckmann, & Thelen, 2002). The concept was initially proposed by Kuhn in 1962 (as cited in Kilbourne et al., 2002 ). To evaluate the
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Moreover, assessing economic growth by gross national product (GNP) that measures only marginal utility than the total utility of goods and services further complicates the issue of the environmental management (Smith, 2003). For, GNP does not measure the longer term impacts of the environmental exploitation in pursuit of economic prosperity (Smith, 2003). These trends coupled with free market encouragement have made inventions of newer products that best suit the customer needs at a faster rate leading to rapid obsolescence of existing goods (Smith, 2003). It not only results in increased exploitation of natural resource but also increased environmental pollution as an added effect (Smith, 2003; Baulch, 2002). For example, the availability of new computers with advanced products is resulting in 20 million tones of obsolete computers each year in the US (Baulch, 2002). If proper e-waste management is not adopted, more than 1000 harmful chemicals used in such electronic equipments can pollute air, soil and water (Baulch, 2002). However, the developments in the US in the late twentieth and early twenty first century regarding curtailing the negative effects of economic growth on the environment can be considered as a growing change in social paradigm that started in 1960s (Smith, 2003; Kilbourne et al., 2002; and Luther 2007). To be precise, policies of pollution taxes (Kilbourne et al., 2002) and material recycling charges (Luther, 2007) on