Let's face it, in many parts of the world, progress and development will come at a cost, whether it be in economic terms or in health and environmental terms. India's economy has been growing but with that is the increase in pollution as well.
But there are ways, argues Dean Spears, in which progress can happen without being detrimental to the environment and people's health. In his book, Air, he tackles the heart of that very issue.
As Spears shows, pollution is killing Indians, especially babies, and those it doesn’t kill it harms as seen in statistics on stunting and respiratory disease. Spears isn’t naive, however, he knows that manufacturing is also bringing tremendous benefits.
The issue, however, is that a lot of pollution in India comes from relatively low value activities like burning crops. Moreover, solar power in India is cost competitive with coal today, even before taking into account health benefits. Thus, the harms of pollution are tragic because they are unnecessary.
(Image credit: Marginal Revolution)