As a researcher, when you enter the field and choose your scope of practice, you know automatically that there are some areas that are more capable of being impactful than others, depending on the important agendas in society at the time. Today’s focus is on environmental reform, and if you’re a scholar in that field, protecting and conserving the environment for future generations is a priority.
But it’s not just the onus of the researcher to design methods to do this. They must work in conjunction with policymakers and government officials to ensure these policies and frameworks are implemented and followed. Governments and institutions must be on board in order to reduce pollution emissions, conserve non-renewable natural resources, and invest in technology that swaps non-renewable energy for its renewable counterpart when those innovations are available. Businesses and individuals aren’t robots that can be programmed, though. To get them to see the importance of environmental policies and reform, research and hard data is required.
How the Government and Industries Must Collaborate
Government policies are supposed to be unbiased and in favor of society at large, but with so many industries that must be on board, following these guidelines, collaboration is necessary. While the government and industries in general tend to want to control and reduce pollution emissions and work to conserve natural resources, the past few decades of this collaboration haven’t seen a huge improvement. In fact, many of these environmental concerns are growing on seriously deteriorating levels.
The solutions that have been proposed in the past were intended to protect biodiversity, reduce energy use or switch the usage to natural, renewable resources, control climate change, and improve society’s ability to access sustainable development. But social scientists who focus on the trends and potential results of these policies understand that businesses can’t always afford to make these changes because they can be expensive.
Attempts at Environmental Policies
There have been many attempts to shape environmental policies, where hard data and research have shown that other alternatives are necessary, and even possible if the government and industries would work together. Through things like market incentives and flexible regulation, the government has used research information to attempt to reduce negative environmental impacts on future generations.
For instance, many states have implemented a push for solar energy through federal and state incentives, tax breaks, and rebates. Additionally, governments have allowed and encouraged public-private partnerships and stakeholder collaboration with research in the field of environmental reform. Researchers who have innovative and creative ideas for conserving natural resources or implementing new approaches have received priority funding from all sectors.
The Need for Research and Hard Data
Some of these industries are multi-million dollar corporations, while others rely on federal funding to do their part. When environmental politics and policies are responsible for so many businesses and the extreme importance of future generations, research and hard data are the final deciding factor for many decisions.
Scholars who research state and local issues, policy reform results, and future trends are often the experts that policymakers turn to in order to make choices that impact so many. On this large-scale level, there will always be those who are opposed to a change, particularly in fields like global environmental concerns such as ozone layer protection, climate change regulation, and use of resources and funding.
When policy reform requests are backed up by hard data from legitimate research, it’s easier for politicians to push their agendas and create real change.