Another widely used tool for making economic decisions about how to control pollution and manage resources is cost-benefit analysis. This is done by comparing estimated costs and benefits for actions such as implementing a pollution control regulation, building a dam on a river, or preserving a forest.
An estimate of a resource's future economic value compared to its present value.
A social institution through which goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed to satisfy people's needs and wants, ideally in the most efficient possible way.
Most of today's advanced industrialized countries have high-throughput economies, which attempt to boost economic growth by increasing the flow of matter and energy resources extracted from the environment through their economic systems to produce goods and services.
Human Capital/Human Resources
Three types of capital, or resources, are used to produce goods and services. Human capital, or human resources, includes people's physical and mental talents, which provide labor, innovation, culture, and organization.
Low-Throughput (low-waste) Economy
The three scientific laws governing matter and energy changes and the 4 scientific principles of sustainability suggests that the best long-term solution to our environmental and resource problems is to shift from an economy based on throughput (low-waste) economy.
Manufactured Capital/Manufactured Resources
Three types of capital, or resources, are used to produce goods and services. Manufactured capital, or manufactured resources, are items such as machinery, equipment, and factories made from natural resources with the help of human resources.
Matter Recycling and Reuse Economies
Mimic nature by recycling and reusing most matter outputs instead of dumping them into the environment.
Three types of capital, or resources, are used to produce goods and services. Natural capital inlcludes resources and services produced by the earth's natural processes, which support all economies and all life.
The inability to meet basic economic needs
Consists of administrative rules and regulations, executive orders, and enforcement decisions related to the implementation and interpretation of statutory laws.
A formal effort, somewhat similar to a trial, to resolve a dispute.
Most environmental lawsuits are civil suits brought to settle disputes or damages between one party and another.
A body of unwritten rules and principles derived from thousands of past legal decisions along with commonly accepted practices, or norms, within a society.
The party being charged, for injuries to health or for economic loss.
Government by the people through elected officials and representatives.
A body of statements defining what is acceptable environmental behavior for individuals and groups, according to the larger community, and attempting to balance competing social and private interests.
Environmental laws and regulations that are developed, implemented, and enforced and the environmental programs that are funded by one or more government agencies.
Converting a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress into a law is a complex process. An important part of this process is lobbying, in which individuals or groups use public pressure, personal contacts, and political action to persuade legislators to vote or act in their favor.
Another approach for settling a dispute is mediation, in which the parties involved are encouraged to sit down and talk under the guidance of a professional mediator.
The party bringing the charge.
The exact role played by a government is determined by its policies--the set of laws and regulations it enforces and the programs it funds.
The process by which individuals and groups try to influence or control the policies and actions of governments at local, state, national, and international levels
The body of law includes statutory laws, administrative laws, and common laws. Statutory laws are those developed and passed by legislative bodies such as federal and state governments.
Deep Ecology Worldview
Another earth-centered environmental worldview is the deep ecology worldview. It consists of eight premises developed in 1972 by Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess, in conjunction with philosopher George Sessions and sociologist Bill Devall.
What one believes about what is right and what is wrong in our behavior toward the environment.
Environmental Wisdom Worldview
One earth-centered worldview is called the environmental wisdom worldview. According to this point of view, we are part of—not apart from—the community of life and the ecological processes that sustain all life.
How people think the world works and what they believe their role in the world should be.
Planetary Management Worldview
One human-centered worldview held by many people is the planetary management worldview. According to this view, we are the planet's most important and dominant species, and we can and should manage the earth mostly for our own benefit. Other species and parts of nature are seen as having only instrumental value based on how useful they are to us.
Another largely human-centered environmental worldview is the stewardship worldview. It assumes that we have an ethical responsibility to be caring and responsible managers, or stewards, of the earth.