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Terms in this set (14)
How should the society manage the use of non-renewable resources?
- Must establish intergovernmental commitments and criteria for sustainable resource management of defined "nonrenewable resources"
- The rate of depletion should take into account the criticality of that resource, the availability of technologies for minimizing depletion, and the likelihood of substitutes being available
- The leaseholder is responsible for land restoration and other environmental control measures
- Sustainable development requires that the rate of depletion of nonrenewable resources should foreclose as few future options as possible
How should the society manage the use of renewable resources?
- Rate of use must be within the limits of natural regeneration and growth
- Examples of renewable resources: forests and fish stocks
- Are part of a complex interlinked ecosystem of
- System wide effects must be taken into account
- Governments can better use renewable resources, such as forests and fisheries to ensure that:
o Exploitation rates stay within the limits of sustainable yields
o Finances are available to regenerate resources and deal with all linked environmental effects
"Ecological interactions do not respect the boundaries of individual ownership and political jurisdiction". Give two examples to explain this sentence. Are traditional societies more likely to recognize the complexity of such ecological interactions?
- In a watershed, the ways in which a farmer up the slope uses land directly affects run-off on farms downstream.
- The hot water discharged by a thermal power plant into a river or a local sea affects the catch of all who fish locally.
- Traditional social systems recognized some aspects of this interdependence and enforced community control over agricultural practices and traditional rights relating to water, forests, and land. This enforcement of the 'common interest' did not necessarily impede growth and expansion though it may have limited the acceptance and diffusion of technical innovations.
How can industrialized countries alter the content of its growth to help developing countries achieve sustainable growth rates?
- Promotion of less energy usage- and of that energy promoting clean, renewable sources
- Sharing of advanced technologies to increase productivity
- Allowing open trade and not asking extremely high prices for export of raw materials
- Production in industrialized countries has been highly subsidized and protected from international competition
What do you understand by incomplete accounting of natural resources? Use an example to explain this.
- Forestry operations is conventionally measured in terms of the value of timber and other products extracted, minus the costs of extraction. The costs of regenerating the forest are not taken into account, unless money is actually spent on such work. Thus figuring profits from logging rarely takes full account of the losses in future revenue incurred through degradation of the forest.
- Similar incomplete accounting occurs in the exploitation of other natural resources, especially in the case of resources that are not capitalized in enterprise or national accounts: air, water, and soil.
How will urbanization in developing countries impact the environment?
- Creation of slums that are not well built and have a lack of clean water, poor sewage system and poor electric power supply and distribution
- Large excess of people moving into a city that cannot handle it means lack of and degradation of existing infrastructure which will lead to rapid and unplanned urban sprawl
Why is it important to recognize inter sectoral connections of economic activities to attain sustainable development?
- Because inter sectoral connections create patterns of economic and ecological interdependence rarely addressed by existing policies
o Sectoral organizations tend to pursue sectoral objectives
o Sectoral organizations treat their impacts on other sectors as side effects
- Sectoral fragmentation of responsibility is the root of many environment and development problems
- Economic and ecological concerns are more integrated than what we think. Examples:
o Policies that conserve the quality of agricultural lands improve long-term prospects for agricultural development
o Increase in efficiency of energy and material use serves ecological purposes but can also reduce costs
However, compatibility of environmental and economic objectives is often lost due to:
o The pursuit of individual or group gains
o Overreliance on science's ability to find solutions
o Ignorance of the consequences of today's decisions
o Institutional rigidities that insist in dealing with one industry or sector in isolation
How is the true cost of production and consumption of 'pollution intensive' goods absorbed in developed and developing countries?
- Race to the bottom - offshoring and competing with very low wages
- Plenty more ethical costs involved than just the price
Leather industry - lack to clean water in the area - we as consumers are not paying for that cost
- Offshoring done to reduce marginal cost:
Demand surpasses demand, therefore price increases
- Contradiction of conversation earlier that we don't pay the true price, staying competitive by keeping the prices down exploits the worker further
- In a perfectly competitive market, firms are price takers not price makers (they are not monopolists), the market determines the price of the product, marginal revenue = market price
- Point: in most businesses: environmental cost is not internalised - these costs are being paid by someone else
- Often the environmental cost in externalised - taxed on the consumer - carbon offsetting on airplane tickets? - Passing on the problem is not internalising the cost, but instead someone else is paying the cost - the consumer
What are the principles of ecological economics? Why is this model considered to be a strong sustainability model?
This field focuses on relating economic activity in a way that promotes human well-being, sustainability, and justice. This model is consider to be strong for sustainable development because it bring two disciplines that are generally not connected, ecology and economy together by making sustainability a profitable market. At the same time, it is a human economic system that works within a system of a finite environmental system.
Explain the approach to sustainability that is based on the principle of ecological modernization of capitalism.
- Ecological modernization is a shift in the economy towards environmentally friendly business and business practices. Unfortunately, this is heavily dependant on available resources. For example, the Netherlands successfully shifted their economy to largely producing renewable energy. Practices were progressed to be more environmentally friendly by the businesses, and the government would then set that point as the bar, not allowing businesses to undercut using cheaper, less environmentally friendly. The businesses push forward in developing the tech in pursuit of competitive advantages and the government consistently reevaluates and sets new regulations.
- (it's an all or none situation, if one business doesn't internalize costs, it puts a strain on other businesses and makes the model impossible to achieve)
- Small firms looking to enter the market will also struggle if not all businesses comply to the model of ecological modernization of capitalism → high cost of entry. In a perfectly competitive market, entry and exit into and out of the market are stable. It involves investment in technology
- Fair trade model: economically and environmentally sustainable model in which products are more expensive, but makes the product less competitive because the consumer has to make a conscious choice to buy fair trade
According to Beckerman, what are the main differences between economists and scientists?
- Beckerman argues that the natural sciences are not concerned with human beings, and that their studies are not amenable to human policies. In contrast, economists are interested in pollution as long as it affects human. Overall, scientists aim to eliminate pollution, whereas economists want to find the "optimum" amount of pollution.
- This distinction can be viewed through the formula E (ecological demand) = f (GDP). Scientists state that to stop a rise in E, we need to stop a rise in GDP. In contrast, economists would use a policy instrument to change the function (f) of GDP.
According to Beckerman, what are the difficulties faced by economists in applying econometric models to real world economics?
- The biggest issues faced is the accuracy of estimated values. Although econometric techniques had been evolved to improve the estimates of straightforward equation, inadequate historical data causes large problems.
- These drawbacks can be seen in an equation highlighting the relationship between the output of some product to its main factors of production. Difficulties regarding the changes in the accurate measurement of technique, prices, and qualities of different outputs and inputs have to be overcome.
According to Schumacher, what should we demand from technologists and scientists?
- We need methods and equipment which are:
Cheap enough so they are accessible to everyone
- Suitable for small-scale application
- Smaller units tend to care more about the environments around them in comparison to larger units that often produce far away from where they sell
- Compatible with man's need for creativity
If technology doesn't allow you to produce things as a craft, when you're in a machine system of production, you don't know what is the end product, so you don't enjoy the process of producing something
According to the report 'Our Common Futures' how will the depletion of resources manifest itself in the real world?
- Poverty will increase (which will also accelerate global ecological deterioration)
- The gap between the rich and poor will widen
- Illiteracy will increase
- Depleting drinking water
- Woodfuel depletion
- Different limits hold for the use of energy, materials, minerals, and land
- The growing population will diminish resources
- Economic crisis: environmental degradation is limiting our possibilities for economic development
- Environmental stress as a source of conflict
Phenomenon of 'environmental refugees'
- Underlying causes of such often are due to the deterioration of the natural resource base and its capacity to support the population
- Uneven distribution of power and affluence
- Deficiencies of basic need such as housing, water and sanitation
- Manifestations of environmental stress in developing nations → affects poor populations
- Causes of diseases
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