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envr 201 Sep. 30 Notes.pdf

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ENVR 201
Madhav Badami

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Envr 201 sept 30 9/30/2010 7:24:00 PM Ingenuity Gap – book by Homer Dickson (a political scientist politics in environment and developing countries, perhaps developing countries are more susceptible) q Politics are interdisciplinary ▯ Arts, social sciences, natural sciences ▯ “I’m an idealist without illusions.” JFK o there are times when we know what we should do, but are unable to do so. o Need to understand the ‘reality’ that prevents us from doing what we know we should do ▯ Machiavelli (1469-1527) o Wrote The Prince o Distinction between the: ▯ “IS” – the effective truth of things ▯ “OUGHT” – the imaginary republics and monarchies that have never been seen nor have been known to exist o A guide for politics in the “real” world ▯ Homer Dixon’s model linking environmental scarcity and violent conflict o – part 1 3 positions o – part 2 Environmental scarcity ▯ can lead to negative social effects ▯ 1. Negative o constrained ag. Productivity o constrained economic productivity of those highly dependent on environmental resources o migration of affected people o social segmentation, typically along social cleavages o disruption and weakening of institutions, including the state 3 positions ▯ Malthusianism – pop increases exponentially, food increases linearly o Resource decreasing, scarcity increasing, resource demand increasing too ▯ Economic Optimism o Food production can always increase despite population What is ingenuity ▯ Ideas applied to solve practical technical and social problems ▯ Technical ingenuity relies on social ingenuity o Examples – intellectual property rights, common property institutions o Creative destruction – theory that capitalism reaches point, then there is no more possibility of growth, only way to “continue” o Ingenuity is required to continue the incentive to bring new ideas to the capitalist system and market ▯ Ingenuity gap is trying to avoid the ‘crisis’ of collapse by bringing new resources ( in a way the market economy has been successful thus far because ‘things’ are managing to continue’. Whos right between economic optimists and malthusians ? Ingenuity Gap model H-D argues that the requirement for ingenuity is greater for renewables than non renewable resourc
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