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The Economy-Environment Interface

2 Pages

Course Code
GEOG 216
Geraldine Akman

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The Economy-Environment Interface Can nature be a commodity? - River turned into a dam  provide electricity  has become a commodity Conventional Economic Approaches - Natural realm as distinct, measurable, quantifiable (a commodity) - Seek equilibrium price in markets through supply + demand (use market mechanism) - Criticisms: monopolies, taxes, subsidies can be added - Regulation changes price (not supply/demand law) - Environmental economies: setting prices on natural resources - Turning into commodities appears in 70s, difficult to put a price on things Problems with this Approach - Damage rarely incorporated into the price of the commodity - Techniques of this approach are severely limited (ex: qualitative issues) - Costing environmental degradation involves viewing nature as an object (nature seen outside of ppl, not integrated) Processes of Commodification - Nature: - Provider of inputs to an economy - Receiver of outputs (waste + pollution) - Resources are socially created: demand for substance leads to a commodity w/assigned value - Resources: - Naturally occurring substance that humans regard as useful/necessary - Obtained fr/either biological/physical environ - Neither absolute/constant - Depend on human perception, attitudes, behaviours, new techs, prices Creating a Commodity - Technologies + sci create demand for substance - Ex: uranium for use in nuclear power generation/med treatments - Techs exist that make substance useful (ex: sunlight for electricity) - Economic context (ex: oil prices rise) Establishing Ownership - Private, communal, state, open access - When nature becomes a commodit
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