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University of Ottawa
Environmental Studies
Eric Crighton

ENV1101 January 16, 2014 Ethics, Environmentalism & Decision Making Environment andEconomyareIntricately Linked  Economiesreceiveinputs(resources)from environment o Processinputsinto ‘useful’ goods o Dischargeoutputs(waste)  EcosystemServices= essential servicessupport thelife that makeseconomic activities possible o Soil Formation –critical for anyfood production, baseaspect for our economy o Pollination –can’t haveagriculturewithout o Water Purification –natural processthat we rely onfor our economiesto function o Nutrient Cycling o ClimateRegulation o WasteTreatment Classical EconomicsPromotedtheFreeMarket  Competition betweenpeoplefreeto pursuetheir own economic self-interest will benefit society asawhole (Adam Smith) (If I dowell by purchasing economic friendly things,if I work hard & everybody else works hard thentheenvironment will prosper)  Market guidedby “invisible hand” –if I producesomething andthereis demand,the pricewill goup–I amdoing thingsthat aregoodfor society thingswill begood; consumer/producersarebalancing – if I amdoing something bad thepriceswill go down  Pillar of Free-Market thought today Classical Economics: Implicationsfor theEnvironment  Assumptionsof Neoclassical Economics: o Resourcesareinfinite or substitutable o Costsandbenefits areinternal (ex: led production Cost- humanhealth) ENV1101 January 16, 2014 Ethics, Environmentalism & Decision Making o Long-term effectsarediscounted (don’t look atthelong-term ex: led –how it will effect childrenyearsdown the line) o Growth is good Is theGrowth ParadigmFoodfor us?  Moreandbigger is better  But criticsargue: o Risein per-personconsumption = environmental consequences o Ultimately will destroy theeconomic system o Technological solutionshavelimits–we keepcoming upwith new technologies, but to what extent cantechnology saveus? o Civilizationsdonot overcomeenvironmental limitsin long run (Ex: Easter Island) *Continuedgrowth unsustainable AlternativeModel Needed?  Steady-StateEconomy: doesnot grow or shrink; its stable, mirroring natural systems  New way of measuring progress: o GDPto, for example, GPI o GrossDomesticProduct (GDP) = total monetary valueof goodsandservices produced o GenuineProgressIndicator (GPI) = differentiatesbetweendesirableand undesirableeconomic activity (environmental costs,social costs,economic costs) o (According to GDPwe havemadeprogress,according to GPI, we haven’t- we are pretty stagnant) Our society is muchtoo complex to just look attheGDP Environmental Policy  Public Policy = policy madeby governmentsthat consistsof laws, regulations,orders, incentives,andpractices ENV1101 January 16, 2014 Ethics, Environmentalism & Decision Making  Environmental Policy = pertainsto humaninteractionswith theenvironment o Regulatesresourceuseandpollution output  Economic model is adriving forcebehind environmental policy InfluencesonPolicy *get graphoff of slides*  PrivateSector –influential (lobbying, campaign funding, legal action)  Government  Policy  Solutionsto Environmental
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