Thursday, March 3, 2011
Power: Human-human and Nature-Human
Completion of March 1 lecture
•there is another view: institutions having to do w/private property
•institutions: refers to (in simplest sense) rules, norms, crystallized and codified into particular
behaviours. Human behaviour is bounded by rules. Also patterns of behaviour = we are able to
predict how to behave
•institutions are used to reduce costs (the costs of doing anything). Transactions costs. We have
rules b/c they allow us to predict the behaviour of others and thus we are able to predict the
transaction costs. Absolutely essential
Are institutions (modern day capitalism) sufficiently important to warrant being included in the
roster of solutions?
•the author says they are more important than population
•prof: the argument that having more people as the solution is absurd
•the argument that poverty is also a source of environmental degradation is feasible. There is
some literature pointing to this. The argument is then extended that the solution is economic
growth. The empirical basis is that the northern countries took the lead in making policies.
•One of the reasons the northern countries now are doing better at environmental impact is b/c
they have moved production to southern states. Therefore the pollution impacts are suffered in
the developing world.
•who ultimately is responsible for the green house gases? the producing country (e.g. China) or
the countries that consume the products (e.g. us)?
•Kuzaet: economist that stated that environmental protection increases as the economy
increases. There is a body of thought that argues this is a solution. Prof: nothing in literature
that is convincing.
•Careless technology : industrialized societies have not been able to do a good job of evaluating
the impact of technology
•reading confirms the view that technology is part of the problem and part of the solution
•Ending paragraphs: beliefs and attitudes. Takes the whole Fox lecture and dismisses it. Says
that believes do not drive behaviour. Prof does not agree - there must be a connection.