9/15/2011 8:58:00 AM
- have to be a national paper
- use the same paper the whole time
- write an article „erdaaay.
Fundamental ideas in environment and resource management
- geography as a broad realm
- reductionism: at odds with the idea of geography, we have become good
at developing mass amounts of knowledge about very little. Traditional
geography is good at overcoming reductionism but we do not connect it very
well. Take bits and pieces of that knowledge to connect it.
- Resource and environmental management is often about managing
conflict: the information we have is then used to make decisions. Example:
how many black bears can we hunt this year. We need to know how many
bears there are, how many were killed, how many were born, did they have
good food supply etc. Then there is conflict over the hunting of black bears
as sport. Conservative government abolished bear spring hunting.
- How should resources be used, who should use it and make decisions (why
should people in SanFran be able to inflict influence in Ontario?), If it should
be used at all – and if not does it make scientific sense.
How might we define environment
- Environment can be defined as the sum total of the conditions within which
organisms live. It encompasses the abiotic and biotic realms, their
interactions and their parameters.
- The great fire of Chicago, early 1900s – we (Canada) exported a lot of
wood for the rebuilding of the city.
- The natural environment is a term that suggests places where there has
been little human interference. National Parks: Banff, most heavily visited
national park in NA. It is an aesthetic creation that was created by an iconic
Canadian: Canadian Pacific Railway because they wanted to preserve the
landscape and make money off of it through the hotels.
- Natural environment is not easy to find. Although they look untouched that
may not be the case. - For humans, environment should be complex idea that encompasses both
nature and society. Does „nature‟ care about us? Very much a one way
relationship. Natural evolution of the world and natural systems, nature
matters more to us than the other way around.
- Economy, culture, and ideology flow from society, but they are affect the
„environment‟ 9/15/2011 8:58:00 AM
- nature gives us oppourtunity and how we choose to use it in the short or
long term is a product of social processes.
- complex relationship between society and nature
An holistic definition
Environment is nature and society. It is where we live and the conditions
under which we live. It is where other creatures live.
- in the broadest terms: grow in the ground or immobile
- we have a great capacity to effect the nature. For such a small and badly
designed creature we have a great capacity to destroy the natural world in
which we live. Humanity in numbers and technology able to defeat anything.
- reached the point where human induced climate change is happening, what
will be the outcome? Weirder weather more often.
Environmental Problem Realms
Climate: no significant policy frame work for dealing with the climate
change or planning for adaptation. Need to understand what that change will
look like. Globally and regionally is oppressing and immediate problem. It is
happening sooner than expected. 1940s and 1950s are the facing the
impacts now from then.
Water: Canadians have a lot of water although you should not drink
surface water. Most of our water isn‟t where people live. Water is not
drinkable and does not renew fast. The great rivers flow away from where
we are. Fresh water/access to clean drinking water that can be used for
agriculture and industry is a commodity that appears in great resource but
not actually. Freshwater access are acute chronic and disastrous in other
countries. ¼ of the water taken out of the lakes and into Toronto is lost
because of the infrastructure. 4 billion dollars to fix their water
Forests: will grow back and are renewable. Sustainable resource affected
by water and climate change. Forests are being cut at rates that exceeds
their capacity to regenerate. Rates of deforestation to the point where it
doesn‟t come back or go to a different use are very high – has an effect on
water availability and quality.
Marine ecosystems: 70 million sharks are killed a year and thrown back
whole. Next 30-40 years may not have much more life. Sharks are the top of the chain and the fact that they may be extinct in our lifetime. We have
reduced ourselves to chasing fish that were uninteresting to previous
generations. Threatened by over fishing, pollution, climate change. North
America from Asia in that ocean zone garbage piles. The garbage floating is
as big as the state of Texas – mostly complex plastic.
Soil: soil depletion diminishes our capability to grow food. As the quality
of soil is depleted or ends up in our lakes and oceans we have less to grow
food. No institute in Canada devoted to preservation or study of soil.
Biodiversity: As we change our ecosystems and forests and change nature
we lose a great amount of diversity. A lot of it is not well understood.
Air: A couple days out to see you begin to see the brown cloud of china.
Has become the world manufacturing. The smell of plastic hits you in
Walmart – 20% of American imports from China. The Chinese are aware of
the price of prosperity of industrial development. The most advance country
invested in production for green energy is China. We find toxins in the blood
of polar bears that are not of Canadian origin. All of the chemicals are being
moved around the global atmosphere and dumped from where they were
actually originated. Oldest and made the most progress, which may be
stripped by the global change. The production of energy has changed the air
Some recent events, ongoing issues
Forest fires: Texas, expensive. 400 million dollars spent fighting forest
fires in BC.
Floods: Saskatchewan and Alberta are still trying to get caught up from
the floods. Floods across parts of the USA. Massive movement of water. Last
year it rained for 3 weeks solid, water levels were high.
Tar Sands: The oil sands, ethical sands, etc. Trying to package and
market themselves, the oil companies. 4 barrels of water to produce one
barrel of oil.
Pipeline failures: very common in USA and a lot of them are due to
Canadian owned incidences. Yellowstone River was horrific. More common
south of the border than north.
Droughts across the world: American Southeast and west. Parts of
Canada are the classic modeling outputs. May be the new normal. All of
which acquire some attention. Canadian home building standards are not very good and worse in terms of what the average home will have to face in
terms of adaptation needs. The products are the lowest available.
Decline of sea ice (and early melting): hit the media several times in the
last week. Melting and not coming back. Northwest passage opened up for
year round shipping, did not expect to ever see that in our lifetime.
collapse of marine ecosystem.
- Why do they exist?:
- Are they more acute now than in the past?
Too many people? A tricky one indeed: the world could not support its
present population if we live the way we do. Too many north Americans and
Europeans living in a way we cant afford.
Growth (in what form): economy cannot be sustained. Growth in its
present form cannot be sustained. Declining in availability and quality and
more expensive to sustain.
Consumption (of what and by whom): entertain ourselves by shopping.
Led to believe we should consume. If we consume differently, what would
that look like? Looking at the last 5 years in term of structure of the global
economy, you have to be prepared for surprises. No one 15 years ago would
have predicted the failure of Greece could bring down the European union or
bring down the Euro. We consume a lot of things: we consume a lot that
aren‟t very good. Not good for environment, healthwise and individual
finances and not well made. As we push it, we base so much on it yet it is
Greed: When is enough, enough?: Ontario consistently have a positive
balance of trade with automobiles. We are reliant on natural resources
Separation from nature: 85% of Canadians live in urban areas. Number of
people who hunt or make their living from natural resources goes down
every year. Fewer of us extend ourselves to work with nature.
Separation from each other: The technologies that have allowed us to
communicate has actually allowed us to communicate less in sophisticated
ways. The art of letter writing and conversations has been lost. Blissfully
unaware from the world. Increasingly isolated, creates problems in being
able to understand issues. Culture of growth and consumption: consumption as a pastime. We
consume lots of products that require something from nature/energy to
produce. A lot is made in either China, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, etc. Natural
resources story in every product.
Cattle: New Zealand, offloaded in Vancouver, then fed corn in Alberta, then
slaughtered, then packaged as from Canada.
Salmon: Taken out of Norway, flash frozen, shipped to china to be cleaned
and filled, and then shipped back to Norway. The energy gone into shipping
from Europe to China and back. It is a bit of a problem because what we
consume and do and the lifestyle we have is based on energy that cannot be
sustained in the long term. Subjective (50-100 yrs) Short term – (10-20yrs).
The way we move things is based on the fact that we will have lots of fossil
fuels at a low price.
How are we going to plan for that change? If your forced to react to a crisis
your options are limited. Anticipate a problem then you can take advantage
of many choices. We need to change the way we consume nature and
Or perhaps.. The world is run by idiots?
lack of leadership 9/15/2011 8:58:00 AM
Are environmental problems more acute now than in the past?
The challenge of defining an environmental problem?
socially defined? Or..
Defined by natural systems
Human or non human
The answer? Yes, but how so?
Charles Boothe – wealthy British man from Victorian Era
- census and did a poverty map of Britain
- London stunk, dying of cholera
- go to wells get water and got the sewer system water too
- said that air was the cause
- His map, mapped where the cholera breaks were – they were all around
specific wells. Closed wells down
- began to rebuild the sewer system
- cannot take for granted clean water
- our ability to process waste water has come along too/still great challenges
- improvement in air quality
- 1950s London – periods when you could not see your arm in front of you.
- Environmental problems are socially defined.
- They also effected natural systems but the effects are less direct so we
aren‟t as concerned because it is not directly effecting people.
- After we use a product for 10-20 years we discover problems in them.
Example: waterbottle plastic
- GMO‟s are defined for food markets. Any processed food probably has
- You live an interesting environmental times, more so than at any other
time in human history
- Sadly, many lack the simple understanding, a simple reality really, that all
wealth and well-being flows from nature
- Are „things‟ getting better? Some ar,e but… are they> Think about what is
sustainable. - If you look at what we use on a daily basis, we have no replacement for oil
that will sustain our level of living
- What will replace it?: It will come in lifestyle shifts, the way we consume
will be reshaped or will stop. The way we house ourselves will have to
Move away from Nuclear Power to replace Oil:
1. The most expensive way to boil water, costs twice what they predicted
2. Waste management: where do we put it?
3. Optics: When something goes wrong, it goes badly. Chernobyl
- great promise, public appetite for nuclear is not high right now either
How do we change things?
will science solve our problems?
- what about science and technology?
- what role do they play in conceptualizing environmental problems and the
reasons for problems?
- we need good science
- What is a problem?
- Problems are socially defined: not all problems are everyone’s problem
- It is a problem because people think it is
- Knowledge, accessibility and democratic process. We know a problem
exists because we learn.
- Waste management, innovated and convenient ways
We often forget that..
science is value laden, as indeed are the scientists who practice it. It is
subject to ideology and to bias
This starts from the very moment a question is asked
Values also affect how results are obtained, how they are interpreted, how
they are used (greater good, profit and greed, power)
science has most traditionally be reductionist, though some disciplines are
inherently integrative it looks at components in detail and in isolation as a way of discovering
some holistic truth
it divides issues into subsets and analyses them
the problem is putting it all back together: the scientific method involves
theory building, theory testing and eventually maybe normative evaluation:
subjective concept because it asks you to engage.
Science is important
knowledge of the whole comes from understand the parts, as long as we
as a counterpoint to willful ignorance, to greed and to avarice: celebrate
ignorance “im an idiot so you should vote for me”
science is accepted as long as it supports a perspective (eg. Climate
so, we need to think about how to use the knowledge it provides us
- politics need to step in, politics is the art of avoidance,
Normative = what ought to be done
the value premises underlying decisions:
desired ends and means
the normative role of science in our context is about providing advice
about what is good practice for environment and resource management
there is no single normative criterion. So what might we use?
Fairness or equity, another aspect of this is..
Equivalence of treatment
- how do you engage in a practical way to rate efficiency and effectiveness.
It is a qualitative process
Normative= social/cultural definiton
our social-cultural setting helps determine what we think ought to be
Another challenge? Communicating results: sometimes information is not communicated well
Frame knowledge, make it accessible
..overcoming the challenge of ignorance
What is culture?
What about a cultural view of nature (beware of cultural myths)
How do we change things?
we can change things if we choose to. But the challenge is facing what
makes us want to change/what makes us change before its too late
When we still have choices?
Or will choice be taken away from us by nature, there are realities that we
Perspectives and Ethics
Change and evolution
From close and fearful to dominant and arrogant?
dominant does not mean successful
how we treat nature reflects complex social and cultural factors
what is right, with respect to nature, has evolved, for better and for worse
- the principles (morals) that govern individual or group behaviour
- universal right and wrongs
- socially (culturally) defined standards of behaviour
- The moral aspects of interaction with nature and human responsibility for
the treatment and use of nature
- treatment is based on human interests and only humans are morally
- All living things have an inherent right to exist. Can be nuanced
- Nature has intrinsic value and a moral right to consideration, not one
derived from human interests
- centered on the moral rightness of all living things
no single philosophical or religious tradition is wholly nature friendly
- what is perfection/what does that look like?
All philosophical or religious traditions have those who advocate for nature
All societies change their natural environment some more than others
Change is part of the human condition:
What are we willing to do in the search to meet material wants and needs
The role of philosophies
- Great cultural traditions
- Western; Judaism, Catholicism, Islamic
- Eastern: Buddhism
- Animistic: very diverse and complex
- Views of nature, are some better than others?
- Can all problems be placed so neatly at the feet of western societies
What is the difference between a want and a need?
History – Where Ideas Come From
- Low population density
- Intimate connection to the environment
- Part of the food chain (ate and were eaten)
- Mobile, nomadic, flexible
Limited alterations to the environment:
- some large animals In some areas were made extinct
- fire was used to open up hunting grounds
- very limited technology Agricultural Revolution
- Setllte down in stable communities
- grew a surpus of food – better survival
- Local deforestation:
- slash and burn, shifting cultivation, etc
- Increased impacts on the environment
- Concentration of waste, spread diseases
- Increased conflicts as populations grew, cities
mass production of goods – high efficiency
drastically increased medicine and health
higher standard of living
increase in food production (green revolution)
tremendous increase in enviro impacts
increase in pollution and waste
conversion of natural habitats to man-made
extinction of species that share our planet with us (passenger pigeon ) 9/15/2011 8:58:00 AM
settled down in stable communities
grew a surplus of food – better survival
- slash and burn, cultivation
increased impacts on the environment
concentration of waste, spread of diseases
increased conflicts as population grew, now we have small ones at first.
Decline in fertile land
- over use of landscape
- converting farm land – profitability of agriculture – if farmers make enough
money and don‟t have to sell their land to be developed, they wont sell it.
- farming in Canada = 80% of canadas farmers will retire in the next ten
years, and 80% of that 80 – they are in a position in which no one in the
family will take it over.
- high energy costs in moving fruits to other countries during off season
Mass production of goods – high efficiency
Drastically increased medicine and health
- initially no – eventually yes. People moved from rural to cities to work in
factories was awful. Standard of health care was horrific, quality improved
later on. Eventually leading to a higher standard of living
higher standard of living
- slowed especially in urban areas
Increase in food productions (green revolution)
rapid inrease in enviro impacts
increase in pollution and waste
- effected many things, destruction of many things
conversion of natural habitats to built enviro
extinction of species
development and growth easy to manage
- as we produce more goods we produce more technology - use of chemicals and pesticides/fertilizers has increased productivity but
may not be sustainable.
- ass you ad fertilizer productivity will go up and if you take it away it will go
back to normal and not be less.
- wheat, canola, corn should be profitable to farmers and its needs to remain
the hand of farmers. As we see greater concentration to sell those products
dictates the price. You need more land and productivity to create the same
wage you did 5-10 years ago.
Globalization of trade, ideas and capital
rapid increase in knowledge and technology
- suffer from too much knowledge
ability to communicate quickly
rapid development of less developed countries
- rethink the whole nature of helping countries that need help
continued degradation of environment
exponential increase in energy use
-rapidly growing economies and need more energy
- can this be sustained and for how long?
- coming up with new ways of making our dirtiest oil seem good.
- cleanest of the fossil fuels are being burned off
- oil sands ethical because they are predicated on a high price for oul and
when it dips below the threshold its not buyable. Alberta makes more money
off taxes of gambling than the oil sands
- Canada is at least 10-20 years behind the world
homogenization of the world:
- a starbucks or mcds in every city
The Indigenous era
- low population (less than 10 million ppl)
- low enviro impacts
- reverence for nature: kinda maybe, sometimes it was fear or loathing - ownership: who owns what? Ppl would fight others to retain control over
certain places. Ownership did exist and temporary land claims reflect this in
- lived sustainably? Yes and No people had to move due to resources
(depleate and move on)
- hunter gatherers and then early farmers
- great variability, not everyone was the same people to people.
- low technological impact: to hunt large numbers of animals in some places
was very very advanced.
indigenous ppl did transform their enviro
efficient hunting with simple tools
depletion of some animals and recourses
agricultureal in the American SW and Mexico changed landscapes
drogught exacerbated agricultural impacts
much later, indigenous people fed the fur industry: people willing to trade
goods, fur trade based on ingidneous people
some indigenous societies were highly stratified:
serious equity problems in some indigenous societies: others were flat
and some we did not know much about societable organization and the
architecture of the American SW – we do not see lots of living space – some
had more than others. What was the governing structure of that? We‟re not
The Colonial/Frontier Era
- Began just 400 years ago in Canada
- Nature was feared, something to be conquered
- But resources seemed almost inexhaustible (wood, fur, fish): in the early
days when the English, spanish came to the shores of NA had fish and
shipped it back to Europe.
- Displaced native people and “owned” the land: King owned the land.
- Rapid change in the US slower in Canada: dramatic and true American
fashion is was over the top and violent. Innovated period had its origins in
the American west. Canadian Expansion
expansion of canadas resource use into northern Ontario and Quebec
Expansion into the west (logging, agriculture, mining, range use, the
railways): came first for fur (social) came. David Thompson explored
passages through the rockies, Simon Fraser stumbled upon it : Thompson
and Simon Fraser join – first and longest place to be settled. As they moved
West it was possible to transport goods/people.
encouraged people (Europeans) to settle open lands: part of british
empire it would prefer to people from britan. It was the railways that saw
settlement so they could build the western economy and products.
little concern for damage caused by humans: building the railway the
forests were continuously catching fire. Landscape change was fast and
dramatic. CPR hired artists to paint the tracks to advertise oppourtunity and
settlement. Paintings ended up in offices of the CPR. Comes with significant
The Conservation Era: how it is important now
- As early as 1830s (began late 1800‟s early 1900‟s) there was little concern
about changes to landscapes
- NY has good water quality due to the preservation system input back here.
- Forests were declining in Western USA: pattern of settlement was rapid
and more dramatic with violence. The forests seemed to be infinite – some
people didn‟t care about it.
- Some people start to write and report: John Wesley Powell: Asked to
prepare a report on settlement and his interest was water. He knew that‟s
what people needed. Not a landscape that could support Eastern American
style of agriculture. He recommended a low density settlement/use.
Recommendations ignored. If we build farms there will be drought – and he
predicted the dust bowl years. Agriculture in that region eventually
- Thoreau & Marsh: wrote about greed/apathy landscape change the
destruction of nature. Americans read books and people who mattered read.
We aren‟t great readers anymore. Moved by the images. - John Muir‟s writings about nature have an important impact on public
opinion: their writings mattered and captured attention. Late 1800s.
- The closing of the frontier (great open place to reinvent yourself/persona)
1890s and early 1900s, a new “ethic”
-Us forest Reserve Act of 1891:
- Sierra Club founded in 1892 (John Muir)
- 1901 President McKinley is Assassinated: Gov. of NY and secretary in the
Navy. Worked as a Cowboy in the American West. Personification of boring.
- Theodore Roosevelt becomes President. Harvard education. His mom and
wife died at the same moment. Left and travelled. He inherited a piece of
law: passed under president before McKinley
- Roosevelt: first “environmentalist” president
- Supports conservation laws: allowed president to withdrawal president
lands from public entry without the approval of congress. He can say we are
not selling that. Roosevelt added more and created the foundation for the
- conservation movement: should be used to better the lot of all citizens. So
much was set and establishes which permeates how we do things today
- Uses existing Land Law Revision Act to create large National Forests
- began to create large resource management bureaucracies
- Gifford Pinchot becomes first head of the US forest service until too old to
do son: Theorist of the conservationist movement: he is a utilitarianism he
believed in the use of the land instead of preservation
- Ideologicaly ally of Roosevelt
- US Forest Service created in 1905; Park Service in 1916
- Pinchot articulates a vision for the conservation movement.
“Conservation is the foresighted utilization preservation and or renewal of
forests, waters, lands and minerals for the greatest good of the greatest
number for the longest time – Gifford: becomes a defining way to make
some big political decisions. Ex. State of Nevada was debating whether or
not to take water from ranchers in Northern Nevada and take the water and
put it in pipelines to the south for Las Vegas. - Emphasis on utilization on natural resources
- Principle of „wise use‟ but use: movement became huge. There was a
- Utilisation led to a split in the conservation movement
1) Utilitarian conservationists: believed in wise use of natural resources, not
2) Aesthetic conservationists, wanted preservation of key lands they
advanced the national park system.
- as the movement grew, there was so much promise and then eventually
- John Muir leads the aesthetic conservationists
- Fight over damming the Hetch Hetchy Valley (near San Fransisco): cost of
electricity was provided by private developers at high rates. Problem was
Hetch Hetchy was in the Yosemite Park
- Muir agrued against this
- UC support the dam to provide publically funded water and electricity for
- Eventually UC perspective the Dam is bult in 1913, but the movement
- Hetch Hetchy was a precursor to modern environmental activism. Come
from a well education background.
- In Canada, Laurier‟s gvrnment advances consersation thought
- Clifford Sifton, one of Laurier‟s Ministers pushes the conservation agenda
- Forest regulation advances, lands are preserved in public ownership
- Resource management bureucracies are created: they get bigger and begin
to make decisions too.
- Frank Oliver tried to undue many acts: Jasper National Park was a lot
bigger, it was shrunk for logging and mining. Oliver was responsible for this.
Eventually Sifton leaves off. Laurier was indifferent he was not an
outdoorsman. Support for the prime minister came from supporters.
- As Canada expands west it is made a decision to retain lands instead of
send them all off. Sifton wanted to control these places.
- w/ THE CREATION OF THE PROVINCES THERE IS A GRADUAL transfer of
land ownership - federal to provincial
- provinces have diff. approaches to resource management
- lands still remain largely under gvrn control, a legacy of conservation era
and the ideology it spawned.
1) significant exhange of ideas and people between Canada and the US at
2) Ideas in Canada also influence the US, more so at the start of the
3) Pinchots and Roosevelts emphasis on public government, ownership and
rational scientific management are ideas that take hold in Canada.
- forestry as a profession and field of science takes off alone with water.
Whole field of range management. Hydrology and hydraulics.
- emphasis on rational scientific management – we need professions and
elites. Not big on public consultation.
Lasting Legacy of the Conservation Era
1) government ownership
2) parks and protected areas
3) realization that resources were limited in capacity and sustainability
4) Emphasis on scientifically rational resource management – a sustained
5) Equity of access to the benefits of resource use
6) Creation of resource management bureaucracies
7) Paramount role for the state in resource management: what we have is
the situation is prevalent – we have public resources but private sectors of
developing of those resources.
8)Greatest good for the greatest number
Modern Environmental Era
- The Great Depression meant the need for economic stimuli: green signs,
conservation projects: trails built through national parks etc. Conservation
went out and did things on the lands in both Can. and US. Rediscovery of
conservation. Some improvements small and some enormous like the
Hoover Dam. - WWII and recovery monopolized our attention
- post war recover leads to prosperity and caring
- pollution grows but is not recognized as being there: the pollutants were
putting in are very new and misunderstood.
- 1960s environment becomes an issue
- Silent Spring by Rachel Carson: she was a proper American lady who was a
biologist. Looking at impact of chemicals on birds. If we don‟t stop – bird
counts will keep dropping. Chemical use was agricultural. She was ridiculed
by the chemical industry. Regulations and policies. Enviro protection agency
in Canada and US.
- Enviro. Issue „awakening 1960s‟
- Tremendous action in the 1970s
- 1980s undid much of the early progress (con. Politics in the US) : not that
people weren‟t concerned they just had other things to worry about. A lot of
the changes were small and incremental. The power of the political
movement made it possible to push these things through. Had a president in
economic issues – he wasn‟t neglecting them he just had other things. See
a slowness in Canada. See great advances in policy settings, (biggest
producer of greenhouse gas) we accomplish very little.
- environmental issues are not stoping, and they are becoming more difficult
to manage. The cost also rises.
- affects of many chemicals not understood.
- monumental book and created movement. 9/15/2011 8:58:00 AM
- despite growing/ongoing concernsl great increases in resource
- rapid population growth continued; slowing now?: it may be in some
places. Some countries are flattening out and some are seeing a declining.
- reawakening in the 1990s with the advance of pollution issues
- climate change now becomes key issue: adaptation. We have a problem,
originally called global warming. The new normal is abnormal.
- 1990s and 2000s – a new clash of ideologies: absence of political
- well funded „climate change denial‟, campaigns, energy politics, rise of new
economies: energy politics talks about ethical oil sands. Rise of new
economies which are no longer developing. Ie. China and India – enormous
internal problems. Greater appetite for natural resources
- there is a cost associated with reacting – a lot higher than the cost of
anticipating. It is always cheaper if you plan in advance.
- environmental thought is mainstream: many things we do now and take
for granted cannot be sustained. At the point in human history (NA and W.
Europe) we need to look at the problems, understand them and make a
- In no small part b/c the problems are global, much larger and increasingly
impact people on a daily basis.
- clean water and air quality has improved.
in order to make society work, we require mechanisms for collective
thus, some form of governance structure is needed
such structures can (promise) and should (ideal) be fluid and allow for
change, response to citizens needs, and seek equity.
- some go through periods of great change, democratic and then it declines.
- Ex. Parliament: half is elected and the other half are appointed. Rare in
Canada to have a gvrnment that has more than 50% of the vote. Idea of
what is democratic takes many diff. forms around the world. - Latin (gubernare) control, govern, restrain
- Greek (kybernes) helmsman
- English word “cybernetic” (which denotes self steering systems) derives
from same root
- is government about “steering” the ship of state or the earth
- there is a diff. between “steering” (gvrnments role) and “rowing” (business‟
- idea of gvrnments are broad. It is an insistuiton and a component of
Government or Governance?
Government refers to particular kinds of public institutions
Typically vested with formal authority to take decisions on behalf of the
governance refers to a great collection of organizations and institutions,
together they make decisions that affect you. Everyday society makes
decisions that affect us. Everyday government too.
Governance encompasses collective decisions made in the public sector,
the private sector and civil society: what kind of decisions can I make on a
daily basis that can make a difference? We sometimes forget the power
individuals acting alone or in unison have in respect to govrnment. You can
do a lot to tell them youre happy or unhappy. Decision to vote.
this suggests the need for collaboration among sectors to address the
kinds of braod, systemic, horizontal challenges associated with enviro
- taking a bigger look at society and saying how do we govern ourselves. Do
we interact with the political level.
- knowledge and learning shapes it.
- enviro problems are social problems.
Definitions of Governance:
How governments and other societal organizations interact, how they relate
to citizens and how decisions are made in an increasingly complex world - those actions on part of the community to reshape the life of a community,
to create a social and political enviro setting conducive to the development
of healthy socially productive individuals
- capacity to act collectively to accomplish public policy goals, recognizing
the interdependence of government with not only business but the voluntary
sector and other interest groups.
communities are part of good governance b/c they address certain
problems that cannot be handled either by individuals acting alone or by
markets and governments.
- idea of markets do exist they are very interesting places. Not a big building
you can go and visit.
The Local – Downloading (seen in Canada more so)
- they are made by local governments. Municipal and local government
better placed to coordinate and work with other sectors in the governance of
- provincial governments: trends downwards for responsibility. Where is the
leadership coming? Local governments do something and some do nothing.
- communities can sometimes do what governments and markets fail to do
because their members, but not outsiders, have crucial info about other
member behaviours, capacities and needs.
Trust of citizens
Due process of law: do we trust the administration of law
Efficient and effective institutions
Democracy: desire to be engaged. Want to shape decisions.
The rule of law:
- law has to be impartial
- independent supreme court can be very effective
- decisions made according to the law, identical, foreseeable, understandable
- due process: correct handling, transparency, competence - appeal: possibilities of appeal, possibility to seek redress.
- overtime we have replaced commonlaw (powerful) with statuelaw.
Groups and organizations which occupy a position between the household,
the state and the private sector.
we‟re not bound to it b/c we do not have to go to work every day, trade
- faith groups, recreational groups, professional associations, community
groups, indigenous organizations, environmental and conservation
organization, social movements, cooperatives.
Civil Society Organizations:
civil society constitutes a third sector, existing alongside and interacting
with the state and market
CSOs comprise the full range of formal and informal organizations within
state, market, civil society all overlap. Has the ability to affect the market
and the state.
The Advance of Civil Society
- significant growth in number, diversity and influence of CSOs
- greater influence in shaping local/global agendas
- growing mobilization through global assemblies such as world social forum
- increasing resources channeled through CSOs
- plays a key role in transmitting information and is critical to increasing
individual and population responses to envrio issues.
- many of the problems we have today are problems because we are aware
Good Enviro Governance A vision of enviro management: react to problems rather then work to
appropriate structures (Stove pipes make it difficult):
Appropriate processes, including
- decision tools for integrated decisions: how do we make decisions that take
into account complexity.
- sustainability lens to see multiple implications: tackle problem in a certain
way, how does an action in one place affect others.
- sustainability assessment to assess policy proposals
- sustainability metrics to measure the impacts/outcomes: fairly integrated
- mechanisms for participation, transparency/reporting: open decision
making policies. Some sectors of society already have a loud voice but there
are others who don‟t. Can we open processes to make it more democratic?
Mechanisms in place that open to books to make it possible for the public to
look at the way things are done. Ex. Auditor general, reported on
performance. He has opened the books and said why they found it out.
- sustainable system complete with objective/targets, incentives, monitoring
and reporting. Fairly large body that talks about all the dynamics. How do
you define objectives, how do you get there, how do you make it actionable,
how do you evaluate and report that information to the public.
A culture of Sustainability (within organizations and society)
- understand values and ethic
- conscious efforts to change the mindset and culture of organizations
(business, government, orgnization within society)through:
- education and awareness and knowledge building: knowledge can be
packaged in certain ways.
- to apply these principles, make good decisions, learn continuously, to plan
for the short, medium and long term.
- not always something we have the luxury of to make strategic decisions.
resources (human and financial): clean water, food, energy
- build another school to create engineers? Why not do something different.
- green energy costs too much – well china is doing it.
- leadership Canada
the „local‟ is becoming more important
private and 3 sector playing increasing role in governance (taking up the
role of private sector is always clear (to a make profit) but the role of 3
sector not so clear… advocacy but for what?: has to be tempored by asking
things and being able to answer it. Whos voice.
an emphasis on partnership building, especially (government/business):
provincial and local government. Many relationships being formalized.
Oppourtunties for developing new ways of delivering public services. Local
gvrnment issues a contract.
- a formalization of the relationship (government/others) : they have to be
viewed carefully and have to be a benefit to the public and private provider.
Not a criteria thought out. Ex. Prisons: private owned prisons.
Economics and Environment
Ideas: economics is interested in the efficient use of (limited) productive
resources for the purpose of attaining the maximum satisfaction of human
- have fundamental things we need and the things we want
- economic thought is mostly concerned with questions of the allocation (of
- all humans have some form of economic activity that governs that
allocation of resources, rights, privilege, or power.
- but not all humans measure allocation in currency, but they do engage in
- prescriptions of how things should allocate, economics as a discipline have
ideologies. Talk about the paramount role of the state, then others that say
the markets should be as free as possible.
- economists that don‟t engage in big thinking, very natural and descriptive.
- theoretical or empirical analysis of economic effects of enviro policies.
Consideration of the costs and benefits of enviro policies - mainstream approach
- flow from mainstream economic thinking it has a body of methods and
approaches that are well documented and discussed.
Natural Resource Economics
- empirical and theoretical analysis of supply, demand, and allocation of
natural resources. Analysis of the role of resources in an economy and
interactions between economic and natural systems. Emphasis on supply,
time and use rates (sustainability)
- we need natural resources, gives you clothing
- oil is conventionally available. 2 schools of thought about people. We are
approaching global peak oil. Other says we have reached peak oil 4 or 5
Four Themes Today:
- generalizations help simplify the study of phenomena
- Perfect competition, perfect, info, generalizations, modeled contexts, etc:
perfect info, not everyone has access to all the info at the same time,
- The free market: does not exist, some are more free than others. Always
manipulated by the state in someway. Markets and concept of a global
market. Fantasy and does not exist. Some are freer than others. Global
market, complex and controlled by businesses and governments. Consumer
can end a recession. Don‟t act in unison unless panicking. Need confidence
- Models: model behaviour/activity. Most predictable thing in any economy is
human behavior. Bubbles get too big they will pop. Cannot maintain them.
- Separation from reality, notably time and space? (absence):
scarcity implies non availability, perhaps temporal availability, extinction
or declining supplies.
Cannot get fresh Salmon in the middle of the winter unless its farmed.
You can buy it frozen but not fresh. Fruits and Vegtables – you can get a
diff types of year but cost and quality vary.
As it reaches extinction price goes up even more. Inventory: how much of a given resource ther really is (accessible or all
that exist?) What do we use?
Cost might not reflect true scarcity: Canada‟s tarsands charge more to
stick a pole in the ground than on tarsands. Oil shale is hard to extract
and process is destructive.
Reactions to scarcity.. Malthusian versus Ricardian
We control it because we don‟t want consumers to flee the product.
Malthus: Population (moral idea of sex), exponential growth (correct), the
static stock index. Concered with what that meant for availability of
resources. What is available in terms of food.
He saw depletion, population decline, social and environmental conflict
He did not account for something Ricardo did
Ricardo: optimism, innovation and substitution, market induced change
Made money off of grain, made a great deal of money and retired.
Hobbies: Economics, tied and imbedded into the real world
Brought forward idea of innovation and substitution: market can induce
change and he saw that from grain supply.
But, they agreed on the nature of population growth
nautral resources result from the interaction between humans searching
for the means to attain a given end and their capacity to take advantage
of oppourtunities to improve the level of human satisfaction
Diff. between resources and neutral stuff
- resources are social products
they can be culturally specific: corn on the cob is only animal feed in
Europe but here we eat it from the cob.
Resources in economic terms shoul be seen as a factor of production
along with labour, land and capital
Resources as capital
Value has a narrow definition, market value, or value in exchange, or held
values (cultural value)
Diamonds: supply is strictly managed by DeBoer.
Renewable vs. Non-Renewable Renewable suggests renewal within a reasonable (to be used) time scale
Non Renewable suggests that depletion is final, there is no more because
no more is being made (oil)
Extinction> Mining renewables:
Ideas of property: who owns it, who can own it, what constitutes property
and the arrangements that govern its use
Property is a central theme in allocating resources
A „right‟ is the capacity to call upon a collective to stand behind one‟s
claim to a benefit
Property rights are not the relationship between an individual and an
object: you and your pen, society says I cannot come over smack you
and take the pen away from you. The right to enjoy the benefit
Property rights are the relationship between the individual and other
people with respect to an object
Land is not really property, though we refer to it as such
Property is the benefit one may receive from the land
In „more‟ economic terms, property is the income stream
- benefit stream and income stream
4 types of property: state property, private property, common property
(many forms started out as common property): old concept. Community
properties as such, non property: Antarctica
How do we define them? Who does benefit go to?
Regulation develops as a response to the perceived failure of a property
rights system, in particular the failure to control externalities, especially
Society rerots to the „command and control approach‟ (regulation)
2 fundamental types of law: statute(laws passed by lessislature) and
common(old):based on tradition. Provides strong defenses for property
rights and has been in Canadian use collectively.
The Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company: used to own paper mill.
Produced paper and dumped a lot of pollution into water. They killed fish
but made water unswimmable and drinkable. 1940s. People who owned
land down the river sued the company using Common Law. Ontario
passed a law allowing the pollution obliterated common law. Regulation comes a long to make the situation better but to allow activity to
continue. 9/15/2011 8:58:00 AM
Property and Externalties
Externalities are social costs (or social benefits) not included in the
market price of an economic good
An externality (cost of benefit) is a social effect that results from
producing and using an economic good but not included in the market price
of the good.
Why have we failed to account for externalities within a property rights
One answer is because we limit the rights of some while conferring the
benefits of externalizing costs onto others
In other words the state allows permits some people to engage in
activities that have a negative impact on others, while at the same time
limiting the ability of those affected to exercise their right to reasonable use
or enjoyment of their property
As problems become more acute and harm more people/we learn more
we resort to more regulation.
Once you enter the world of regulation you lock yourself into an action
that grows larger and larger to administer and becomes more complex in a
Some economists say if we want to solve pollution we would let the
market decide. Remove regulation institute common law and let people duke
it out in courts or in the Market place – if you want to let me still enjoy my
property and not take you to court you have to pay me.
We increasingly resort to regulation because we have failed to internalize
external costs and thus account for them within the market price of goods
Many consumers who may the most of externalites are the least who can
Let the Market decide: there are some good fundamental theories that
why it would work in some settings. Large businesses that are largely
spread. They like to be in control.
But, how can we internalize external costs?
Is it possible? Direction will have to come in part from the state
Direction from the courts
Better cause/effect research
Willingness to accept valid assumptions: rather than argue them
The impact of internalizing costs?: impact of internalizing costs
Rising costs? For some items yes, but for others costs would decline
quickly or slowly: Yes that may happen, others costs will decline.
Externalities are expensive that impose health costs.
Examples? Direct and indirect linkages
Can we really abandon regulation
How do we measure economic growth?
Economic growth is an increase in the real value of all goods and service
produced in an economy
Any increase in the GNP (gross natural product)
However, aggregate measures as GNP, which can be measured in several
ways, do not account well for quality of life, economic welfare or the
depletion of natural capital.
GDP – GNP = why are the numbers different?
The Gross National Product
GNP is the most common measure of growth, the most common measure
of economic performance
It is simply the market value in current dollars of all goods and services
produced by an economy in a year
if you spend more than you take in you have a deficit
to get a better idea of how much economic output is actually growing or
declining think about the real GNP
This is the GNP minus inflation or…
RGNP = GNP – I (inflation is any increase in the average price level of
goods and services)
if you increase interest rates, you increase rate of borrowing money. So
people spend less. APC
average per capita GNP or APCGNP
This is the real GNP divided by the population or…
APCGNP = GNP/P
If population grows faster than GNP the APCGNP declines and each
persons share of growth declines (at least in theory)
Are thee good indicators of a society‟s well-being?
Such measures were never intended to do this. What they ar