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AGNR 301- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 158 pages long!)


Department
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Course Code
AGNR 301
Professor
Robert Sprinkle
Study Guide
Final

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UMD
AGNR 301
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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3.1 Ecological economics
1. The economics of the steady state (1974)
steady state economy- constant stocks of physical wealth
and constant population maintained at a chosen and
desirable level by a low rate of throughput.
“economic growth” refers to increase in real GNP
relative wants-we feel only if it will make us feel superior to
others *cannot be satisfied by growth, quite impossible for
everyone to become better off relative to everyone else
absolute wants-we feel these no matter the situation of our
fellow human beings
2nd design principle: maintain some slack between actual
environmental load and maximum carrying capacity. We
need 3 institutions for stabilizing population, physical
wealth, and limiting inequality
2. The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital
(1997)
Notes: ecosystem services contribute to the functioning of the
Earth, human welfare, and economic value of the planet
It is essential to produce an estimate of the value of ecosystem
services, in order to make the value of the ecosystem services
more apparent, have an idea of the magnitude of global eco-
services, have somewhere to go from in future analyses, highlight
the areas that need the most research, and stimulate debate.
Ecosystem services consist of flows of materials, energy, and
information from natural capital stocks which combine with
manufactured and human capital services to produce human
welfare (verbatim from article).
We place value on ecosystem services, human life, and
environmental aesthetics every day, even though some
people disagree (ex: construction standards for highways,
safety standards relate to human life value). A valuation
3.1$Ecological$Economics
3:36(PM
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safety standards relate to human life value). A valuation
method is to use willingness to pay (supply and demand
curves), but supply curves are usually nearly vertical
3. Optimists, Pessimists, and Science (2002 by Richard B.
Norgaard)
Children who are born today will enjoy better living standards,
longer lives, better education and more leisure time without the
global environment being destroyed; but there are people on both
sides of the spectrum (Lomborg)
A big flaw in thinking is ignoring the fact that resources are
scarce. It is necessary to know how scarce resources/stocks
are to make wise decisions about where the resources are
allocated and used as well as how high the price will be.
4. Driving the human ecological footprint (2007)
Overview: principal drivers of anthropogenic environmental
stressors are population size and affluence. Some aspects of
human wellbeing can be improved with minimal environmental
impact/damage.
The number of households and the rise of urbanization has
more direct environmental impact than the population size
Shift from materialism to services (banking,
healthcare) would reduce environmental impact
(“dematerialization”)
o
however, increased affluence exacerbates impacts, and
affluence + population growth = increased human
footprint on planet
o
I=PAT and ecological footprint are some ways to measure
environmental impact, but the EF fails to account for biodiversity
loss and pollution emissions (it only includes CO2)
If we believe technological progress can keep up with
environmental problems, then the improvement rate needs
to be >2% per year
5. Payments for ecosystem services from local to global (2010)
Notes: Payment for ecosystem services (PES) ^ popularity as a
way to manage ecosystems using economic incentives. Ecosystem
services are essential and poorly understood by most people, but
there are many pressing costs that someone will have to be
responsible for
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