Category Archives: Consumption

Right to Carbon or Right to Life: Human Rights Approaches to Climate Change (S. Kravchenko)

Author

Svitlana Kravchenko

Keywords

International Environmental Law, UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, ICJ, Human Rights, Global Warming, Access to Information, Public Participation

Abstract

Human rights form a central part of the thought system of many people in the world, including those in the United States. The enforcement of “rights” in the legal system does not, by itself, change government policy, but the embedding of rights in our thought systems can. I want to ask whether the concept of human rights has a role to play in changing minds–and more importantly, hearts–in our political system. The reason that I focus on hearts is that changes there are more permanent; and where the heart goes, the head tends to follow.

If we come to see human-caused global climate change as violating fundamental human rights–as something as unacceptable as other gross violations of human rights–perhaps we can make the breakthrough in our politics that is essential. Perhaps we can rescue ourselves from the planetary emergency that Al Gore, in the quote above, sees so clearly. Perhaps we can overcome the limitations of human nature that Aristotle saw so clearly more than two millennia ago. Perhaps that which is “common to the greatest number”–the precious planet that sustains our lives–may come to have not the least care, but our loving care, bestowed upon it.

Citation

(2008) 9 Vermont Journal of Environmental Law 513

Paper

Right to Carbon or Right to Life: Human Rights Approaches to Climate Change

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Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (T. Jackson)

Author

Tim Jackson

Keywords

Economic growth; prosperity and well-being; global population; sustainability; developed nations; environmental impact of economic activity

Abstract

* With a new Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales * 10% of proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to rainforest protection. * Is more economic growth the solution? Will it deliver prosperity and well-being for a global population projected to reach nine billion? In this explosive book, Tim Jackson – a top sustainability adviser to the UK government – makes a compelling case against continued economic growth in developed nations. No one denies that development is essential for poorer nations. But in the advanced economies there is mounting evidence that ever-increasing consumption adds little to human happiness and may even impede it. More urgently, it is now clear that the ecosystems that sustain our economies are collapsing under the impacts of rising consumption. Unless we can radically lower the environmental impact of economic activity – and there is no evidence to suggest that we can – we will have to devise a path to prosperity that does not rely on continued growth. Economic heresy? Or an opportunity to improve the sources of well-being, creativity and lasting prosperity that lie outside the realm of the market? Tim Jackson provides a credible vision of how human society can flourish – within the ecological limits of a finite planet. Fulfilling this vision is simply the most urgent task of our times. This book is a substantially revised and updated version of Jackson ‘s controversial study for the Sustainable Development Commission, an advisory body to the UK Government. The study rapidly became the most downloaded report in the Commission’s nine year history when it was launched earlier this year. You can read more reviews and watch Tim Jackson’s recent TEDGlobal talk at www.earthscan.co.uk/pwg

Citation

Tim Jackson, Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (Earthscan, 2011)

Book

Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet

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Natural Resources and Economic Development (E.B. Barbier)

Author

Edward B. Barbier (University of Wyoming, USA )

Keywords

Natural resources, exploitation, poor economies, developing countries, economic development, land use, water, sustainable development

Abstract

Natural Resources and Economic Development explores a key paradox: why is natural resource exploitation not yielding greater benefits to the poor economies of Africa, Asia and Latin America? Part I examines this paradox both through a historical review of resource use and development and through examining current theories which explain the under-performance of today’s resource-abundant economies, and proposes a frontier expansion hypothesis as an alternative explanation. Part II develops models to analyse the key economic factors underlying land expansion and water use in developing countries. Part III explores further the ‘dualism within dualism’ structure of resource dependency, rural poverty and resource degradation within developing countries, and through illustrative country case-studies, proposes policy and institutional reforms necessary for successful resource-based development.

• The first comprehensive analysis of natural resource use and economic development in poor countries • Written in an accessible style that will appeal to policy makers, development experts and social scientists as well as to economists • New and important insights into why natural resource exploitation is not more successful in developing economies

Contents

Preface; 1. Natural resources and developing countries: an overview; 2. Natural resource-based economic development in history; 3. Does natural resource dependence hinder economic development?; 4. Frontier expansion and economic development; 5. Explaining land use change in developing countries; 6. The economics of land conversion; 7. Does water availability constrain economic development?; 8. Rural poverty and resource degradation; 9. Can frontier-based development be successful?; 10. Policies for sustainable resource-based development in poor economies.

Citation

Edward B. Barbier, Natural Resources and Economic Development (CUP, UK 2005)

Book

Natural Resources and Economic Development

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Energy and the Transformation of International Relations (A. Wenger, et al)

Editor(s)

Andreas Wenger, Robert W. Orttung and Jeronim Perovic

Keywords

Energy, changing markets, energy use patterns, energy security, oil supplies, Middle East, Russia, Latin America, Africa, United States, Europe, China, India, Cooperative Framework

Abstract

Comprehensive overview of global energy producers and consumers, with a chapter on each major producer and consumer. Shows how energy affects the prospects for conflict and cooperation around the world.
Case studies and conclusions show how different countries are reacting to evolving international energy conditions. Contributes to comparative political studies, international relations, and security studies

With energy security at the top of the global agenda, this book examines the development of a new producer-consumer framework. As the era of cheap energy comes to an end, Asia’s demand for energy increases, and concerns over climate change increase, it is clear that the old framework is no longer sustainable in this new era. This book examines the evolving relations between the key producers (Middle East, Russia, Latin America, and Africa) and traditional consumers such as the US and Europe, and new consumers such as China and India as they adjust to the changing marketplace and political realities.

At the centre of the book is the key question of how dynamics in the global energy market affect the nature of international relations. It is argued that while conflict over resources is possible, there are many opportunities for international cooperation over energy resources. Although coal, oil, and gas will define energy usage for the foreseeable future, greater efficiency and alternative sources of energy will play an important role in shaping the new producer-consumer framework.

Citation

Andreas Wenger, Robert W. Orttung and Jeronim Perovic (eds), Energy and the Transformation of International Relations: Toward a New Producer-Consumer Framework(OUP/Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Oxford 2009)

Book

Energy and the Transformation of International Relations: Toward a New Producer-Consumer Framework

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Are the affluent prepared to pay for the planet? (R. Meyer and U. Liebe)

Author(s)

Reto Meyer and Ulf Liebe

Keywords

Willingness to pay, environmental goods, affluence hypothesis, subjective discount rate, environmental justice

Abstract

A large number of ‘environmental justice’ studies show that wealthier people are less affected by environmental burdens and also consume more resources than poorer people. Given this double inequity, we ask, to what extent are affluent people prepared to pay to protect the environment? The analyses are couched within the compensation/affluence hypothesis, which states that wealthier persons are able to spend more for environmental protection than their poorer counterparts. Further, we take into account various competing economic, psychological and sociological determinants of individuals’ willingness to pay (WTP) for both public environmental goods (e.g., general environmental protection) and quasi-private environmental goods (e.g., CO2-neutral cars). Such a comprehensive approach contrasts with most other studies in this field that focus on a limited number of determinants and goods. Multivariate analyses are based on a general population survey in Switzerland (N = 3,369). Although income has a positive and significant effect on WTP supporting the compensation hypothesis, determinants such as generalized interpersonal trust that is assumed to be positively associated with civic engagement and environmental concern prove to be equally important. Moreover, we demonstrate for the first time that time preferences can considerably influence survey-based WTP for environmental goods; since investments in the environment typically pay off in the distant future, persons with a high subjective discount rate are less likely to commit.

Citation

( 9 July 2010 ) Population and Environment Online

Paper

Are the affluent prepared to pay for the planet? Explaining willingness to pay for public and quasi-private environmental goods in Switzerland

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