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class notes - (February 1, 2008) Carrying Capacity is Not...

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(February 1, 2008) Carrying Capacity is Not Necessarily Fixed: - Technological developments and resources substitutions have meant that we have not “run out” of resources (I.e. copper) - Economists generally believe this pattern will continue, while ecologists generally disagree (Simon/Ehrlich debate and bet is an example of this) Quiz: Ecological economics attempts to account for externalities. National Resource Accounting: - Gross National Product (GNP) – Total value of goods and services produced by an economy during a year. - Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – Only includes activity within national boundaries. Both criticized as measure of well-being because they do not distinguish between beneficial and harmful growth. (Ex. They do not account for the resource depletion or ecosystem damage.) Measuring Real Progress: - Genuine Progress Index (GPI) – Takes into account for real per capita income, distributional equity, national resource depletion, and environmental damage. - Human Development Index (HDI) – Incorporates life expectancy, educational attainment, and standard of living measures (UN uses this) An alternate measure of success: - GNH – gross national happiness - Attempt to provide a alternative to GDP Measuring Nonmarket Values: - Natural resources characteristics that should be considered in ecological economics: - Use – Price we pay to consume a resource - Option – Preserving options for future - Existence – Keep things around, even if they are unseen or never used. - Aesthetic – Appreciated for beauty - Cultural – Factors important in cultural identity - Scientific – Information or experiences Cost-Benefit Analysis: - Attempts to assign values to resources and social and environmental effects of carrying out any undertaking. Tries to find optimal efficiency point at which the marginal cost of pollution control equals the marginal benefit. - Challenges: - To define what is internal and what is external - Defining what things are worth (a life in the US is worth more than a life in Africa with CBA… is that right?) - Estimating the costs and benefits…. Businesses hate regulations and often overestimate the costs.
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- Market Mechanisms – making externalities (e.g. pollution) internal to the costs of business. Can be (and have been) very effective ways to deal with pollution. (Ex. Sulfur Trading) Market-Based Environmental Protection: - Pollution Charges – fees assessed per unit of effluent. It encourages businesses to perform as much pollution control as possible. - Emissions Trading – allows companies or nation that can reduce pollution below target levels to sell their excess capacity Emissions Trading - ‘Cap and Trade’: - Government places a cap on emissions - Companies/groups that emit are given an allowance (specified emissions limit) - Companies can buy or sell their allowance depending on whether they are above or below their emissions limit. -
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2008 for the course ENVS 1000 taught by Professor Neff,jason during the Spring '07 term at Colorado.

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class notes - (February 1, 2008) Carrying Capacity is Not...

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