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Unformatted text preview: Population and Consumption What We Know, What We Need to Know by Robert W. Kates Thirty years ago, as Earth Day dawned, three wise men rec- ognized three proximate causes of environmental degradation yet spent half a decade or more arguing their relative impor- tance. in this classic environmentalist feud between Barry Com- moner’ on one side and Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren on the other. all three recognized that growth in population, affluence, and technology were jointly responsible for environmental problems, but they strongly differed about their relative impor- tance. Commoner assened that technology and the economic system that produced it were primarily responsible.1 Ehrlich and Holdren asserted the importance of all three drivers: popu- lation. affluence, and technology. But given Ehrlich‘s writings on population,2 the differences were often. albeit incorrectly, described as an argument over whether population or technolo- gy was responsible for the environmental crisis. Now, 30 years later, a general consensus among scientists posits that growth in population, affluence, and technology are jointly responsible for environmental problems. This has become ; enshrined in a useful, albeit overly simplified, identity known as IPAT, first published by Ehrlich and Holdren in Environment in F 19723 in response to the more limited version by Commoner that had appeared earlier in Environment and in his famous book 77w Closing Circle.4 In this identity, various forms of environmental 01' resource impacts (I) equals population (P) times affluence (A) (usually income per capita) times the impacts per unit of income as determined by technology ('1') and the institutions that use it. Academic debate has now shifted from the greater or lesser im- POrlance of each of these driving forces of environmental degra- dation or resource depletion to debate about their interaction and lhe ultimate forces that drive them. However, in the wider global realm, the debate about who or What is responsible for environmental degradation lives on. TOday. many Earth Days later, international debates over such k major concerns as biodiversity, climate change, or sustainable development address the population and the affluence terms of 3:. Holdrens' and Ehrlich's identity, specifically focusing on the li: Cl{al'acter of consumption that affluence permits. The concern “"1 technology is more complicated because it is now widely “0811ich that while technology can be a problem, it can be a solution as well. The deVelopment and use of more environmen- tally benign and friendly technologies in industrialized coun- tries have slowed the growth of many of the most pemicious forms of pollution that originally drew Commoner‘s attention and still dominate Earth Day concerns. _ A recent report from the National Research Council captures one view of the current public debate, and it begins as follows: For over two decades, the same frustrating exchange has been repeated countless times in international pol- icy circles. A government official or scientist from a wealthy country would make the following argument: The world is threatened with environmental disaster because of the depletion of natural resources (or cli- mate change or the loss of biodiversity), and it cannot continue for long to support its rapidly growing popu- lation. To preserve the environment for future genera- tions, we need to move quickly to control global population growth, and we must concentrate the effort on the world 's poorer countries, where the vast major- ity of population growth is occurring. Government officials and scientists from low-[income coun- tries would typically respond: If the world is facing environmental disaster, it is not the fault of the poor. who use few resources. The fault must lie with the world 's wealthy countries, where people consume the great bulk of the world‘s natural resources and energy and cause the great bulk of its environmental degradation. We need to curtail over- consumption in the rich countries which use for more than thei r fair share, both to preserve the environment and to allow the poorest people on earth to achieve an acceptable standard of living.5 It would be helpful, as in all such classic disputes, to begin by laying out what is known about the relative responsibilities of both population and consumption for the environmental crisis. and what might need to be known to address them. How- ever. there is a profound asymmetry that must fuel the frustra- HT?" ANNUAL EDITIONS tion of the developing countries' politicians and scientists: namely, how much people know about population and how little they know about consumption. Thus, this article begins by ex- amining these differences in knowledge and action and con- cludes with the alternative actions needed to go from more to enough in both population and consumption.6 Population What population is and how it grows is well understood even if all the forces driving it are not. Population begins with people and their key events of birth. death, and location. At the mar- gins, there is some debate over when life begins and ends or whether residence is temporary or permanent, but little debate in between. Thus. change in the world's population or any place is the simple arithmetic of adding births, subtracting deaths. adding immigrants, and subtracting outmigrants. While whole subfields of demography are devoted to the arcane details of these additions and subuactions. the error in estimates of popu- lation for almost all places is probably within 20 percent and for countries with modern statistical services, under 3 percent— better estimates than for any other living things and for most other environmental concerns. Current world population is more than six billion people, growing at a rate of 1.3 percent per year. The peak annual growth rate in all history—about 2.1 percent—occuned in the early 1960s, and the peak population increase of around 87 million per year oc- curred in the late [9803. About 80 percent or 4.8 billion people live in the less developed areas of the world, with 1.2 billion living in industrialized countries. Population is now projected by the United Nations (UN) to be 8.9 billion in 2050, according to its medium fer- tility assumption. the one usually considered most likely. or as high as 10.6 billion or as low as 7.3 billion.7 A general description of how birth rates and death rates are changing over time is a process called the demographic transi- tion.8 It was first studied in the context of Europe, where in the space of two centuries, societies went from a condition of high births and high deaths to the current situation of low births and low deaths. In such a transition, deaths decline more rapidly than births, and in that gap, population grows rapidly but even- tually stabilizes as the birth decline matches or even exceeds the death decline. Although the general description of the transition is widely accepted, much is debated about its cause and details. The world is now in the midst of a global transition that. un- like the European transition, is much more rapid. Both births and deaths have dropped faster than experts expected and his- tory foreshadowed. It took 100 years for deaths to drop in Eu- rope compared to the drop in 30 years in the developing world. Three is the current global average births per woman of repro- ductive age. This number is more than halfway between the av- erage of five children born to each woman at the post World War 11 peak of population growth and the average of 2.1 births required to achieve eventual zero population growth.9 The death transition is more advanced. with life expectancy cur- rently at 64 years. This represents three-quarters of the transi- tion between a life expectancy of 40 years to one of ‘75 years. The current rates of decline in births outpace the estimates of the demographers. the UN having reduced its latest medium ex- pectation of global population in 2050 to 8.9 billion, a reduction of almost 10 percent from its projection in 1994. Demographers debate the causes of this rapid birth decline. But even with such differences. it is possible to break down the projected growth of the next century and to identify policies that would reduce projected populations even further. John Bon- gaarts of the Population Council has decomposed the projected developing country growth into three parts and, with his col- league Judith Bruce. has envisioned policies that would encourage further and more rapid decline. '0 The first part is unwanted fer- tility, making available the methods and materials for contracep- tion to the 120 million married women (and the many more unmarried women) in developing countries who in survey research say they either want fewer children or want to space them better. A basic strategy for doing so links voluntary family planning with other reproductive and child health services. Yet in many parts of the world, the desired number of chil- dren is too high for a stabilized population. Bongaarts would re- duce this desire for large families by changing the costs and benefits of childrearing so that more parents would recognize the value of smaller families while simultaneously increasing their investment in children. A basic strategy for doing so accel- erates three trends that have been shown to lead to lower desired family size: the survival of children, their eduéation, and im- provement in the economic, social. and legal status for girls and women. However, even if fertility could immediately be brought down to the replacement level of two surviving children per woman. population growth would continue for many years in most devel- oping countries because so many more young people of repro- ductive age exist. So Bongaarts would slow this momentum of population growth by increasing the age of childbearing, prima- rily by improving secondary education opportunity for girls and by addressing such neglected issues as adolescent sexuality and reproductive behavior. How much further could population be reduced? Bongaarts provides the outer limits. The population of the developing world (using older projections) was expected to reach 10.2 bil- lion by 2100. In theory, Bongaarts found that meeting the unmet need for contraception could reduce this total by about 2 billion. Bringing down desired family size to replacement fertility would reduce the population a billion more, with the remaining growth—from 4.5 billion today to 7.3 billion in 2100—due to population momentum. In practice, however. a recent US. Na- tional Academy of Sciences report concluded that a 10 percent reduction is both realistic and attainable and could lead to a less- ening in projected population numbers by 2050 of upwards of a billion fewer people. 1 Consumption In contrast to population, where people and their births and deaths are relatively well-defined biological events. there is no consensus as to what consumption includes. Paul Stern of the National Research Council has described the different ways physics. economics, ecology, and sociology view consump- tion.12 For physicists, matter and energy cannot be consumed, so consumption is conceived as transformations of matter and energy with increased entropy. For economists, consumption is spending on consumer goods and services and thus distin- guished from their production and distribution. For ecologists, consumption is obtaining energy and nutrients by eating some- thing else, mostly green plants or other consumers of green plants. And for some sociologists. consumption is a status symbol—keeping up with the Joneses—when individuals and households use their incomes to increase their social status through certain kinds of purchases. These differences are sum- marized in the box be10w. In 1977, the councils of the Royal Society of London and the us. National Academy of Sciences issued a joint statement on consumption, having previously done so on population. They chose a variant of the physicist's definition: Consumption is the human transfonnation of materi- als and energy. Consumption is of concern to the ex- tent that it makes the transformed materials or energy less available for future use, or negatively impacts bio- physical systems in such a way as to threaten human health, welfare, or other things people value.l3 0n the one hand, this society/academy view is more holistic and fundamental than the other definitions; on the other hand. it is more focused. turning attention to the environmentally dam- aging. This article uses it as a working definition with one mod- ification, the addition of information to energy and matter, thus completing the triad of the biophysical and ecological basics that support life. in contrast to population, only limited data and concepts on the transformation of energy, materials, and information exist.14 There is relatively good global knowledge of energy transformations due in part to the common units of conVersion between different technologies. Between 1950 and today. global energy production and use increased more than four- fold.” For material transformations, there are no aggregate data in common units on a global basis, only for some specific classes of materials including materials for energy production. construction. industrial minerals and metals, agricultural crops. and water.16 Calculations of material use by volume, mass, or value lead to different trends. Trend data for per capita use of physical structure materials (Construction and industrial minerals. metals, and foresu'y prod- ucts) in the United States are relatively complete. They show an inverted S shaped (logistic) growth pattern: modest doubling bEthen 1900 and the depression of the 19305 (from two to four metric tons). followed by a steep quintupling with economic re- covery until the early 19705 (from two to eleven tons). followed by a leveling off since then with fluctuations related to eco- nomic downturns (see Figure 1).17 An aggregate analysis of all cllrt'ent material production and consumption in the United States averages more than 60 kilos per person per day (ex- cluding water). Most of this material flow is split between en- ergy and related products (38 percent) and minerals for construction (37 percent). with the remainder as industrial min- era15(5) percent), metals (2 percent), products of fields (12 per- cent). and forest (5 percent).18 41 Article 5. Population and Consumption A massive effort is under way to catalog biological (genetic) information and to sequence the genomes of microbes. worms. plants. mice, and people. In contrast to the molecular detail. the number and diversity of organisms is unknown, but a conserva- tive estimate places the number of species on the order of 10 million, of which only one-tenth have been described.I9 Al- though there is much interest and many anecdotes. neither con- cepts nor data are available on most cultural information. For example, the number of languages in the world continues to de- cline while the number of messages expands exponentially. What Is Consumption? Physicist: “What happens when you transform matter/energy” Ecologist: "What big fish do to little fish” Economist: "What consumers do with their money” Sociologist: "What you do to keep up with the Joneses” Trends and projections in agriculture, energy, and economy can serve as surrogates for more detailed data on energy and material transformation.20 From 1950 to the early 19908, world population more than doubled (2.2 times), food as measured by grain production almost tripled (2.7 times). energy more than quadrupled (4.4 times), and the economy quintupled (5.] times). This 43-year record is similar to a current 55-year pro- jection (1995—2050) that assumes the continuation of current trends or, as some would note, “business as usual." In this 55- year projection, growth in half again of population (L6 times) finds almost a doubling of agriculture (1.8 times), more than twice as much energy used (2.4 times). and a quadmpling of the economy (4.3 times)” Thus. both history and future scenarios predict growth rates of consumption well beyond population. An attractive simi- larity exists between a demographic transition that moves over time from high births and high deaths to low births and low deaths with an energy, materials, and information transition. In this transition, societies will use increasing amounts of energy and materials as consumption increases, but over time the en- ergy and materials input per unit of consumption decrease and information substitutes for more material and energy inputs. Some encouraging signs surface for such a transition in both energy and materials, and these have been variously labeled as decarbonization and dematerialization.22 For more than a cen- tu ry, the amount of carbon per unit of energy produced has been decreasing. Over a shorter period, the amount of energy used to produce a unit of production has also steadily declined. There is also evidence for dematerialization, using fewer materials for a unit of production. but only for industrialized countries and for some specific materials. Overall, improvements in technology h ntvIIUAL tUlTIONS vironmental priorities. While there is still no readily accept- methodology for separating resource-depleting or environme Figure 1. Consumption of physical structure materials in the United States, l900-l99l 12 depleting classes and shift consumption to the less harmfi class. It is possible to substitute less damaging and depleting er ergy and materials for more damaging ones. There is EFOWin experience with encouraging substitution and its difficulties: re newables for nonrenewables, toxics with fewer toxics. ozone depleting chemicals for more benign substitutes, natural gas fo coal. and so forth. The second question. Can we do more with less?. addresse: the supply side of consumption. Beyond substitution. shrinking the energy and material transformations required per unit at consumption is probably the most effective current means for reducing environmentally damaging consumption. in the 1997 book, Stufl? The Secret Lives of Everyday firings. John Ryan and Alan Durning of Northwest Environment Watch trace the complex origins. materials. production, and transport of such everyday things as coffee. newspapers. cars. and computers and highlight the complexity of reengineering such products and re- and substitution of information for energy and materials will organizing the” PTOdUCIion and distribution-24 continue to increase energy efficiency (including decarboniza- Yet there is growing experience with the three Rs of con- tion) and dematerialization per unit of product or service. Thus. sumption shrinkage: reduce. recycle. reuse. These have now over time. less energy and materials will be needed to make spe- been strengthened by a growing science. technology. and prac- 10 Metric tons per person A 9‘ 0 I900 I910 I920 I930 I940 I950 I960 I970 I980 I990 SOURCE l. Wemick. “Consuming Materials: The American Way." Techno- logical l-‘oremsling and Social Change. 53 (I996): l l4. and productivity gains. nal usage Such a potential led the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to conclude that it was possrble. usrng current What to Do about Consumption best practice technology. to reduce energy use by 30 percent tn I O o . I _ _ _ _ the short run and 50—60 percent in the long run.25 Perhaps most While Gunman“? mall's“ 0f consumption lSJUSt beglnmng- important in the long run. but possibly least studied. is the po- ‘hree (if'esuons suggest a dirccfion for mduclng °"Vi’°"me"m”l’ tential for and value of substituting information for energy and damaging and resource‘deP'eth consumpuon- The m5! “k5: materials. Energy and materials per unit of consumption are When is more ’00 {MP/1f!" (’18 life'WPPO" SYS'e’m' 0/ 1’13 "0mm! going down. in part because more and more consumption con- sists of information. The third question addresses the demand side of consump- tion— When is more enough?26 Is it possible to reduce consump- tion by more satisfaction with what people already have. by greater good? This is the least explored area of consumption and the most difficult. There are. of course. many signs of satiation for some goods. For example. people in the industrialized world no longer buy additional refrigerators (except in newly formed households) but only replace them. Moreover. the quality of re- frigerators has so improved that a 20-year or more life span is commonplace. The financial pages include frequent stories of the plight of this industry or corporation whose markets are saturated Despite this complexity. it is possible to rank energy sources and whose products no longer show the annual growth equated by the varied and multiple risks they pose and. for those con- with profits and progress. Such enterprises are frequently viewed cemed, to choose which risks they wish to minimize and which as failures of marketing or entrepreneurship ratherthan successes they are more willing to accept. There is now almost 30 years of in meeting human needs sufficiently and efficiently. Is it possible experience with the theory and methods of risk assessment and to reverse such views, to create a standard of satiation. a satisfac- 10 years of experience with the identification and setting of en- tion in a need well met? ural gas, hydroelectric, biomass, and wind generating sources. as well as to various energy policies. In all the controversies. com- Can people have more satisfaction with what they already have by using it more intensely and having the time to do so? Economist Juliet Schor tells of some overworked Americans ' who would willingly exchange time for money, time to spend with family and using what they already have, but who are con- strained by an uncooperative employment structure.” Proposed U.S. legislation would permit the trading of overtime for such compensatory time off, a step in this direction. Sublimation, ac- cording to the dictionary. is the diversion of energy from an im- mediate goal to a higher social, moral, or aesthetic purpose. Can people be more satisfied with less satisfaction derived from the diversion of immediate consumption for the satisfaction of a smaller ecological footprint?28 An emergent research field grapples with how to encourage consumer behavior that will lead to change in envirOnmentally damaging consumption.29 A small but growing “simplicity” movement tries to fashion new images of "living the good life."30 Such movements may never much reduce the burdens of consumption. but they facil- itate by example and experiment other less—demanding altema- tives. Peter Menzel's remarkable photo essay of the material goods of some 30 households from around the world is pow- erful testimony to the great variety and inequality of posses- sions amidst the existence of alternative life styles.“ Can a standard of “more is enough” be linked to an ethic of “enough for all"? One of the great discoveries of childhood is that eating lunch does not feed the starving children of some far-off place. But increasingly, in sharing the global commons, people flirt with mechanisms that hint at such—a rationing system for the remaining chlorofluorocarbons, trading systems for reducing emissions. rewards for preserving species, or allowances for using available resources. IMPACTS People Households Environmental Degradation Resource Depletion Slow population growth SOURCE: Robert W. Kates. POPULATION 43 Article 5. Population and Consumption A recent compilation of essays, Consuming Desires: Con- sumption. Culture, and the Pursuit of Happiness,32 explores many of these essential issues. These elegant essays by 14 well- known writers and academics ask the fundamental question of why more never seems to be enough and why satiation and sub- limation are so difficult in a culture of consumption. Indeed, how is the culture of consumption different for mainstream America, women, inner-city children, South Asian immigrants, or newly industrializing countries? Why We Know and Don’t Know In an imagined dialog between rich and poor counuies, with each side listening carefully to the other, they might ask them- selves just what they actually know about population and con- sumption. Struck with the asymmetry described above, they might then ask: “Why do we know so much more about popu- lation than consumption?" The answer would be that population is simpler, easier to study, and a consensus exists about terms, trends, even policies. Consumption is harder, with no consensus as to what it is, and with few studies except in the fields of marketing and adver- tising. But the consensus that exists about population comes from substantial research and study, much of it funded by gov- ernments and groups in rich countries, whose asymmetric con- cern readily identifies the troubling fertility behavior of others and only reluctantly considers their own consumption behavior. 80 while consumption is harder. it is surely studied less (see Table l). The asymmetry of concern is not very flattering to people in developing countries. Anglo-Saxon tradition has a long history of dominant thought holding the poor responsible for their con- CONSUMPTION! PERSON X Energy. Materials. Information Transformation IMPACTS/ CONSUMPTION Satisfy Shift more with what we have Satiate well-met needs Sublimale wants for greater good to less harmful consumption Shrink energy and materials Substitute information for energy and materials (it; .— ANNUAL EDITIONS dition—they have too many children—and an even longer tra- dition of urban civilization feeling besieged by the barbarians at their gates. But whatever the origins of the asymmetry. its per~ sistence does no one a service. Indeed. the stylized debate of population versus consumption reflects neither popular under- standing nor scientific insight. Yet lurking somewhere beneath the surface concerns lies a deeper fear. Table 1 . A comparison of population and consumption Population Consumption Simpler, easier to study More complex Well-funded research Unfunded, except marketing Consensus terms, trends Uncertain terms, trends Consensus policies SOURCE: Robert w. Karts. Threatening policies Consumption is more threatening. and despite the North- South rhetoric, it is threatening to all. In both rich and poor countries alike. making and selling things to each other. in- cluding unnecessary things, is the essence of the economic system. No longer challenged by socialism. global capitalism seems inherently based on growth—growth of both consumers and their consumption. To study consumption in this light is to risk concluding that a transition to sustainability might require profound changes in the making and selling of things and in the opportunities that this provides. To draw such conclusions, in the absence of convincing alternative visions. is fearful and to be avoided. What We Need to Know and Do In conclusion, retuming to the 30-year-old [PAT identity—a variant of which might be called the Population/Consumption (PC) version—and restating that identity in terms of population and consumption, it would be: I = P*C/P*l/C. where 1 equals environmental degradation and/or resource depletion; P equals the number of people or households; and C equals the transfor- mation of energy. materials, and information (see Figure 2). With such an identity as a template, and with the goal of re ducing environmentally degrading and resource-depleting in- fluences. there are at least seven major directions for research and policy. To reduce the level of impacts per unit of consump- tion, it is necessary to separate out more damaging consumption and shift to less harmful forms. shrink the amounts of environ- mentally damaging encrgy and materials per unit of consump- tion. and substitute information for energy and materials. To reduce consumption per person or household. it is necessary to satisfy more with what is already had. satiate well-met con- sumption needs. and sublimate wants for a greater good. Fi- nally, it is possible to slow population growth and then to stabilize population numbers as indicated above. However, as with all versions of the [PAT identity. popula- tion and consumption in the PC version are only proximate 44 driving forces. and the ultimate forces that drive consumption. the consuming desires, are poorly understood, as are many of the major interventions needed to reduce these proximate driving forces. People know most about slowing population growth. more about shrinking and substituting environmentally damaging consumption. much about shifting to less damaging consumption. and least about satisfaction. sedation, and subli- mation. Thus the determinants of consumption and its altema- tive patterns have been identified as a key understudied topic for an emerging sustainability science by the recent U.S. National Academy of Science study.33 But people and society do not need to know more in order to act. They can readily begin to separate out the most serious problems of consumption. shrink its energy and material throughputs. substitute information for energy and materials. create a standard for satiation, sublimate the possession of things for that of the global commons. as well as slow and sta- bilize population. To go from more to enough is more than enough to do for 30 more Earth Days. M Roben W. Kates is an independent scholar in Trenton. Maine; is geographer; university professor emeritus at Brown University; and an executive editor of Environment. The research for "Population and Consumption: What We Know. What We Need to Know“ was undertaken as a contribution to the recent Nation al Academies/National Research Council report. Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Stutainability. The author retain the copyright to this article. Kates can be reached at RRl. Box 1698. Trenton. ME 04605. NOTES 1. B. Commoner. M. Corr. and P. Stamler. “The Causes of Pol~ lution." Environment. April 1971. 2—19. 2. P. Ehrlich. The Population Bomb (New York: Ballantine. 1966). 3. P. Ehrlich and .l. Holdren. “Review of The Closing Circle." Environment. April 1972. 24—39. 4. B. Commoner. The Closing Circle (New York: Knopf. l97l). 5. P. Stern. T. Dietz. V. Runan. R. H. Socolow. and .l. L. Sweeney, eds.. Environmentally Significant Consumption: Research Direction (Washington. DC: National Academy Press. 1997). l. 6. This article draws in part upon a presentation for the 1997 De Lange-Woodlands Conference, an expanded version of which will appear as: R. W. Kates, “Population and Con- sumption: From More to Enough." in In Sustainable Devel- opment: The Challenge of Transition. 1. Schmandt and C. H. Wards. eds. (Cambridge. UK: Cambridge University ‘ Press. forthcoming), 79—99. ‘ 7. United Nations. Population Division. World Population Prospects: The 1998 Revision (New York: United Nations. 1999). 8. K. Davis. “Population and Resources: Fact and Interpreta- tion." K. Davis and M. S. Bemstam, eds. in Resources. En- vironment and Population: Present Knowledge. Future ' Options. supplement to Population and Development Re- view. I990: l—21. 9. Population Reference Bureau, 1997 World Population Data Sheet of the Population Reference Bureau (Washington. DC: Population Reference Bureau, 1997). 10. J. Bongaarts, “Population Policy Options in the Developing World," Science, 263: (1994), 771-776; and J. Bongaarts and J. Bruce, “What Can Be Done to Address Population Growth?" (unpublished background paper for The Rocke- feller Foundation, 1997). l 1. National Research Council, Board on Susrainable Develop- ment, Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustain- ability (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1999). 12. See Stern, et 3]., note 5 above. 13. Royal Society of London and the US. National Academy of Sciences, “Towards Sustainable Consumption," reprint- ed in Population and Development Review, 1977, 23 (3): 683—686. 14. For the available data and concepts, 1 have drawn heavily from J. H. Ausubel and H. D. Langford, eds., Technological Trajectories and the Human Environment. (Washington, DC: National Academy Press. 1997). 15. L. R. Brown, H. Kane, and D. M. Roodman, Vital Signs 1994: The Trends That Are Shaping Our Future (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1994). 16. World Resources Institute, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, World Resources, l996—97 (New York: Ox- ford University Press, 1996); and A. Gruebler, Technology and Global Change (Cambridge, Mass: Cambridge Uni- versity Press, 1998). 17. I. Wernick, “Consuming Materials: The American Way,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 53 (1996): Ill-122. 18. l. Wernick and J. H. Ausubel. “National Materials Flow and the Environment,” Annual Review of Energy and Envi- ronment, 20 (1995): 463—492. 19. S. Pimm, G. Russell, J. Gittelman. and T. Brooks, ‘”I'he Fu- ture of Biodiversity," Science, 269 (1995): 347—350. 20. Historic data from L. R. Brown, H. Kane, and D. M. Rood- man, note 15 above. 21. One of several projections from P. Raskin, G. Gallopin, P. Gutman, A. Hammond, and R. Swart, Bending the Curve: Toward Global Sustainability, a report of the Global Sce- nario Group, Polestar Series, report no. 8 (Boston: Stock- holm Environmental Institute, 1995). 22. N. Nakicénovic, “Freeing Energy from Carbon," in Tech~ nological Trajectories and the Human Environment, eds., J. H. Ausubel and H. D. Langford. (Washington, DC: Na- tional Academy Press, 1997); I. Wernick, R. Herman, S. Govind, and J. H. Ausubel. “Materialization and Dematcri- alization: Measures and Trends," in J. H. Ausubel and H. D. Article 5. Population and Consumption ‘ Langford, eds., Technological Trajectories and the Human 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. Environment (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997), 135—156; and see A. Gruebler, note 16 above. Royal Society of London and the US. National Academy of Science, note 13 above. J. Ryan and A. Duming, Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things (Seattle, Wash: Northwest Environment Watch, I997) R. T. Watson, M. C. Zinyowera, and R. H. Moss, eds., Cli- mate Change 1995: Impacts, Adaptations, and Mitigation of Climate Change—Scientific-Technical Analyses (Cam- bridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1996). A sampling of similar queries includes: A. Duming, How Much Is Enough? (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1992); Center for a New American Dream, Enoughl: A Quarterly Report on Consumption, Quality of Life and the Environment (Burlington, Vt.: The Center for a New Amer- ican Dream. 1997); and N. Myers, “Consumption in Rela- tion to Population, Environment, and Devel0pment.” The Environmentalist, 17 (1997): 33—44. J. Schor, The Overworked American (New York: Basic Books, 1991). A. Duming, How Much Is Enough .7: The Consumer Society and the Future of the Earth (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1992); Center for a New American Dream, note 26 above; and M. Wackemagel and W. Ress, Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth (Philadel- phia. Pa.: New Society Publishers, 1996). W. lager, M. van Asselt, J. Rotmans, C. Vlek, and P. Cos- terman Boodt, Consumer Behavior: A Modeling Perspec- tive in the Contest of Integrated Assessment of Global Change, RIVM report no. 461502017 (Bilthoven, the Neth- erlands: National Institute for Public Health and the Envi- ronment, 1997); and P. Vellinga, S. de Bryn, R. Heintz, and P. Molder, eds., Industrial Transformation: An Inventory of Research. IHDP-IT no. 8 (Amsterdam, the Netherlands: In- stitute for Environmental Studies, 1997). H. Nearing and S. Nearing. The GoodLife: Helen and Scott Nearing ’s Sixty Years of Self-Sufiicient Living (New York: Schocken, 1990); and D. Elgin, Voluntary Simplicity: To~ ward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, lnwardly Rich (New York: William Morrow, 1993). P. Menzel, Material World: A Global Family Portrait (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1994). R. Rosenblatt, ed., Consuming Desires: Consumption. Cul- ture, and the Pursuit of Happiness (Washington, DC: Is- land Press, 1999). National Research Council, Board on Sustainable Develop- ment, Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustain- ability (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1999). ¥___—_—_—__—_ From Environment, April 2000, pp. 10-19. Copyright 0 2000 by Robert W. Kates. Reprinted by permission of the author. till ...
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