Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

Shiva argues that pharmaceutical companies earn

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Unformatted text preview: en there would be even more jobs and more taxable incomes. An editorial in the Oil and Gas Journal (1995) states, “By not leasing [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], the U.S. government deprives itself and its citizens of an economic opportunity because an environmentalist cause forecloses discussion of what few real environmental questions apply. . . . Their [the government’s] refusal is a triumph of obstructionist environmentalism.”128 THE SOCIOLOGY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 253 Environmentalists call Don Young, the Alaskan Congressman who is leading the effort to explore, “an attack dog for development interests.”129 Citing concerns over species preservation and the problems of dependence on nonrenewable resources, environmental organizations, including the Wilderness Society, have urged the government to change the area’s protection status to that of a national monument, which would legally prohibit oil exploration. Federal agencies are split on the issue due to competing missions. For example, the Interior Department’s Mineral Management Service promotes oil development, while the Fish and Wildlife Service is charged with protecting the environment.130 Despite the rhetoric of SD, the two sides have different, not necessarily complementary values. One values economic benefits; the other values the benefits of wildlife preservation. The mainstream view of SD ignores these critical differences. From a global perspective, radicals are concerned that biodiversity is being commodified and only valued for its economic benefits. Shiva argues that pharmaceutical companies earn billions of dollars from the preservation of rain forests from which they extract chemicals from tropical plants, often with no benefit to the LDCs that protect the land. The companies re-create chemical compounds, patent the compounds, and sell the drugs back to the LDCs. Between 1990 and 2000, according to Shiva, the value of the LDC’s germplasm grew from US$4.7 billion to US$47 billion;131 others project even higher future...
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course SOSCI INBA6610 taught by Professor Prescott during the Fall '08 term at University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.

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