Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

Table 74 lays out the factors that are considered the

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Unformatted text preview: ks, medical costs, locks and security systems, 256 CHAPTER SEVEN Table 7.4 The 1998 GPI Account Personal consumption Income distribution Personal consumption adjusted for income inequality Adjustments Value of housework and parenting Services of consumer durables Services of Highways and Streets Value of volunteer work Net capital investment Cost of household pollution abatement Cost of noise pollution Cost of crime Cost of air pollution Cost of water pollution Cost of family breakdown Loss of old-growth forests Cost of underemployment Cost of automobile accidents Loss of farmland Net foreign lending or borrowing Loss of leisure time Cost of ozone depletion Loss of wetlands Cost of commuting Cost of consumer durables Cost of long-term environmental damage Depletion of nonrenewable resources Net genuine progress 5,153 118 4,385 +1,911 +592 +95 +88 +45 −12 −16 −28 −38 −50 −59 −83 −112 −126 −130 −238 −276 −306 −363 −386 −737 −1,054 −1,333 1,770 SOURCE: Cobb, Clifford, Gary Sue Goodman, and Mathias Wackernagel, 1999. Why Bigger Isn’t Better: The Environmental Progress Indicator, 1999 update. San Francisco, CA: Redefining Progress. www.rprogress.org. and insurance are also pluses to the GDP. Further, the GDP ignores the environmental costs of economic activities. . . . The GDP counts pollution as a double gain to the economy: The production of oil that creates pollution adds to the GDP; then the clean up of toxic waste sites or the Exxon Valdez oil spill ups the GDP even more. Like the SNI, the GPI corrects for these by adjusting the GDP in terms of consumer spending that increases or decreases well-being but does not allow for cross-national comparisons. Table 7.4 lays out the factors that are considered. The GPI, like other “alternative” measures, paints a very different pic- 257 THE SOCIOLOGY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 30,000 1992 dollars per capita 25,000 20,000 15,000 Gross domestic product (GDP) 10,000 5,000 Genuine progress indicator (GPI) 0 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 FIGURE 7.8 GPI versus GDP, 1998 SOURCE: Used by permission of Redefining Progress. www.reprogress.org. ture than the GDP (Figure...
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