Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

While higher consumption levels lead to traditionally

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: ndex (HDI) is intended as an alternative to GNP to measure human development. It is reported yearly in the United Nations’ Human Development Report. The HDI does not equate development with economic growth. The Report states, “The concept of human development provides an alternative to the view of development equated exclusively with economic growth. Human development focuses on people.” 135 HDI takes into account “three basic dimensions of human development—longevity, knowledge and a decent standard of living. It is measured by life expectancy, educational attainment . . . and adjusted income.”136 Figure 7.7 illustrates that there is not a perfect correlation between GNP and HDI. In fact, these two measures differ significantly in a number of cases. Another measure, the Human Progress Indicator for the LDCs, is similar to the HDI, but also adds an element of equity by looking at the percentage of people without access to water and health services and the percentage of underweight children. 137 Other variants on these themes take into account other dimensions of human life, such as gender equality (for example, the Gender-Related Development Index and the Gender Empowerment Measure). Unfortunately, the HDI does not include an environmental element or an equity element. The Sustainable National Income (SNI) is a measure used to compare actual levels of economic activity with “sustainable” levels of activity.138 By taking additional costs into account, such as costs of environmental restoration and of developing alternatives to natural resources, the measure adjusts national income statistics. While higher consumption levels lead to traditionally “better” statistics, the SNI accounts for the environmentally degrading effects of some consumption. For example, “Consumption patterns in the West . . . includ[ing] consuming large amounts of meat, heating the whole house, extensive use of vehicles, and consuming summer vegetables in winter . . . overburden the environment.”139 These activities raise the GNP, but lower the SNI. Despite the SNI’s inclusion of an environmental component,...
View Full Document

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.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online