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slides_3b - Environmental Sustainability A Big Question...

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Environmental Sustainability
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A Big Question • Will a child born in 2075 have a higher quality of life than a child born in 2000? • If so, why? • “yes” perhaps due to Medical advance and Technological advance • “no” perhaps due in part to risk from Climate change and terrorism (i.e Dirty bombs), specie extinction • If we find a cure for cancer but a specie goes extinct has “sustainability” gone up or down?
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Measuring “Sustainability” • 3 different methods for judging a geographical area’s “environmental report card” • This area could be a city, community, or nation or a planet. • While do we need such a “report card”? How Do we judge progress over time? • At a point in time, how do we know who is “green” and has high quality of life?
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The Three Methods • 1. Ecological Footprint • 2. Public Health Method • 3. Real Estate pricing and Hedonics
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The Ecological Footprint • Steps • 1. Measure consumption of various resources • 2. For each type of consumption, use an “exchange rate” to translate this consumption into the amount of land needed to support this activity or to offset the waste produced • 3. Add up the total land needed in step #2 • 4. Graph the results over time
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“Micro” Footprint Inputs Q1. How often do you eat animal-based products? Q2. How would you describe your average daily caloric food intake? Q3. How much of your purchased food is thrown out rather than eaten? Q4. How much of the food that you buy is locally grown, unprocessed and in- season? Q5. How much do you drive each year, on average? (either as a driver or passenger) Q6. On average, how often do you drive with someone else (either in your car or theirs)? Q7. How many miles per gallon does your car get? Q8. On average, how many miles do you travel on public transportation? Q9. How many hours each year do you spend flying? Q10. How many people live in your home? Q11. How big is your home? Q12. Does your home purchase electricity from a "green" electricity provider (e.g., solar, wind, micro-hydro)? Q13. Do you use energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs?
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UCLA’s Jared Diamond • Jared Diamond writes in his latest bestseller, Collapse, “the larger danger that we face is not just of a two-fold increase in population, but of a much larger increase in human impact if the Third World’s population succeeds in attaining a First World living standard.” • Populaton growth and per-capita income growth
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Weaknesses of The Ecological Footprint Approach? • 1. Think of Las Vegas --- a booming city despite its large footprint. This approach doesn’t speak to the day to day quality of life of living in such a city • 2. No economics because no behavioral response; how do incentives shrink this footprint?
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Public Health Approach • We have surveyed these methods in our previous discussions of the health production functions • Public Health researchers posit that there is a
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This note was uploaded on 11/12/2010 for the course ECON M134 taught by Professor Bresnock during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.

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slides_3b - Environmental Sustainability A Big Question...

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