Week 10 - Lecture B - ECON 4411A, Fall 2011 Development...

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Unformatted text preview: ECON 4411A, Fall 2011 Development Economics Summary Notes: Week 10, Lesson B The Environment and Development Continued Quote of the day: No matter what looms ahead, if you can eat today, enjoy the sunlight today, mix good cheer with friends today, enjoy it and bless God for it. Henry Ward Beecher Environmental Degradation and Consequences Researchers predict based on present trends that in the next few decades, the most pressing environmental challenges in developing countries will be caused by poverty. These challenges would be linked to increased health hazards caused by lack of access to clean water and sanitation, indoor air pollution from biomass stoves, deforestation and severe soil degradation. Like we have mentioned over and over again, these health problems would be most common where house- holds lack economic alternatives to unsustainable patterns of living. There are several health and productivity consequences of environmental damage in the developing world. These consequences can be divided into seven categories. 1. Water Pollution and Scarcity: The effect of water pollution and scarcity on health are enormous. According to world health reports, over 2 million deaths and billions of illnesses attributable to water pollution 1 , poor household hygiene and added health risk caused by water scarcity. Other effects of water pollution are declining fisheries and aquifer deple- tion constraint on economic activities because of water shortages. 2. Air Pollution: Excessive urban particulate matter are responsible for 300,00-700,000 premature deaths annually and are also responsible for half of childhood chronic coughing. Dependence on biomass fuels such as wood, straw, arid manure is closely related to poverty. The burning of biomass fuels for cooking and the boiling of water create dangerously high levels of indoor pollution to which 400 million to 700 million people, mostly women and children, are exposed each year. In addition, smoke and fumes from indoor stoves are believed to contribute significantly to up to 4.3 million childhood deaths each year from respiratory diseases and to an ever-larger number of chronic respiratory illnesses. Apart from this kind of pollution, there is also air pollution from gas flaring, cars, burning of waste and industries emissions. Unfortunately, these kinds of emissions are on the rise in LDCs. According to the World Health Organization, 1.3 billion people live in urban areas with unsafe levels of airborne pollutants. 1 waterborne pathogens that contribute to typhoid, cholera, amoebic infection, bacillaryA dysentery diarrhea account for 80% of all diseases in developing countries and 90% of deaths of the 13 million deaths of children each year 1 It is projected that by 2030, manufacturing in developing countries will expand to 600% of 2000 levels, vastly increasing potential concentrations of pollutants. It is worth noting that, even if we try to maintain current urban air standards until 2030 (which means conceding to conditions much...
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This note was uploaded on 01/26/2012 for the course ECON 4411 taught by Professor Ruth during the Fall '11 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Week 10 - Lecture B - ECON 4411A, Fall 2011 Development...

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