The IPAT model 3 main causes or “drivers” of environmentaldestruction include: 1) Population- how many people there are 2) Consumption/Production (aka “Affluence”)-how much each person consumes 3) Technology- how efficient the productionprocess is that creates consumer items I = P * A * T, or, Impact = Population xAffluence x Technology.
The IPAT model I = P * A * T, or, Impact = Population xAffluence x Technology. Affluence is often measured as economic growth,or GDP per capita: GDP/population Technology can be measured as energy intensity,or energy used per unit of GDP growth:energy/GDP Implications: all factors play a role, and wecan mitigate environmental damage in 3 ways,but focusing on only one wont suffice!.
IPAT: Population Three opinions regarding the relation of population and societycan be distinguished (Homer-Dixon 1999):1) Limits to Growth (aka Neo-Malthusians) Believe that resource scarcities place strict limits onpopulation growth, and exceeding these limits may result insocial chaos.2) No Limits to Growth (aka Economic Optimists) Believe there are no limits to population growth because thefree market provides incentives for conservation andtechnological innovation3) Distributionists Believe that the most significant problem is a maldistributionof wealth and resources
IPAT: Affluence and Technology Treadmill ofProduction Main idea:Ecologicaldegradation is anecessaryconsequence ofsocietal expansion.EcologicalModernizationMain idea: economicprosperity andecological well-being arecompatible.
Thomas Malthus and‘Over-Population’• Contrary to popular opinion [includingyour book!], Malthus did not arguethat the world would become over-populated.• Instead, he argued that there is aconstant equilibrium of food andpopulation, but that population growsexponentially (1, 2, 4, 8, 16…),whereas food grows onlyarithmetically (1, 2, 3, 4, 5…).• He provided no empirical evidence forthis argument.Thomas Malthus(1766 – 1834)
Thomas Malthus and‘Over-Population’• For Malthus, there is no suchthing as over-population! ‘Over’what? Population cannot exceedfood supply.• Instead, Malthus argued thatpopulation was always alreadychecked, or limited, by foodproduction.• For Malthus, these ‘checks’ topopulation took the form ofpoverty, sickness, plagues, andeven famine.
Thomas Malthus and‘Over-Population’• Summary: Malthus argues thatfood scarcity poverty.• Therefore, he argues, we cannot(and should not) try to help thepoor.• Helping the poor is doomed tofailure.
Thomas Malthus and‘Over-Population’• “We cannot, in the nature ofthings … assist the poor, in anyway, without enabling them torear up to manhood a greaternumber of their children”• “the infant is, comparativelyspeaking, of no value to thesociety…”
Inequality Perspective• Arguments– The world doesn’t lackfood. What causesfamines is lack of accessto food. (Amartya Sen)– No correlation betweenpopulation density (oralso cropland per capita)and famine.– (Japan and Netherlandsvs. most countries inAfrica, for example)• Rebuttals– Not all cropland isequally productive!– Must take into accountannual grain productionper capita, akaenvironmentalproductivity.
Demographic Transition“Development is the bestcontraceptive”?• Stage 1: high birth rates, highmortality rates.• Stage 2: high birth rates, butlow mortality rates• Stage 3: low birth rates, lowmortality rates.
Ecological Modernization Theory Ecological Kuznets Curve-economic development andenvironmental degradation arepositively correlated at first, andthen negatively correlated aftera threshold of development isreached
Criticisms of Ecological Modernization Theory1. Data were cross-sectional: A snapshot at a point in time ofmultiple countries does not tell us anything about the trajectory overtime of a single country.2. EMT doesnt distinguish between an institutional reaction to aproblem, and the effect of that reaction on the problem itself, i.e.whether it ‘modernization’ mitigates environmental degradation.3. EMT relies on case studies that cant be generalized to othercountries, or all types of ecological degradation and pollutants (e.g.CO2)4. Netherlands Fallacy- the error of assuming that nationalenvironmental impacts are contained within national borders5. Jevons paradox: efficiency improvements dont outpace growth
Globalization and colonialism• According to Bunker and Cicantell (2006), geography colonial globalization.• Competition among colonial powers required themto produce at economies of scale; acquiring theneeded raw materials (with a non-randomgeographical distribution), however, requiredgeographical expansion (or “diseconomies of space”)