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Bio 105 Chapter 23


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Bio 105 Chapter 23

  1. 1. MILLER/SPOOLMAN LIVING IN THE ENVIRONMENT 17TH Chapter 23 Economics, Environment, and Sustainability
  2. 2. Economic Systems Are Supported by Three Types of Resources • Economic systems are supported by • Natural capital • Human capital, human resources • Manufactured capital, manufactured resources
  3. 3. Market Economic Systems Depend on Interactions between Buyers and Sellers (1)• True free market system • No company or group controls prices of a good or service • Market prices include all direct and indirect costs (full-cost pricing) • Consumers have full information about beneficial and harmful environmental effects of goods and services• Real world • Tax breaks • Subsidies • Trade barriers • Withholding of negative information
  4. 4. Economic Growth and Economic Development• Economic growth • Increased capacity to supply goods and services • Requires increased production and consumption • Requires more consumers• Economic development • Improvement of living standards• Environmentally sustainable economic development
  5. 5. Gross World Product, 1970-2008 Figure 1, Supplement 9
  6. 6. Governments Intervene to Help Correct Market Failures• Public services • Environmental protection • National security • Police and fire protection • Safe food and water • Provided by government because private companies can’t or won’t
  7. 7. Economists Disagree over Natural Capital, Sustainable Economic Growth (1)• High-throughput economies • Resources flow through and end up in planetary sinks where pollutant can be at harmful levels
  8. 8. What Is the Purpose of a Business?• Make a profit for its owners and investors• Sustainability is about staying in business• Another definition – “Making a quality product and earn a profit without harming the environment.”
  9. 9. Protecting Natural Capital• Estimating the values of the earth’s natural capital• Estimate nonuse values • Existence value • Aesthetic value • Bequest value, option value-willingness of people to pay to protect natural capital
  10. 10. Most Things Cost a Lot More Than We Might Think• Market price, direct price• Indirect, external, or hidden costs not included in direct price• Direct and indirect costs of a car• Should indirect costs be part of the price of goods? • Economists differ in their opinions
  11. 11. We Can Include Harmful Environmental Costs in the Prices of Goods, Services • Environmentally honest market system • Why isn’t full-cost pricing more widely used? 1. Many businesses would have to raise prices and would go out of business 2. Difficult to estimate environmental and health costs 3. Businesses have strong influence on government – preferential regulations, tax breaks, subsidies
  12. 12. Label Environmentally Beneficial Goods and Services• Product eco-labeling• Certification programs• Greenwashing-making people believe that harmful products are green, clean, and environmentally friendly – clean coal
  13. 13. Reward Environmentally Sustainable Businesses• Phase out environmentally harmful subsidies and tax breaks• Phase in environmentally beneficial subsidies and tax breaks for pollution prevention• Political difficulties
  14. 14. Tax Pollution and Wastes Instead of Wages and Profits • Green taxes, ecotaxes • So that harmful products and services are at true cost • Steps for successful implementation of green taxes • Costa Rica put a 3.5% tax on the direct cost of fossil fuels , which went toward forest protection and replanting efforts
  15. 15. Environmental Laws and Regulations Can Discourage or Encourage Innovation• Environmental regulation• Command and control approach• Incentive-based environmental regulations• Innovation-friendly regulations
  16. 16. We Can Use the Marketplace to Reduce Pollution and Resource Waste• Incentive-based regulation example • Tradable pollution or resource-use permits• Cap-and-trade approach used to reduce SO2
  17. 17. Reduce Pollution and Resource Waste by Selling Services Instead of Things• 1980s: Braungart and Stahl • New economic model• Service-flow economy, eco-lease (rent) services • Xerox • Carrier in Europe-lease high quality heaters and AC units instead of selling • Ray Anderson: lease carpets in the future
  18. 18. The Gap between the Rich and the Poor Is Getting Wider• Poverty • 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day• Trickle-down effect-money the rich spend ends up with the poor• Flooding up-what happens much more oftem, money the poor spend ends up with the rich• Wealth gap-growing-500 richest earn more than the 416 million poorest
  19. 19. Poor Family Members Struggling to Live in Mumbai, India Fig. 23-10, p. 627
  20. 20. We Can Reduce Poverty (1)• South Korea and Singapore reduced poverty by • Education • Hard work • Discipline • Attracted investment capital
  21. 21. We Can Reduce Poverty (2)• Important measures • Combat malnutrition and infectious diseases • Universal primary school education • Stabilize population growth • Reduce total and per-capita ecological footprints • Large investments in small-scale infrastructure
  22. 22. Achieve the World’s Millennium Development Goals• 2000: Millennium Development Goals • Sharply reduce hunger and poverty • Improve health care • Empower women • Environmental sustainability by 2015 • Developed countries: spend 0.7% of national budget toward these goals• How is it working? • Not really, very few counties are doing what they agreed to do
  23. 23. What Should Our Priorities Be? Fig. 23-12, p. 629
  24. 24. We Are Living Unsustainably• Depleting natural capital• Environmental alarm bells going off• Matter recycling and reuse economies • Mimic nature • Recycling and reusing
  25. 25. Use Lessons from Nature to Shift to More Sustainable Economies • Best long-term solution is a shift to • Low-throughput low-waste, economy
  26. 26. Make Money and Create Jobs by Shifting to an Eco-Economy • Hawken, Brown, and other environmental business leaders • Transition to environmentally sustainable economies • Some companies will disappear • New jobs will be created • Economic succession • Green jobs
  27. 27. Solutions: Principles for Shifting to a More Environmentally Sustainable Economy Fig. 23-14, p. 631
  28. 28. Solutions: Environmentally Sustainable Development Fig. 23-15, p. 632
  29. 29. Green Careers Fig. 23-16, p. 633
  30. 30. Green Career: Installing Solar Cells Fig. 23-17, p. 633