Involving consumers in program design can help fit a program to its audience and locale Stern and Aronson, Thus, conservation policies and programs played a part in the U. Improved policies and implementation, along with higher prices, are among the reasons energy productivity improved faster at the end of the period than at the beginning. These three factors act in conjunction, however. If, for example, energy prices fall or remain stable, lowering energy users' motivation to change, some policy instruments will become less effective than they were in The trends of the late s demonstrate this effect U.
The technological potential for improvements in energy productivity are huge National Academy of Sciences, b; National Research Council, a. However, the worldwide prospects for implementing technological changes, and therefore for mitigating the release of greenhouse gases, depends on the behavior of several human systems, including world markets for fossil fuels, national policies for economic and technological development and energy management, global social trends in government and the development of technology, and the behavior of individuals and communities.
The world energy price and supply picture will affect the spread of the Western improvements in energy productivity to other countries. Under conditions like those of the late s, with relatively low energy prices and stable supplies, sharp further improvements in installed energy efficiency are unlikely, even in the Western industrialized countries, without new policy initiatives. The price motive for efficiency is weak, policies that rely on that motive are undermined, and the lowered cost of energy is a spur to economic growth, particularly in energy-intensive sectors.
Given continuing population and economic growth, those conditions point to increases in energy use in the wealthy countries, although probably not at pre rates of increase. A new round of sharp price increases would cut energy use both by reducing economic activity and energy intensity, at least for a period. The world picture also depends greatly on the development paths of growing economies.
Industrialization is energy intensive, enough to have overcome the effects of the oil shocks in relatively wealthy countries, such as Greece and Portugal, that were still industrializing. Consumers' choices are also important. Where increased income goes into homes and durable possessions, as in Japan, energy productivity is more likely to be higher than where it goes into personal transportation, as in the United States, or into refrigerators or other energy-using appliances, as may become the case in China.
The future of the dissolving socialist bloc countries holds many uncertainties. Many of these countries have highly energy-intense economies and therefore seem to have room for improved energy efficiency given the rise of markets and more democratic control of policy. However, they lack finances to develop technology or implement incentive or information programs and need time to design and implement effective policies for local conditions.
Much room exists for research and for pilot experiments with policy options as ways to reduce the uncertainty. These and other human systems will determine the extent to which the Western experience with energy efficiency will proceed further or be repeated in other countries. The future will depend on the ways these systems interact in each country and on the ways national and local policies intervene in them. Intensification of the greenhouse effect is likely to alter rainfall patterns on a regional scale. As a rule, regions that receive increased rainfall are likely to benefit; decreased rainfall is the more serious concern.
The history of the human consequences of severe drought can be instructive about the variety of human consequences of, and responses to, unmitigated climatic change. The human role in causing drought in the Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa is a matter of controversy. Throughout the modern history of drought-famine association in the region, there has been a tendency to interpret extreme events as indicators of trends and to attribute the presumed trends to human mismanagement of the local environment.
In fact, Sahelian droughts have been recurrent events. The droughts of the s and s were preceded by several others in this century, one of which, in , resulted in intense famine with high mortality. The controversy over the human role in causing Sahelian drought revived with the drought of The prevailing view was that desertification was an anthropogenic process reflecting deforestation, overgrazing, overfarming, burning, and mismanaged irrigation resulting in salinization of soil and water.
Lack of good data is a major obstacle to understanding the causes of Sahelian drought. Although some evidence supports the orthodox view, some recent research using remote sensing, field measurements, and intensive investigations of small areas has called that view into question. Observable ecological changes are less significant than had been supposed and correlate better with rainfall records than with land management Mortimore, The consequences of Sahelian droughts in this century have depended on the ability of indigenous systems of livelihood to.
During the century, these indigenous systems have undergone continual change, first as a result of policies of colonial powers, and later in response to postwar development policies promoting ''modernization'' and further integration into the global economy. There are competing views of the effects of these century-long trends in political economy on the ability of local populations to withstand drought. In one view, the main results were increased dependency and vulnerability; in the other, vulnerability decreased because of improved availability of medical care, famine relief, and a national infrastructure that allowed for easier.
The three major droughts of the century, in , in , and in the s, have had different effects on the lives and livelihoods of the local populations. The drought, which was of comparable severity to the drought of the s, appears to have produced greater increases in mortality; its effects on malnutrition and on the social fabric are harder to determine Kates, The knowledge base is better for comparing the droughts of the s and s. Population continued to increase at up to 3 percent annually, forests continued to be cut for fuel and farming, and other forms of resource exploitation probably continued at about the previous rates.
Grazing pressure fell, owing to animal mortality but, by the s, cattle holdings had recovered to 60 percent of predrought levels in some areas, and small livestock probably recovered more. On balance, the human demands on the local environment were at least as severe as before the drought. The drought of the s was as severe as the previous one. Annual rainfall in was of the same order as in , and in some areas of the Western Sahel, less. Crop failures and pasture shortages were equally serious. Yet famine did not occur on the same scale, and animal mortality was lower.
Possibly food aid was earlier and better in some countries, but in northern Nigeria, where food aid was not a major factor in either period, social distress was noticeably less marked in the s, even in the worst affected areas. What explains the relatively low human cost of the s drought?
It was not the response of the affected governments. Political officials were taken by surprise about equally by both droughts. The people most experienced in surviving failures of agricultural production and managing the environment were those living in the affected areas, but this group had little influence on policy. Of the several political interests concerned with the drought prob-. Consequently, proposals for new technologies for coping with the drought failed to take indigenous technologies and management systems seriously, and measures to strengthen the poor—for instance by insurance, improved access to resources, alternative job opportunities, and price supports—were rarely considered or given high priority.
A key to drought response appears to have been the role of indigenous forms of land use and response to food shortage. It is possible to distinguish two strategies of land use for areas like the Sahel that face recurrent drought or a long-term threat of declining rainfall. One strategy—maladaptive in the long run—is characterized by deforestation and overcultivation and leads to land degradation, decreases in productivity, and, in the event of drought, short-term collapse.
Another—adaptive in the long run—is based on flexible land use, economic diversification, integrated agroforestry-livestock management, and intensive use of wetlands. This pattern tends to generate sustainable, intensive systems and is resilient in the face of drought. Indigenous strategies of response to acute food shortage apparently enabled the Sahelian populations to survive notwithstanding the tardiness, inadequate scale, and maladministration of most relief programs. These strategies, which relied on economic diversification, such as using labor in urban areas to supplement agricultural income, have evolved in an environment of climatic uncertainty and confer a degree of short-term resiliency.
Their future evolution is hard to predict. Continued integration into the world economy may improve roads and other infrastructure, thus enabling diversification; it may also increase pressure for development of cash crops and thus hasten land degradation. The ability of indigenous systems of land use and crisis management to cut the link between drought and famine depends on various factors that sustain the indigenous systems.
These include diversity of economic opportunities, absence of war, and appropriate national and international policies on migration. Critical variables include the development of infrastructure and the set of national policies governing access to land, trees, and water. The social distribution of wealth, particularly secure rights of individual or community access to natural resources, determines the extent of human vulnerability to drought. Ruling and military elites, professionals in the civil service, traders especially in grain , capitalistic farmers, livestock owners, wood fuel exploiters, and small farmers and herders all have separate and distinct interests in the outcome, and most of these interests do not accord high priority to sustainable environmental management or drought preparedness.
Although not enough is known to forecast the consequences of future Sahelian droughts, two alternative scenarios can be imagined. In the doomsday scenario, increasing numbers of people generate cumulative environmental degradation overcutting of woodland, overcultivation of soils, overgrazing of pastures, and overirrigating and possibly overuse of water , suffer increasing food scarcities as available grain per capita declines, and either starve in huge numbers or migrate in distress to other areas where they become permanently dependent on international relief. In the optimistic scenario, farming systems intensify using an increased labor supply, productivity of the land is raised, sustainable agroforestry-with livestock systems are extended, and household income sources are diversified and slowly shifted via the market and short-term mobility away from agriculture and toward other economic sectors.
The experience of the s and s suggests that the optimistic scenario is a plausible alternative, given the right policy environment. Its success depends on increased recognition of the potential of indigenous sociocultural systems of land use and household strategies of economic diversification to increase resilience, and on policies that promote resource access and support those local social systems.
The consequences of future droughts may also depend on rates of urbanization, growth of the urban informal sector, and capital investment in better favored rural areas. The present policies of governments and international organizations in the Sahel can create conditions that promote or impede the ability of indigenous systems to respond and thus determine the human consequences of future drought.
This section distinguishes seven human systems that may be affected by, and respond to, global change: It briefly surveys current knowledge and ignorance about the responses of each system and the relationships between them and identifies broad areas in which additional research is needed.
It also outlines particular research activities and needs within these areas. The human consequences of global change begin with the individual. Individuals notice the effects of change and either make adjustments or not. Individual behavior is critical in three quite distinct ways: The consequences of global change often depend on the aggregation of the uncoordinated actions of large numbers of individuals. And individual behavior can be organized to influence collective and political responses. Responses to global changes presuppose assessments of "what is happening, what the possible effects are and how well one likes them" Fischhoff and Furby, Knowledge about human judgment and decision is therefore relevant to understanding responses to global change.
Normative decision principles, such as those of cost-benefit analysis or mathematical decision theory, are limited in their usefulness by the fallibility of the individuals who try to implement them Fischhoff, ; they are even more imperfect for estimating the behavior of people who are not trying Fischhoff et al. Past research on human judgment and decision has clarified many differences between decision theory and actual decision making Kahneman et al. Behavioral decision research demonstrates that most people have difficulty comprehending the very low probabilities assigned to environmental disasters Slovic et al.
Moreover, it is difficult or impossible to understand unprecedented events and therefore to make wise choices between mitigating them and adapting to them.
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One result is that lay people frequently perceive environmental hazards differently from specialists Saarinen, ; Fischhoff and Furby, ; Gould et al. Little direct knowledge exists, however, on perceptions of climate, climate change, or other aspects of global change Whyte, ; Kempton, ; Doble et al. Behavioral research also raises questions about expert judgment. Expert analyses, such as represented in general circulation models of climate, inevitably rely on judgment, and judgment becomes more unreliable when the models move into a future different from any past experience.
Faith in expert judgments rests on the analysts' success in identifying all the relevant variables and measuring them and their interrelations. Psychological research suggests that people, including technical experts, "have limited ability to recognize the assumptions upon which their judgments are based, appraise the completeness of their problem representations, or assess the limits of their own knowledge.
Typically, their inability encourages overconfidence" Fischhoff et al. Overconfidence is most likely to affect expert analysts when they lack experience testing their predictions against reality—an inevitable characteristic of predictions about unprecedented events Fischhoff, Other kinds of systematic error may also affect experts. For instance, in water resource management and other fields in which average climate parameters are used as a basis for decision, experts seem to exhibit a "stability bias," a tendency to underestimate the likelihood of extreme events Riebsame, ; Morrisette, Careful analysts also sometimes overlook or underestimate the likelihood of some possible combinations of events, as they did in a famous assessment of the likelihood of nuclear power plant failure in the s Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Little is known about how individuals or groups formulate alternative action plans when faced with a problem, such as responding to a global environmental change.
In particular, little is known about what facilitates or impedes creative generation of options, or how vested interest or attachment to the status quo may blind individuals or groups to available options. Research Needs Research on what and how nonexperts think about particular global environmental problems can help estimate how individuals will respond to new information about the global.
This research should address particular beliefs about global change as well as how people evaluate probabilistic and uncertain information and how they combine multiple bits of information from experts, mass media accounts, and personal experience e. Such research will require both intensive methods of interaction with informants and survey methods. Research effort should also be devoted to studying the expert judgment of environmental analysts about global change. This research should address such questions as: Does professional training encourage or discourage particular misperceptions?
Does it lead purportedly independent experts to share common preconceptions? How well do the experts understand the limits of their knowledge? Do estimates of the human effects of global change take into account feedbacks among human systems? In analyses of possible responses, what responses are likely to be omitted? To whom do experts turn for analyses of feasibility of responses? What implicit assumptions about human behavior guide the analyses?
With preliminary answers to such questions, it is possible to estimate the sensitivity of analyses to variables that affect expert judgment and therefore to make better informed interpretations of these judgments. The consequences of global environmental change often depend on the aggregated responses of very large numbers of individuals.
The example of U. Action to block UV-B radiation from the skin of a billion light-skinned people would similarly take many discrete actions by each of them. Financial considerations motivate action, but structural constraints limit action for instance, not owning the home one would like to insulate ; personal attitudes and values increase the likelihood of taking actions that fit the attitudes, subject to the other constraints; specific knowledge.
Knowledge has been developed about the conditions under which individuals respond favorably to information Ester and Winett, ; Dennis et al. Research Needs At least three kinds of research should be pursued further to improve understanding of how individual behavior may be significant in response to global change. First is empirical research on the actual responsiveness of behavior to interventions believed to affect it. Energy conservation programs have often produced less than the predicted effects—but as already noted, the responses have been highly variable.
For studying possible interventions to mitigate or adapt to global change, pilot studies and controlled evaluation research are particularly important for a discussion of issues of method in the energy conservation context, see Stern et al. Second, new research is warranted to determine the relative contributions and interactions of the various influences on particular individual behaviors implicated in global change e.
This research should be interdisciplinary because, in most instances, behavior is jointly determined by technical, economic, psychological, and social variables in ways that are likely to differ as a function of the behavior and the societal context. Third, research should be conducted to build an improved interface between behavioral studies of resource use and formal models, which are guided mainly by economic assumptions.
Empirical analysis of the behavioral processes underlying descriptive categories such as price elasticity, implicit discount rate, and response lag is likely to add to understanding of human responses to price stimuli and government intervention, and also to encourage needed dialogue between economically and psychologically oriented analysts of consumer behavior Stern, , Individuals, appropriately mobilized, can be powerful actors at the community and national levels. Individual perception and judgment determines support for social movements, such as the. Those actions, in turn, influence individual behavior both directly and through their effects on markets.
Individual reactions, in the aggregate, determine the public acceptability of policy alternatives being considered for response. And secular changes in individual attitudes and values, such as about the importance of material goods to human well-being, may have great effects on the long-term response to global change. Past research has investigated the correlates of environmental concern and related attitudes e. Such attitudes have been strong and persistent in many countries since the s. Other research has been devoted to the rise of the environmental movement and to its objectives and tactics see below.
Research Needs There are important gaps in the literature. New research should carefully assess alternative hypotheses about the links between individuals' values and attitudes and their representation in the activities of environmental movement groups and other institutions involved in response to global change. For instance, the view that environmental organizations reflect widespread attitudes should be tested in the global context against other views, for instance that social movement activists act as entrepreneurs, with their own interests separate from those of the public they claim to represent e.
Future research should also address the bases of environmental concern. Such concern may derive from a new way of thinking about the relationships of humanity to the planet e. For instance, in several Soviet republics, the environmental movement of the late s expressed demands for autonomy by smaller nationality groups against the dominant Russians. On another dimension, environmental concern may derive from personal experience or secondhand accounts in the mass media.
The source of concern may determine the conditions under which people become aroused about a global change or recep-. The determinants of concern are likely to vary with the environmental problem, the country, and characteristics of the individual, so the research should be comparative between countries and environmental problems of different kinds. One of the most likely consequences of global change will be effects on the prices of important commodities and factors of economic production in local and world markets. As a result, uncoordinated human responses will be affected greatly by markets.
According to economic theory, producers and consumers respond to changing relative incomes, prices, and external constraints, so that, if the market signals are allowed to reach individuals and market prices include all the social costs and benefits of individual actions, the responses will be relatively rapid and efficient.
Markets allow for many forms of uncoordinated adjustment, as the example of climate change illustrates.
Finding a balance between economic and environmental sustainability
People may rapidly alter patterns of consumption e. Over the longer run, societies may respond, in the case of unfavorable climatic developments, with the migration of capital and labor to areas of more hospitable climates. Structures tend to retreat from the advancing sea, people tend to migrate from unpleasant climates, and agricultural, sylvan, and industrial capital tend to migrate away from lands that lose their comparative advantage. In addition, technology may change, particularly in climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and building. However, the conditions that economic theory specifies for efficient adjustment are not generally met in the case of the global environment Baumol and Oates, In three important respects, existing markets do not provide the right signals in the form of prices and incomes of social scarcities and values.
And in addition, as already noted, the participants in markets do not always behave as strict rules of economic rationality predict. Environmental externalities of economic activity, that is, effects experienced by those not directly involved in economic transactions, are not priced in markets today. Someone who emits a ton of carbon into the atmosphere may produce great damage to the future climate but does not pay for the damage: Similar problems arise with the externalities of deforestation, CFC emissions, and other environmental problems.
Economic theory recognizes that when there are significant externalities, uncoordinated responses will be inappropriate because the market does not transmit the right signals. An additional problem concerns making tradeoffs when each response option produces different externalities Fischhoff et al. The market mechanism is overridden at times, either by political systems such as when countries set the prices of oil or coal well below or above world market levels ; or because custom and tradition determine property rights in a way that precludes the emergence of markets, as in the case of water allocation in the western United States.
In such cases, individuals are either not faced with prices at all or are faced with prices unrepresentative of true social scarcities, and their uncoordinated behavior will not achieve the rapid and efficient adjustments characteristic of free markets. Discount rates in markets, such as interest rates, reflect a social time preference for the present over the future that does not correspond to social valuation of the distant future reflected in concern about problems of global change Lind, For events a century in the future, a discount rate that is, say, 3 percent per annum higher than true social preference implies that the future events are valued at only one-twentieth that is, 1.
Market interest rates may be too high to reflect this generation's concerns about the future of the environment; vigorous debate exists about whether the concept of discounting is even moral when human life is at stake MacLean, Uncoordinated decisions following such a discount rate undervalue future threats and opportunities. Economic theory suggests prescriptions for government action when market signals do not correspond to social values. The goal usually considered most important is to get the environmental impacts reliably translated into the price and income signals that will induce private adaptation.
But it is difficult to arrive at the "correct" prices because so many of the impacts of global change are unknown or uncertain and because the appropriate values of future events are unlikely to be the same from all generational vantage points and resource endowments Lind, ; Pearce and Turner, Economists have suggested some approaches to the problem of developing well-functioning markets to guide responses to global.
Theory suggests that governments intervene with policies that meet at least one of these criteria: These criteria suggest four kinds of intervention, which we note here. Government may encourage quasi-market mechanisms before shortages occur. For example, to ensure that water will be efficiently allocated if climate change affects its availability, governments might introduce general allocational devices, such as auctions, to dispatch water to the highest-value uses. The same approach might be applied to allocate land use near sea coasts and in flood plains and to control pollution by auctioning pollution rights.
Governments might also support systems of risk-adjusted insurance for flood plains or hurricanes or international climate insurance. These quasi-market mechanisms have both the advantages and the disadvantages of the market. They make allocations efficiently but tend to undersupply goods needed by those who do not participate effectively in the markets, such as people outside the geographical boundaries of a quasi-market, who may receive polluted air or salinated water.
Government may support research and development on inexpensive and reliable ways of slowing or adapting to global change. Research on adaptation is undersupplied by markets because inventors cannot capture the full fruits of their inventions. Research on mitigation technologies that will slow global changes are even more seriously undersupplied in markets, because not only can inventors not collect the fruits of their efforts, but also the fruits, such as preservation of climate, are unpriced or underpriced in the market. International agreements may provide for international adaptation strategies, such as improved international markets, which allow migration of labor and capital over a greater geographical range than national markets.
Governments may promote needed knowledge and collect and distribute data about global change, to enable rational response. It is difficult for people to mitigate or adapt if they do not understand what is happening or the costs of the available responses and of inaction; costs of adaptation will be reduced to the extent that managers, diplomats, and voters are well informed about well-established scientific results.
Research Needs Although the above market-oriented response strategies are strongly supported by economic theory, knowledge is weak about how they may be effectively implemented. Three lines of research into markets can add to understanding of the available response strategies. First, empirical studies are needed of the implementation of quasi-market mechanisms for adaptation to global change, to determine how particular mechanisms work in particular social and political systems. For instance, systems for auctioning emission rights can be made infeasible by political opposition, subverted by fraud, undermined by political decisions, or otherwise altered from their theoretically pure operation Tietenberg, , explains the principle in the case of local air pollution; application to global change would be more difficult.
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Retrospective and prospective studies of the operation of such mechanisms can illuminate the problems that arise in implementation and assess the actual, as opposed to theoretical, effects of such mechanisms on equity and efficiency. Such assessments should compare quasi-market mechanisms to available regulatory mechanisms, as each actually operates see the section below on national policy. Second, studies of the valuation of global environmental externalities are critically important to address several key questions.
To what extent can knowledge or technology be substituted for the outputs of environmental systems, thus making those outputs less indispensable? Is such substitution desirable? How can the ''services'' produced by the natural environment be included in economic accounting systems, such as national income accounts? How can the producers and recipients of externalities arrive at a common valuation if one side is disadvantaged in financial resources, and therefore in the ability to participate in markets or quasi-markets?
How do people value, and make tradeoffs between, different kinds of externalities? How do different actors value the effects of human interventions in the environment and make tradeoffs between effects? Some of these questions are addressed in work by Mitchell and Carson, , and Nordhaus, Third, studies of social discount rates are needed, especially to estimate preferences concerning the future environment so they can be included in evaluations of global environmental change e.
Many believe that market discount rates are too high to accurately represent the social value of the future environment, although this value is unknown. Between the uncoordinated activities of individuals and the formally organized activities of governments and international organizations lie the oldest forms of social organization: These sociocultural systems have undergone considerable change throughout human history, yet informal groups connected by these bonds still exist and the bonds still influence behavior independently of governments and markets.
Sociocultural systems are important in terms of global change in two ways.
Some long-lived social units, whose survival may be threatened by global change, have developed ways of interacting with their environments that may be adaptable by others as strategies for response. Also, informal social bonds can have important effects on individual and community responses to global change and on the implementation of organized policy responses. Indigenous peoples that were not tightly integrated into world markets have developed technological and social adaptations that often maintain their subsistence in reasonable balance with the local environment.
The adaptations of Sahelian peoples to an environmental regime of recurrent drought is one example. A parallel example can be found in the indigenous economic systems on the Amazon, which for at least years have used the ecosystem's material in ways that do not threaten its long-term productivity Hecht and Cockburn, The Amazon's indigenous people are a major repository of practical environmental knowledge about sustainable use of resources Moran, ; Posey, Slash-and-bum cultivation with adequate fallow periods allows for the recovery of vegetation in tropic moist forests Uhl et al.
Some such systems can give per. Agricultural systems based on indigenous models can be profitable in a market economy. Japanese colonist smallholders in the Amazon have created complex systems that prevent soil degradation and tolerate soil acidity and aluminum toxicity better than annual crops. Indeed, simply to feed ourselves in the next 40 years, we will need to produce more food than the entire agricultural output of the past 10, years combined. Yet food productivity is set to decline, possibly very sharply, over the coming decades due to: By the end of this century, large parts of the planet will not have any usable water.
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At the same time, the global shipping and airline sectors are projected to continue to expand rapidly every year, transporting more of us, and more of the stuff we want to consume, around the planet year on year. But think about this. In transporting us and our stuff all over the planet, we are also creating a highly efficient network for the global spread of potentially catastrophic diseases.
There was a global pandemic just 95 years ago — the Spanish flu pandemic, which is now estimated to have killed up to million people. And that's before one of our more questionable innovations — the budget airline — was invented. The combination of millions of people travelling around the world every day, plus millions more people living in extremely close proximity to pigs and poultry — often in the same room, making a new virus jumping the species barrier more likely — means we are increasing, significantly, the probability of a new global pandemic.
So no wonder then that epidemiologists increasingly agree that a new global pandemic is now a matter of "when" not "if". We are going to have to triple — at least — energy production by the end of this century to meet expected demand. To meet that demand, we will need to build, roughly speaking, something like: Our existing oil, coal and gas reserves alone are worth trillions of dollars.
Are governments and the world's major oil, coal and gas companies — some of the most influential corporations on Earth — really going to decide to leave the money in the ground, as demand for energy increases relentlessly? Meanwhile the emerging climate problem is on an entirely different scale. The problem is that we may well be heading towards a number of critical "tipping points" in the global climate system. The rationale for this target is that a rise above 2C carries a significant risk of catastrophic climate change that would almost certainly lead to irreversible planetary "tipping points", caused by events such as the melting of the Greenland ice shelf, the release of frozen methane deposits from Arctic tundra, or dieback of the Amazon.
In fact, the first two are happening now — at below the 2C threshold. As for the third, we're not waiting for climate change to do this: And recent research shows that we look certain to be heading for a larger rise in global average temperatures than 2C — a far larger rise. It is now very likely that we are looking at a future global average rise of 4C — and we can't rule out a rise of 6C.
This will be absolutely catastrophic. It will lead to runaway climate change, capable of tipping the planet into an entirely different state, rapidly. Earth will become a hellhole. In the decades along the way, we will witness unprecedented extremes in weather, fires, floods, heatwaves, loss of crops and forests, water stress and catastrophic sea-level rises. Large parts of Africa will become permanent disaster areas.
The Amazon could be turned into savannah or even desert. And the entire agricultural system will be faced with an unprecedented threat. More "fortunate" countries, such as the UK, the US and most of Europe, may well look like something approaching militarised countries, with heavily defended border controls designed to prevent millions of people from entering, people who are on the move because their own country is no longer habitable, or has insufficient water or food, or is experiencing conflict over increasingly scarce resources.
These people will be "climate migrants". The term "climate migrants" is one we will increasingly have to get used to. Indeed, anyone who thinks that the emerging global state of affairs does not have great potential for civil and international conflict is deluding themselves. It is no coincidence that almost every scientific conference that I go to about climate change now has a new type of attendee: What, then, are our options?
The only solution left to us is to change our behaviour, radically and globally, on every level. In short, we urgently need to consume less. And we need to conserve more. To accomplish such a radical change in behaviour would also need radical government action. But as far as this kind of change is concerned, politicians are currently part of the problem, not part of the solution, because the decisions that need to be taken to implement significant behaviour change inevitably make politicians very unpopular — as they are all too aware.
So what politicians have opted for instead is failed diplomacy. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, whose job it has been for 20 years to ensure the stabilisation of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere: The UN Convention to Combat Desertification, whose job it's been for 20 years to stop land degrading and becoming desert: The Convention on Biological Diversity, whose job it's been for 20 years to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss: Those are only three examples of failed global initiatives.
The list is a depressingly long one. And the way governments justify this level of inaction is by exploiting public opinion and scientific uncertainty. It used to be a case of, "We need to wait for science to prove climate change is happening". This is now beyond doubt. So now it's, "We need to wait for scientists to be able to tell us what the impact will be and the costs".
And, "We need to wait for public opinion to get behind action". But climate models will never be free from uncertainties. And as for public opinion, politicians feel remarkably free to ignore it when it suits them — wars, bankers' bonuses and healthcare reforms, to give just three examples. What politicians and governments say about their commitment to tackling climate change is completely different from what they are doing about it.
In a group of highly respected economists and scientists led by Pavan Sukhdev , then a senior Deutsche Bank economist, conducted an authoritative economic analysis of the value of biodiversity. These costs will have to be paid for in the future. Beef production demands even less work per unit output and, with the help of modern technology and fossil-fuel energy for clearing forests, can be much more extensive than shifting cultivation. Fattening cattle on grass requires little labor or expenditure on fencing and corrals, and no weeding.
Ranchers can take advantage of the highly productive first years after forest clearance to overstock the range and increase short-term profit. Such ranches, established with government subsidies, are now able to survive without them by marketing more timber from the land, selling beef to recent migrants to the new urban centers in the region, walking their cattle to market, and using new and better-adapted grass species and selectively bred cattle Schneider, Ideology, Politics, and Economics of Development Throughout much of the s and s, the Brazilian government with support from international financial institutions pursued a strategy of large-scale, capital-intensive development projects.
These often meant monocropping, relatively low labor inputs, mechanization, and the maximization of short-term financial returns. The strategy, elaborated in textbooks on development e. The international debt incurred in part to promote such development increased demands for rapid returns, high profits, and the production of exports to pay the interest. Recently, disappointing economic returns, declining international aid, and an awareness of rapid ecological deterioration are becoming associated with changing priorities, and analysts in the World Bank and elsewhere are becoming critical of the old development philosophy Binswanger, ; Mahar, ; Schneider, However, the period witnessed stronger movements of population from the already settled hinterland to cities, combined with considerable natural increase in urban areas.
The decline in rural population density is reflected in the phrase, " Quando chega o boi, o homen sai, " When the cattle arrive, the men leave Browder, The extensive clearing of forest on the frontier reflects population pressure and food needs outside the local region, combined with a lack of population pressure locally Denevan, The Amazonian case illustrates the difference between intensive and extensive patterns of land use in tropical forests. Table provides a summary representation of the extremes of these patterns, presented as ideal types actual land use almost always has features of both types.
The Amazonian forest has long been inhabited by peoples that used a mixture of these strategies to support their economies. Indigenous groups combined relatively extensive strategies, such as temporary or shifting cultivation followed by natural forest regeneration and hunting and gathering of dispersed game, fish, and wild food plants, with more intensive farming of alluvial riverine and other soils of high, renewable fertility.
More recently, both native American Posey, ; Prance, and immigrant populations such as the rubber tappers have maintained the forest by a mixed-management strategy that mimics rather than replaces the biologically diverse natural environment Browder, The modern forms of land use most implicated in deforestation—cattle ranching, crop agriculture, and logging and other industrial uses—are extensive and rapidly expansive, market and capital dependent, specialized in one or a few commodities, and mechanized or labor saving. Some observers point to modern strat-.
High average yields, low variability, high diversity cereals, tubers, vegetables, trees, livestock. Low total inputs, seasonally variable, unskilled, high returns per hour, often hired. High total inputs, steady inputs throughout year, skilled, low returns per hour, often household. High, output sold, inputs largely purchased, national and international commodity markets. Subsistence combined with cash production, not totally dependent on market prices, some purchased inputs.
Private, land values speculative but initially low, legal access politically determined. Private and common property rights, land values high, inheritance important, legal protections. They claim that intensive, stable agricultural land use with a mixture of crops and livestock can be combined with labor-intensive efforts to maintain soil quality by careful, thorough tillage, agroforestry, manuring, terracing, irrigation, and drainage. Thus they can provide high, reliable, sustainable production from smallholdings with high inputs of household labor and little capital or fossil fuel energy.
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These systems may also help preserve mature forest ecosystems from destruction by reducing development pressure on them Anderson, The potential for a future of less-extensive forest use in the Amazon Basin relates in part to land distribution. Inequality of land holdings in Brazil has increased greatly over the last few decades, with 70 percent of Brazilian farmers now landless and 81 percent of the farmland held by just 4. This pattern of increasing inequality also holds in the Amazon, making access to resources more difficult for subsistence farmers and hunters and gatherers and threatening indigenous land tenure systems based on communal rights Chernela, n.
Larger landholdings bring more extensive use. More intensive cultivation means that less forest must be displaced to meet human needs. Moreover, stable smallholders have an incentive to economize on land and keep it productive, so that land degradation can be slower with more intensive use. Thus, the current pattern of extensive development, by displacing indigenous peoples and small-scale extractors, has removed a brake on deforestation and threatens a store of valuable knowledge about the intensive management of forest species for human consumption.
There are barriers to a transition to a mixed-development strategy in the Amazon. One is the social change resulting from the current extensive strategy. Another is the politics of change. With rural poverty increasing and a political choice between dividing up large landholdings and encouraging the landless to colonize unclaimed or "unused" frontier lands, migration and resettlement policies are much the more palatable alternative Macdonald, And finally, there are intrinsic social limits.
In sum, the causes of Amazon deforestation lie partly in the same frontier conditions that have led to extensive land use in nineteenth century North America and elsewhere. In addition, development policy around the world has supported capital-intensive development of export monocultures. The unique institutional and political history of Brazil has helped determine the particular development pattern there, a pattern significantly different from that of tropical forest development in Zaire or Indonesia Allen and Barnes, ; Brookfield et al.
A key to the future of the forests lies in policy changes that could limit deforestation and extensive land use while increasing food production from existing agricultural areas. However, the social and economic changes brought about by Amazonian development have created barriers to making and implementing such policies. The examples above illustrate how the proximate causes of global environmental change result from a complex of social, political, economic, technological, and cultural variables, sometimes referred to as driving forces.
They also show that studies of driving forces and their relationships have been and can be done National Research Council, b; Turner, However, little of this research has been conducted on a global scale, for at least three important reasons: Consequently, much additional work is needed to support valid global generalizations. We distinguish five types of social variables known to affect the environmental systems implicated in global change: Vocal arguments have been made for each of these as the exclusive, or the primary, human influence on global environmental change.
In each instance, supportive evidence exists below the global level. Evidence at the global level, however, is generally insufficient either to demonstrate or dismiss claims that a par-. We briefly outline the evidence supporting and qualifying claims that each class of variable is an independent influence on global environmental change.
Our citations are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to refer the reader to typical sources and critiques of claims about the importance of particular variables. For many of the authors cited, links between key explanatory variables and global environmental change are only implicit; in such instances, we draw out the implications for global environmental change. We also outline some of the key unanswered but researchable questions regarding these driving forces. Of all the possible driving forces of environmental change, none has such a rich history in Western thinking as population growth.
Starting with Malthus, scholars have attempted to understand the effects of population growth on resource use, social and economic welfare, and most recently the environment. Few debates in the social sciences have been so heated or protracted as that around the impacts of population growth. Clearly, each person in a population makes some demand on the environment and the social system for the essentials of life—food, water, clothing, shelter, and so on.
If all else is equal, the greater the number of people, the greater the demands placed on the environment for the provision of resources and the absorption of waste and pollutants. Stated thus, the matter is a truism. The source of controversy centers around more complex questions. Does all else remain equal in the face of population growth? Do simple increases in numbers account for most of the increase in environmental degradation in the modern world?
Can population growth occur without major environmental damage? If not, is population growth a root cause of the degradation that follows, or merely an effect of more deeply underlying causes, such as changes in technology and social organization? Ehrlich and others Ehrlich, ; Ehrlich and Holdren, , ; Ehrlich et al. They argue that the doubling of the world's population in about one generation accounts for a greater proportion of the stress placed on the global environment than has increased per capita consumption or inefficiencies in the production-.
They do not hold that other factors are unimportant in placing stress on the earth's resources and on the biosphere, only that population growth must be considered primary, because if all other factors could be made environmentally neutral, population growth of this magnitude would still spur resource stress and environmental degradation. Indeed, it is argued that once population has reached a level in excess of the earth's long-term capacity to sustain it, even stability and zero growth at that level will lead to future environmental degradation Ehrlich and Ehrlich, The critiques of this position are many.
One strand of criticism argues that technological and socioeconomic factors are primary e. Another criticism comes from those who argue that population, though it may be a driving force of change, is not necessarily a driving force of degradation Boserup, ; Simon, ; Simon and Kahn, Rather, they view population growth as a driving force of improvement, which increases the capacity of society to transform the environment for the better, or as a reflection of society's success in improving the environment so as to support greater numbers. These critics offer evidence from long sweeps of history, such as the relationships between major sociotechnical changes in society and global increases in population Deevey, ; Boserup, Others have suggested that these population increases are also associated with increasing global environmental change Whitmore et al.
In addition to supporting individual studies, these bodies have devoted substantial resources to institutional development by subsidizing education, professional journals, and centers of excellence. The result has been impressive in building demography as a respected, interdisciplinary field within the social sciences, and in gaining knowledge of the causes of population growth. As we note in Chapter 7 , this experience provides a useful model for advancing interdisciplinary social science research on global change. Research on the causes of population growth provides some useful insight into the causes of global change and strategies to deal with them.
For example, current fertility and mortality patterns suggest that world population will continue to increase well into the next century. But if fertility declines as fast throughout. This research helps clarify how much growth is more or less inevitable because of the momentum built into the age structure of the world population. Compared with research on the causes of population growth, very little research has been devoted to understanding its consequences for environmental quality. This is ironic, because it is concern with the consequences that motivates much support for research on the causes of growth.
There is some research on the effects of population growth on economic growth and social welfare, though the topic is still subject to some controversy much of this literature is summarized in National Research Council, Only a handful of empirical studies have examined the effects of population growth on the environment, and many of these are quite dated [e. As a result, it is difficult to assess just how important population may be as a driving force.
For example, in a National Research Council study committee composed of economists and demographers concluded that slower population growth might assist less-developed countries in developing policies and institutions to protect the environment, but could find little empirical work on the link between population growth and environmental degradation National Research Council, We believe an extensive research program is needed to explicate the environmental consequences of population growth and provide a sounder basis for deciding what actions may be appropriate in response.
Such research should begin by acknowledging that the environmental consequences of population growth depend on other variables. For instance, a population increase of people with the standard of living and technological base of average North Americans in would use 35 times as much energy as an increase of the same number of people living at India's standards—and their respective effects on the global climate would be in roughly the same proportion. The critical questions for research, then, are about the conditions determining the environmental effect of a projected population increase at a particular place and time.
What are the multipliers that represent the environmental impacts of a new person in a particular year and coun-. To what extent are multipliers such as annual income or annual distance traveled constant for a country, and to what extent are they contingent on other factors that may change over time, such as the manufacturing intensiveness or energy supply mix of the country's economy or the country's policies on income distribution or energy development?
Global economic growth, defined as increases in the measured production of the world's goods and services, is likely to continue at a rapid rate well into the future. The human impulse to want more of the material things of life appears to be deep-seated, and the areas of the world in which people are most lacking in material goods are those with the greatest—and most rapidly increasing—population. Assuming United Nations and World Bank projections for world population to double to about 10 billion in about 50 years, with 90 percent or more of that growth occurring in the developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and assuming that per capita income grows 2.
Under these conditions the relative gap between per capita income in developing and developed countries would narrow, but the absolute gap would increase substantially. To the extent that per capita income aspirations in the developing countries are driven by comparison of their incomes with those in developed countries, aspirations for additional income growth in the developing countries may be even stronger in 50 years than they are now. Increased income or economic activity as measured by such indicators as gross national product is not, of course, equivalent to increased well-being.
There is considerable debate in the economic literature on how to measure welfare, focused on such questions as how to count things people value that are not traded in markets and whether expenditures for pollution control should be considered an addition or a subtraction from net welfare e. Although these questions are very important for analyzing human-environment interactions, most current analyses of the effects of economic growth and environmental quality are based on conventional definitions of economic activity.
Economic activity has long been a major source of environmental change and, for the first time in human history, economic activity is so extensive that it produces environmental change at the global level. The key issues concern the extent to which current and future economic activity will shape the proximate causes of global change. The production and consumption of goods and services is bound by a fundamental natural law—the conservation of matter.
Whatever goes into production and consumption must come out, either as useful goods and services or as residual waste materials. Since the conversion of inputs to useful outputs is never entire, it is fair to say economic activity inevitably stresses the environment by generating residual wastes.
Wastes must be disposed of somewhere in the environment. Economists note that disposal presents no important social problem if it is managed to reflect its true social costs and to be equitable in the sense that the costs are borne by those who generate the residuals. However, true social costs can be very difficult to determine, especially when wastes alter biogeochemical processes that are poorly understood. And when the wastes are released to the atmosphere, rivers, and oceans, it is difficult to ensure that those who generate the waste pay the costs.
The problem of defining social cost and the separation of those who generate the costs of waste disposal from those who bear them are the keys to the waste-induced environmental problem Kneese and Bower, Economic growth also depletes the stock of nonrenewable natural resources such as coal, oil, natural gas, and metallic minerals and, in some cases, the stock of renewable resources as well, as when the rate of soil erosion exceeds the rate of restoration of soil and nutrients. Environmental degradation follows when extraction disturbs land or biota and when resource use generates wastes.
Economic growth may also destroy aspects of the natural landscape, for example, pristine wilderness areas or vast geological features such as the Grand Canyon. Continued use of depletable resources will create economic pressure to develop renewable energy resources, expanded recycling, and substitute materials see, e. Depletion of nonrenewable resources need not threaten long-run economic growth if management of the resources takes adequate account of their future value and the likelihood of finding substitutes.
This condition may be easier to meet than the condi-. Property rights are relatively easy to establish because, unlike in the atmosphere and the oceans, nonrenewable resources are localized, spatially well defined, and fixed in place. But markets in nonrenewable resources are no panacea for the environmental effects of minerals extraction or fossil energy use. Current markets have no sure way to anticipate, and therefore reflect, the value future generations will put on the depleted resources.
This is the issue of intergenerational equity in resource management, and there are strong arguments that markets cannot deal adequately with the issue Sen, ; Weiss, ; MacLean, The values future generations will hold can only be guessed at, drawing on human experience so far. Given this uncertainty, most analysts advocate more cautious resource management than what current market signals indicate. So economic growth necessarily stresses the environment directly by increasing quantities of wastes and indirectly by depleting resources.
However, the relationship between economic growth and environmental stress is not fixed. The key analytic questions concern the conditions under which a given amount of present or future economic growth produces larger or smaller impacts on the environment. It matters which pattern of goods and services is produced. An economy heavily weighted toward services appears to generate fewer wastes and less resource depletion per unit of output than one weighted toward manufactured goods. Experience so far indicates that consumption patterns shift toward services as per capita income rises, suggesting that the process of growth itself may induce less than proportional increases in environmental stress.
It seems that past some point, consumers use their economic resources to purchase well-being that is decreasingly dependent on material goods see Inglehart, If the historic pattern holds, future economic growth in the low-income developing countries will be materials and energy intensive for quite some time before a transition to a service economy sets in. But this projection is uncertain because of incomplete knowledge about the causes of that transition and the ways it might be altered by deliberate action.
Other shifts in economies can also change the relationship between economic growth and environmental quality. Waste management based on recycling, redesign of production processes, and the treatment of the wastes of one process as raw materials for another can reduce the environmental impact of economic activity e. Office of Technology Assessment, ; Friedlander, And an observed trend in the United States, in which the main source of pollution has shifted from production activities to consumption activities, has effects on the overall economy-environment relationship that are not yet clear Ayres and Rod, ; Ayres, The environmental effect of economic growth may also depend on forms of political organization.
The comparison of emissions of CO 2 and pollutants in Eastern and Western Europe suggests that democratic countries may be able to deal more effectively with the effects of wastes than nondemocratic countries. When people who feel the effects, or become concerned about the effects on others, have ready access to political power, their concerns may possibly have more influence on policy.
If this hypothesis is correct, then political trends toward democracy, such as in Eastern Europe, will tend to reduce the amount of degradation resulting from economic growth there. National policies also help determine the environmental costs of economic growth. In many developing countries, policies have favored extensive use of ''unused'' resources and "underpopulated" land to increase national power and improve the welfare of their citizens. Countries such as the United States, Canada, Argentina, and Australia had such policies during rapid development phases, and other countries have followed the example.
This model of development through frontier occupation and rapid creation of wealth required cheap food and raw materials from rural areas, an infrastructure of roads and transport to open up these areas, and huge infusions of capital for enterprises and settlement. An alternative development model generates increased production per unit of land by agricultural intensification rather than by extensive land uses such as shifting agriculture or ranching Boserup, ; Turner et al.
Development of this kind can be carried out in a sustainable manner Conway and Barbier, ; Sublet and Uhl, The effects of economic development on the proximate causes of global change appear to be contingent, among other things, on. However, the nature of these contingent relationships, particularly the relationships between policy and the other variables, is not understood in detail. Research is critically needed on the ways consumer demand changes as income increases, the effects of national policies on patterns of production and consumer demand, the effects of agricultural intensity on economic growth and the environment, and the causes of shifts from more to less energy-and materials-intensive economies.
These questions call for research both within and across the boundaries of disciplines and academic specialties. Technological change affects the global environment in three ways. First, it leads to new ways to discover and exploit natural resources. Second, it changes the efficiency of production and consumption processes, altering the volume of resources required per unit of output produced, the effluents and wastes produced, and the relative costs and hence the supply of different goods and services.
Third, different kinds of technology produce different environmental impacts from the same process e. Some technologies have surprising and serious secondary impacts, as the history of refrigeration illustrates see also Brooks, In one view, technological development tends to hasten resource depletion and increase pollutant emissions. In this view, technology as currently developed is a Faustian bargain, trading current gain against future survival e. Modern technology is seen as a much more significant contributor to environmental degradation than either population or economic growth.
One reason is that modern technological innovation progresses much faster than knowledge about its damaging effects, both because the effects are intrinsically difficult to understand and because the powerful economic interests that benefit from new technologies influence research agendas to favor knowledge about the benefits over knowledge about the costs Schnaiberg, Three arguments are advanced to oppose or qualify the Faustian theme.
In the first, technology's contribution to environmental change is deemed relatively unimportant Ehrlich and Holdren, In the second, technological innovation and adoption are. The third argument is that technological change is a net benefit to the environment because it can ameliorate environmental damage through more efficient resource use and the lessening of waste emissions e. These contradictory arguments, all plausible, can be weighed only by research that is specific e.
For instance, technological progress is affected by the relative prices of energy, materials, and labor, with inventors and entrepreneurs having a built-in incentive to develop technologies that economize on the more expensive factors of production. As a result, technological development starting in countries with low-cost energy will be more energy intensive than technologies developed in countries in which energy is expensive and therefore more likely to have negative environmental effects.
The effects of technology on the environments of poor countries may reflect the fact that much of the technological innovation adopted in poor countries originated in rich countries, which face different economic and environmental problems. National economic policies, as well as environmental and energy policies, can favor particular kinds of technological innovation and thus hasten or forestall environmental degradation.
In the United States, debates about apportioning government energy research funds between nuclear, fossil, conservation, and renewable energy development have always been, in part, debates about the effect of these technologies on the environment. And the environmental effects of technology look quite different depending on the time scale being considered or the state of environmental knowledge when the analysis is done. For example, the environmental effects of refrigeration technology look much different now than they would have looked in an analysis done in the s.
As with other human influences on the global environment, the effects of technology are likely to be contingent on the other driving forces. Consequently, research on the effects of technology on global change will need to consider the social context. Several critical topics for research are obvious: Such studies should be specific at first, focusing on the alternatives available in a particular place and time, and should examine the technologies as they are implemented in actual social systems rather than under idealized conditions.
Another involves diffusion of production technologies across national boundaries, particularly from more-developed to less-developed countries: How do the environmental impacts differ between the innovating countries and the adopting countries, and how do the differences depend on the social organizations using the technologies e. A third concerns the effect of government policies on the development, adoption, and use of technologies with different kinds of environmental effects: What policy choices influence technology and its use in environmentally destructive or beneficial ways, and how do the effects of policy depend on the political, economic, and social context where they are adopted e.
It seems reasonable that the social institutions that control the exchange of goods and services and that structure the decisions of large human groups should have a strong influence on the effects of human activity on the global environment. These institutions include economic and governmental institutions at all levels of aggregation. A key institution is the market. Neoclassical economic theory argues that free markets efficiently allocate goods and services to the most valued ends.
Thus, environmental problems can be analyzed in terms of market failures, that is, conditions that prevent markets from operating freely. Several types of market failure are relevant to environmental problems. First, the costs of the transactions necessary to resolve environmental problems in an optimal fashion may be prohibitively high because of the costs of collecting information, for example on the net present value to all affected of the future effects of resource use e.
Second is the problem of "externalities. But because they do not know what the effect will be, they may not engage in transactions to maximize their preferences. Third, government action may supersede the market e. Fourth, a lack of clearly defined private property rights may leave no one with the incentive to pay to prevent degradation. This situation can arise because of traditional social arrangements that allow free access to all Hardin, or because of the indivisible, common-pool nature of resources such as open-access marine fisheries Gordon, and the world atmosphere.
The analysis that traces environmental degradation to the absence of free markets is criticized on several grounds. First, even smoothly working markets are likely to produce undesirable outcomes. Questions have been raised regarding the theoretical assumption that a dollar has the same value regardless of a party's wealth and the morality of treating polluters and pollution recipients as symmetric and reciprocal sources of harm to one another Kelman, ; Mishan, Second, the tendency of markets to place a higher value on possible impacts in the near future than on those in the distant future conflicts with the goal of long-term sustainability and reduces the rights of future generations effectively to zero Weiss, ; Pearce and Turner, Third, goods that have no price, whose production is highly uncertain, or that are valued by nonparticipants in markets, for instance, the survival of nonhuman species, tend to be systematically undervalued in markets e.
Fourth, the theory of market failures does not compare the environmental effects of different kinds of imperfect markets. Knowledge does not support the easy inference that the more a market resembles theoretical perfection, the more of the benefits of free markets it provides Lipsey and Lancaster, ; Dasgupta and Heal, This is a serious limitation because, for environmental resources such as the stratospheric ozone layer, the only markets are imperfect.
Some analysts trace the roots of environmental problems to the system of free-enterprise competition that underlies markets e. They argue that the capitalist, cash-based market system rewards those who exploit the environment for maximum short-term gain, an incentive structure fundamentally at. The argument is sometimes illustrated with the case of development in the Amazon.
The critique of capitalism can be criticized for relying on a global, highly generalizing contrast between capitalist market economies and precapitalist, subsistence, socially undifferentiated groups that presumably maintain a delicate balance with the natural environment. It does not account for the fact that noncapitalist societies without private property may perpetuate large-scale environmental abuses, as in the case of the drying of the Aral Sea for irrigation purposes in the Soviet Union Medvedev, or the reliance on inefficient coal burning technology in China.
It does not account for labor resistance to environmental protection when it seems to threaten loss of jobs, such as opposition to restrictions on mining and burning Appalachian coal. And it does not acknowledge the existence within fully integrated market economies of stable, intensively producing family farmers and smallholder land-use regimes that modify but do not permanently degrade their habitat. Some analysts trace environmental deterioration, particularly in developing countries, to an international division between rich Western industrial and poor Third World raw material-producing nations that fosters political-economic dependence.
Unequal terms of trade drain capital from peripheral or satellite regions to core areas. Underdevelopment and poverty are "developed" and perpetuated by market mechanisms Wallerstein, ; Frank,