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ECON*2100 Week 1 – Lecture 3 Economic Growth and the Environment.

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1 ECON*2100 Week 1 – Lecture 3 Economic Growth and the Environment

2 Try to strike this term from your vocabulary: The Environment 2

3 It can be a meaningless abstraction It includes everything outside your skin – And a word that means everything means nothing Try using the word “everything” in place of “environment” and you’ll see the problem 3

4 Environment = Everything “Personally I’m really concerned about everything” “I think we should all do our bit to help everything” 4

5 In this class… As much as possible we will refer to specific issues: – Air quality – Water quality – Land management – Resource management – Climate – Etc. These are not the same issues; each one raises different considerations 5

6 The nature of value Are humans “harming” the natural world? Nature cannot “harm” nature One part just changes and reorganizes another 6

7 The nature of value What about humans? If humans are part of nature, then everything humans do is natural. So humans can’t “harm” nature either, just change it. 7

8 The nature of value What about humans? But suppose we take the view that humans are harming nature, not just changing it. That means humans aren’t part of nature. 8

9 The nature of value What about humans? So you can’t believe humans are just another part of nature and that human activity is harmful to the natural word. 9

10 The nature of value If humans are outside of nature, what are they? The main options are: – A special creation – An aberration 10

11 The nature of value Special creation: – Humans are not part of nature, and their well- being is of primary concern – The natural world matters insofar as it matters to people – Humans can harm nature and can harm one another by changing nature in deleterious ways 11

12 The nature of value Aberration: – Humans are not part of nature, and they matter less than nature – The natural world has intrinsic value that is maximized when human activity is minimal or absent – Humans harm nature by everything they do 12

13 Is environmentalism anti-human? The latter view can lead to radically inhumane opinions 13

14 In this class Human welfare is the criterion for valuing things Air quality, water quality, forest space, etc., all matter because they are valuable to people 14

15 Air Pollution Ground Level Ozone (O 3 ) Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Particulate Matter (PM, TSP) Sulphur Oxides (SOx) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Carbon Monoxide (CO) 15

16 Air Pollution Some result from emissions: – SOx, NOx, particulates, VOCs, CO Some formed by secondary processes – PM2.5, O 3 These imply very different control problems 16

17 Air Pollution vs Income Is it like this? 17

18 Air Pollution vs Income 18

19 Air Pollution vs Income 19

20 Air Pollution vs Income 20

21 Ozone: 11 AM, Bay&Wellesley 21

22 Ozone: Monthly Averages 22

23 Guelph 23

24 NOx: 11 AM Bay&Wellesley 24

25 NO2: Monthly Averages 25

26 TSP: Monthly Averages 26

27 Toronto Air Pollution Trends 27

28 Toronto Air Pollution Trends 28

29 Toronto Air Pollution Trends 29

30 Toronto Air Pollution Trends 30

31 SO 2 : Monthly Averages 31

32 Air Pollution Since 1940: USA 32

33 Air Pollution vs Income: USA 33

34 Air Pollution vs Income: USA 34

35 Water Pollution (Kg/worker/day) vs Income 35

36 Water Pollution: Great Lakes 36

37 Water Pollution: Great Lakes 37

38 Global Issues: Ozone Layer 38

39 Global Issues: Ozone Layer 39

40 Global Issues: Global Warming CO2 emissions per capita 40

41 Global Issues: Global Warming 41

42 Global Issues: Global Warming Upcoming IPCC Report: 42

43 Summary The “Environment” as an abstract term is meaningless You have to identify the specific aspect you are discussing, since the issues differ If humans are merely a part of nature then everything humans do is natural Valuing environmental damage requires adopting a human-centered point of view 43

44 Summary Air pollutants do not necessarily increase with economic growth, and many in fact go down as incomes get high enough Stratospheric ozone depletion mainly occurred in polar regions and in the mid-latitudes during late Winter and early Spring CO2 is a greenhouse gas that is believed to cause general warming of the lower atmosphere, though currently the observed changes are below model projections 44

45 Next Models of economic growth 45

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