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Redefining Prosperity The Economics of Sustainability Heather Reynolds Department of Biology T-200 Living a Sustainable Life.

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Presentation on theme: "Redefining Prosperity The Economics of Sustainability Heather Reynolds Department of Biology T-200 Living a Sustainable Life."— Presentation transcript:

1 Redefining Prosperity The Economics of Sustainability Heather Reynolds Department of Biology T-200 Living a Sustainable Life

2 Agenda I.Conventional economics & prosperity as growth II.Abundance or limits? III.Ecological economics & redefining prosperity

3 I. Conventional economics & prosperity as growth

4 (from Daly 1996) HouseholdsBusinesses $ $ Goods and services Factors of production (labor) Conventional Economics Economic development Economic growthGNP, GDP, total & per capita

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6 Weaknesses? leaves out the equitability of income distribution leaves out foreign debts ignores non-monetary aspects of quality of life e.g. volunteerism, growing own food, homemaking, bartering, etc. counts any $$ transaction as good even $$ spent on crime, sickness, natural disasters, pollution, etc. doesn’t consider environmental depletion & degradation external costs, generally not factored into market prices assumes more consumer goods increases our well-being

7 II. Abundance or limits?

8 “If we are going to carry on growing, and we will, because no country is going to forfeit its right to economic growth, we have to find a way of doing it sustainably.” -Tony Blair Real GDP per working-age person in the United States, HouseholdsBusinesses $ $ Goods and services Factors of production

9 “The idea that the natural world is inevitably destroyed by human industry, or than excessive demand for resources causes environmental ills, is a simplification….Design based on nature’s effectiveness…can solve rather than alleviate the problems industry creates, allowing both business and nature to be fecund and productive.” -William McDonnough & Michael Braungart

10 The Next Industrial Revolution? Too Good To Be True?

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12 X Solar Energy

13 Natural Capital renewable non-renewable Human-made Capital human manufactured

14 Daly 2005

15 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Ecosystem Services and Their Links to Human Well-being MEA Ecosystems and human well-being: A framework for assessment.

16 Ecological Footprint Amount of biologically productive land and water required to provide all needed resources and assimilate all wastes of a given human being or human population. William Rees & Mathius Wackernagel

17 Wackernagel & Rees Our ecological footprint. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, B.C.

18 Natural Capital renewable non-renewable Human-made Capital human manufactured

19 Human population Size Resource Use Human enterprises Agriculture Industry Recreation International commerce Land transformation Land clearing Forestry Grazing Intensification Global biogeochemistry Carbon Nitrogen Water Synthetic chemicals Other elements Biotic additions and losses Invasions Hunting Fishing Climate change Enhanced greenhouse Aerosols Land cover Loss of biological diversity Extinction of species and populations Loss of ecosystems Vitousek et al Science. 277:

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21 We the undersigned, senior members of the world's scientific community, hereby warn all humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated. World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity November, 1992

22 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Overview of Findings Over the past 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel The changes that have been made to ecosystems have contributed to substantial net gains in human well-being and economic development, but these gains have been achieved at growing costs in the form of the degradation of many ecosystem services, increased risks of nonlinear changes, and the exacerbation of poverty for some groups of people The degradation of ecosystem services could grow significantly worse during the first half of this century and is a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals The challenge of reversing the degradation of ecosystems while meeting increasing demands for their services can be partially met under some scenarios that the MA has considered but these involve significant changes in policies, institutions and practices, that are not currently under way MEA Full slideshow of findings.

23 Degradation and unsustainable use of ecosystem services Approximately 60% (15 out of 24) of the ecosystem services evaluated in this assessment are being degraded or used unsustainably The degradation of ecosystem services often causes significant harm to human well-being and represents a loss of a natural asset or wealth of a country Millennium Ecosystem Assessment MEA Full slideshow of findings.

24 1.0 Earths used by humanity Earths available ‘61‘81 ‘99 Year # Earths Overshoot Analysis based on six human activities assuming current levels of technology: agriculture (cropland), raising animals (pastureland), harvesting timber (timberland), fishing (fishing grounds), construction of gray infrastructure (consumed land), burning fossil fuels (energy land). W ackernagel et al. 2002, PNAS 99:

25 III. Ecological economics & redefining prosperity

26 (From Daly 1996) ecosystem M E M E S recycle H economy Ecological Economics HouseholdsBusinesses $ $ Goods and services Factors of production Conventional Economics Growth Economy Steady-state Economy Economic development Sustainable development

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28 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Ecosystem Services and Their Links to Human Well-being MEA Ecosystems and human well-being: A framework for assessment. Random House Dictionary definition: a successful, flourishing, thriving condition, esp. in financial respects; good fortune.

29 Redefining Prosperity Growth vs. Development

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31 GrowthDevelopment vs. New roadsPublic & alternative transportation (trains, buses, bikes, pedestrian trails) Clearing forests for agricultureUrban agriculture (rooftops, yards, vacant lots) More coal plantsEnergy efficiency & renewables More housing divisionsInfill & redevelopment More private shopping, entertainment and recreation districts More public spaces for art & theatre more greenspaces

32 Redefining Prosperity Quality of Life Indicators

33 Costanza et al Ecological Economics 61:

34 Achieving Prosperous, Sustainable Economies Relocalization sustainable scale; fit to local ecosystems diversified; local production, local markets alternative transportation compact, mixed-use design energy-efficient homes emphasis on self-sufficiency local food, organic practices (food security) Stabilized population and consumption Fair distribution of wealth

35 What You Can Do Think Globally, Flourish Locally

36 What You Can Do 3 credits (Natural & Math. Sciences) Counts as a Collins Seminar Cross-listed in the Dept. of Religious Studies CLLC L230 Learning from Nature: Permaculture June 5th - 19th, 2011 Application: TBA Think Globally, Flourish Locally

37 What You Can Do Think Globally, Flourish Locally Peak Oil Task Force

38 What You Can Do Think Globally, Flourish Locally Friday, October 1Public Lecture: Majora Carter, environmental IU Auditoriumactivist and consultant 10:00aPart of greenINg our economy, a Student Empowerment Summit Friday, October 1Student Empowerment Summit: greenINg our economy Kelley School of featuring Majora Carter Business, CG3056 Noon-3:00pRegistration required, limited to 150 students Monday, October 4Public Lecture: Robert Costanza, Portland State University Georgian Room, IMUThe Ecological Economics of Sustainability: Moving Beyond 12:00-1:30pDebate to Dialogue and Problem-Solving Monday, October 4Panel Discussion: Toward a 3rd Millenium Economy Swain West 007 Joined by Bloomington Councilman and Peak Oil Task Force 7:00-9:00pleader Dave Rollo and Peak Oil Task Force Members Gary Charbonneau, Peter Bane, and Christine Glaser


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