Outlines the objectives of this book and the reasons for pursuing these. In doing so, it specifies the aim of each chapter and provides a brief account of its contents. It is argued that in order to better assess the nature of our current environmental challenges: we need to consider their basic historical origins; we should take account of the limitations of available economic measures and methods for valuing environmental change; we ought to be aware of the imperfections of scientific predictions about the nature, course and consequences of biophysical attributes altered by environmental change (such as increasing levels of atmospheric CO2); and we should recognize that social embedding (of different types) is a serious impediment to humankind responding effectively to actual or predicted environmental change, especially human-induced environmental change, including human-generated climate change. The importance of each of these assertions is demonstrated and illustrated.
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The Challenges We Face
Clement A. Tisdell
Prices, Production and Consumption
This chapter is an introduction to the most important topics regarding the crude oil market. Several data and facts of the market are briefly presented. An outstanding feature of crude oil at the core of public debates is its character as a fossil and non-renewable fuel. The chapter enlightens what this means in economic terms and how it is connected to the investigation at hand. As another issue, recent research on the oil market has, to a great part, focused on the driving forces of the oil price. In particular, our interest is in the question of whether economic fundamentals are the only factors influencing the price or whether speculation may also be effective. Finally, the role of OPEC and its potential power to impact on the oil market is considered.
Challenges and Opportunities
Edited by K. N. Ninan and Makoto Inoue
Thijs ten Raa
The core instrument of input-output analysis is a matrix of technical coefficients. This input-output matrix orders national accounts by interconnecting the use and make statistics of the different sectors, traces indirect economic effects or multipliers, and is used to map environmental impacts or footprints. At all levels there are issues of its dimension, not only size but also type - commodities or industries - and resolution of these issues requires that statisticians, economists (applied and theoretical), and policy analysts (including environmental) familiarize themselves with each other's work. All contribute various chapters of the handbook and these are interrelated in this introductory chapter.
Counting the Environment and Natural Resources
Tiho Ancev, M.A. Samad Azad and Francesc Hernández-Sancho
Challenges and Opportunities
K.N. Ninan and Makoto Inoue
Climate change poses a great challenge to governments, societies and entities. This chapter discusses the need for building climate resilience, approaches for building climate resilience and the challenges and opportunities for building resilience to address the risks posed by climate change. It then discusses issues related to vulnerability, adaptation and resilience, sectoral perspectives, incentives, institutions, REDD+, local climate finance, and climate policy.
Brett Dolter and Peter A. Victor
In this introductory chapter we, the editors, provide an overview of the Handbook on Growth and Sustainability. We begin by clarifying the purpose of this handbook: to contribute to the debate over whether economic growth is compatible with sustainability, and, if it is not, to recommend what can be done to achieve sustainability. We then outline the logic of the handbook structure. The handbook contains 22 chapters (not including ours) divided into five parts. In the first part, entitled ‘What is growth? What is sustainability’, contributors clarify terms and explore some of the history of the growth and sustainability debate. In the second part, ‘Can growth be sustainable?’, contributors present a range of perspectives on this important question. Some contributors answer yes, some answer no, and some say we focus too much on this question and should adopt an agnostic perspective. The third part, ‘Is the end of growth nigh? Sustainability constraints on growth’, features contributors writing about the serious issues that threaten to constrain growth. These include issues such as energy scarcity, food system environmental impacts, and uncertain technological development. Contributors in Part IV, ‘Are there imperatives for growth?’, outline the difficulty of moving away from a growth-based economic system. Growth promises to alleviate unemployment and inequality. Our contributors explore whether these can be alleviated without growth. Our debt-based monetary system appears to depend on growth. Contributors explore whether debt-based money creates a monetary imperative for growth. In the final part, ‘Is it possible to move beyond growth culture?’, our contributors ask what it would take for us to move away from a growth-based economic system. How would employment change? How would culture change? Would we make more of the products we use? Is it possible for humanity to plot a new course, or are we hamstrung by our biological inheritance and incapable of changing quickly enough to avoid calamity? We hope that in the end, whether you read the book in sequence, following the line of argument we set out in this introductory chapter, or use this introduction to select which chapters to read first, the handbook will challenge and clarify your thinking on the growth and sustainability debate.