Environment and Economics, ch2

Frontier Attitude
desire to conquer and exploit nature as fast as possible with no regard for conservation
George Perkins Marsh
wrote the book Man and Nature about how humans and environmental systems are interrelated
General Revision Act (1891)
gives presidents authority to establish forest reserves on federally owned land
1907 bill regarding the Revision Act
Theodore Roosevelt designates 21 more national forests, then signs the bill
Utilitarian conservationist
values natural resources because of usefulness, but uses them carefully
Biocentric preservationist
values nature because of the belief that all life deserves respect
Gifford Pinchot
first head of US Forest Service
Yosemite National Park Bill (1890)
establishes Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks
John Muir
biocentric preservationist who founded thte Sierra Club and pushed the Yosemite park bill
Antiquities Act
authorizes the president to set aside sites as national monuments that had scientific, historic, or prehistoric importance
Aldo Leopold
wildlife biologist who wrote Game Management and A Sand County Almanac
Wallace Stegner
Wilderness Essay, 1962, influenced by Aldo Leopold
Rachel Carson
wrote Silent Spring, 1962, describes use of DDT and other pesticides
Paul Ehrlich
wrote The Population Bomb
Gaylord Nelson
former senator, encourages Denis Hayes to organize Earth Day
Denis Hayes
Organizes Earth day. Now it’s celebrated around the world
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
formed in 1970 as a reaction to publicized disasters
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
requires the feds to consider the environmental impact of desicions
Environmental Impact Statements (EIS)
must accompany every federal recomendation or legislative proposal to make informed decisions
Council on Environmental Quality
moniters the required EISs and reports directly to the president
Comparative Risk Analyses
evaluate the health, economic, and ecosystem impacts of a range of environmental issues
Environmental Justice
dealing with concerns that populations with other social issues face elevated impacts from environmental hazards
Cost-benefit analysis
justifications for some regulations proposed by the EPA
Clean Air Act (1977)
requires coal burning power plants to outfit smokestacks with ‘scrubbers’ but exempted tall stacks, leading to an exploit – there were more tall stacks and they then caused acid rain throughout the Northeast
Clean Air Act Ammendments (1990)
tries to close the accidental loophole in the original act
Clean Water Act
50% compliance rate…
Regulatory Reform
environmental health, safety, etc are selected based on cost-effectiveness
Economics
how people use limited resources to satisfy unlimited wants
Amartya Sen
Nobel prize winning economist, adresses environment, poverty, nationalism, gender issues, governmental structure. Recognizes complex interactions among environment, society, health, and well-being
Rational Actor model
the assumption that all individuals try to spend limited resources that maximizes individual utilities
Utility
benefit that an individual gets from a service or good
Externality
usually negative effect of a firm that does not have to pay all costs associated with production
Optimal amount of pollution
the cost of having less pollution is offset by the benefits of creating pollution
marginal cost of pollution
assesing damage to health, property, agriculture, and aesthetics caused by pollution
Ecosystem services
benefits like clean water and fresh air, provided by natural systems
marginal cost of abatement
cost associated with reducing a small additional amount of pollution
command and control solution
regulators require buisnesses to install devices to reduce pollution
incentive-based solutions
economists prefer an incentive rather than being told what to do
emission charge
popular in Europe, it’s a green tax that taxes the polluter for the gap in marginal cost faced by society and their own marginal cost, forcing polluters to pay the full cost of pollution
Tradable permits
permits allowing certain levels of pollution that can be sold to other companies
Marketable waste-discharge permits
allows the owner to emit a specified amount of waste. The owner can chose to emit the pollution or sell the permit to those that can’t reduce emissions
Cost-effectiveness analysis
asks ‘if we establish this regulation, how much will it cost to achieve some outcome?’ outcome is lives saved or years of life saved
National Income Accounts
total income of a nation for a given year, Gross domestic product, (GDP) Net domsetic product (NDP)
Natural Capital
all of Earth’s resources and processes that sustain living organisms, including humans
Environmental Performance Index
assesses a country’s commitment to environmental and resource management
Environmental Ethics
field of applied ethics that conisers the moral basis of environmental responsibility and the appropriate extent of this responsibility
Environmental Worldview
helps us make sense of how the environment works, our place in it, and right and wrong environmental behaviors
Western Worldview
understanding of our place in the world based on human superiority and dominance over nature, the unrestriced use of natural resources, and increased economic growth to manage an expanding industrial base
deep ecology worldview
understanding of our place in the world based on harmony with nature, spiritual respect for life, and the belief that humans and all other species have an equal worth