Section 1

study of the use of resources by society and how the resources are used to achieve society’s wants; achieving the maximum amount of ability with limited resources
opportunity cost
value of the best next alterntative
marginal analysis
nature of marginal benefit and marginal cost curves
net benefit
difference between total benefit and total cost
-need to undertake an activity until MB=MC to maximize benefit
-decision made when MB>=MC
Market failure
market left to itself may not allocate resources efficiently (externalities, public goods, asymmetric info, monopoly
external costs and benefits (pollution, doesn’t have a $ value, vaccinations, can be positive or negative)
public goods
goods everybody has access to, pure public goods
private goods
excludable and rivalrous
toll goods
excludable but non-rivalrous “club goods”
open-access resources
non-excludable but rivalrous (fish stocks, forests)
pure public goods
non-excludable and non-rivalrous
gross domestic product
market value of all goods and services produced for final consumption
-measurement and comparison of economic output
-per capita GDP
-GDP/total pop for per capita
types of captical
natural, human and manufactured
natural capital
-natural gas
human capital
manufactured capital
-can we substitute these for natural capital?
“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”
Our Common Future (1987)
Weak sustainability
value of total capital stock should not decline
strong sustainability
value of the stock of natural capital should not decline
strong sustainability and renewable resources
sustained growth of welfare if rate of extraction < rate of regeneration
strong sustainability and non-renewable resources
offset depletion of non-renewable resources and invest in production of comparable services from renewable resources
environmental sustainability
physical flows of individual natural resources should be maintained
-not merely the value of the aggregate
-is substitution between and within different forms of capital allowed?
quantifying sustainable development
growth in GDP per capital as a measure of sustainable development
living and non-living things around us, humans depend on a healthy, fucntion
natural resources
perpetually renewed
renewable over short periods
-sustainable yield
-relative rates of extraction and replenishment
ecosystem servieces
-arise from the normal functioning of natural systems
-degrading of ecosystem services
population and economic growth
-greater exploitation of resources
-private ownership
-gov. regulation
ecological footprint
-environmental impact of a pop
>area of land and water needed to supply and dispose/recycle waste
biological capacity
per capita ecological footpring
environmental science
how the natural world works and how humanity interacts with it
millenium ecosystem assessment 2005
humans have drastically altered the ecosystem
ethics and economics
deal with question of what we value and how, those values influence our decisions and actions
ensemble of knowledge, beliefs and values and learned ways of life shared by a group of people
reflects beliefs about the meaning, operation and essence of the world
environmental ethics
philosophy that involves the study of good and bad and right and wrong regarding the environment
instrumental value
value something for it’s pragmatic benefits it brings us if we put it to use
intrinsic value
a thing has a right to exist and is valuable for its own sake
human-centered view of our relationship with the environment
ascribes intrinsic and non-human value to certain living things or to the biotic realm