Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development

A bustling mall with Christmas shoppers, a hearty Christmas meal served with wine and epicurean meals, and Christmas gifts galore under the tree, brand new cars for gifts and other high priced consumer gifts are a healthy sign of economic growth. Basically, they were available thanks to a robust economy supported by plentiful jobs enhancing the lifestyles. Economic growth is the byproduct of economic development. That is to say, economic development starts with enhancing aspects of economic composites such as industry, real estate, and factories.
When all the underpinnings are working efficiently like a well-greased machinery, high output results to economic growth directly evident in the form of high living, high consumerism, and affluent society. Economic growth is one political trump card that catapults a presidential aspirant to the White House, possibly after having pandered on the voters appeal with a rosy economic picture, but only to be busted soon as put in the position.
Because the economy is as volatile as our behavior, interestingly enough, to bring about sustaining economic growth, what is needed is what is called “applied intelligence” (Wanniski) in practical sense as Hitler did employing bright minds managers that helped solve mass unemployment plaguing his regime. Sustained economic development is achievable, if hope and incentives can be provided, (Leisinger). Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development

Question 2: Explain the causes of and solutions to environmental degradation in general. We are at a critical period confronted by a big dilemma that of maintaining our own survival as a species in the highest totem pole of biological hierarchy. Studies after studies have established that we are our own threat. This is an unfortunate reality that sustaining our prodigious population, exponentially growing, is paradoxically pushing us out of existence. Our very needs to support our life have caused severe degradation on our ecosystem.
On this endeavor alone, it is said that each individual requires 1600 calories per day, and more, just to fuel other of our vital activities, such as recreation, writing, going on vacation, to name a few. Since our sustenance comes from food, keeping us well fed requires that agriculture be stepped up with the demand. In so doing, the soil has suffered grave depletion of nutrients, and fertilizer is introduced to the rescue, but ultimately found has its own caustic effect on the environment.
More spaces are being carved out from the forests to grow more food, get wood for lumber and cooking. This activity has introduced the problem of deforestation negatively manifesting in soil erosion, flooding, depletion of oxygen, endangerment of our flora and fauna that are vital to the natural balance. Toxic gas is emitted from using wood for cooking, rampant among the third world countries. Combined with combustions from factories, power plants, and cars, the build up of pollution in the atmosphere creates a phenomenon called global warming.
Weather becomes more wacky and wicked descending on land in the form of catastrophic magnitude typhoons, hurricanes, tornado, and drought. We’ve felt the force of Katrina, devastations in the south by tornadoes, perpetual drought in Ethiopia and other African countries, and devastating typhoons in Asia. Our ozone layer is thinning out exposing us to more radiation from the sun. “That the high use of aerosols in Australia is said to cause droughts in Ethiopia” (Rotstayn).
In summation, what scientists have found out is a colossus of a problem expressed in the following: (EPA) Studies using the ‘ecological footprint’ formula show that if everyone in the world consumed resources at the same rate as people in the richest countries, humans would need at least three planet Earths to support everyone. Like any other problems, environmental degradation begs for solution, what for a magnitude such as we face now? While ideas may differ, scientists are very much united in voicing out that we need for us to change our ways, i. e. abits, thinking, and acts. We need to be highly aware and conscious that we are the biggest generator of problem that can destroy our one and only home planet Earth. It makes it imperative to abandon the old thinking system that our earth is infinite and so whatever we do, it has an ability to absorb and continue to adapt and evolve for us. Instead, the popular preaching is that we need, firstly, to change, do whatever logically is necessary to biologically fit into the natural scheme of things. Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development ) What are the biggest problems associated with population growth? Which solutions are currently and potentially effective? Answers must include citations from Garrett Hardin`s Tragedy of the Commons. (I will upload this article. ) As man like the fictional spaceship Enterprise proceeds merrily in its destiny-led travels, great many things have occurred on its wake. Foremost is the concomitant increase in population without a clear sight whether it is heading to infinity or finiteness resulting from its own obsolete moral bearings and perhaps to its own extinction as a species.
Garrett Hardin, a moral scientist in his essay The Tragedy of Commons has discussed in length about humanity’s direction leading to disaster without a full awareness of nature’s biological make up as the governing power over everything, including the most intelligent creature mankind. The un-curved human population growth has now forced itself into the human scene, big, magnified, and digitalized, it is hard to ignore the magnitude of the problem. Associated in the population growth is the problem facing mankind sustainability of itself in the hierarchy, as it derives support from the ecosystem.
To support the burgeoning population, mankind, in the process, depletes the natural resources around needed to sustain its own life. That is, natural fauna and flora habitats are harmed irreversibly. Mankind left supporting its own priorities for materialism and un-tempered freedom is proving to be the greatest human folly, a grave shortsightedness with a devastating end. The beauty that Hardin’s thoughts come in the provoking curtailing measures by which to ensure the perpetual existence of humanity, perhaps even beyond a cataclysmic biological attack. Mankind, he says, must do some minding. Solution he espouses to solve
Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development population growth is the necessary and urgent change in morality, no longer the prudent Puritanical canons of morality closest to Eucharistic ad infinitum ordinance of multiplication. On the other hand, “necessity to abandon the freedom to breed…only so, we can put an end to this aspect of the tragedy of commons,” (Hardin) is the urgent call of the times. Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development 4) Compare and contrast three different methodologies used to monetize environmental benefits. Under which circumstances is each appropriate?
In the studies of ecosystem and environmental services, three forms of methodologies are used with similar focus and dissimilar applications. All three are used to estimate the economic use or non use value of certain ecosystem or recreational sites in varying degrees. The Contingent Valuation Method is widely used, and very suitable to estimate the non use or use of remote ecosystems and environmental services. This method obtains valuation contingent on the answers that people give to direct questions asked, versus being observed, which characterizes its weakness and strength, and it is notoriously a costly method.
The Hedonic Pricing Method is used in estimating the economic values of ecosystem and environmental services as it affects the market prices. Basically, the method obtains estimate in real figure how much people would want to pay for some enhanced changes in goods or services. For instance, offered access, addition or elimination of a recreational area, improving the quality of a certain recreational site. Another is the Travel Pricing Method. Obtained data based on the actual trip and cost incurred by visitors to see a particular site as validating factor to its economic use value.
This method is fairly less expensive and much simpler than the other two. (http://www. ecosystemvaluation. org/travel_costs. htm Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development 5) In what situations is cost-effectiveness analysis most useful? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this methodology? How is it conducted? In every research, cost factor is a big consideration. Researching on situations where the economic nonuse value is being determined, cost effective methods is proving most useful. Contingent Valuation Method known for its high cost is used to weigh between the values of protecting wild species vs. pening the land for commercialization such as for lease. Empirical use of the method has been used in the following studies: Mono Lake Project research is undertaken to know how much water will be provided to Los Angeles coming from sources feeding the Mono Lake, and any decrease would impact the nesting birds in the lake. A study conducted by the Federal Regulatory Commission wanted to resolve the issue of allowing more water to the recreation areas, with a consequential reduction of available water to produce hydropower.
The Bureau of Reclamation and National Park Service conducted the study plan and determine how rafters are affected in their recreational activity during the even base flow and the low peak flow. Whether protecting the endangered fish denizens of the Four Corners’ Region is economically beneficial considering the meticulous maintenance, for instance, providing fish passageways and simulated natural flows from the dam essential for the fish survival is the correct project to pursue was the objective of the study. The Salmon Restoration Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development tudy basically wants to determine if destroying two dams that offer no conduit for salmon to jump over to its upstream spawning ground would be a beneficial undertaking, Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development to realize a threefold increase in salmon migration after the demolition costs of the dam between $100-125 million. Advantages of Contingent Valuation Method are its high flexibility to apply to studies on many kinds of non market goods and services, non use or use economic values; existence values, and bequest values; data are easier to describe and analyze; and the method is under constant improvement.
The downside of the method are the inherent high cost; skepticism whether it is measuring exactly the people’s attitude to pay for having upgraded the environment; that questions tend to be bias, incomplete, unrealistic; validating the estimates on nonuse values are difficult to do empirically; expensive to conduct because it requires longer time doing the pretests and surveys; and last, its results are not considered reliable by many, including economists, jurists and policy makers.
When using the CVM method, it is imperative that a very competent surveyor to handle the survey plan and implementation for reliable data to result, given the many issues surrounding the validity of the method. (http://www. ecosystemvaluation. org/travel_costs. htm) Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development 6) How would you evaluate a CVM study to determine its credibility? Look at all the design variables in detail. Considering the inherent questionable nature of the method, a researcher should initially be highly aware of its inadequacy as a reliable method, and thus improve its chances of getting credible results.
Make sure that the survey is well designed and subjected to pretests before implementation. Ask focused and specific questions, preferably giving no leeway for misinterpretation in the minds of the respondents, making the services from the setting distinct and clear. Beforehand, obtain the population’s overall knowledge about the good or service, then select the appropriate survey sample. Depict the event picture using photographs, videos, descriptions personally conveyed, and in multi-media. Ask focused and specific questions to respondents to get clear and valid answers back.
Demography of the population should be exact, and validate the questions to ensure clarity is achieved, and ensure that the results are evaluated and interpreted by professionals. Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development 7) What are the four prevalent hyposeses on the cause of world hunger? Explain all four in detail and give your own opinion on the validity of each. Global Scarcity World hunger is so prevalent a condition in countless countries, and it remains according to WHO, “the major health risk globally. ” (Vanderslice). Global food scarcity is occurring primarily because of an unabated population growth.
The world population now at 6. 6 billion, statistically and logically, this size of population is un-proportionate to the methods and technology, at present, being used to produce the material sources to sustain this enormous numbers of people. Another parody of the situation is the fact that most density of population is centered in the third world countries, devoid of technological know-how to adequately supply the people. In my opinion Global food scarcity is a hypothesis that is assumptive and prescient. It is said that with the present food production of the industrialized countries combined, it can feed the worlds’ people.
While that maybe true, but empirically, we can only see for ourselves the limitations that overpopulation can cause to the environment that sustains it. Land could not be simply used to produce foods, because it has other utilization for houses, grazing land, agriculture, dump, recreation, and other life essentials. 70 percent of the globe is water, and while human ingenuity can develop it for accommodation space, the effect of humungous population remains a doomsday scenario for human species without a sensible, biological plan. Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development
Distribution of food resources At present, majority of food is produced with high efficiency in the western world, among the highly agricultural countries with advanced technologies. Though supply is in overabundance, but sending them to the needy countries is as much costly than to produce it. It is reported Great Britain has massive food wastage, precious commodity that can augment life to the starving communities, such as in Africa. But without the additional source of money to fund the transportation cost, the food lay wasted. Without doubt this is happening with food dumped in garbage bins of America.
The lopsided situation in food production causes the inadvertent distribution problem, and grave malnutrition among the needy people. 80% poor peoples just consume 14% of the goods worldwide. (Shah). As stated beforehand that cost of distribution is another aspect of hunger problem. Food distribution problem indeed is huge. An attestation that NGOs such as Feed the Children, a worldwide nonprofit organization, actively solicits donations towards food distribution cost Natural Causes When factored in, weather is a whimsical variable in the food production equation.
Just about yearly, reports of destruction and devastation occur from regions of the world from natural forces of the weather. Be it abnormal amount of rain, snow, wind, hot temperature and the agriculture easily gets destroyed, registering negative storage facilities to deflect a local or bigger size climate aberration on its food impact on the amount of harvest. Mostly hard hit, are the impoverished nations who lack Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development production. Thus, easily, hunger sets in to affect a mass of people. Weather is a realistic phenomena exhibited by nature.
Who could doubt the excessive force weather exhibits at its full force. We have heard and seen the tsunami occurring in Asia and some parts of the globe; onslaught of Katrina in America; and the perpetual drought in Africa. Thus far, there is no known technology that could stop its destructive force except for forecasts that save lives, and nothing to protect the agriculture left open in the fields. Inefficient food production Faddish diets are in, and this causes food production to swing where most consumption is, motivated by financial gain. Diets are of all kinds, and causing confusion to the many.
There are those that desist grain-based diets who are abstaining from carbohydrates. While those who sustains on animal products for more protein, consumes more milk, chicken, eggs, and lean meat. Some cultures consume nothing but vegetable diets. For any shift or change in health style, results to a concomitant difference in raising and growing these foods. But regardless of the ways and means, still production remains strenuous to the environment. It is not what is being grown, rather it is the rate of consumption that I believe most affective, and thereby registers negative impact on the environment.
What faddish diets demands to produce, has a continuing strain on the environment. If the diet is heavy on animal products, then more animals needs to be Economics, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development raised, and producing them entails, in many respects, costly means such as more farmland to sustain great numbers of herds. From all these hypotheses, the scenario remains that man has to eat and maintaining that appetite and health demands is what strains the ecosystem to the max.

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