08 April 2015

  • (Arrow et al. 1995)
    • Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment, Science, 1995 (Arrow et al. 1995)
      • Outlines the origin and current evidence for the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC)
      • Asko meeting report

  • (Arrow et al. 2004)
    • Are we consuming too much (Arrow et al. 2004)
    • Journal of Economic Perspectives

  • (J. H. Brown et al. 2014)
    • Malthusian vs. Darwinian dynamics (i.e. growth and resource limitation vs. organic and cultural selection for innovation to circumvent those)
    • Malthusians [population, resource limitation and conflict] vs. Cornucopians [technological innovation to facilitate eternal growth]
      • (Hall and Day 2014) call Malthusians - resource constrainists i guess the difference is in whether population or finite resources is seen as the ultimate causal agent.

  • (Hall and Day 2014)

    • *Title: “Why arent’t contemporary ecologists and economicsts addressing resource and energy scarcity: The major problems of the 21st century”
    • Focus: Peak oil and indistural civilization (i.e. energy-intensive, capitalist, growth-oriented, market-driven originally developed in the West).
    • Referencing use:
      1. Industrial civilization paradigm of the West as the economic paradigm that has led to high levels of resource use intensities.
      2. Sustainability-oriented research has not addressed issues of population, energy and key resources (e.g. metals).
      3. Resource issues emerged due to growth in the population and in the economy.
      4. Sustainability science - blind spots in the natural sciences.
        • All too often the idea of sustainability is conflated with the idea of “green”
        • Sustainability cience does not deal with the growth paradigm and the energy intensive society
        • (J. R. Burger et al. 2012) Burger et al 2012 found that sustainability research (23,535 published papers) more commonly used words like “development” and “economics” than “ecology” and “ecological” and even less often “thermodynamic” & “steady state”.
      5. Important to remain open about economic paradigms since “the success of the neo-classical economic paradigm may have been conflated with the access to large amount of high quality energy resources and metals*. E.g. (paraphrasing) even communism in the 70’s under high degree of resource access looked to be an ecnoomically viable strategy.
      6. Research question: Is neoclassical ecnomics able to deal with issues of resource scarcity and population and in particular degradation of natural systems.
        • Gowdy et al. 2004: This is due to a misassessment of the role of nature in the economy
          • Externalization of pollution effects
          • Characterizing depletion of resources as current income
          • Assuming that natural capital, social (i.e. human) capital, and financial capital are absolute susbstitutes for one another.
    • Intro
    • Asks question: Why aren’t contemporary ecologists and economicsts addressing energy and resource scarcity
    • Claims: Energy and resource scarcity are “the major problems of the 21st century”
    • Intractable problems are caused by - population, resource scarcity, impact economy
      • PSJ: Couldn’t this be flipped on its head - the economic system is causing resource scarcity?
    • Problems already identified in the 1950s, 60s, 70s
      • Scarcity of cheap high-quality energy
    • Observation (unreferenced): Ecologists rarely address resource scarcity in a human context

    • Mentors/pioneers
    • Scholars that pioneered resource scarcity work:
      • US ecologists - Garrett Hardin, Paul Ehrlich, Eugene Odum and Howard Odum, David Pimentel, Kenneth Watt
      • US economists - Kenneth Boulding, Herman Daly
      • US computer scientists - Jay Forrester, Dennis Meadows, Donnella Meadows
    • Question: Has technology and market economics solved and invalidated the specific and general predictions of the limits to growth model?
    • After a period of much attention, the issue of humans and global resources disappeared from most teachning, research and public discourse - ESPECIALLY IN ECOLOGY WAS THIS PERVASIVE
      • Claim: Ecologists today are rarely concerned with global resource scarcity and are often unaware of global resource issues.
      • Claim (referenced): There has been a movement to marginalize poopulation growth
        • Bartlett 1998 - Social Contract - The massive movement to marginalize the modern Malthusian message
    • Claim: Failure of contemporary thnkers including “sustainability” researchers to address energy (oil), resources (metals) and population.
      • This Failure will be known to future generations as “grand folly”
    • Resource constranist (Malthusian) references to check out:
      • HT Odum, “Environment, Power and Society” (1971)
        • Ecological laws and laws of energy apply to ALL organisms
      • Meadows “Limits to Growth” (1972)
        • Decline in quality of life and even population size
      • Hubbert “Energy resources” in “Resources and man” (1969)
        • Peak US (conventional) oil production in 1970
        • Glbal peak conventional oil production in 2000s (first decade of 21st century)
    • Resource issues up until early 1970’s
    • Malthus 1778 considered the first to raise the issue of resource constrains
      • The failure of his prediction due to discovery of oil and application to agriculture which allowed food production to follow with population growth.
      • It could be argued that this observations is consistent with the human ingenuity, resource substitution and technological innovation argument of Cornucopians
    • Increasing, then vaining interest in resource constraints
    • Oil crists of the seventies sparked interest in issues of resource constraints
    • US started importing oil from the Middle East in the 1980’s in resopnse to oil shortages.
      • “Economists became leaders in addressing resource issues”
    • Turning away from constraintist issues
    • Observation (unreferenced): In the 1970’s and 1980’s ecology turned away from human issues and focused on natural populations, communities, ecosystems.
      • PSJ: This must have been a big line and focus of research before. So it was a similarly dynamics seen in economics where a mainstreaming and decrease in diversity of issues and methods took place.
    • As the population and economy grew, a number of resource issues emerged.
      • Depletion of highest quality fuels
      • The intellectural bakruptcy of conventional neoclassical economics and its inabilities to resolve or even understand the issues of depletion
      • Degradation of natural systems
      • Loss of goods and services from natural systems
      • Climate change
      • (Unsustainable poopulation growth)
    • Issues with neo-classical economics

    • Why are ecology and economics not addressing these problems?
    • Not because constrainists were wrong or because their work was not well-known.
    • Neo-classical economics in becoming the dominant paradigm in political economy has decreased the role of resource issues in decision making
    • Ecologists are no llonger trained to think that resource constraints are important or within their puriew
      • Increasing academic specialization is leading to increasing academic fragmentation
      • Ecologists have taken up residence in biology departments
        • Ecologists should be among te most integrative and interdisiplinary of scientists.
        • The tenure system discourages young faculty from taking on broad, systems oriented problems.
        • Similar things can be said about funding agencies.
        • Resource and population problems do not fit comfortably within any academic discipline.
    • The publications that are avaiablel are generally in the form of books directed toward broad audiences
      • Mainstram scientific publications about these issues remain rare.

  • (Golub et al. 2012)
    • Global climate policy impacts on livestock, land use, livelihoods, and food security.

    • Explores the potential spatial impact of climate change mitigation policies on food production in Annex 1 countries in non-Annex 1 countries.

    • In particular, leakage of land use activities into non-Annex 1 countries are explored and resulting GHG emmissions

    • Economic aspect Spatial ecological impact of policies targeting agricultural economic activities.

  • (Herrero et al. 2013)
    • Biomass use, production, feed efficiencies, and greenhouse gas emissions from global livestock systems

    • Efficiency perspective “feed efficiency as a key driver of productivity, resource use, and greenhouse gas emission intensities, with vast differences between production systems and animal products”

    • Economic perspective Economic impact of livestock production.

  • (Kates, Travis, and Wilbanks 2012)
    • Transformational adaptation when incremental adaptations to climate change are insufficien

    • Outlier / first mover perspective Importance of transformational change and of having examples of transformations. Importancr of initiating research into transformations (as e.g. through macroecological studies to identify outliers for further study).

  • (Lenzen et al. 2012)
    • “Our findings clearly demonstrate that local trheats to species are driven by economic activity and consumer demand across the world.”

  • (Morgan 2014)
    • “Use (and abuse) of expert elicitation in support of decision making for public policy”

    • NA

  • (Naylor et al. 2009)
  • Feeding aquaculture in an era of finite resources

  • Efficiency perspective Trends in efficiency of farmed fish production relative to input of harvested wild fish.

  • Economic perspective The role of regulation and economic incentives, relative prices and consumer choices/acceptance for determining use of more environmentally friendly feed sources in agriculture.

  • (Perry, Grace, and Sones 2011)
    • Current drivers and future directions of global livestock disease disease dynamics

    • Economic perspective Comparison of trends between in ecological trends between rich and pooe counties - more specifically: Divergent trends of animal health between poor and rich countries (improving in rich, deteriorating in poor).

  • (Sayer et al. 2013)
    • Ten principles for a landscape approach to reconciling agriculture, conservation, and other competing land uses

    • Economic perspective: Managing land to achieve economic (and other) outcomes. The landscape as a tool to achieve and reconcile multiple objectives. Institutional and governance concerns are raised as constraints, but not with reference to influence of finance.

  • (Sidle et al. 2013)
    • Broader perspective on ecosystem sustainability: Consequences for decision making


Arrow, Kenneth, Bert Bolin, Robert Costanza, Partha Dasgupta, Carl Folke, C. S. Holling, Bengt Owe Jansson, et al. 1995. “Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 28: 520–21. doi:10.1126/science.268.5210.520.

Arrow, Kenneth, Partha Dasgupta, Lawrence Goulder, Gretchen Daily, Paul Ehrlich, Geoffrey Heal, Simon Levin, Karl-Göran Mäler, Stephen Schneider, and David Starrett. 2004. “Are we consuming too much?” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 18 (3): 147–72. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00770.x.

Brown, James H, Joseph R Burger, William R Burnside, Michael Chang, Ana D Davidson, Trevor S Fristoe, Marcus J Hamilton, et al. 2014. “Macroecology Meets Macroeconomics: Resource Scarcity and Global Sustainability.” Ecological Engineering 65 (April). Elsevier B.V.: 24–32. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2013.07.071.

Burger, Joseph R., Craig D. Allen, James H. Brown, William R. Burnside, Ana D. Davidson, Trevor S. Fristoe, Marcus J. Hamilton, et al. 2012. “The Macroecology of Sustainability.” Edited by Georgina M. Mace. PLoS Biology 10 (6). Public Library of Science: e1001345. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001345.

Golub, a. a., B. B. Henderson, T. W. Hertel, P. J. Gerber, S. K. Rose, and B. Sohngen. 2012. “Global climate policy impacts on livestock, land use, livelihoods, and food security.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 (52). doi:10.1073/pnas.1108772109.

Hall, Charles A. S., and John W. Day. 2014. “Why aren’t contemporary ecologists and economists addressing resource and energy scarcity: The major problems of the 21st century?” Ecological Engineering 65 (April): 49–53. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2013.12.020.

Herrero, Mario, Petr Havlík, Hugo Valin, An Notenbaert, Mariana C Rufino, Philip K Thornton, Michael Blümmel, Franz Weiss, Delia Grace, and Michael Obersteiner. 2013. “Biomass use, production, feed efficiencies, and greenhouse gas emissions from global livestock systems.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110 (52): 20888–93. doi:10.1073/pnas.1308149110.

Kates, R. W., W. R. Travis, and T. J. Wilbanks. 2012. “Transformational adaptation when incremental adaptations to climate change are insufficient.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109 (19): 7156–61. doi:10.1073/pnas.1115521109.

Lenzen, M., D. Moran, K. Kanemoto, B. Foran, L. Lobefaro, and A. Geschke. 2012. “International trade drives biodiversity threats in developing nations.” Nature 486 (7401). Nature Publishing Group: 109–12. doi:10.1038/nature11145.

Morgan, M Granger. 2014. “Use (and abuse) of expert elicitation in support of decision making for public policy.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 (20): 7176–84. doi:10.1073/pnas.1319946111.

Naylor, Rosamond L, Ronald W Hardy, Dominique P Bureau, Alice Chiu, Matthew Elliott, Anthony P Farrell, Ian Forster, et al. 2009. “Feeding aquaculture in an era of finite resources.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (36): 15103–10. doi:10.1073/pnas.0910577106.

Perry, B. D., D. Grace, and K. Sones. 2011. “Livestock and Global Change Special Feature: Current drivers and future directions of global livestock disease dynamics.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 (52): 20871–77. doi:10.1073/pnas.1012953108.

Sayer, Jeffrey, Terry Sunderland, Jaboury Ghazoul, Jean-Laurent Pfund, Douglas Sheil, Erik Meijaard, Michelle Venter, et al. 2013. “Ten principles for a landscape approach to reconciling agriculture, conservation, and other competing land uses.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110 (21): 8349–56. doi:10.1073/pnas.1210595110.

Sidle, Roy C, William H Benson, John F Carriger, and Toshitaka Kamai. 2013. “Broader perspective on ecosystem sustainability: consequences for decision making.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110 (23): 9201–8. doi:10.1073/pnas.1302328110.

blog comments powered by Disqus