Environment Development and Sustainability

Published by Springer Nature

Online ISSN: 1573-2975


Print ISSN: 1387-585X


Environmental Damage, Abandoned Treaties, and Fossil-Fuel Dependence: The Coming Costs of Oil-and-Gas Exploration in the “1002 Area” of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • Article

May 2007


241 Reads

Contrary to claims from American politicians, lobbyists, and oil and gas executives, allowing energy development in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) will harm the environment, compromise international law, erode the social significance of wilderness protection, and ultimately fail to␣increase the energy security of the United States. After exploring a brief history of the ANWR controversy, this piece argues that the operation of oil and gas refineries in ANWR will release discharged solids, drilling waste, and dirty diesel fuel into the ecosystem’s food-chain, as they have from oil operations in Prudhoe Bay. Less obvious but equally important, oil and gas exploration in ANWR will violate a number of international treaties on biodiversity protection. In the end, development in ANWR will threaten the concept of wilderness protection, and will do little to end US dependence on foreign sources of energy.

Land Cover Changes Between 1968 and 2003 In Cai Nuoc, Ca Mau Peninsula, Vietnam

December 2005


242 Reads

T. N. K. D. Binh






E. K. Boon
Since 2000, the shrimp industry expands at a fast rate in the coastal areas of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Shrimp farming is known for its negative impact on the coastal environment. However, other human interventions like agriculture and urbanization also deteriorate the coastal environment. The land cover changes between 1968 and 2003 were determined and analyzed for the Cai Nuoc district, Ca Mau Province, Vietnam, using photos from 1968, 1992 (aerial photographs), 1997/98 (Spot) and 2003 (Landsat). It was clear that the district underwent serious land cover changes: deforestation between 1968 and 1992, with a simultaneous increase in rice land; a rapid decline in rice acreage from 1997 onwards, and, simultaneously, a blitz-increase in shrimp farming area. The forest area declined by 75% between 1968 and 2003. About 40% of this loss could be attributed to shrimp farming, while the remaining 60% was attributed to needs for agricultural land. Still, at present, shrimp farming is the major source of mangrove loss in the district. In 1999 shrimp farms covered 6.374ha, in 2000 they covered 61.049 ha of the Cai Nuoc area. The swap from rice cultivation to shrimp farming was most-probably driven by households’ hopes for a higher income. It must be feared that the shrimp industry will have a negative impact on the environment (e.g. salinization) and on the livelihood of the district’s households. In 1968 saline water covered 219.9km2, in 1992, 1997/98 and 2003 the saline surface water area covered 92.4, 135.2 and 835.0km2, respectively.

Sustainable development in a natural resource rich economy: The case of Chile in 1985-2004

May 2014


160 Reads

Searching for practical means to assessing economic growth’s sustainability, we extend a standard theoretical model to calculate “true” income measures for Chile, during the 1985–2004 period, and use estimates of natural capital depreciation to obtain genuine national saving measures. We found that, for the period, Chile’s economic growth was sustainable, even when approximately 2.5% of the income recorded by national accounts corresponded to depreciation of natural resources plus costs of atmospheric pollution. This performance can be partially explained by policies implemented to force fiscal responsibility and to assure wise public investment and expending during a natural resource driven growth. This evidence reinforces recent findings contradicting the natural resource curse, and the indirect negative effect of resource abundance over growth that would operate through the quality of institutions. KeywordsSustainable development-Green accounting-Sustainability indicators-Less developing countries-Chile

Land Cover Changes in the Extended HA Long City Area, North-Eastern Vietnam During the Period 1988-1998

September 2000


61 Reads

The north-eastern province of Quang Ninh is one of the areas in Vietnam characterised by rapid economic, social and environmental development. Using LANDSAT TM images, this paper analyses land cover changes between the period of 1988-1998. The changes were classified into three main groups: coastal features, natural land features and human features. These main groups were further subdivided into 22 different mapping categories. The study shows that by 1998, 39.9 per cent of the 1988 land cover had changed. The results also indicate: (a) a fast expansion of the human features: during these 10 years the area of urban settlements doubled and the area for coal mining activities increased by 75 per cent. (b) the coastal area changed in a complex way driven by expansion of urbanisation, aquaculture activities, agriculture and mangrove expansion (replanting and natural colonisation of tidal flats without vegetation). (c) the original dense forest in the area rapidly declined: of the 2,010 ha cover in 1988, only 335 ha remained in 1998. Dense forests mainly changed to degraded and secondary forest. This approach allows for an accurate quantification, analysis and description of land cover in the present and the past. Therefore the data offer a powerful tool for both planners and strategic environmental assessments. The latter allow for an evaluation of the observed trends and processes in a sustainability context.

Figure 1. Biophysical throughput in the Swedish economy and milk production respectively, measured as MJ primary energy supply per labour hour (MJ TPES/h) and MJ metabolisable energy per labour hour (MJ ME/h), respectively. Economic output per labour hour in the Swedish economy and milk production respectively, measured as GDP fixed price (GDP 90 US$/h) and revenues milk production fixed price (revenues 90 SEK/h), respectively. For the reference year 1962, all numerical values are 1.0. 
Figure 2. Annual nitrogen influxes (kg) to Swedish agriculture via purchased feeds to cattle. 1989-1999. Values are expressed in the form 10 Eta, which equals 1.0·10 a 
Figure 3. Multi-criteria Representation of impacts of Swedish milk production 1991-1999, relative terms. All variables have value 1.00 for 1991. 
Figure 5. Price per kg milk and purchased feeds, respectively, in fixed prices 1991, 1995 and 1999, Own calculations based on data in Statistics Sweden (2002a) and consumer price indexes from Statistics Sweden, www.scb.se. 
Figure 5 of 5
A Multi-Criteria Analysis of Sustainability Effects of Increasing Concentrate Intensity in Swedish Milk Production 1989–1999
  • Article
  • Full-text available

August 2006


129 Reads

The concept of sustainable development is forcing standard economic analysis to acknowledge and address the existence of dimensions of performance, which are not reducible to monetary accounting. In particular, the implementation of this concept in practice requires: (a) the simultaneous handling of indicators developed in different disciplinary fields; and (b) an approach more related to the procedures adopted by consultants (Participatory Integrated Analysis), rather than theoretical academic analysis looking for ‘the’ optimal solution. The case study considered in this paper is a multi-criteria analysis of changes, which occurred in the Swedish milk production sector for the period 1989–1999. Multi-criteria impact matrices and multi-criteria representations are used to provide a transparent method of integrated analysis. Changes are characterized and quantified in a way that makes it possible to relate the impact of existing trends in relation to different sub-objectives (variation in performance in relation to social, economic and ecological indicators). The results of this analysis confirm a few well known predicaments of sustainability associated with agriculture. The growth of Sweden economy is driving a major increase in material throughputs within its agricultural sector. The need of increasing agricultural throughput (especially labour productivity) has moved the Swedish dairy sector in a clear situation of decreasing marginal return ( = large increases in inputs are not reflected in a proportional increase in output). Therefore, sound policies of development of this sector aimed at increasing the goal of sustainability have to be developed by considering several indicators of performance, and not only economic variables.

Figure 1 
Census Peek: Collaboration in the New York City Catskill/Delaware Watershed: Case Study 1990–2000

April 2006


70 Reads

Because watershed collaborations connect economic and environmental concerns, they are of interest to students of sustainable economic development. The economic outcomes of such collaborations are difficult to study because socio-economic data collection areas do not generally correspond to collaboration boundaries and also because of the simultaneity of economic stimuli and restrictions in collaborative arrangements. This case study of New York City’s Watershed Collaboration in its Catskill Delaware Watershed used a mapping program to create a database of Watershed residents from the 1990 and 2000 census. It provides a heretofore unavailable socioeconomic portrait of the Watershed and trends in indicators relevant to Collaboration effectiveness such as age, demographic pressures, and economic welfare. Through the use of national, state, regional and rural controls, the study also explores the impact of the agreement on the Watershed. Results do not provide evidence of a net negative impact and are consistent with a net positive impact. Several trends which work against agreement effectiveness are identified.

Scientometric analysis of coastal eutrophication research during the period of 1993 to 2008

April 2011


46 Reads

No studies were reported on the field of coastal eutrophication research by using bibliometrics. The objective of this study was to evaluate the coastal eutrophication research performance based on all the related articles in Science Citation Index databases from 1993 to 2008. Document type, publication output, authorship, keywords, publication pattern, country, and institute of publication were analyzed. The USA contributed 35.0% of total articles where the ten major industrial countries accounted for the majority of the total production. An indicator citation per publication was presented in this study to evaluate the impact of number of authors, institutes, countries, and journals. The mean value of citation per publication of collaborative papers was higher than that of single country or institute publications. Collaboration trend was toward multi-authors, multi-institutes and multi-countries papers. This was coincident with the research trends of coastal eutrophication, which was thought to be a component of global change. Additionally, keywords analysis was used to indicate the formation and shift of hot research. KeywordsCoastal eutrophication–Web of science–Bibliometric–Research performance–Research trend

WSSD 2002, Latin America and Brazil: Biodiversity and Indigenous People

February 2006


33 Reads

Latin America comprehends notable variations in terms of natural environment, availability of natural resources, living standards, and demographic patterns. Latin America is a mosaic of cultures, post-and pre-Columbian. The rich variety of life forms discovered and described by chroniclers and traveling naturalists in the Neotropics contributed to the proposal, in mid-XVIIIth century, of a new system of classification and a scientific code of nomenclature for all organisms. Biodiversity was, for many centuries, a source of resources to be exploited in natura. In scientific circles, its inventory became the domain of taxonomists. But modern technology showed how important the miriad of life forms really are as sources of chemical molecules to be engineered as drugs and reassembled as novel manufactured products. We are on the brink of a new agricultural and medical revolution, thanks to the techniques of genetic engineering, which will lead eventually to the elimination of hunger and malnutrition.

Regional environmental assessment (REA) and local Agenda 21 implementation

February 2008


38 Reads

The implementation of sustainable development requires several support instruments. One of the major instruments in the Rio Declaration to support this process has been environmental assessment that has been given considerable emphasis as to its potential ability to help achieve more sustainable forms of development. Regional environmental assessment (REA) has shown to be effective in supporting local sustainable development process. Selected environmental assessment methods have been␣used to improve the REA exercise and provide reliable data for decision-making not only to correct environmental problems due to past unsustainable social-economic developments but also help local governments to implement Agenda 21 (AG21) plans and projects.

A methodology for assessing urban sustainability: Aalborg commitments baseline review for Riga, Latvia

February 2009


194 Reads

Both the Aalborg Commitments and the guidance on integrated urban environmental management and sustainable urban transport plans proposed by the EU Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment foresee a baseline review as the first step in developing integrated urban management plans and systems. A baseline review of urban sustainability undertaken in Riga reveals significant discrepencies between the sustainability criteria of the Aalborg Commitments and the: responsibilities and competencies of the municipal government and administration as defined by statutes; policy goals and measures defined in municipal planning documents; policy goals and measures defined in the Riga Development Plan. To better orient the mandate of the municipality towards sustainable development, municipal statutes should be supplemented to more fully reflect the issues defined by the Aalborg Commitments and should include sustainability as a goal. In order to strengthen the implementation of sustainable development specific policy goals, measures and targets should be formulated for all the Aalborg Commitments issues when revising existing municipal planning documents or developing a municipal sustainable development management plan. An analysis of the European Common Indicators and the State of the Environment in Riga 2001 indicators indicates that they can only partially fulfill a monitoring function for the implementation of the Aalborg Commitments. This highlights a need to better coordinate sustainable development initiatives at the European level. The methodology used for the baseline review in Riga is useful for assessing the status of urban sustainability when preparing integrated urban management plans or systems, but requires testing elsewhere.

Figure 1. Location of Davenport, Nepabunna, Koonibba, Yalata and Umoona Aboriginal communities in South Australia. The metropolitan city of Adelaide is also shown.  
Aboriginal people's attitudes towards paying for water in a water-scarce region of Australia

February 2007


315 Reads

In Australia, governments are committed to water infrastructure developments that are both environmentally sustainable and economically viable. Consumption-based pricing is seen as a water conservation strategy. This has significant implications for Aboriginal communities, many of which do not pay for water use and experience economic hardship. This paper outlines attitudes towards paying for water use in five Aboriginal communities in South Australia. Inability to pay for services was a common factor hindering willingness to pay for water. While different factors were raised in different communities, most communities believed that water is a ‘cultural right’ that should not be paid for. The research found that strategies such as communication and community involvement in the decision-making processes around water supply are necessary to facilitate cost recovery and to promote water conservation.

Increasing the Sustainability of a Resource Development: Aboriginal Engagement and Negotiated Agreements

April 2009


938 Reads

While the role Aboriginal people play in environmental governance programs are often underpinned by the Crown, Aboriginal peoples are ratifying negotiated agreements with mining proponents to ensure their issues and concerns are addressed. This paper examines Aboriginal participation in mine development to show how more inclusive social and environmental development models can support a more sustainable development. Through two complementary processes, negotiated agreements and environmental impact assessment, Aboriginal peoples are maximizing their benefits and minimizing the adverse impacts of a project to create a more sustainable resource development. Case study analysis of the Galore Creek Project in northwestern British Columbia, Canada, illustrates how environmental impact assessment and negotiated agreements can co-exist to positively contribute to a successful mineral development, and hence operationalize sustainability within this context. KeywordsNegotiated agreements-Mineral development-Aboriginal-Environmental impact assessment-Canada

Fig. 1 Map of Cape York Peninsula, showing Aurukun on the Gulf of Carpentaria, far North Queensland, Australia
Fig. 2 Entity model showing relationship between Wik taxon and scientific taxon
Fig. 3 Aurukun ethnobiology database data structure
Redressing cultural erosion and ecological decline in a far North Queensland aboriginal community (Australia): The Aurukun ethnobiology database project

November 2006


873 Reads

Traditional environmental knowledge (usually imparted orally) is being lost from many regions of the world, requiring novel forms of transmission if this situation is to be redressed. Loss of this knowledge may be a significant contributory factor towards ecological decline. Undoubtedly, disruption to ecosystems and societies that depend on these has impacted on traditional land management practices, with negative ramifications for biodiversity. From an environmental perspective, scientists in northern Australia need to understand traditional Aboriginal methods of ‘caring for country’, such as burning regimes, so that these can be incorporated into strategies today for maintaining Australia’s rich biodiversity. However, information exchange should be two-way: as well as learning from local people, science can in turn benefit people who may have little experience of, for example, invasive species. The challenge is how can the complexity of biological knowledge from within different ontologies be represented and integrated in a way that it can be of use to scientists and local people, in order to ensure a sustainable future? The main aim of this study was to record existing local knowledge of biodiversity for the community of Aurukun (far north Queensland), integrating this knowledge with scientific data, while giving parity to both knowledge systems and protecting intellectual property rights. A cross-cultural collaboration between community members and ethnobiologists resulted in development of the Aurukun Ethnobiology Database. An interdisciplinary approach was taken to effectively model autochthonous biological knowledge and scientific data to create a database with a number of practical applications.

Study abroad in support of education for sustainability: A New Zealand case study

August 2008


227 Reads

This article presents a case study of an existing study abroad program to New Zealand interested in infusing sustainability themes into the curriculum. The review of the program is set in the context of United Nations Education for Sustainable Development goals and the role of sustainability in institutions of higher education. The author was an invited external observer and suggests that study abroad programs in support of sustainability education provide transformative learning experiences that invest in the well being of both people and places.

Fig. 3 (A) Time series of constant production curves as a function of capital (K) and labor (L). Technological progress continuously reduces both capital and labor requirements with time, thereby moving the production possibility frontier ever closer to the origin. Adapted from Salter (1960). (B) Labor productivity (Q/L, economic output per unit labor) grows not only as the ratio of capital to labor (K/L) increases, a process called capital deepening, but also with technological change, as indicated by the upward movement of the production functions with time. Adapted from Solow (1957)
Fig. 6 Total energy use for public lighting (TEUL, GWhr), lighting efficiency for illuminating public roads (e l ), and lighting service provided (LS, lumen-hr) in the United Kingdom from 1923 to 1996 (Herring, 1999). Please note logarithmic scale
Fig. 9 Total amount of carbon emitted (TCE, Gt), efficiency of carbon use (e c ) for the total economy, and gross domestic product (GDP, $US) in the United States from 1980 to 2002 (U.S. DOE, 2003; U.S. OMB, 2004)  
Will progress in science and technology avert or accelerate global collapse? A critical analysis and policy recommendations

December 2007


606 Reads

Industrial society will move towards collapse if its total environmental impact (I), expressed either in terms of energy and materials use or in terms of pollution, increases with time, i.e., dI/dt>0. The traditional interpretation of the I=PAT equation reflects the optimistic belief that technological innovation, particularly improvements in eco-efficiency, will significantly reduce the technology (T) factor, and thereby result in a corresponding decline in impact (I). Unfortunately, this interpretation of the I=PAT equation ignores the effects of technological change on the other two factors: population (P) and per capita affluence (A). A more heuristic formulation of this equation is I=P(T)·A(T)·T in which the dependence of P and A on T is apparent. From historical evidence, it is clear that technological revolutions (tool-making, agricultural, and industrial) have been the primary driving forces behind successive population explosions, and that modern communication and transportation technologies have been employed to transform a large proportion of the world’s inhabitants into consumers of material- and energy-intensive products and services. In addition, factor analysis from neoclassical growth theory and the rebound effect provide evidence that science and technology have played a key role in contributing to rising living standards. While technological change has thus contributed to significant increases in both P and A, it has at the same time brought about considerable eco-efficiency improvements. Unfortunately, reductions in the T-factor have generally not been sufficiently rapid to compensate for the simultaneous increases in both P and A. As a result, total impact, in terms of energy production, mineral extraction, land-use and CO2 emissions, has in most cases increased with time, indicating that industrial society is nevertheless moving towards collapse. The belief that continued and even accelerated scientific research and technological innovation will automatically result in sustainability and avert collapse is at best mistaken. Innovations in science and technology will be necessary but alone will be insufficient for sustainability. Consequently, what is most needed are specific policies designed to decrease total impact, such as (a) halting population growth via effective population stabilization plans and better access to birth control methods, (b) reducing total matter-energy throughput and pollution by removing perverse subsidies, imposing regulations that limit waste discharges and the depletion of non-renewable resources, and implementing ecological tax reform, and (c) moving towards a steady-state economy in which per-capita affluence is stabilized at lower levels by replacing wasteful conspicuous material consumption with social alternatives known to enhance subjective well-being. While science and technology must play an important role in the implementation of these policies, none will be enacted without a fundamental change in society’s dominant values of growth and exploitation. Thus, value change is the most important prerequisite for avoiding global collapse.

Managing the village-level open-access water resources in a region facing rapidly declining water availability

December 2010


40 Reads

Growing population, human settlements, industrialization and intensification in groundwater-based cultivation have resulted in severe onslaught on underground aquifers in West Bengal, an eastern province of India with high population density. The present paper focuses on this water resource management issue. The study shows that traditional, village-level surface water reservoirs which for centuries had supplemented irrigation in addition to providing water for all sorts of domestic needs are now in doldrums. Through statistical analysis, the study shows that for all practical purposes, there is very little effective management of these precious open-access water resources. The situation calls for paradigm shift in policy on water resource management that entails development of community-based management catalyzed by government intervention, external agencies and NGOs under supervision and control of local elected bodies. KeywordsWest Bengal-Surface water-Groundwater-Management issues-Sustainability

Analysis of availability and accessibility of hydrogen production: An approach to a sustainable energy system using methane hydrate resources

October 2005


104 Reads

It is considered that use of hydrogen as an energy source may contribute to environmental improvement and provide an alternative energy system. Moreover, it is anticipated that hydrogen will be in great demand in the near future for use in such vehicles as fuel cell-based cars. Research and development of a number of advanced methods of hydrogen production (OTEC, water photolysis using a semiconductor, a municipal waste gasification—smelting system, etc.) is currently under way. A comparison of different hydrogen-rich fuels in this paper shows that methane is advantageous for hydrogen production from the viewpoint of energy efficiency as measured by thermodynamic analysis. This paper therefore proposes combining existing technology for hydrogen production with an unconventional methane source in order to facilitate the realization of a hydrogen energy system: i.e., this paper proposes combining the process of steam reforming, which is commercialized worldwide, with use of untouched natural gas hydrate (NGH) resources. Gas hydrate deposits, which are distributed worldwide, hold great amounts of methane gas and have hardly been touched. This paper presents the economic parameters of NGH development and discusses the concept of devising useful applications of NGHs, with consideration given to (1) independence from current fossil fuels; (2) energy transport using the hydrate system; (3) CO2 sequestration — replacement of methane hydrate with CO2 hydrate in the submarine layer and (4) improvement of current steam reforming of methane by CO2 reuse and zeolite application. This paper thus proposes a new solution that will make a key contribution to the systematic development of a new sustainable energy structure.

Basic Environmental Requirements for EU Accession: An Impact Study on Hungary

January 2000


43 Reads

It can be stated in general that (with the exception of agriculture) the Hungarian economy, because of its outdated technologies, is a bigger threat to the environment than countries of Western Europe. However, as the volume of economic output, per capita consumption and the number of motor vehicles is considerably lower than those in more advanced industrial nations, by most indicators low per capita figures put Hungary in a better position. Still, we must remember that the EU's environmental policy puts heavy emphasis on the efficient utilization of resources and environmental efficiency, calculated against pollution generated in the course of creating units of national wealth and the amount of energy and natural resources required to it. By these standards, Hungary lags far behind the West European model. The problem is compounded by the fact that, while nations of Western Europe had created environmental infrastructure (i.e., wastewater disposal and treatment, waste management) in an earlier phase of their economic development, Hungary is only now embarking on a similar project. Indeed, the existing gap between utility services of drinking water and sewage disposal and treatment, and large amounts of untreated and illegally dumped waste lead to serious environmental damage. Although the state of the country's natural environment is considered satisfactory, factors outlined above indicate there are many responsibilities ahead of us if we are to meet western environmental standards.

Figure 1. Soil organic matter loss following cultivation at two sites (Hays and Colby, Kansas) in the Midwestern US. Redrawn from Haas et al. (1957).  
Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Tropical and Temperate Agriculture: The Need for a Full-Cost Accounting of Global Warming Potentials

March 2004


285 Reads

Agriculture's contribution to radiative forcing is principally through its historical release of carbon in soil and vegetation to the atmosphere and through its contemporary release of nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CHM4). The sequestration of soil carbon in soils now depleted in soil organic matter is a well-known strategy for mitigating the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere. Less well-recognized are other mitigation potentials. A full-cost accounting of the effects of agriculture on greenhouse gas emissions is necessary to quantify the relative importance of all mitigation options. Such an analysis shows nitrogen fertilizer, agricultural liming, fuel use, N2O emissions, and CH4 fluxes to have additional significant potential for mitigation. By evaluating all sources in terms of their global warming potential it becomes possible to directly evaluate greenhouse policy options for agriculture. A comparison of temperate and tropical systems illustrates some of these options.

Accounting for human behavior, local conditions and organizational constraints in humanitarian development models

June 2010


185 Reads

The current trend in foreign aid is toward small-scale sustainable development projects in partnership with defined communities. However, these projects are subject to the influences of self-interested human behavior, poorly defined community structures and resources and organizational constraints that can prevent full realization of development models. Under these constraints, attempting participatory community development models to the exclusion of other techniques may not be the most effective way to achieve positive change. Instead, development agencies should consider adopting other proven elements of development in combination with the spirit of community development to achieve a positive impact within the community and organizational structures and ensure accountability for success. A small-scale attempted, sustainable development case study in Rwanda is reviewed, as well as a new concept for larger scale development integrating ‘carbon credits’. Additionally, a development accreditation organization is proposed to ensure additional accountability in this field. KeywordsSustainable development-Rwanda-Carbon credits-EWB-USA-Capacity building-Case study

Optimum Supportable Global Population: Water Accounting and Dietary Considerations

August 2006


51 Reads

In this paper we develop a novel, comprehensive method for estimating the global human carrying capacity in reference to food production factors and levels of food consumption. Other important interrelated dimensions of carrying capacity such as energy, non-renewable resources, and ecology are not considered here and offer opportunities for future work. Use of grain production (rain-fed/irrigated), animal product production (grazing/factory farm), diet pattern (grain/animal products), and a novel water accounting method (demand/supply) based on actual water consumption and not on withdrawal, help resolve uncertainties to find better estimates. Current Western European food consumption is used as a goal for the entire world. Then the carrying capacity lies in the range of 4.5–4.7 billion but requiring agricultural water use increase by 450–530% to 4725–5480km3, the range based on different estimates of available water. The cost of trapping and conveying such water, will run 4.5–13.5 trillion over 50years requiring an annual spending increase of 150–400%, straining the developing world where most of the population increase is expected. We reconfirm estimates in the literature using a dynamic model. ‘Corner scenarios’ with extreme optimistic assumptions were analyzed using the reasoning support software system GLOBESIGHT. With a hypothetical scenario with a mainly vegetarian diet (grazing only with 5% animal product), the carrying capacity can be as high as 14billion. Ecological deterioration that surely accompanies such a population increase would negatively impact sustainable population. Using our approach the impact of ecological damage could be studied. Inter- and intra-regional inequities are other considerations that need to be studied.

Remarks on fair wealth accumulation in Russia

October 2011


31 Reads

The paper addresses the topic of wealth accumulation in Russia. This phenomenon plays an important role for the understanding and forecasting the future economic and social development of the country. The “westernized” paradigm calls for hard honest work during the life and approves getting a reward in a form of wealth in the end. When brought to Russia, this paradigm faces the orthodox traditions and rules together with the post-soviet mental patterns. In this paper, we consider how the pattern “first accumulate wealth, then consume it” competes with its opposition, the pattern “first consume wealth, then accumulate it” in Russia. We base our discussion on the consumers’ simple optimization problem, which exhibits a bifurcation between those two patterns depending on the relation between the consumption “impatience” and the wealth growth rate. We also suggest a framework to model the phenomenon of unfair wealth through impulse type of wealth development. KeywordsDynamical consumption optimization–Fair wealth accumulation–Russia

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