Sunday, January 21, 2007

More on Green = Green

So you don't think improving the quality of the environment can increase economic growth - well Jeff Sachs thinks differently. I happen to agree with Jeff that we need to start thinking about the environment as a primary input to production and not some luxury good we can afford once we have enough income.

Here is a link to another study suggesting that air pollution can reduce productivity.

12 comments:

zhliunan said...

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Hartley said...

I think that economic activity should include a variable for the damage or promotion of the environment. For example, if for every brick that you make, you emit a half unit of pollution, that firm should only count that as half as productive. So environmental detriment has a negative effect on production.

Sam said...

One would think that the largest governments in the world could understand the importance of water as a natural resource. We have talked about zero pollution never being desirable, but negative externalities that effect the basic resource of life(water)should be taken with more caution.

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

It is interesting that some of the most affluent countries are attempting to help lesser ones in and misled attempts. i.e. Darfur would not need military intervention if its people had sufficient water and other resources.

I agree with Jeff Sachs' factual description of climate change affecting global weather patterns. However, Dr. Heidi Cullen of the Weather Channel recently posted on her blog about the evidence supporting climate change. She was criticized so badly that she had to apologize on their television network.

http://climate.weather.com/blog/9_11592.html?cm_ven

Kyle said...

Mr. Sachs' article offers an important view of global environmental sustainability from an interesting perspective. The Darfur example, in addition to other recent environmental disasters/concerns, offers a powerful argument for governments worldwide to develop better sustainability and development legislation. Well written article with an important message.

Mackenzie Hutton said...

This is an interesting and at the same time very depressing article.

adamk said...

I agree that some environmental development is needed in developing countries such as Darfur. In many of these countries the quality of life is so poor that economic growth is near impossible. For many of these developing countries we should be focusing on economic intervention, instead we should be trying to provide them with better water quality or more nutritious food. Without a quality of life improvement, economic improvement cannot occur.

Jamie Mallinson said...

Sachs makes some good points and I am shocked to see the relationship between the environmental changes and the resulting problems around the world. I do think that Sachs might be going over the top a little bit and using a 'fire and brimstone' approach to scare people into caring for the environment. If the problem in Darfur is occuring solely because of the destruction of the environment, however, then Sachs is making points that need to be heard.

Elizabeth Garson said...

This article is very interesting to think about. I think developing countries should have an entirely different approach to issues about the environment/economic activity from countries that are more developed. Like Adam said, without a certain quality of life, it is impossible to create much economic activity. If most of the country is malnourished, there is no way they can be very productive.

Kris Brake said...

Mr. Sachs' article is very important, because he really focuses on the idea the Global Climate Change is a "global" problem. We need more international cooperation in order to accomplish some of the goals we have set. Extending Adam's comment, I think it is important to note that until economic development has been attained it is very difficult, if not impossible for these people to focus on the environment. As sad as it sounds, I really feel that environmental quality is a luxury. If your basic needs have not been met it is very difficult to be concerned with anything else. Of note here is that it is the more affluent nations who contribute the most towards the environmental problems we face...

Anonymous said...

This article does a good job pointing out the link between environmental quality and human well-being. I wonder why our politicians are unwilling to accept this truth but rather interested in beating war drums to solve problems. The earlier we recognize and tackle the root causes of the prevailing human crisis the better for us and our globe. I hope the supposed 'realists' are taking notes.

Felix