Thoughts on Hausman's Critique of CVM

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August 13, 2008


tidal said...

"My basic premise is not that we are "running out of resources," but that we are pushing the environment beyond its capacity to absorb our waste."

I am not sure what to make of this. Your premise is that we face limits w.r.t. our waste sinks and limits to substitutability of same, but we face no such limits w.r.t. on the "sources" side of the equation (or we have unlimited substitutability there...)??? Or is there an implied "yet" missing before the comma in your statement above?

It may well be that the "sinks" limits - whether it be atmospheric carbon, ocean acidity, or some other stressor - will be the more pressing bottleneck, but a simple declaration that we don't face any "source" constraints is, well, let's just say it is revealing... if that was indeed your point.

David Zetland said...

Tidal - good question. My point is that we can use price-rationing to allocate resources among those who want to use them. Because the environment is *not* priced, we are putting (too much) pressure on it -- leading to trouble.

reason said...
In part one, I considered the possibility that my dad (who turned 75 this year) may have enjoyed a life of the greatest prosperity ever recorded -- and ever to be recorded.

I have no doubt that subsets of humanity will continue to enjoy enormous (even increasing) prosperity. The question is how big that subset can be.

(P.S. Get the point, the adequacy of resources, severity of depletion is not independent of population.)

joshua corning said...

*At 6 degrees Celsius warmer, the world could resemble the Cretaceous Era, 144 to 65 million years ago, when global temperatures were much higher than today.

*Deserts march across continents like conquering armies.

Anyone else see the monstrous error here?

David Zetland said...

Anyone else see the monstrous error here? Apparently not. Care to elaborate? Feel free to use examples from your experience. :)

Laura said...

I think you just reinvented Garrett Hardin's "Tragedy of the Commons" theory (published as an essay in 1968) that formed the basis of the field of ecological studies.

David Zetland said...

Co-author! (It's not MY fault that I wasn't alive at the time... :)

Dano said...

"My basic premise is not that we are "running out of resources," but that we are pushing the environment beyond its capacity to absorb our waste."

I used to have a video of one of our greatest living ecologists agrees with you, but its been linkrotted and now buried in another, longer video.

Nonetheless. You're on your way, lad! ;o)



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