Sustainability: A history
Sustainability: A history
From concept to movement
plethora of books between 1976 and 1981 became a buzzword by the end of the century (the 1990s)
environmentalists were standing on the shoulders of giants such as Malthus, Rousseau, Mill, Darwin, jane jacobsen etc
1972 club of roses limit to growth
the club of rome there was a mood that people had changed their mind sabot growth. Hnowevermthe 1980s was the decade of Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. with the collapse of the Soviet union, materialism enjoyed a revival.
In 1981 , reagan removed the solar panels from the white house which reagan had put there
1969: San Francisco
food security, threats of nuclear power
1972: Stockholm: conference on the human environment
creation of UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme)
UN conference for science and technology or development
on substances that deplete the ozone layer
north/South on global inequality (a report)
1985 Vienna conference
vienna conference for the protection of the ozonee layer
1983 - 1987 the World Commission on Environment and Develoment and Our common future
it was chaired by group Harlem Brundtland
because of her strong leadership it has ever since been known as the Brundtland commission
framework for global sustainable development
the report of the commission is also called the Brundtland report
definition of sustainable development as: it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
1988: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
UNEP and World Meteorological Organization created the IPCC in 1988
1988, Toronto, G7 Summit
1992: Rio de Janeiro
UN conference on Environment and Devlopement and several policy documents
1997 Kyoto Protocol
became enforceable law in 2005 -> developed countries need to reduce GHG emissions in an effort to curb anthropogenic climate change.
10 year reunion for the Rio Earth Summit of 1992. The US biycotted it
2012, Rio de Janeiro
much of the conference was marked by lamentation s that the goals of 1992 had been missed
all 196 nations accepted the paris agreement
first efforts to transport the principles of sustainability into the world of business and commerce occurred in the 1980s and 1990s
triple bottom line
introduced in 1997 by the corporate responsibility expert John Elkington in his groundbreaking "Cannibals with Forks: the triple bottom line of 21st century business. It is the idea that businesses should measure their success in three different ways: economic, social and environmental. Many companies have implemented it into their accounting practices
very important concept that has continued to shape the economics of sustainability.
developed by William Rees, ecological economist nd grad student at the university of British Columbia, Wackernagel
produced numbers that showed how unsustainable the world currently is
the environmental movement rose because of a set of social phenomena that came together in the 1960s. Topic included the study of pollution, smog nd chemicals. Works by Rachel Carson and Barry Commoner translated this into horrified public. Furthermore a series of disasters such as the the oil spills of Cornwall in 1967 and Snta Barbara Channel in 1969 brought attention to reckless industrialism. Third, it was the time of movements (Vietnam, Women's rights etc). Lastly, the threat of nuclear war made environmental problems more credible
modern environmentalism took shape that tried to distance itself from , distancing itself from the older teddy roosevelt style conservationism.
the works of the 1960s were meant to shock the reader and the authors were equipped with the latest cutting edge research.
1962 Rachel Carsons silent spring was very influential. The book did not create the environmental movement but it helped to get it of the ground. The boo was debated for 5 h one day in the house of Lords.
describes how the chemicals also flow into human bodies etc. The most criticism is for DDT
the reaction to the book says a lot about the reception of environmental science in the 1960s: she was denounced as a communist , an amateur, hysterical woman etc.
Kennedy asked his research team to investigate the claims. The science team confirmed what Carson had said. Carson died in the middle of the controversy because of breast cancer. DDt was eventually banned i 1970 and 1972
Stewart L Udalls: The quiet crisis (1963)
build on Carsons book
served as secretary of the interior for nearly all of the 1960s and oversaw the creat of thousands of square models of park etc, and ground breaking environmental laws
also wrote authoritatively
Paul R. Ehrlich: 1968 the population Bomb
talks about starvation of the population etc. Also borrowed and denounces the unquestioned believe in science
founded the group "zero population growth" that quickly had over 30000 members in the 1970s.
he even got a meeting with Nixton
became the magazine for the environmental movement
Lynne White Jr.
1967: The ecological roots of our ecological crisis
argues in this article she argues that Christianities deep-rooted hostility towards the natural world facilitated the ecological devastation of the Industrial Revolution
she triggered a debate about the relationship between religion and environmental degradation
Garret Hardin's: the Tragedy of the commons 1968
inability of technology to solve human ills such as overpopulation. He uses the example of nature that is overexploited by men and the well being of all herdsmen is threatened - therein lies the tragedy.
had a couple of radio programmes
also ran for president. Was a Harvard zoologist.He was emblematic of the scientists activists of the classic environmentalist area. Also became well known for his outspeaking against nuclear weapons testing
1971 bestseller -> the closing circle: Nature Men and Technology wchih was written in response to the muddled debates act environmental degradation
his four environmental laws were his most famous legacy
2 more environmentalists
neither is considered an environmentalist in the ordinary sense of hr word, they had an measurable impact on urban theory an d urban planning. Since 1980s more known for their contributions to the sustainable city.
Jane Jacobs: Death and Life of great American cities. Sh is also known for mixed use cities
Henri Lefebvre: was a marist who taught at the rather radical university of nanterre
clean air act in the UK in 1956 and a number of laws in the United states as well. Belgium had the first green candidate in Parliament
Earth day was first celebrated in 1970 and in some places it was a whole week
recycling was a bg success of the environmental movement -> the romans had done this already ages ago
Eco - nomics
wrote in a normal language and asked deep questions
E.F. Schuhmacher, Kenneth Boulding etc. the club of rome were also members
questions: what is the objective of endless economic growth? What are the environmental costs of a wasteful, fossicfue, driven consumer society. they all operate in a capitalist structure. They also tend to favour a more regulated economy in which the state plays a bigger role. They rejected communism and laissez faire attitude because these system had proven inefficient in preserving the environment
main criticism was against Milton Friedman and the Chicago school of economics. The had objections against pretty much everything of neoclassical economics: laissez faire economics with freedom, disregard of the nature and the environment, monetarism, the central banks controlling the money supply. Also against Hayek and Keynes who viewed economic growth generally as a very positive thing.
the first wave had moderat success -> Schuhmacher got invited to the white house by President Carter in 1977
club of rome founded in 1968 by an italian industrialist and visionary published the bestselling limits to growth in 1972
hosevwe relatively few governments and universities employed thinkers of this discipline
differences of the first wave
one difference is the emphasis on condemning mainstream economics rather than focusing on how to construct a green economy. One notable exception is Amor Lovin's 1977 "Soft energy Paths: toward a durable ece2
the cost of growth
first critique centres on the believe that we need more growth. Robert A. Nisbet: growth is a very powerful metaphor in western societies and saying that you oppose growth is perceived to be equal to saying that oppose the evolution of society.
Mishan was a driving force to integrate ecological factors into the field of economics
1977: daly argues relentlessly that the obsession with mathematics and equations had drowned out questions of ethics and values.
these economists are not against every kind of growth for instance opening a second branch of sth. They are against the big growth policies.
Mishan asserts that economic growth was essentially invented int he 19th century but realised in the 1940s
Mishans last argument is about social factors: growth did not lead to an equal distribution of resources.
the solution to the problem is where the ecological economists have different ideas. Some like Mishan suggest slow growth and argue that with more breaks etc. if yo include that you dont have less "wealth". Daly proposes a steady state economyn(taking the idea from Mill)
The natural environment ignored
they denounced the way in which classical economists externalised the environment
BOULDING: cowboy economy vs spaceman economy in which everything id connected. He draws on the second law of thermodynamics
some economists such as Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen argue that economists need to know about energy flows
useless metrics and measurements
many ecological economists say that GDP is not a good measurement and simply tells you how much is going on in the economy
Simon Kuzentes himself said that one needs to be careful with abuse with the GDP
it purposes to be neutral but is normative. Environmental disasters are a good thing because of the clean up. Exxo Valdez boosted the US economy by 2 billion
fails to take account of uneconomic growth that might actually hurt in the long run
Daly offers an alternative approach but calls for his alleges for more research here.
Schuhmacher: the greatest successes have done the most to threaten our natural environment
second birth of a movement that of ecological economics. They wanted to rethink neoclassical economics
they assumed could not exist without a healthy functioning environment