Monday, September 25, 2006

Big Questions in Environmental Economics

I have just returned from a great environmental economics conference in Vail, Colorado. A foot of snow was dumped on me but that couldn't stop me. At this conference, we discussed many environmental issues. One researcher pointed out the puzzle that there has been a sharp membership decline in the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (see http://www.aere.org/). Is that surprising and what does this trend mean? A pessimist might state that as a sub-field that environmental economics is a "fashionable" field that goes through booms and busts and right now the field is in a rut. An optimist might counter that one can infer little about the state of academic environmental economics from macro trends in membership.

In this posting, I would like to make the case that there are many exciting research questions in environmental econ. These are not in any particular order.

1. The economics of climate change --- in particular how large are the economic costs caused by climate change? Which industries bear these costs? Which geographical areas around the world will bear them? How costly is it given current technologies to self protect to minimize climate change's impact on our quality of life? Under what circumstances are governments forward looking and making investments to pre-empt significant costs from taking place?

2. The induced innovation hypothesis --- as prices for resources rise -- how much "green" R&D is triggered and how quickly do new ideas diffuse from rich nations who develop these ideas to LDCs?

3. valuation of non-market goods --- given improvements in health care and improvements in many indicators of urban environmental quality -- has diminishing returns kicked in --- in the United States? Do we in 2006 value a marginal improvement in the environment less than in the past?

4. In rapidly growing nations such as India and China, what are "good" public policies? Which U.S policies such as catalytic converters for cars are too expensive to be adopted there?

2 comments :

Milan said...

Definitely good questions.

Your book link, behind the 'I power Blogger' icon, seems to be broken.

sushil yadav said...

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.
Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.


Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.


When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.



A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.



FAST VISUALS /WORDS MAKE SLOW EMOTIONS EXTINCT.

SCIENTIFIC /INDUSTRIAL /FINANCIAL THINKING DESTROYS EMOTIONAL CIRCUITS.

A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY CANNOT FEEL PAIN / REMORSE / EMPATHY.

A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY WILL ALWAYS BE CRUEL TO ANIMALS/ TREES/ AIR/ WATER/ LAND AND TO ITSELF.


To read the complete article please follow either of these links :

PlanetSave

EarthNewsWire


sushil_yadav