Economic Geography: Sustainability

Topics: Ozone depletion, Greenhouse gas, Pollution Pages: 33 (7418 words) Published: January 10, 2011
definitions and problems
Sustainable is such a development, which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs Concepts of sustainability
* Environmental Space
* Material Flows, Dematerialization
* Eco-efficiency, Factor 4, Factor 10
* Ecological Footprint
Material flow
* Increase resource productivity without shifting the environmental burden (load) * Integrated assessment of land use and resource flows
* Control the production and usage of materials
* Thermodynamics = total inputs must equal total outputs
doing more with less”
Creating more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution. Factor 4, Factor 10
Resorces productivity – wealth – resource consumption
Technology – e.g. fuel-efficient cars, low-energy homes
Long term – profligate countries
Measuring sustainability - the ecological footprint
* Shows the land area needed to support a given population on given living standards for an unlimited amount of time * area needed to produce the goods consumed
* area needed to assimilate the pollution and waste generated Alternative indicators of development
* Problems with the GDP as a measure of welfare:
* change in natural capital not included
* only market transactions count
* all transactions are seen as positive regardless of their effect on welfare * indifferent to the distribution of wealth
* indifferent to the source of economic activity
Alternative indicators of development
Based on corrections of the GDP
* NEW (Net Economic Welfare)
* ISEW (Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare)
* GPI (Genuine Progress Indicator)
* HDI (Human Development Index)
Sustainable business
* Economically sustainable
* Environmentally sustainable
* Socially sustainable
Good business
* Viable
* Responsible, saving
* Good to employees and others
Important elements of SD
* What needs to be sustained?
* What needs to be developed?
* Intergenerational component

Nature, life supporting systems and community
People, society and economy
Time scale during which the goals are to be achieved

Schumacher: Small is beautiful
In the current store of condemning judgments few words have such crushing and decisive meaning as “uneconomical”. If an activity is marked uneconomical, this does not only question its right to existence, but also lost it once and forever. If we find out that something restricts economic growth, this is a shameful thing, and if someone still sticks to that, he is considered a saboteur or a fool. Say that a thing is unethical or ugly, soul-killing or debasing, dangers world-peace or the welfare of future generations – well, until you did not prove that it is “uneconomical”, in reality you did not question its right to exist, grow and multiply

Soil and Waste
* Soil is the uppermost, loose and fertile layer of the Earth’s crust * Soil is formed through physical and chemical processes from rock and organic remains Soil degradation
* Soil loss through: water, wind (deflation)
* Decline in fertility
* A natural process
Soil degradation and human activity
Erosion is increased by
* Deforestation
* Agricultural practices
* Ploughing
* Overgrazing
* Crop removal
Soil degradation and human activity
Protective measures to decrease erosion
* Vegetation: Good protecting effect: woods, fall sowing, Bad protecting effect: spring sowing, corn, sugar-beet * Technical establishments: terraces, windbreaks, forest belts Special characteristics of soil

* Mainly solid components → no circulation
→ limited self-cleaning capacity
→ locally serious pollution problems
* Final destination of many air and water pollutants
Sources of soil pollution
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