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Environmental Laws, Economics, and Ethics

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A desire to conquer and exploit nature as quickly as possible. At this rate, an area the size of Europe could be deforested in 40yrs! ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Environmental Laws, Economics, and Ethics


1
Environmental Laws, Economics, and Ethics
Chapter 2
2
Environmental History of U.S.
1800
1700
1900
1600
3
Environmental History of U.S.
  • What is the Frontier Attitude?
  • A desire to conquer and exploit nature as quickly
    as possible
  • At this rate, an area the size of Europe could be
    deforested in 40yrs!

4
Environmental History of U.S.
1800
1900
1750
Some conservationists were influential in raising
environmental concerns later in this period.
5
George Perkins Marsh
  • Influenced Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot
    (first head of the U.S. Forest Service).
  • Utilitarian Conservation
  • They values natural resources because of their
    usefulness for practical purposes but uses them
    sensibly

6
Environmental History of U.S.
1900
1950
1850
Several presidents, particularly Theodore
Roosevelt, used this Act to establish 43 million
acres of forest reserves.
7
Environmental History of U.S.
1900
1950
1850
Different worldviews
8
Worldviews
  • Utilitarian Conservationist
  • A person who values natural resources because of
    there usefulness for practical purposes but uses
    them sensibly
  • Biocentric Preservationist
  • A person who believes in protecting nature
    because all forms of life deserve respect and
    consideration

9
Environmental History of U.S.
1950
2000
1900
10
Environmental History of U.S.
1950
2000
1900
11
Silent Springs
  • Heightened public awareness and concern about the
    dangers of uncontrolled uses of DDT and other
    pesticides.
  • Led to restrictions on use of certain pesticides.

Rachel Carson
12
Environmental History of U.S.
1950
2000
1900
13
Environmental History of U.S.
14
U.S. Environmental Legislation
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Stated that federal government must consider the
    environmental impact of a proposed federal action.

15
U.S. Environmental Legislation
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • dictates ALL federally proposed actions draft
    an environmental impact statement (EIS).
  • Council on Environmental Quality
  • Established by the NEPA to monitor the required
    EIS and report directly to the president

16
EISs Were they effective?
  • Complains were made that
  • They were sometimes incomplete or are ignored
    when decisions are made.
  • Delay important projects because they were too
    involved and took too long to prepare

17
U.S. Environmental Legislation
  • Addressing New Environmental Problems with
    Government Policies

Problem identified
Regulations implemented / enforced by states
(usually)
18
U.S. Environmental Legislation
  • Many environmental laws have been passed
  • Clean Air Act (1970) (Amended in 1990)
  • Clean Water Act (1972)
  • Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972)
  • Endangered Species Act (1973)
  • Energy Policy and Conservation Act (1975)
  • Federal Land Policy and Management Act (1976)
  • National Forest Management Act (1976)
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (1976)
  • Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act (1977)
  • Medical Waste Tracking Act
  • Food Quality Protection Act (1996)
  • Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (2002)

19
U.S. Environmental Legislation
  • What has been their effect since 1970?
  • 8 National Parks, National Wilderness
    Preservation System
  • Substantial soil erosion reduction
  • Many endangered species fairing better
  • Emissions of many pollutants reduced

20
Economics and the Environment
  • Economics
  • The study of how people use their limited
    resources to try to satisfy their unlimited
    wants.
  • - An economist view the world as one large market
    place where resources are allocated for various
    uses and where goods and services are consumed
    and paid for.

21
Economics and the Environment
22
Economics and the Environment
  • National Income Accounts
  • The total income of a nation for a given year
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • Net Domestic Product (NDP)
  • NDP GDP - depreciation / capital expenses

23
Economics and the Environment
  • National Income Accounts
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • Net Domestic Product (NDP)
  • NDP GDP - depreciation / capital expenses

External costs rarely considered
24
Economics and the Environment
  • Marginal cost of pollution

The additional cost associated with one more unit
of pollution
25
Economics and the Environment
  • Marginal cost of pollution abatement

The added cost for all present and future members
of society of an additional unit of pollution
26
Economics and the Environment
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis

Used by economist to identify the point at which
the marginal cost of pollution equals the
marginal cost of abatement (intersection)
27
Economics and the Environment
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis

28
Economics and the Environment
  • Common problems with economic analyses
  • 1) Reduction in quality of life and natural
    beauty difficult to assess.

2) Fails to consider unexpected catastrophic
environmental damage.
29
Economics and the Environment
  • Economic strategies for pollution control
  • Command and control regulations
  • Pollution-control laws that work by setting
    limits on levels of pollution

2) Incentive-based regulation Pollution-control
laws that work by establishing emission targets
and providing industries with incentives to
reduce emissions
30
Economics and the Environment
  • Case-in-Point Environmental Problems in Central
    and Eastern Europe

31
Environmental Ethics, Values, and Worldviews
  • Ethics
  • Branch of philosophy that is derived through the
    logical application of human values
  • Values
  • The principles that an individual or society
    considers important or worthwhile
  • Worldview
  • Commonly shared perspectives based on a
    collection of our basic values that help us to
    make sense of the world, understand our place and
    purpose in it and determine right and wrong
    behavior.

32
Environmental Ethics, Values, and Worldviews
  • Environmental worldview
  • Helps us make sense of how the environment works,
    and right and wrong environmental behavior
  • Western worldview
  • An understanding of our place in the world based
    on human superiority and dominance over nature,
    the unrestricted use of natural resources and
    economic growth to manage an expanding industrial
    base
  • Deep ecological worldview
  • An understanding of our place in the world based
    on harmony with nature, a spiritual respect for
    life, and the belief that human and all other
    species have equal worth

33
Environmental Ethics, Values, and Worldviews
  • Environmental Ethics
  • List your moral values concerning the
    stewardship of natural resources.
  • Where would you place yourself along this
    spectrum of worldviews?
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