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a condition of growth where the rate is mathematically proportional to the current value, leading to continued, non-linear increase of the quantity.
· In population, this refers to a state of increasingly accelerated & compound growth, w/ecological implications for scarcity.
present-day adherents to a position established by Malthus in the 19th century that population growth outstrips limited natural resources & presents the single greatest driver of environmental degradation & crisis.
based in the theory that income inequality will increase during economic development & decrease after reaching a state of overall affluence, this theory predicts that enviornamtal impacts rise during development, only to fall after an economy matures.
a model that predicts a period of deforestation in a region during development, when the forest is a resource or land is cleared for agriculture, followed by a return of forest when the economy changes and population out-migrates &/or becomes conservation oriented.
the theoretical limit of population (animals, human) that a system can sustain and support.
the theoretical spatial extent of the earth’s surface required to sustain an individual group, system, organization.
· An index of environmental impact.
a form of agriculture that clears & burns forest areas to release nutrients for cropping.
· Also known as “swidden”.
· This method is highly extensive, typically rotating through areas of forest land for short periods of use, allowing previously used for forest land to recover.
a suite of technological innovations, developed in universities & international research centers, which were applied to agriculture between the 1950’s & 1980’s & increased agricultural yields dramatically, but w/a concomitant rise in chemical inputs (fertilizers & pesticides) as well as increased demands for water & machinery.
a condition in a population where the number of births matches the number of deaths & therefore there is no net increase.
· An idealized condition for those concerned about overpopulation.
a measure of mortality in a population, typically expressed as the number of deaths per thousand population per year.
a measure of natural growth in a population, typically expressed as the number of births per thousand population per year.
A model of population change that predicts a decline in population death rates associated w/modernization, followed by a decline in birth rates resulting from industrialization & urbanization.
· This creates a sigmoidal curve where population growth increases rapidly for a period, then levels off.
a measure describing the average number of children birthed by an average statistical woman during her reproductive lifetime.
a model that predicts economic responses to scarcity of a resource will lead to increases in prices that will result either in decreased demand for that resource or increased supply, or both.
the somewhat counterintuitive observation, rooted in modern economic theory that a technology that increases the efficiency of resource use actually increases rather than decreases the rate of consumption of that resource.
a thesis based in neoclassical economics, holding that externalities (pollution) can be most efficiently controlled through contracts & bargaining between parties, assuming the transaction costs of reaching a bargain are not excessive.
a situation of condition where the production or exchange of a good or service is not efficient.
· Refers to arrange of perverse economic outcomes stemming from market problems like monopoly or uncontrolled externalities.
in economics, the cost associated w/making an exchange or negotiating a price.
· While most economic models assume low transaction costs, in reality these costs can be quite high, especially for systems with high externalities.
a market condition where there is one seller for many buyers, leading to perverted & artificially inflated pricing of goods or services.
a market condition where there is on buyer for many sellers, leading to perverted & artificially deflated pricing of goods or services.
a market-based system to manage enviornamtal pollutants where a total limit is placed on all emissions in a jurisdiction (state, country, worldwide) & individual people or firms possess transferable shares of that total, theoretically leading to the most efficient overall system to maintain & reduce pollution levels overall.
programs to certify commodities for the purposes of assuring their ecological credentials, such as organically grown vegetables or sustainably harvested wood products.
: an allegorical description of a game theoretical situation in which multiple individuals making decisions in pursuit of their own interests tend to create collective outcomes that are non-optimal for everything.
a form of applied mathematics used to model and predict people’s behaviors in strategic situations where people’s choices are predicated on predicting the behavior of others.
rules & norms governing collective action, especially referring to rules governing common-property environmental resources, like rivers, oceans, or the atmosphere.
A good or resource whose characteristics make it difficult to fully enclose & partition, making it possible for non-owners to enjoy resource benefits & owners to sustain costs form the actions of others, typically necessitating some form of creative institutional management.
the use of Darwinian evolutionary theory to explain social phenomena & individuals are viewed as naturally & inherently competitive & selfish beings, social Darwinism typically rationalizes war, poverty, & hierarchically stratified social systems.
intensive animal-raising agricultural operations.
· They attempt to maximize production by raising as many animals in as little space as possible, often resulting in significant air & water pollution.
the branch of philosophy dealing w/morality or questions of right & wrong human action in the world.
a principle as well as a body of thought & research, stressing the need for equitable distribution of environmental goods (parks, clean air) & environmental bads (pollution, hazards) between people, no matter their race, ethnicity, or gender.
a condition where unhealthful or dangerous conditions are disproportionately proximate to minority communities.
arising from the book of genesis, the dominion thesis states that humans are the pinnacle of creation & humans are granted ethical free rein to use nature in any way deemed beneficial.
taking responsibility for the property or fate of others.
· Stewardship of land & natural resources is often used in a religious context such as “caring for creation”.
an ethical standpoint that views humans as central factor in considerations of right & wrong action in & toward nature.
an ethical theory that posits that the value of a good should be judged solely by its usefulness to society.
· Following the 18th-19th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham, usefulness is equated w/maximizing pleasure or happiness & minimizing pain & suffering.
the management of a resource or environment for protection & preservation, typically for its own sake, as in wilderness preservation.
a natural parcel of land, more or less unaffected by human forces.
· Increasing, wilderness is viewed as a social construction.
the scientific study of interactions amongst organisms & between organisms & the habitat or ecosystem in which they live.
an environmental ethical stance that argues that ecological concerns should, over & above human priorities, be central to decisions about right & wrong action.
an ethical principle stating that humans should extend their sphere of moral concern beyond the human realm.
· It’s argued that intelligent or sentient animals are worthy ethical subjects.
named after Peter Singer’s groundbreaking 1975 book, a radical social movement that aims to free all animals from use by humans, whether those uses are for food, medical testing, industry, personal adornment, entertainment or anything else.
: a philosophy of enviornamtal ethics that distances itself from “shallow” or mainstream environmentalism by arguing for a “deeper” & supposedly more truly ecologically-informed view of the world.
any theory that holds that a whole system (earth) is more than the sum of its parts.
A philosophically invalid derivation of any ethical “ought” from a natural “is”.
usually deployed as a term of derision.
· Refers to an uncritical reliance on the natural sciences as the basis for social decision-making & ethical judgments.
a school thought & set of social movements, associated w/the thinker Murray Bookchin, asserting that environmental problems & crises are rooted in typical social structures & relationships since these tend to be hierarchical, state-controlled, & predicted on domination of both people & nature.
the degree to which the outcomes of a decision or situation are unknown.
a phenomenon, and related field of study, describing the tendency of people to evaluate the hazardousness of a situation or decision in not always rational terms, depending on the individual biases, culture, or human tendencies.
a theoretical framework associated w/anthropologist Mary Douglas that stresses the way individual perceptions (of risk, for example) are reinforced by group social dynamics, leading to a few paradigmatic, typical, & discrete ways of seeing & addressing problems.
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