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Evaluating grassroots complementary currency initiatives

This section reviews experience with three distinct types of complementary currency, each designed for a different purpose. It considers their characteristics and potential in terms of the five indicators of sustainable consumption defined in Chapter 3, namely localisation, reducing ecological footprints, community-building, collective action, and building new infrastructures of provision. The three complementary currencies discussed are Local Exchange Trading Schemes (LETS) which aims to rebuild local economies Time Banks which promote civic engagement and mutual self-help and NU-Spaarpas, a 'green savings' currency which incentivises environmental lifestyle changes and sustainable consumption. Findings are summarised in Table 7.1.

China Emerging Third Pole of Power

Something surprising is happening to China's currency. The US dollar is no longer in our opinion seen as a stable currency, and is devaluating all the time, and that's putting troubles all the time. So the real issue is how to change the regime from a US dollar pegging to a more manageable reference, say Euros, yen, dollars those kind of more diversified systems. China deserves special mention given its likely trajectory as a major pole of global power in the beginning of the 21st century. While it may take several more years for China's economy and banking system to undertake the necessary reforms, its regional influence seems assured. The eventual emergence of the Chinese renminbi (RNB), currently being re-valued, as a major currency appears to be well underway, with tacit support of Beijing. As evident in the following article, China's currency is apparently becoming a de facto convertible currency in the Asian Pacific economies. Something surprising is happening to China's...

The governance challenge

Large foreign exchange inflows generated by extractive industries exports lead to the appreciation of a country's currency exchange rates, which makes it more difficult to export agricultural and manufacturing goods - a phenomenon known as Dutch disease. Extractive industries also draw capital, Both developing countries such as Nigeria and Venezuela and developed countries such as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have suffered from the resource curse indeed, the term 'Dutch disease' (relating to the appreciation of a country's currency exchange rates) originally referred to the economic problems caused by natural gas exports in the Netherlands. The potential effects of the resource curse were greatest in countries with high dependence on oil and gas revenues, such as Algeria and Nigeria (see Table 6.1).

Box Implications of new estimates of purchasing power parity

Purchasing power parities (PPPs) measure the amount of a given currency needed to buy the same basket of goods and services, traded and non-traded, as one unit of the reference currency - in this report, the US dollar. By adjusting for differences in price levels, PPPs can, in principle, provide a more reliable indicator than market exchange rates of the true level of economic activity globally or regionally. Conversions based on market exchange rates typically underestimate the value of domestic economic activity and the output of developing countries relative to the industrialised economies. PPP rates can deviate by a large amount from the market exchange rate between two currencies. It is important to take account of the true level of economic activity in analysing the main drivers of energy demand or comparing energy intensities among countries.

Sensing Across Borders

To begin to answer John Ruggie's all-important question, those involved in the megacommunity must appreciate the importance of building network capital (that is, the value of the investment in relationships and connections). Yet despite our interconnectedness, network capital is not so easy to come by. We must recognize that network capital is only valuable if it aligns with the objective function or value structure of the other players in our megacommunity. What's valuable to you may not be valuable to them. What's seen as capital to you may have little or no currency with them. Truly valuable network capital has to be built over time. It cannot be created instantaneously. And it must be built deliberately and thoughtfully with a keen sense of the other guy's value system, taking into account that a value system is not always static.

The political and economic context The economic struggle of the s

In 1994, the decline in GNP levelled out, and government figures showed a 7.8 per cent increase in 1996. By 1999 the positive trend was continuing, with a growth rate of 4.2 per cent, and the Cuban peso, which had been operating at a dollar rate of 150 1 in 1994, was revalued at 20 1 in 1999. The budget deficit had reduced from 38.28 million in 1995 to 13.4 million in 1998 (Nieto and Delgado, 2002). Nevertheless, the Economist Intelligence Unit estimated hard currency external debt to have continually risen over this period (EIU, 1997), including outstanding arrears with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) which stood at 14.21 million in 2000 (IFAD, 2000).

Stage Project validation and credit verification

The second stage in the supply chain, project validation and credit verification, begins the process of getting a product recognized by the market. While credits originating from Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects are referred to as Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs), offset credits in the voluntary market are often referred to as Verified (or Voluntary) Emission Reductions (VERs). This term - sometimes used as a de facto currency in the voluntary carbon markets - embodies the ideal of legitimate third party verification. Quantifying and verifying GHG emission reductions require significant technical expertise and monitoring throughout the project lifespan. Accounting questions include such issues as for how many years the project is expected to generate emission reductions, the 'payback time' of various technologies (for example, it has been estimated that a 60kW photovoltaic array must produce electricity for 3.7 years before it is carbon neutral) (Murray and Petersen,...

In Your Office or Workplace

The COYou2 reduce and gain program supports employees' investments in measures that contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in relation to mobility, heating and electrical energy. Such measures, which vary according to regional circumstances and preferences, include low-emission hybrid cars, use of public transport and the installation of solar panels or heat pumps. From now until the end of 2011, Swiss Re plans to rebate each employee one-half of the amounts invested in these measures, up to a maximum per employee of 5,000 Swiss francs (about 4,000) or the equivalent in local currency.

Scarcity Crossing National Boundaries

The reason for this is simple since it takes a thousand tons of water to produce a ton of grain, the most efficient way to import water is as grain. In effect, countries are using grain as a currency to balance their water books. Trading in grain futures is in a sense trading in water futures.28

The Environment in Eastern Europe

Adding to the environmental disaster was the fact that most of Eastern Europe had been using soft brown coal as its major energy resource since the end of World War II. This type of coal is high in sulfur content and has a very low efficiency therefore it requires a great deal of burning in order to produce the same amount of heat energy as better-quality coal or oil. The result was a terrible toll on the air quality of the region. The ancient city of Krakow (site of the Lenin Ironworks) was being destroyed by some of the highest levels of corrosive air pollution ever seen on the planet. Ironically, Poland could have avoided much of this by using its own low-sulfur coal. However, the Communist regime (with the prodding of the Soviets) was selling its low-sulfur coal to the West in order to earn hard currency while subjecting its own citizens to the nightmare of high-sulfur, filthy, soft brown coal pollution.

The new policy challenge

The heated policy debate has not ended. The 'hawks' advocate aggressive policy tightening, including sharp appreciation of the currency. They argue that inflation, regardless of its composition, is a monetary phenomenon therefore, only aggressive monetary tightening can tame inflation. The 'doves', on the other hand, warn about the downside risks to the economy and call for some tolerance of higher inflation. They point, in particular, to already declining corporate profits and collapsed equity prices. It follows, then, that continuous aggressive tightening will not only kill the growth engine, it could escalate social and financial risks. In this environment, policy decisions will likely continue to be difficult. With elevated inflation pressure, however, the central bank will probably maintain its tightening bias, with a focus on direct liquidity management. Steady appreciation of the renminbi should also continue. In the meantime, fiscal policy could turn more expansionary to...

Evaluation of Sustainable Energy Dollars

Modern currencies are described as 'fiat' money as they are defined to exist by the force of law (Greenspan 1997) . The monetary tokens issued by governments in the form of notes and coins are given a face value not related in any way to the material used in the token or paper money that may have negligible intrinsic value. Monetary tokens typically represent less than 5 in value of all the money in modern societies. Most money is represented by bank deposits and other credits. The value of fiat money in the form of tokens, deposits and other credits is not defined by any specific goods or services but by the totality of all items traded and invested in one national currency compared with the totality of all transactions in other national currencies. This means the value of modern money is indefinable in terms of any one or defined combination of goods and or services. The definition of what is considered national currency is determined by governments, as noted in row 5. The sources...

Changes in production costs yields and incomes

Worker involved in a profit-sharing scheme might take home 20 to 60 month plus a bonus of 30 to 150 month, whereas those workers only on a basic wage might take home 11 month. Farmers producing an export crop such as tobacco or citrus would receive a stimulus in dollar currency, which could be in the region of 150 at harvest. Contracted labourers were being paid 1.50 day in Havana (plus food benefits), which was more than three times the wage of the 1980s. Generally, farmers agreed that salaries had risen considerably since the 1980s. On UBPCs, almost as important as salaries were the other benefits and welfare of the members, these being critical to maintain production performance. The economic balance record as kept by one CPA cooperative between 1982 and 1998 is given in Table 7.2. This shows that although yields fell after 1993 and were just beginning to recover, as did profit share, wages did not follow this trend but rose consistently.

Forming stable agreements between large numbers of countries

Are flexible the terms of trade effect will eventually disappear, but the abating country still loses the equivalent amount of welfare due to the devaluation of its currency. In an incomplete treaty this effect increases the costs of abatement to countries which cooperate and also increases the benefits of free-riding. Using similar assumptions to Barrett it is shown that, if such trade effects are significant relative to net benefits from abatement, a self-enforcing agreement is possible which contains a large number of countries, and produces significantly more abatement than the non-cooperative case. The intuition of this result is that, as countries successively free-ride from an agreement, and trade related costs rise quickly, there may be a point where the costs of trade losses outweigh the environmental benefits from co-operation and all co-operating countries will leave the agreement. No country will rationally free-ride past this point because the breakdown of the agreement...

The Framework Convention On Climate Change And The Cop Process

39 The Kyoto Annex A GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluo-rocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). Compliance flexibility was also promoted by the adoptions of a comprehension approach to all GHGs of concern. Each GHG's global warming potential, as determined scientifically by the IPCC, would be scaled to CO2 as 1, so that all GHG reductions could be calculated and expressed in the common currency of tons of CO2 equivalent. Id., Art. 5, 3.

Figure Fossil fuel use toe per unit GDP millions US

Technological Progress

Fossil energy's cost share declines in all countries except Canada and Italy, but at a lower rate than energy volume measured in toe. This is because the international price of energy rises over time and even when combined with exogenous technical progress none of the long run price elasticities of energy is greater than one. Energy costs rise in Italy because its currency devalues relative to the US dollar due to its lower economic growth rate (see Chapter 5). This makes all fuels more expensive as they are related to the dollar price of oil. Energy costs rise in Canada because over time it substitutes into gas which has a higher cost per toe this substitution is a feature of the share equations estimated below.

Socioeconomic Political Development

Few also produce much else and there is little, if any, investment both domestic and foreign in productive enterprises. As oil production and related activities are not labor-intensive, there are few employment opportunities, particularly as most oil industry employment goes to foreign experts or labor. As a result, most of these oil rich countries suffer under enormous unemployment, particularly among the young. Similarly, the oil bonanza distorted economic development. It inflated the local currency that makes exports of locally produced goods non-competitive in the international markets while making it cheaper to import goods than to produce them at home. Even agriculture and food processing is barely active in these countries and many traditional crafts have disappeared.

Some characteristics of grassroots innovations

However, niche approaches must not condemn to the margins people who do not wish to be there grassroots participants might actually dream of mainstream consumption, but for reasons of social and economic exclusion, find themselves in a niche instead, e.g., furniture recycling. Many initiatives in excluded communities seek to build capacities for entering the mainstream. Local Exchange Trading Schemes (LETS), a type of complementary currency, have been advocated as a tool to build the skills, confidence and social contacts for people to enter the formal employment market (Williams et al., 2001 Seyfang, 2001c see chapter 7).

Stakeholder segmentation

The world is full of shades of grey - there is little that is black and white. This classification of 'you are either for us or against us' is very dangerous. Even members of political parties have different levels of commitment to their own party's policies and yet remain members of the grouping, as witnessed by the UK Conservatives' angst over membership of the Single European Currency.

Developed vs developing countries

As energy intensity is measured in terms of energy input per economic output, the recent efficiency gains in China may partially reflect how the world has historically underpriced Chinese economic production. If GDP based on market currency rates has been undervalued (as in the Chinese case), then falling energy intensity could be a reflection of this underestimation. If the historic GDP is given as power purchasing parity (relative to US ), the efficiency gains may be significantly smaller.

US Structural Imbalances Twin Deficits

The position of the dollar today is similar to that of sterling in the 1920s and 1930s, when sterling ceased to be the automatic global reserve currency and started to face competition from other currencies, notably the dollar. The dollar has been the leading international currency for as long as most people can remember. But its dominant role can no longer be taken for granted. If America keeps on spending and borrowing at the present pace, the dollar will eventually lose its mighty status in international finance. And that would hurt the privilege of being able to print the World Reserve Currency, a privilege which is now at risk, allows America to borrow cheaply, and thus spend much more than it earns, on far better terms than are available to others.

Maureen Hickey and Vicky Lawson

At this point, some might wonder at our insistence that critical human geography be placed within and not beyond 'science'. We claim 'scientific status' for critical human geography for two reasons. First, scientific research has tremendous legitimacy in academia as well as a great deal of political currency in wider society, which is simply too powerful to ignore for those engaged in critical approaches (see Lawson, 1995 McLafferty, 1995). Second, the work of critical scholars is often dismissed as 'unscientific' by its detractors. For example, in his address as president of the Association of American Geographers Reg Golledge wrote 'a significant part of the quest for geographic knowledge has been detoured by attempts to understand the latest 'ism' rather than advancing geographic knowledge' (2002 2). But his implication that one can either pursue philosophical debates or advance knowledge is without foundation. Science can never be separated or 'sealed off' from society and, in...

Statistics Which Indicate Widespread Decline In Economic Growth From

Not all economic statistics give the false impression that every day everything is getting better and better. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) economist Angus Maddison, for instance, developed a comparative quantitative framework for estimating economic growth across nations and regions going back to 1820.4 His statistics have an historic basis and use social as well as material indicators. They measure units of purchasing power rather than currency exchange rates.5 Although Maddison expected economic growth to continue through the twenty-first century and did not attribute economic growth to the availability of fossil fuel, his statistics broadly correlate with fossil fuel trends, independently corroborating expectations founded on peak oil thermodynamic resource-based thinking.

Environmental Decision Making

Cost-benefit analysis seeks to translate all relevant considerations into monetary terms. Economists monetize both the costs of regulation, such as the money spent to install a scrubber on a power plant to reduce air pollution, and the benefits of regulation, such as saving human lives and preventing disease. When benefits of regulation will happen in the future, the economists first quantify those benefits in monetary terms. Then they discount their value to reflect how much we would have to invest today to have that much money when the benefit is delivered. The first step in a cost-benefit analysis is to calculate the costs of a public policy. The costs of protecting human health and the environment through the use of pollution control devices and other approaches are, by their very nature, measured in dollars or whatever currency is relevant. Thus, at least in theory, the cost side of cost-benefit analysis should be relatively straightforward - but rarely is. One has to consider...

Carbons Fluxes and Its Rate of Increase

We should use a common currency for the comparison. Units of carbon are much better than units of carbon dioxide, for the following reason. The flux of carbon that beer-brewing yeast cells ingest during their consumption of maltose is not carbon as CO2 but carbon in the form of the maltose molecule. The flux of carbon from a tree to the soil, when its leaves and other parts die and fall to the ground, is not as CO2 but as carbon atoms in organic molecules. Thus, whenever we want to get quantitative about the fluxes in the global carbon cycle, units that are in terms of the masses of carbon in those fluxes allow us to look into the workings of the carbon cycle anywhere and compare any of its fluxes that contain carbon in multiple molecular guises.

The American Century Three Phases

In 1944 the United States government chose the Mount Washington Hotel as the site for a gathering of representatives of 44 countries. This was to be the famed Bretton Woods Monetary Conference. The Conference established the World Bank, set the gold standard at 35 an ounce, and chose the American dollar as the backbone of international exchange. The meeting provided the world with badly needed post war currency stability. Under the Bretton Woods system in the immediate aftermath of the war, the international order was relatively tranquil. The United States emerged as the sole superpower, with a strong industrial base and the largest gold reserves of any nation. The initial task was to rebuild Western Europe, and in 1949 it was decided to create the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) alliance against possible Soviet Union military incursions into Western Europe. The role of the US dollar was directly tied to that of gold. So long as America enjoyed the largest gold reserves, and...

Policy Implication of Globalization

Empirical results presented in Table 23.3 show that an increase in the wage of the home country relative to the rest of the world and inflation, whether it is domestically generated or transmitted from outside, lowers the home country's output growth. Increasing returns to scale, greater capital inflow, expansion of the world economy, and devaluation of the home currency will raise output growth. Although data on 6 are not available for LDCs as a group, we can use South Africa for our purpose as a typical LDC, and given the fact that MDCs' growth is what they aspire to, we may infer that LDCs would benefit from policies that would hold down wage growth, thus increasing returns to scale, greater capital inflow, inflation control, expanding world economy, and currency devaluation. In order to raise l, the government has to make more effort in

Sustainable Development Screen

The sustainability matrix includes local and global environmental sustainability, social sustainability, and economic development criteria. The approach is to identify key indicators of sustainability for each category of concern, and then to rate the project on a qualitative scale ranging from +3 (very positive) to -3 (very negative) on each indicator. The score is determined by answering how much better or worse that criteria will be after the project as compared to the project's baseline. To meet the standard a project's overall score must be positive and each of the three general component categories must be either neutral or positive overall, although on any single criteria the score maybe negative. The environmental sustainability criteria are how the project contributes to water availability, water quality, air quality, soil conditions, and biodiversity. The social sus-tainability and development criteria are the proposed project's effect on employment, livelihoods of the poor,...

Case Study Using GISRemote Sensing to Study Amazonian Deforestation

Rates of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reached an initial peak near 1987-8, followed by a notable decline (see Figure 4.3). The drop was not a result, as some thought, of more effective conservation or of a more effective set of policies, and turned out to be temporary. It was, rather, the result of hyperinflation and a serious credit deficit in Brazil. After the introduction of the new currency, and effective control over inflation and exchange rates in 1994, the rate of deforestation surpassed (nearly doubled) the first peak of 1987-8, generating serious concern for policy makers. This second spike in the rate of deforestation can probably be explained by the suppressed rates of deforestation from 1988 to 1993, and the opportunities that economic stabilization offered. Within two years, deforestation rates settled down to the more common rates of about 0.5 percent for the Basin,

Agents of Information and Action

Throughout the forty years of the modern environmental movement, NGOs have been crucial in bringing visibility to pollution problems affecting both the local and international communities. According to Peter Wil-lets, Information is the currency of politics, and the ability to move accurate up-to-date information around the globe has been a key factor in the growing strength of environmental groups (Willets, p. 114). The communication of information has been accelerated through the use of the Internet. In addition, NGOs also rely heavily on publications, media coverage, and conferences to collaborate with one another and to educate the public.

Comparative Democratic Governments

United States under the Articles of Confederation. The EU is a representative overgovernment, (i.e., a governing body that is instituted with authority to make and representatives from the existing EU nations). The EU now shares a single currency (the Euro) among these several nations and formal administrative agencies, including the European Environment Agency, something the early U.S. system lacked.

Energy policy in China

The dominance of coal in China's energy supply is largely a function of large indigenous deposits estimates of coal reserves range from around 1,500 billion to 5 trillion tons, with 800 billion to 1 trillion tons considered proven (Brown and Brown 1992 138 Zhou et al. 2000 5). This means that at current and projected levels of consumption, ample supplies would be available well into the new millennium. But other factors related to the overriding priority given to economic development - and the specific policy choices that flowed from that - have played an important role in energy policy. As economic growth accelerated in the 1980s, getting power projects on line as quickly as possible was imperative. Coal was the energy of choice. Since capital and hard currency were in short supply, nuclear technology was less attractive, given that it is expensive, foreign and requires much of the capital outlays up front. For similar reasons, hydroelectric power was not a first choice for electric...

Global Monetary Reform

Therefore it seems imperative that the US government begins discussions with the G-8 nations (plus China) to reform the global monetary system, ideally, to allow for a controlled expansion of markets in Europe and East Asia. The global economy will be more balanced and better off with three engines of global growth the US, the EU, and Asia. The great challenge will be to implement a gradual, controlled decrease in the US money supply, while attempting to minimize dislocations in the US and global economy. The first reform should be the euro as the second International Reserve Currency, at parity with the dollar, thereby allowing a dual-OPEC oil transaction currency standard. This should join the US with the EU as two equal co-hegemons.

Other regional developments

The collapse of the Japanese-sponsored collector boat service resulted in the loss of an important market (as well as the only hard currency source for petrol) as a result, the economic viability of that fishery simply collapsed. Many of the powered fishing vessels left the fishing fleet to engage in island-to-island ferry service, or to engage in other tourist-supported activities. A national crisis ensued which could only be resolved by somehow developing the processing capacity and market economy that would reconstitute the traditional fishery.

Full Service Foreign Stock Specialist

Schiff and his brokers trade directly on foreign exchanges for their customers, charging commissions that are higher than the discount brokers but providing all the full-service handholding of a Merrill Lynch. When I get an order to buy shares in Hong Kong I'll wait until that market opens and I'll buy the shares just the way the market maker would. The customer gets the same price the market maker would have gotten, says Schiff. Another benefit of working with a specialist is the ability to help clients determine the right limit price. When you trade on the Pink Sheets, there's no one who understands the markets. But we specialize in foreign stocks, so my brokers know exactly what to do, how to find the stock, how to get a price, and how to translate the foreign currency price into a local currency. They'll understand the rules of the exchanges and the hours they trade. They might even be familiar with the stock already and be able to offer an opinion on it.

Emissions Trading Cap and Trade

David Crane, the CEO of NRG, Inc said that coal-fired generation is very profitable and part of that is obviously because carbon emissions from coal are still free. You can emit them in the atmosphere with no cost. 5 If releasing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere is no longer free but has a cost associated with it, alternative forms of energy will rapidly become more competitive. According to the IPCC, it may be necessary to increase the cost to emit a ton of carbon dioxide (or equivalent, CO2eq) to between 20 and 80 (US currency) in order to stabilize carbon dioxide levels at around 550 ppm by 2100.

Complementary Currencies

Activities, which could not easily be financed within the national currency systems. Complementary currencies could be used in the form of complete currency systems, which exist in parallel with national currencies. Complementary currency systems could also be equipped with mechanisms that are different from national currencies. One of the advocates of complementary currency systems, Bernard Lietaer, formerly a senior manager at the central bank of Belgium, has written extensively about complementary currencies in his books The Future of Money and Of Human Wealth - Beyond Greed and Scarcity. Another author in this field is Thomas Greco, author of the book Money. The primary mechanisms of national currencies are interest rates and mechanisms to establish exchange rates, which are primarily market-based. Earlier currency systems involved the gold standard, which has gradually been abandoned in favour of free floating rates of exchange. The mechanisms create a scarcity of currency....

Sustainable Currencies Green Money from the Grassroots

It would be very useful to have a local currency that rewards people when they co-operate just as automatically as conventional money rewards people when they set themselves up in competition with each other. If we could all experience the warmth that comes from belonging to a mutually supportive social network then not so many of us would feel the need to conspicuously consume unnecessary material goods. Could a new, 'green' money provide a solution to the problem of unsustainable consumption A growing number of academics and activists around the world think it just might. The New Economics approach to sustainable consumption emphasises the social context within which consumption behaviour occurs, and is concerned not only with what is consumed, but also the way in which that consumption is variously shaped, enabled and constrained. This brings us to the question of money what role does the money we earn and spend every day have in all this Orthodox economists would argue 'very...

Prewar Momentum toward a Petroeuro

The Iraqi cabinet has decided to assign a committee of economists with the task of seriously studying the possibility of using the euro or any other currency instead of the dollar in the commercial transactions of our foreign contracts. The dollar is one of the levers of our enemy's influence and power on both regional and international levels. Interestingly, Venezuela's ambassador to Russia, Francisco Mieres-Lopez, floated the idea of switching to the euro as their oil currency standard approximately one year before the April 2002 coup attempt against Hugo Chavez.9 Although the coup collapsed after two days with Chavez being restored to power, various reports suggested that the CIA, and a rather embarrassed Bush administration, had met with civilian and military coup plotters and had likely supported Chavez's overthrow.10

Natural Systems Under Stress

In a landmark article in April 2007, Washington Post reporters Peter Goodman and Peter Finn described how the Chinese went after one of the world's few remaining natural stands of teak across the border in Myanmar. They reported that a Chinese logging boss handed a rice sack stuffed with 8,000 worth of Chinese currency to two agents with connections in the Burmese borderlands They used that stash to bribe everyone standing between the teak and China. In came Chinese logging crews. Out went huge logs, over Chinese-built roads. 14

Economic policy impacts on food strategies

State economic policy directed the food strategy. Castro (1996) explained that measures were implemented to 'devote priority attention to those activities that produced export items, replaced imports or fostered sales in hard currency of exports and services on the domestic dollar market, both for the development of tourism and for the presence of foreign capital', and that measures were also taken to 'assign a priority to food production'. Certain of these measures appeared similar to the restructuring programmes of other developing countries, such as the following (Castro, 1996 Nieto and Delgado, 2002)

Market Opportunities And Risks In The Transition To A Carbonconstrained Economy

Well-defined national renewable and GHG certification systems will facilitate trade and return maximum value to projects. Besides lowering cost, a common currency will expand project finance opportunities. In the U.S., we have begun to embark on this road, with 28 states working on GHG initiatives and nearly 20 states adopting or developing renewable portfolio standards, and the beginning of load management or demand response programs for trading in energy efficiency at some of the independent system operators.

Environmental and ecological citizenship

Refer to the way in which the environment-citizenship relationship can be regarded from a liberal point of view. This is a citizenship that deals in the currency of environmental rights conducted exclusively in the public sphere, whose principal virtues are the liberal ones of reasonableness and a willingness to accept the force of the better argument and procedural legitimacy, and whose remit is bounded political configurations modelled on the nation-state. For the most rough-and-ready purposes, it can be taken that environmental citizenship here refers to attempts to extend the discourse and practice of rights-claiming into the environmental context. I shall reserve the term 'ecological citizenship', on the other hand, for the specifically ecological form of post-cosmopolitan citizenship. Ecological citizenship deals in the currency of non-contractual responsibility, it inhabits the private as well as the public sphere, it refers to the source rather than the nature of...

The Need To Reduce Consumption And Maintain Economic Growth

In a situation where we need to look forward to a decrease in economic activity among consumers, investors or companies, central banks and government officials would have to re-implement mechanisms into currency systems, which could stabilize the value of money, in the absence of economic growth. This would amount to what economists call a steady-state economy, which has been advocated by economists such as Professor Herman Daly. The path of transformation from the existing economic system to a steady-state economy on a large scale is somewhat unclear and such a transformation would greatly change our economic landscape. Any attempt to undertake something of this kind would need to be thoroughly planned and debated from a number of perspectives in democratic debates. This would be a long-term process of learning, not only about the possible changes to our economic system, but also about the economic system that we already have.

Tackling the development challenge

Sources various newspapers, magazines and company websites social investment spending figures converted from local currency into US dollars, using currency exchange rates from The Economist for Note * 2006 spending figure converted from local currency into US dollars, using currency exchange rates from The Economist for 31 December 2006.

The Puzzle of Oil Reserves and Production and the Quest for Their Control

As we have seen, after the 1986 oil price collapse, an atmosphere of risk aversion swept the industry and restricted oil exploration worldwide. Most OPEC countries became obsessed by the fear of creating new excess capacity that would further depress prices this attitude was reinforced by their desire to preserve oil resources for future generations, a concept that gained currency in the 1970s, to which they still subscribe, and which in many cases has been enshrined in their legislation. Thus, producing countries preferred to focus on developing their existing fields rather than searching for new ones. At the same time, the international oil companies' investment plans were constrained both by their financial prudence and by their lack of access to the world's largest oil deposits.

Wood and wood products

The findings for wood and wood products also show that a better fit is generally obtained using the German (EU) rather than the US (world) price. In all cases that use the German price, the adjustment coefficient is significant, at least at the 5 per cent level. The results for Sweden may be anomalous. For the other countries examined, the coefficient on domestic costs is highly significant and greater in magnitude than that on the foreign currency price.

Translation of ideas from niche to mainstream

Complementary currency movements are facing a similar issue. Time banks in the UK have reached saturation in terms of available funding and the current model of (community-based) practice. The movement intends to evolve out of its niche by reframing itself and seeking to become integrated into existing public service provision, for example schools, hospitals, regeneration trusts etc. This approach avoids the need for funding for individual projects, and could potentially reach thousands of people at a time rather than dozens, but at the expense of the ties of support and friendship forged in close-knit community projects. The third group of complementary currencies examined in Chapter 7 (NU green reward points) appear far more mainstream than the community-based LETS and time banks, adopting the technology and language of supermarket loyalty schemes to appeal to a wide public. This grassroots innovative niche is deliberately designed to reduce the distance between itself and the...

Consistent And Common Economic Tools

In response, a number of U.S. states and regions are now developing their own GHG registries and renewable energy standards, but these efforts are not uniform with regard to many metrics, rules, and protocols. There is a need to develop a set of common tools that will serve the various state, regional, and international registries in economic regulation and business decision-making. The goal of such tools is to realize a common currency for GHG reduction credits. The development of these tools must be accomplished through a fair and registry-neutral process that will not find favor in any single registry. Ultimately, it is important for the State and regional registries to achieve consensus around the development of common metrics. Once economic tools are developed, state-mandated and or regulated projects would be able to bank credits now in any registry for future use. If no internationally acceptable economic tools are developed, then these credits (even if required by state law)...

Financial Obligations Associated with the Contract

Similarly, payments owed to the contractor by the government are to be offset by what the KRG is owed by the contractor and, when made, are to be in U.S. dollars.161 Interest at the London Inter Bank Offer Rate, plus 2 , is due in both instances when 30 days late.162 In view of Iraqi interest in an oil and gas revenue-sharing plan, as discussed in Chapter 5, it is also provided by article 29 of the KRG's model PSC that payments owed to the government in the form of royalties, proceeds from oil and gas sales undertaken by a contractor on the behalf of the government, or production bonuses can be directed to be paid into a revenue-sharing fund.163 It also bears noting that contractors, as well as their affiliates, subcontractors, and personnel, are guaranteed the right to freely convert currency associated with petroleum operations and transfer it abroad.164

Market Mechanisms And Market Imperfections

Than the mechanisms of interest rates and expansive economic policy. The advocates of stable state economics sometimes also advocate complementary currency systems that are described elsewhere in this book, under possible financial tools for the transformation. These ideas could to a certain extent complement existing economic solutions and should not be rejected offhand because they have not yet been tried on a large scale.

The Relevance and Role of Urban Sustainability in Europe

In many European cities, global environmental issues, such as climate change, have a high degree of currency. Many of the cities have pursued measures to address the issue of climate change. The Climate Alliance of European Cities (Klimabundis), a German-based initiative, boasts participation by more than 400 European cities (Collier and Lofstedt, 1997). To participate, cities set an impressive target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent (by 2010, compared with 1987). ICLEI has sponsored its own Cities for Climate Protection campaign, also with relatively high participation by European cities. Many European cities, such as Graz and Heidelberg, among many others, have prepared ambitious local climate change strategies and have taken substantial actions to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Food accessibility Overall strategy for food accessibility

During the crisis, the state maintained this priority for ensuring food accessibility. In reviewing the food security situation in the late 1990s, Castro explained, 'The priority assigned to this issue, together with centralized planning, has made it possible to devote adequate attention to the objectives of satisfying the food needs of the population ' (Castro, 1996). The two strategies adopted to promote food accessibility were the diversification of food distribution channels, and the increase and diversification of sources of income available for the population. New sources of income included self-employment, hard currency remittances from relatives abroad, state labour incentive schemes and the tourist industry. The percentage of the population with access to hard currency rose from 8 per cent in 1993 to 40-50 per cent by 1996 (Castro, 1996). Despite this, there was a recognized need for assistance by those without sufficient income or hard currency to obtain certain food...

Global Trading Platform

Most people need help with foreign stocks. For those who don ' t, Interactive Brokers (IB, 877-442-2757, www.interactivebrokers .com) offers a very slick universal account (minimum balance 10,000) from which clients can trade foreign and domestic equities, options, commodities, foreign exchange, futures, and bonds. IB isn' t well known among individual investors because it caters to hedge fund managers and other professionals. But it's been around for 31 years and is very big, handling 700,000 trades per day and 14 percent of the world 's equity options volume. With foreign stocks, You're directly connected to more than 70 electronic exchanges around the globe, says IB spokesman Andrew Wilkinson. On the IB workstation, a customer can look up a stock's ticker on its home exchange, convert dollars to the requisite amount of foreign currency (on favorable terms, according to Wilkinson), and enter the trade directly. Or the customer can make the trade and let IB handle the currency...

Designing a Local Real Monetary System

An autonomous monetary system in an urban precinct requires four elements as considered in this section. Many well-known local exchange systems are not autonomous as they tie their unit of value to the national currency. Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS), commercial barter systems and stamped scrip are examples that define their unit of value in terms of the national currency. While such 'shadow ' currencies are useful in providing a way to identify and so support local activities they do not provide a way for a local community to establish its own priorities on how its resources are valued. As shadow currencies are tied to the national unit of value their value is not definable in any real goods or services as discussed earlier. An internally generated unit of value is required to insulate local resource allocation from those governed by currencies without ecological attributes. A local unit of value also insulates the local monetary system from the perversity of forces produced...

Doubts about economic growth

There are two ways to measure economic growth. The first begins by assessing the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country and converting it into a universal standard currency usually U.S. dollars at the market exchange (MEX) rate. GDP is the total value of all the goods and services produced in a country during one year, valued at current market prices and taking account of taxes and subsidies, divided by the number of people living in the country. This is the method used in most of the climate models (see Modeling the atmosphere on pages 169-174) on which the IPCC report is based. Consequently, it is the method the IPCC authors were constrained to adopt. Its disadvantage is that it takes no account of actual purchasing power in different countries. Most economists, including those at the U.N. Statistical Commission, have abandoned it for this reason. Instead they measure purchasing power parity (PPP). This compares the cost of the same goods in two different countries. The two...

Phase IV consolidation

In many respects, the environmental policy of the EU has begun to come of age since 1993, helped by a combination of a change of leadership in the Commission, changes in the membership of the EU and the need to prepare for eastward expansion. Furthermore, progress on the completion of the single market has combined with the controversies over Maastricht and the single currency to encourage the EU to shift to a focus on 'soft issues' with which European voters can identify. The Economist was even prompted to suggest in 1998 that soft issues such as humanitarian aid, consumer affairs, civil rights and the environment 'are likely to dominate the Union's business in the decade or two to come' (12 September, p. 60).

Skewed Distribution May Distort The Real Economic Picture

Another factor which complicates the assessment of material progress and its relationship to petroleum fuels is that petroleum fuels are not distributed by the market equally and evenly. Per capita oil is no reflection of actual distribution among different classes of human beings in different countries. Although there has been a world oil market that redistributes oils at the same price to all buyers, not all currency is equal. Ironically, in some places where oil is still an export commodity, such as Black Africa or Latin America, despite the global bull market, much of the population lives in absolute poverty, deprived of land and forced to sell their labor for less than it takes to nourish and house them. This resembles the situation at the height of the British industrial revolution where agriculture, nature, and earlier land tenures and occupations were obliterated by the coal mining and iron works that dominated the lives of those they dispossessed, who had only their labor to...

Special Treatment of Energy Intensive Industries Exposed to Global Competition

Climate policies offer the opportunity of adding a quantifiable dimension (the emissions levels) for evaluating ODA efficiency, for disciplining the investor and the host country, and for ensuring quality results for money expended. The monitoring capacity can also be used indirectly by development finance institutions to provide risk mitigation instruments. The PLANTAR project (sustainable fuelwood under the PCF) in Minas Gerais (Brazil) could not obtain any currency risk insurance beyond two years with carbon finance revenues (US or denominated) placed in an offshore escrow account, an OECD commercial bank agreed to a five-year loan and the amortization is structured to match expected payments for the CERs. Emission reduction purchase agreements (ERPA) can serve as a type of insurance package that can be dedicated to funding project completions. ERPA funds can generate the necessary cash and prevent currency risk, because the lenders must provide the cash up front.

Discount Broker with Foreign Access

Brokers recognize both the attraction of foreign stocks and the difficulties they present for the average customer, so some are making it easier. Big discount broker Charles Schwab (866-232-9890, www, for instance, has a Global Investing Services Group that helps clients trade foreign stocks. If a client is interested in, say, wind power stocks, a Schwab broker will print out a list of global wind companies and help narrow the search down to a couple of suitable prospects. Then they' ll execute the trade, on the Pink Sheets if it's a small order or directly on the relevant foreign exchange if it 's large. Limit orders can be placed in U.S. dollars. According to a Schwab spokesman, The foreign market maker will see the U.S. dollar limit and when they transact the price they' ll handle the foreign currency exchange, any markups, clearing costs, or settlement costs. The limit price is all you pay in addition to the Schwab commission. Because of their complexity, foreign...

Box Strategic Environmental Assessment of Mexican Tourism

Tourism accounts for approximately 9 per cent of Mexico's GDP. It is the country's third largest source of foreign currency ( 10,800 million a year), drawing more than 52 million domestic and 20 million international visitors in 2004. However, if de-linked from sustainable planning and investment, tourism growth can threaten the very resources on which it is based. In a 2002 tourist survey, environmental quality one of the key determinants for selection of tourist destinations received the lowest rating. Mexico's 2001-2006 National Development Plan emphasized the need for economic development with human and environmental quality.

The Challenge of Respecting WTO Goals

How might the governance challenge best be addressed It is by now a platitude to decry the negotiated tradeoffs that characterize the WTO culture. It is a culture that saturates the organization, that pervades its operations, and that has done a great deal of damage to the cause of open trade. At its root, the notion is defensible. Whereas lowering trade barriers is by and large favorable over the medium and long term and for most players, there is often a price to be paid by some countries in the short term. This often involves selling particular economic interests short in favor of a solution that is overall better for others (such as consumers) in the short term and for all or most in the longer term. Lowering subsidies for French farmers may cause them adjustment problems, for instance, but it may also lower food prices for the consumer or boost the French service industry. Yet the immediate interests are often politically influential, so the tradeoffs that go on at the WTO serve...

Alternative Longrun Elasticity Estimates For Asian Developing Economies

Most studies of energy demand are confined to OECD countries where the required data are more readily available. The books by Pindyck (1979) and Griffin (1979) represent good examples of the early work carried out on energy demand in OECD countries. A more recent review covering some of the developments over the past two decades is given by Watkins (1991), who also focuses on energy demand in the OECD countries. In this section we use a new data set not analysed previously, and examine the empirical importance of the issues discussed above for energy demand in ten Asian developing economies over the eighteen years 1973-90. The data, taken from the Asian Development Bank (1992), are described in a data appendix and are available on request. The dependent variable is E, the logarithm of final commercial energy consumption in tons of oil equivalent (t.o.e.). The explanatory variables are Y, the logarithm of per capita GDP in 1985 prices converted into US dollars using 1985 market...

Institutional responsibilities and postcrisis changes in health research

In the 1990s, the Institute had become somewhat independent from the ministry and had doubled in size to 169 employees, of which 56 were researchers. The constraints of the Special Period had impacted public-funded research on food and nutrition, and the Institute was limited to whatever could be undertaken in national currency. The lack of resources affected both research topics and publications. L pez Espinosa and D az del Campo (1996) describe how the principal food journal, the Revista Cubana de Alimentacion y Nutricion, continued to publish throughout the early 1990s, but less frequently and with far fewer articles an average of 16.5 articles per issue as opposed to 23 previously.

Energy Sources and Sinks

Ichard Feynman, one of the most famous physics lecturers of all time, began his courses on energy by stating that nobody really understands what energy is. That being said, we all have an intuitive idea of what energy does, namely perform work. It takes energy to make something happen. This book is interested in making do with less energy consumption. If you are interested in jumping right in and saving energy, you may want to skip this chapter. But if you truly want to do the best you can, you need to understand a few basic ideas. When it comes to energy, it's important to know the currency as much as how to spend it.

Impacts of Globalization Enrichment versus Impoverishment

In many ways, Bhagwati and Mahathir Mohammed argue the same point although they emphasize different aspects. Mahathir 13 argues The fact that globalization has come does not mean we should just sit by and watch as the predators destroy us. Mahathir's key argument is that there is some inevitability about globalization, and that globalization can have benefits for Asian countries like Malaysia. However, he goes on to argue that the system of explicit and implicit rules that accompanies globalization is often crafted by a few countries and is designed in their favor. He argues that it is the power politics in the system that is the most frightening part of globalization. Bhagwati 7 argues that economic globalization calls for a transition in most countries. The key, in his view, is to time the transition in a manner that is appropriate to the country and the context. For those who see globalization as an expression of capitalism, only those countries that have skilled labor and capital...

Modelling foreign trade in Eme Introduction

In the equation describing intra-EU and extra-EU import volume, activity is modelled by sales to the domestic market, while the three price effects are import price, price of sales to the domestic market, and the relative price of the currency, that is, the EUR exchange rate. Aside from the restrictions on sign and significance, price homogeneity is imposed between the price of imports and price of sales to the domestic market. As with the export equation, this has the effect of making the price relative, removing the long-term effect of the exchange rate variable. The technical progress measure is again included to allow for the effects of innovation on trade performance.

Energy War and Global Expansion

Priced oil produced from the participating companies as if it had been produced and shipped from the Gulf of Mexico (Sampson 1975, 73 Melosi 1985, 169). This agreement established the precedent of the petrodollar, where the value of petroleum traded on the world market is measured using the U.S. currency (see chapter 2). The Gulf Plus System protected the market for expensive U.S. oil and allowed Shell and BP to reap large profits from their cheap oil. It was a way for the major oil companies to regulate production among themselves in order to avoid oversupply. It was originally made by Shell, BP, and Exxon, but approved by fifteen other companies including Gulf, Texaco, Socal, and Mobil. The details of this agreement were not fully disclosed until 1952 (Sampson 1975, 73-74).

Estimating Fuel Price Equations

Any drop in the demand for fossil fuels will have a depressing effect on world energy prices, this in turn will decrease domestic prices thus raising emissions. In order to model this important effect the linkages between world prices and domestic prices in each country must be modelled this link is not straightforward because the fuels are imperfect substitutes and oil products are often sold through restricted markets (especially in Japan). Therefore, prices for the three fuels, net of tax, were compared with movements in the world oil price, expressed in domestic currency. A relationship for each fuel price was estimated (10)

The emissions scenarios used by the IPCC

Some critics have argued on technical grounds, related to how currency exchange rates between countries are calculated, that the high emissions scenarios are unrealistic. However, carbon dioxide emissions are related, in the final analysis, simply to population, energy use per capita and carbon dioxide emissions per unit energy. Thus the use of different exchange rates in measuring gross domestic product makes no difference to calculated emissions in each individual country. Whether or not it makes any difference globally depends on how the national figures are combined to get global ones, that is, whether the addition is done before or after emissions are calculated. National emissions depend on national energy use and the carbon per unit energy, not on how the national economy is measured.

Box Stable State Economics

Complementary currency systems and other financial innovations will increase in importance in order to strengthen local economies and reduce the pressure on national currencies and the global economic system, but they will remain fringe phenomena unless a severe crisis in the global economic system or a dramatic shift in sentiment among citizens give rise to a completely new situation.

Tell me about the future I plead

In the 1970s and 1980s chartists had modest success in predicting currency markets because, one theory says, the strong role of central banks and treasuries in currency markets constrained the variables so that they could be described in relatively simple linear equations. (In a linear equation, a solution can be expressed in a graph as a straight line.) As more and more chartists exploited the easy linear equations and successfully spotted trends, the market became less profitable. Naturally, forecasters began to look at the wild and woolly places where only chaotic nonlinear equations ruled. In nonlinear systems, the outcome is not proportional to the input. Most complexity in the world-including all markets-are nonlinear.

Questioning the conventional environmental defence of places

Furthermore, in some cases, the conventional environmental politics may become part of the same iron cage they are supposed to break.33 It is not unusual that large corporations and international institution, local governments and big environmental association discovered the currency of environmentalism and 'en-vironmentalism is now a pillar of establishment orthodoxy'.34 This means that the issue of places protection, as the others environmental issues, are not a matter of authenticity, of scientific or spiritual Truth, of pursuit of higher values, but it's a matter of competing political projects in a always dynamic and global frame.


My travel agent, Babu Bhai managed to get me a flight the next day. There are no direct flights from Dhaka to Colombo and I left on 29 December, the first flight I could get, via Bangkok. I had posted an angry message in ShahidulNews in response to the tourist centric reporting in mainstream media and many friends responded. Margot Klingsporn from Focus in Hamburg wired me some money. Not waiting for the money to arrive, I gathered the foreign currency I could lay my hands on, packed a digital camera and a video camera along with my trusted Nikon F5 and left.

Adverse Weather The Role Of Weather Derivatives

Insurance has traditionally covered the major part of a company's risk transfer strategy. However, there are situations that conventional insurance markets are unwilling or unable to absorb. It is in within this niche of uninsured risk that the weather derivative market has grown (Swiss Re 1996). A derivative is defined as a financial contract whose value derives from the value of some underlying asset, such as a stock, bond, currency or commodity (Swiss Re 2001, p. 6).

The rationale for complementary currencies

Currencies is to first ask 'what is money ' and 'what is wrong with mainstream money ' According to mainstream economic theory, money is a politically and socially neutral technology, with four core functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value, and a standard of deferred payment (Lipsey and Harbury, 1992). According to this theory, the more mobile, efficient and widely accepted a currency is, the better it will perform its functions. Sociological and political, not to mention environmental critiques of this notion lead New Economists to challenge this assumption on a number of grounds (Hutchinson et al., 2002 Dodd, 1994). In addition to the 'social' currencies emerging across the world to tackle social, economic and environmental needs (see Chapter 3), a range of virtual currencies is now in use across the globe which are rarely thought of as alternative exchange systems, but which nevertheless function as mediums of exchange, units of account and stores of...

Local Exchange Trading Schemes LETS

The most common type of complementary currency in the UK is LETS, Local Exchange Trading Schemes. This was developed in Canada, and introduced to the UK at The Other Economic Summit in 1985, out of which grew the New Economics Foundation. The first UK LETS was established in Norwich in 1986. A LETS operates a virtual currency to enable members to exchange goods and services without using cash, using local credits instead. LETS emerged in Canada as a response to the negative impacts of globalisation and economic restructuring, bringing unemployment and social fragmentation. This type of local money system was specifically designed to address the first two failings in mainstream money outlined above namely that an abundant medium of exchange is required for a community to trade amongst itself, which circulates locally and cannot leave the area. LETS also seek to build community and create 'convivial' economies, embedded in local social relations. They aim to enable people to help...

Three decades of spectacular development

The increase of demand in the local market was actually lower than the increase in catches counted in live weight. The reason for this disparity lies in the worsening economic position of the Polish fishery and, in particular, in the dramatic increase of that part of the costs which have been expended in foreign currency. Until 1963, imports of fish products exceeded exports. From 1965 onwards, the surplus of export over import grew continuously. Its magnitude, calculated in five-year intervals, together with the catch in live weight, is shown in Table 13.1.

Energy Markets and Pricing

An interesting point to note regarding energy markets is that the most traded energy commodity in the world today is crude oil. About 65 percent of the oil that is produced globally is exported to more than 130 countries (Smil 2003, 45). Approximately 85 million barrels of oil per day were traded on the market in December 2005 at an average price of 59.45 per barrel (IEA 2006). As of this publication, the only accepted currency for oil trade is the U.S. dollar. This means that countries must have U.S. currency in their treasuries or banks to purchase crude oil they cannot use their own national currencies. (The petrodollar was established with the As-Is Agreement see chapter 1 .) The use of petrodollars is particularly advantageous to the United States, as it gives U.S. companies dominance in the oil markets. However, it is inevitable that this standard will be challenged as markets become increasingly globalized.

Technology As Knowledge In Theory

Returning to economics, once again, the recognition that technical progress is a major factor in explaining economic growth is now well over a century old. Marx understood it, though he seems not to have understood the incentive structure. However, explanations of this factor are still scarce and unsatisfying. The so-called 'endogenous growth' theories that have become fashionable in recent years, starting with Romer (1986, 1987b) conceived of knowledge as a kind of unspecific, self-reproducing and evergrowing currency, applicable to the whole domain of human activity (that is, uniformly applicable across all sectors). In fact 'knowledge', in most economic models, is regarded as homogeneous, and fungible. In this branch of neoclassical growth theory, knowledge is not precisely defined or quantified, but it is implicitly attributed to society as a whole.

Welfare And Human Needs

Conventionally speaking, economics translates all needs as 'wants' or consumer preferences and then makes the grand assumption that these preferences are expressed by the monetary values of goods and services traded in the market.5 This is a very powerful equation. It allows the economist to declare that the market economy is by definition satisfying human needs, because people buy and sell only what they want (i.e. need) to buy and sell. If welfare is defined in terms of the satisfaction of needs, then clearly the market economy is automatically providing for human welfare because human beings have expressed those needs (as preferences) through the market. Equally, economic growth then becomes the route to welfare precisely because the common currency of the market is a monetary one. The monetary economy allows consumers access to all the needs (equals wants) that are traded on the market always provided they can afford to pay for them.

Currencies of change

This chapter has investigated the scope and potential of three complementary currencies to deliver sustainable consumption. The findings indicate that each model of complementary currency successfully achieves some, but not all, of the criteria for sustainable consumption. This is due to the different purposes for which each currency was designed (i.e. whether there were primarily economic, social or environmental objectives). For example, LETS and time banks deliver large social and community benefits, but NU is focused instead on market transactions meanwhile NU is specifically aimed at reducing environmental footprints through incentivising recycling and public transport use, while LETS and time banks only partially achieve environmental objectives as a by-product of other goals. However, there is one indicator of sustainable consumption which each of the complementary currencies delivers they are all fledgling attempts to build new social and economic infrastructure founded upon...


Man as the basis for economic development. Mill was heavily influenced by the utilitarian philosophy of Jeremy Bentham, a close friend of his father. Utilitarianism proposed that people do the things which are most likely to bring them the maximum pleasure and avoid the things which are most likely to bring them pain. According to the utilitarians, pleasures did not differ between themselves in kind, but only in strength or intensity. This became an important element of the new science of human behaviour, because it insisted that happiness (or utility) could be measured in a single currency. For the economists, that currency was a monetary one.


Back in, say, 1980, if a bank wrote a mortgage or a car loan, it expected to keep that loan on its books until the borrower paid it off. The bank had little choice because no one wanted to buy such nonstandardized, hard-to-analyze loans. Because they had to live with the consequences of their lending decisions, banks tended to be cautious. They required 20 percent down payments on mortgages and looked closely at customers' ability to pay back consumer and business loans. That 's one reason debt grew relatively slowly back then. But in the mid-1980s, Wall Street 's financial engineers figured out that they could buy consumer loans and mortgages from banks and bundle them into asset-backed securities that pension funds around the world would happily buy (since everyone was hungry for bonds denominated in dollars, the currency of the world ' s economic superpower). Suddenly, banks were able to sell the loans they originated for cash, which they could then use to make more loans. This...


In return, he would perhaps curry favor with the euro-based suppliers of his Oil for Food imports, France and Germany, in a move not likely to concern the euro-ambivalent, but US-wary, Russia and China. Certainly the currency switch was a slap at the American and British governments. It probably seemed to be not only a cost-effective tactic, but also an efficient one, given the dearth of Iraqi military and economic capacity after over a decade of sanctions and US UK bombing in northern and southern Iraq. The solid performance of the euro both before and since the invasion of Iraq and the emergence of a competing petroeuro continue to evolve, seemingly unaffected by our adventure in Iraq and, ironically, even encouraged by it. The economic marketplace seeks comparative value in currency, in businesses, in policies, and in countries. Thus the millions of economic and financial transactions worldwide persist and eventually prevail, while Washington neo-conservatives nervously finger...


'The environment' is now a regular presence on the front pages of newspapers and in the headlines of TV news bulletins. This would have been unimaginable when the first edition of this book was published in 1990. The paradox, though, is that this increased exposure has not necessarily resulted in a better understanding of the causes and consequences of, and solutions to, environmental problems. In fact the range of analyses of unsustainability, and what to do about it, is quite often much narrower than it should be. The original aim of this book, then, which was to offer readers a contrast between 'radical' and 'reformist' environmentalism, is perhaps even more important now than it was in 1990. Many of the warnings of environmentalists that appeared outlandish in what we might call the 'pre-environmental' era have become common currency today, as we are confronted with evidence of environmental stress on a daily basis. We should at least be aware, therefore, of the variety of routes...

Nu Spaarpas

The Nu Spaarpas (NU) scheme is a 'green rewards' currency which has recently been piloted in the Netherlands and has been unre-searched until now. This currency is designed to promote environmentally-friendly consumer behaviour, and operates like a reward card (Bibbings, 2004). Points are earned when residents separate their waste for recycling, use public transport, or shop locally. The points circulate in a closed-loop system, and card scanners in participating shops feed data into a central set of accounts. The initiative was a partnership between local government, local businesses, and non-governmental organisations - specifically Barataria, a sustain-ability consultancy organisation. NU was introduced in the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands in May 2002, and by the pilot's end in October 2003, 10,000 households had the card, over 100 shops were participating, and 1.5 million points had been issued (van Sambeek and Kampers, 2004 77). Locally-based skill-swap scheme, aims to...

Concluding Remarks

GDP at 1985 prices (billion of domestic currency units) Consumer price of energy (in domestic currency per ton of oil equivalent) P, the logarithm of the average consumer price of energy in domestic currency per t.o.e. relative to the GDP deflator (1985 1) converted into dollars at 1985 exchange rates

Calculating Chaos

More than that, the day was not far off when weather not only would be forecast to perfection, but its rains and winds would be tamed. Like the bounties of land and sea, the unruly products of the sky would be intelligently redesigned to the purposes of enlightened humanity. The dangers of fogs and hails would be relics of the past. Man-made showers would prevent droughts. Man-made droughts would prevent floods. Hurricanes would be suppressed or steered harmlessly out to sea. Barring enlightenment, John von Neumann's ambition was gaining new currency weather control would become a weapon of war.

Markets Uber Alles

Today information about the diplomatic, fiscal, and monetary policies of all nations is instantly transmitted to electronic screens in hundreds of trading rooms in dozens of counties. As the screens light up with the latest statement of the president or the chairman of the Federal Reserve, traders make a judgment about the effect of the new policies on currency values and buy or sell accordingly. The entire globe is now tied together in a single electronic market moving at the speed of light. There is no place to hide. This enormous flow of data has created a new world monetary standard, an Information Standard, which has replaced the gold standard and the Bretton Woods agreements.The electronic global market has produced what amounts to a giant vote-counting machine that conducts a running tally on what the world thinks of a government's diplomatic, fiscal, and monetary policies.That opinion is immediately reflected in the value the market places on a country's currency. Wriston 1992...


Of which he speaks is therefore defined in primarily historical and cultural terms as expressed through tradition. There are indeed radical greens for whom culture and history are very important. Some of the resistance to road-building programmes, for instance, is based on a belief in the cultural significance of features of the land which are destroyed by building contractors. My own view, though, is that valuing 'nature' in the currency of 'culture' in this way is precisely what distances conservative defences of nature from political-ecological ones. The political ecologist sees value in nature in itself, and if this value derives from history at all, it is natural history that counts, and not human history in the form of tradition and culture.


The experience of complementary currencies discussed in Chapter 7 illustrates further the problems and opportunities faced by innovative niches in influencing the mainstream. The currency initiatives examined here were all providing alternative means of exchange, in order to incentivise particular types of behaviour considered more sustainable than that encouraged by mainstream money. The movement has grown principally through replication of small-scale projects across the world, run by volunteer activists as expressions of resistance to the mainstream economic regime. In the UK, LETS appears to be in decline, while time banking has grown rapidly since its inception in the late 1990s, but now this movement faces a structural obstacle. Time banks require funding to maintain their infrastructure and brokering facility this model is responsible for helping time banking succeed in the most deprived neighbourhoods, but it is also a source of restriction. Fixed amounts of funding for time...

Needs And Satisfiers

The 'human-scale development' project (amongst others) made a critical distinction between the provision of economic goods and the satisfaction of needs.13 In the conventional orthodoxy, economic goods are supposed to provide what people want, as expressed by the transactions of the market. But what is the relationship between economic goods and human needs Because we are rejecting the idea of a common currency of utility, expressed through financial transactions in the market, we have to accept the possibility of a much looser relationship between economic goods and the satisfaction of needs.


The aim of a local money system is therefore both to return a measure of control of currency to the community and to put dormant skills and resources back into circulation. This happens, in theory, because local currencies 'can be spent only within the limited area of the community . . . they can be created locally in accordance with the needs of the local economy, and . . . they encourage local people to patronize one another rather than buying from outside the community' (Greco, 1994, p. 46). The results seem sometimes to have been spectacular


Desertification in these drylands is the degradation of land brought about by climate variations or human activities that have led to decreased vegetation, reduction of available water, reduction of crop yields and erosion of soil. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) set up in 1996 estimates that over 70 of these drylands, covering over 25 of the world's land area, are degraded34 and therefore affected by desertification. The degradation can be exacerbated by excessive land use or increased human needs (generally because of increased population), or political or economic pressures (for instance, the need to grow cash crops to raise foreign currency). It is often triggered or intensified by a naturally occurring drought.

Chinas Rise

All these calculations depend on the conversion rates used to compare Chinese and U.S. GDPs. Official exchange rates pegged China's GDP in 2005 at only about 18 of the U.S. total ( 2.25 trillion versus 12.5 trillion), whereas the adjustment for PPP (up to 9.4 trillion) put China's GDP at about 75 of the U.S. total (IMF 2006). Wilson and Purushothaman (2003) projected China's 2020 (exchange-rate) GDP at 6.5 times the 2000 level, or about 7.1 trillion (in 2003 monies) compared to 16.5 trillion for the United States. They also estimated that the value of Chinese currency could double in ten years' time if growth continued and the exchange rate were allowed to float. This adjustment would lift China's 2020 real GDP close to 15 trillion, near the U.S. level at that time. With a higher share of it going to the military, China could indeed match U.S. defense spending by 2020. The Pentagon estimates that by 2025, Chinese defense spending will be as high as...

The First Oil Shock

A peculiar role in contributing to the degeneration of the oil crisis was played by the economic and regulatory policy introduced in the United States by the Nixon administration. In August 1971, the president announced the unlinking of the dollar from the gold standard in a dramatic move to remedy the overvaluation of the currency. At the same time, he implemented a vast system of price controls intended to relieve the other plague of the U.S. economy rampant inflation which was exacerbated by the financing of the Vietnam War without raising taxes.3 Accordingly, price ceilings were imposed on oil at the wellhead and burner tip, which made them artificially low at a time when domestic demand was rising and production was at maximum capacity. The result was two-fold on the one hand, Nixon's measures provided an incentive to increase domestic oil consumption on the other hand, it discouraged domestic exploration and development in favor of imports.4 While all Seven Sisters' walls were...

The broad spectrum

Moditized market aimed at speculators and large companies interested in offering standardized climate neutrality with their products and one smaller, more idiosyncratic market aimed at individuals and companies interested in specific types of offset projects (e.g. trees, community development and or renewable energy). In the first market, there will be a kind of currency (like the VCU or Verified Emissions Reduction (VER)) that gets traded and ensures quality, helps provide risk management and generates political cover. In the second market, offset projects will be differentiated by type, provenance and their provision of 'co-benefits' to the environment and or to local communities.

Pd fPf Rj Wk

Where PJ is the long-run wholesale price for the sector's domestic output in domestic currency terms Pjf is the world wholesale price index in the 'competing' country or bloc j Rj is the exchange rate with country or bloc j Wk is the price index for domestic input factor k. Wage rates are used. Data are quarterly and run mainly from 1975 to 2002 3, and were sourced from the OECD and Eurostat. There are two basic sources for quarterly data on sectoral output prices, with a sufficient time span. The OECD Statistical Compendium 2004-2, 'Indicators of Activities for Industry and Services ISIC Rev.3' (ceased end 2001) was used to extract producer prices (1995 100) for the six countries of interest and for the US price as a proxy for the 'world price'. These prices were available as a domestic price index constructed in national currency. Corresponding domestic producer price indices at the sectoral level were available from Eurostat from 1990 onwards (reference IO7qprin). The OECD series...

ITkrlT Ldms

All these adjustments to changes in the legal regime of the seas contributed to an increase in the unit cost of fishing. It is questionable now whether it pays to continue with distant-water operations as opposed to some other alternative strategies that could be pursued in order to maintain the required level of consumption of animal food products. Government planners had, until 1988, a ready answer at hand in their opinion, the distant-water fishery should be supported as long as the unit cost of net animal protein derived from fish remained lower than that derived from meat. This yardstick was sacred in centrally planned economies for making decisions related to the allocation of national resources between agriculture and fishery. Thus, from the national viewpoint, the relevant comparative evaluation in this respect (in local currency, of course) was carried out every year. An attempt to Second, all detailed figures of prices and costs of fishery and agricultural production are...

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