1 See Debeir et al., Servitude of Power.
2 See, for instance, O.Bernardini and R.Gallini, 'Dematerialisation: long-term trends in the intensity of use of materials and energy', Futures, vol. 25, pp. 431-48, May 1993.
3 At least according to the conventional neo-classical economic model. For a fuller description of this model see, for example, D.Pearce, A.Markandya and E.Barbier, Blueprint for a Green Economy, Earthscan, London, 1989.
4 For a more detailed exposition see E.von Wiezsacker's and J.Jesinghaus's book Ecological Tax Reform, Zed Books, London, 1992.
5 Given the huge potential for profitable reductions in energy consumption from improved energy efficiency, this argument is slightly confusing. But I have already discussed (in Chapter 6) some of the reasons for this paradox.
6 Most of this analysis is to be found in quite technical papers on economic modelling of the impacts of carbon taxes. For the interested reader, the following are examples: F.Laroui and J.Velthuijsen, 'The Economic
Consequences of an Energy Tax in Europe: an application with HERMES', SEO Foundation for Economic Research, Amsterdam, 1992; J.Proops, M.Faber and G.Wagenhals, Reducing CO Emissions: a comparative input—output study for Germany and the UK, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1993.
7 Robert Goodland and Herman Daly, 'Why Northern Income Growth Is Not the Solution to Southern Poverty', Environment Department Divisional Working Paper no. 1993-43, World Bank, Washington, DC, 1993.
8 See F.Schmidt-Bleek, 'MIPS—a universal ecological measure?' Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, vol. 2, pp. 306-11, 1993.
9 For estimates which do, see the paper 'Environmental Sustainability and the Growth of GDP' by P.Ekins and M.Jacobs in A.Glyn and Z.Bhaskar (eds), The North, the South and the Environment, Earthscan, London, 1995.
10 The only way we could avoid this conclusion would be by postulating an economy in which economic output grows without any increase in physical activity levels. Although in theory it might be possible to devise an economic system which fulfilled this strange condition, it is clear that the present system does not oblige. Economic output as measured by GNP is— as Herman Daly points out in his seminal Steady State Economics (Earthscan, London, 2nd edn, 1992)—a value index of a physical flow. 'In calculating GNP, efforts are made to correct for changes in price levels, in relative prices, and in product mix, so as to measure only real change in physical quantities produced.'
Was this article helpful?