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Nature and Society 002

by: Sadie Shelton

Nature and Society 002 NR 002 - A

Sadie Shelton

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About this Document

Lectures 8 and 9
Nature & Culture
Adrian Ivakhiv
Class Notes
NR, 002, nature, Society, 2
25 ?




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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sadie Shelton on Wednesday March 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to NR 002 - A at University of Vermont taught by Adrian Ivakhiv in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Nature & Culture in Environmental Science at University of Vermont.

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Date Created: 03/02/16
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 Lecture 8: Markets, Capitalism & Nature NR 002 Markets - Resources <—> users - What markets do: • Balance supply and demand • Provide incentives • Resolve conflicts - Rational self-interest in market leads to economic well-being - Price mechanism, substitution, dynamic power of technological change Capitalist Market - Barter • Direct exchange of goods • Rough estimate of equivalence • Limited by what’s offered • In context of other social relationships Restricted by immediate resources • - Market • Exchange mediated by money • Value determined by supply & demand • Dramatic expansion of trade options (stockpiling) • Ignores social relationships • Resources flow within market range - Capitalism • Money 1 Tuesday, February 16, 2016 • Competition for resources * market share drives the economy • Generates value through trade in value (currencies, stocks, bonds, derivatives) • Ignores social relationshops & material restrictions - Capitalism is… a system of economic practices based on the private ownership of the means of production, in which wealth is created & personal profit can be made through the investment of capital, labor or ideas into a market economy • Private and/or corporate ownership of land, labor capital • Production of commodities • Wage labor • Profit motive • Competition Capitalism — a history in 3(1/2) episodes - Mercantilism & colonization (1450-1700) • States stimulate economies through foreign trade • Expansion of European commercial empires • Spread of people, plants, animals, practices - New resource bases - New labor pools - Living space for Europe’s ‘surplus population’ • World trade in bulk products; monocultures • Labor can be bought and sold • Local markets are globalized • Disclosure of the Commons - Private property - Democratization - Development of Enlightenment values 2 Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - Aboriginal presence in the Americas as reminder of another way of being - Industrialization (1700-1900s) • Begins in England in mid 1700s: coal, factory production • Production of raw materials for world-wide export • Urbanization; clearance of cultivable land and forests • Worsening of work and living conditions, health crises = intensive phase of capitalist development • Karl Marx on capitalism: exploits works —> alienates: people from products& process, workers from fellow workers, from selves & nature • Contradictions of Capitalism - Over-accumulation (concentration of wealth) • Underconsumption + overproduction - Undervaluation of environmental conditions • Environmental degradation —> harm to conditions of production and worker health • Over-extraction of resources —> limits growth - Finance Capitalism (1880-today) • Industrial cartels (monopolies, oligopolies) • Movement & management of money - Stock markets & financial speculation • Boom-and-bust cycles - Great Depression - Post WW2 US economic boom • Worker’s unrest, unstable trade system (war, depression) - Forist/Keynesian ‘compromise’: • State+Industry+Labor 3 Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 1930-50: US post-war ‘boom’: • Mass industrial production • Mass transportation & communication • Electrification, refrigeration, synthesis of plastics & chemicals, ‘green revolution’ (industrial agriculture) 4 Wednesday, February 24, 2016 Lecture 9: Review Subject 1. Environmental Causes & Solutions 1. Factors that shape a societies ability to respond to environmental challenges and how we work with those factors to bring about positive change 2. Environmental Knowledge & Communication 1. How do we know what we know about the state of the world and the causes and solutions of environmental problems 6 Paradigms 1. Limits — Reduce — Materialism 1. Overpopulation 2. Carrying capacity 3. Climax ecosystem 4. Tragedy of the commons 2. Markets — Recalculate— Materialism 1. Carbon trading 2. Carbon markets 3. Green taxes 3. Institutions — Renegotiate — Structure & concepts 1. Stakeholders 2. Commons management 4. Political economy — Restructure —Structure & concepts 5. Social Construction— Idealism 6. Ethics — Idealism - 1950s • Growth of middle class 1 Wednesday, February 24, 2016 • Leisure society • Suburbia - Post war wealth - 1960s • Protesting military-industrial complex • Injustice Celebrating leisure • • Environmental deterioration - Post-Fordism & Neoliberal Globalization • Causes - Protest movements - 1973 oil crisis - Global debt crises • Effects - Restructuring of capitalism - Globalization of environmental problems & social risks - Struggle for control of dwindling resources - Restructuring of Capitalism • Commercialization of ‘style’ • IMF & world bank ‘structural adjustment’ policies • Flexible/borderless production & consumption, high-tech investment • Post-Cold War ‘globalization’ - Economic Globalization • Pros - Inevitable ‘progress’ - Increases competition & efficiency 2 Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - Economic expansion • Cons - Increases inequality, global ‘race to the bottom’ - Undermines democracy - Key Concepts • The market response model Market failure • - Externalities • Affect of a transaction between two individuals and a third party who has to pay for it — ‘let somebody else deal with it’ - Transaction costs - Uneven power in price determination — monopoly - Limits on participation • Market based solutions - Green taxes - Cap & trade - Green consumption • Environmental scarcity drives markets • Coase Theorem: If property rights are clearly defines & people bargain costlessly, the externalities will be eliminated through free exchange - Assumptions: Clearly defined property rights + enforcement at no cost - Critiques of Market - Tradition economics - Environmental & Ecological Economics • Environmental - Green Taxes 3 Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - Tradable emission permits • Ecological - Ecological worldview - Environment provides raw materials, absorbs waste products - Biosphere is finite - a closed circle - 4


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