Human Geography

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By Michael Redclift

Argues that environmental difficulties have to be checked out across the world, by way of the worldwide economy, and that the degradation of our environment isn't really natural', yet an ancient strategy that's intrinsically associated and formed via fiscal and political platforms.

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Additional info for Sustainable Development: Exploring the Contradictions

Sample text

7) are as tentative as those for population and need to be read alongside population figures. The scale of the problem can hardly be exaggerated, however, as we will see in the next chapter. So far as our definition of sustainability is concerned, it is essential to consider the loss of topsoil, for example, as materially reducing sustainability. 7 billion tons a year. This rate means that, by the end of the century, there will be one-third less topsoil per person throughout the world than at present.

As we shall see in chapter 4, unless we pitch our conception of sustainable development at a level which recognizes international structures, it is in danger of being yet another discarded development concept. Its polemical usefulness will have outlived its practical utility. 3 Economic models and environmental values Before examining international restructuring and its local consequences, in more detail, it is important to address the theoretical concern that lies at the heart of the economic-development process.

In this context the question of commodity production is of paramount importance and distinguishes Marxism from both neo-classical and radical ecology perspectives, as we shall see. Second, Marxist approaches to the environment are necessarily concerned with the distribution of environmental costs and benefits, not simply from a welfare standpoint, but because the distributive effects of environmental change have important implications for the kinds of social movements which are likely to emerge from ecological degradation.

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