Environmental Economics Part 1: Chin Factory To The World

Submitted By Burgundy-Li
Words: 5347
Pages: 22

1st Video: Environmental Economics Part 1

China: Factory To The World
Recently, the Chinese economy has grown rapidly
Millions own a car, travel and buy goods
China has as huge labor pool
China has 7 of the world’s 10 most polluted cities
China is the cancer capital of the world
Rivers are being sucked dry and polluted
Environmental laws and policies are ignored
Local NGOs identify, document, and report pollution
Economic growth must be accompanied by just and effective environmental public policies
Linfen, China, has some of the worst air in China

Economics & Environment
Economics: the social science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services the theory and management of economies or economic systems
Economic goods and services are connected to, and depend on, the environment
We need to understand the biological and physical world

Relationships Between Economic Development And The Environment
An economy: the system of exchanges of goods and services worked out by members of society
Goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed
People make economic decisions about what they want and what they need what they provide to others
Economic activity impacts all society it can damage the environment and human health it can provide resources to solve problems it creates

Development And Policies
A nation’s development and its environmental public policies are related
As income levels rise, environmental problems can: decline through taxes and technology (inadequate sanitation) increase and then decline through recognition and public policies (air pollution) increase (suburban sprawl COS emissions)
Effective policies and institutions solve problems

Economic System
Economic systems: social and legal arrangements people construct to satisfy their needs and wants and wants
To improve their well-being
A centrally planned economy: with dictatorships
A free-market (capitalistic) economy: occurs with democracies
These two systems differ in how economic decisions are made
“Factors of Production” in an economy are: land (natural resources), labor, and capital

Economic Activity
Involves the circular flow of money and products
Money flows between households to business
People pay for goods and services
Businesses pay workers for their labor
Labor, land, and capital are used
To produce goods and services used by businesses
In products consumed by households

The Rulers Decide
The rulers make all basic decisions in a centrally planned economy
What, where, how much is produced and by whom
The government owns and manages industry
Workers lack freedom to choose or change jobs
Seen in China and the Soviet Union
An environmental and economic disaster
The former Soviet Union fell into economic chaos
Still in North Korea, Cuba, and some African nations

The Market Decides
In a free-market economy, the market decides what will be exchanged without government interference
The system is open to competition and the interplay of supply and demand with a limited supply: prices rise
People acting in their self-interest drive the economy to obtain goods, services, and wealth people have information about benefits and harms
Competition increases efficiency this system works best when it is left alone

The Role Of Governments
State capitalism: China, Russia, and Gulf oil states sell resources to get money to build infrastructure tension builds between state control and freedom
Many governments own and operate infrastructure
Postal services, power plants, public transportation
They also control interest rates and adopt policies to stimulate economic growth
Powerful business interests manipulate the market
Unscrupulous people can defraud others
Only the government can police the market

Is There A Conscience?
A capitalist system may lack a conscience
A market economy hurts the poor and exploits workers
Market economies only offer access to goods and services
It does not guarantee access