Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Deforestation for Sustainable Development neither Develops nor is Sustainable

A recent study by Rodrigues et al. finds that development projects in the Brazilian Amazon didn't really increase people's long-term quality of life (there was an increasing quality of life as deforestation began and then it decreased back to a similarly low point as it started at). Among other things, this sort of belies (yet again) what's been called the environmental Kuznet's curve, roughly speaking, the idea that the economy has to "develop" or expand before you can "afford" environmental protection. If you in the end neither provide measurable development nor protect the environment, well... Anyway. Bjorn Lomborg: 0; Reality: Many.

There's much more to be said about development, resource use, sustainability, and the economics, politics and forces at work encouraging deforestation and supposed development scheme, but they won't be said right now.

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