Chapter Outlines - CHAPTER 2





Mankind cannot sustain himself; we are dependent on the goodness of the Earth.

A.    Our economic systems (natural, human, financial, and manufactured) must be integrated with a commitment to sustain our environment to guarantee mankind a future.

B.    Realistic economic controls in full-cost pricing, in pollutant regulation, in responses to market forces, and in appropriate world-wide resource utilization must be implemented to improve environmental quality, to reduce poverty, and to create sustainable development.

C.    Environmental policy change must be embraced by governments and individuals, in homes and in workplaces, throughout the world—particularly the industrialized world—to reclaim the health of this planet.

D.    Global environmental efforts must become human-centered and life-centered in order to produce a sustainable future.


2-1 Economic systems and environmental problems

A.    Major types of economic systems: pure command and free-market systems

B.    Six rules help for maximizing company’s success in a capitalist market system.

1. No competition and monopolistic control of market prices

2. Unrestricted free trade

3. Support market advantage for one company over its competitors

4. Cover dangers posed by products of the company

5. Charge for the costs of harm to people and the environment

6. Be concerned foremost with producing the greatest profit

C.    Government intervention in market economic systems greatly influences the system outcomes.

1. Control of monopolies and dominance of the market

2. Control price or demand of particular items/services

D.    The conventional view of economic activity and the ecological view of economic activity view environmental integrity in different ways.


2-2 Monitoring economic and environmental progress

A.    Differences in GNI and GDP

B.    Environmental compromise and economic justice


2-3 Solutions: Using economics to improve environmental quality

Environmental quality may be improved through economic measures.

  1. Internal costs, external costs and full-cost pricing
  2. Regulations, market forces, and economic incentives
  3. Economic disincentives, taxes, and environmental management


2-4 Reducing poverty to improve environmental quality and human well-being

Environmental quality and human well-being are interlinked and influenced by the



2-5 Making the transition to more environmentally sustainable economies

The world must shift to more environmentally sustainable economies.


2-6 Politics and environmental policy

The challenge for sustaining the environment is in political will.

A.    Representative politics and social change

B.    Long-range plans for future generations

C.    Principles for environmental decisions:

1. Humility, reversibility and precautionary principles

2. Prevention, integrative and environmental justice principles


2-7 Case study: Environmental policy in the United States

Individual actions and environmental leadership commitments are necessary to affect environmental policy and change:

A.    Campaign finance reform

B.    Leadership: environmental policy, law, and enforcement of the law

C.    Interaction with local, existing systems with mainstream and grassroots environmental groups


2-8 Global environmental policy

Global, environmental security may be seen from two different bases:

A.    A human-centered environmental worldview, atomistic or holistic

B.    A life-centered environmental worldview


2-9 Human centered environmental wordviews

The components of environmental literacy and environmental worldviews to allow us to live more sustainability are:

  1. A respect/reverence for life
  2. To understand the earth and use that understanding to protect our planet
  3. To seek environmental wisdom and apply it
  4. To understand and evaluate our environmental worldview throughout our lives
  5. To learn to evaluate the beneficial and harmful consequences of our individual life-styles
  6. To determine to make the world a better place and act


2-10 Life-centered environmental wordviews

Life-centered worldview people embrace the following beliefs:

  1. Earth-centered worldview
B.    We are responsible for the future


2-11 Solutions: Living more sustainably

Environmental sustainability must become a way of life.

  1. Environmental sustainability requires reverence for all life, an effort to learn all that we can about the earth, that we become seekers of environmental wisdom, and continuously evaluate our worldview while working to make the world a better place.
  2. Components necessary to save our planet follow:

1.     Efficiency revolution: no waste

2.    A solar-hydrogen revolution: solar energy

3.    Pollution prevention revolution: less waste

4.    Biodiversity protection revolution: protect life

5.    Sufficiency revolution: enough resources for all

6.    Demographic revolution: balance in populations

7.    Economic and political revolution: environment sustainability

Outline for Chapter 3
Back to BIOL 1140 Homepage

Glossary for Chapter 2