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Weak versus Strong Sustainability
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Weak versus Strong Sustainability

Exploring the Limits of Two Opposing Paradigms, Fourth Edition

4th edition

9781781007075 Edward Elgar Publishing
Eric Neumayer, Professor of Environment and Development, Department of Geography and Environment and Associate, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Publication Date: 2013 ISBN: 978 1 78100 707 5 Extent: 296 pp
This fourth edition of an enduring and popular book has been fully updated and revised, exploring the two opposing paradigms of sustainability in an insightful and accessible way. Eric Neumayer contends that central to the debate on sustainable development is the question of whether natural capital can be substituted by other forms of capital. Proponents of weak sustainability maintain that such substitutability is possible, whilst followers of strong sustainability regard natural capital as non-substitutable.

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This fourth edition of an enduring and popular book has been fully updated and revised, exploring the two opposing paradigms of sustainability in an insightful and accessible way. Eric Neumayer contends that central to the debate on sustainable development is the question of whether natural capital can be substituted by other forms of capital. Proponents of weak sustainability maintain that such substitutability is possible, whilst followers of strong sustainability regard natural capital as non-substitutable.

The author examines the availability of natural resources for the production of consumption goods and the environmental consequences of economic growth. He identifies the critical forms of natural capital in need of preservation given risk, uncertainty and ignorance about the future and opportunity costs of preservation. He goes on to provide a critical discussion of measures of sustainability. Indicators of weak sustainability such as Genuine Savings and the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare – also known as the Genuine Progress Indicator – are analysed, as are indicators of strong sustainability, including ecological footprints, material flows and sustainability gaps.

This book will prove essential reading for students, scholars and policymakers with an interest in ecological and environmental economics and sustainable development.
Contents
Contents: Preface to the Fourth Edition 1. Introduction and Overview 2. Sustainable Development: Conceptual, Ethical and Paradigmatic Issues 3. Resources, the Environment and Economic Growth: Is Natural Capital Substitutable? 4. Preserving Natural Capital in a World of Risk, Uncertainty and Ignorance 5. Measuring Weak Sustainability 6. Measuring Strong Sustainability 7. Conclusions Appendix 1. How Present-value Maximisation Can Lead to Extinction Appendix 2. The Hotelling Rule and Ramsey Rule in a Simple General Equilibrium Model Appendix 3. The Hotelling Rule and the Ramsey Rule in a More Complex Model Bibliography Index

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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eISBN: 978 1 78100 708 2
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