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Jevons’ Paradox (Rebound Effect)

A central concept in industrial ecology, the term Jevons’ Paradox was derived from a passage in The Coal Question (Jevons, 1865), in which the author analysed improvements in the efficiency …

Resource intensity and productivity

Resource intensity is a measure of the resources (e.g. materials, energy and water) required for the provision of a unit of a good or service. It is usually expressed as …

Devlin Kuyek on the ProSavana project1

Imagine a land of 14 million hectares, bigger than Switzerland and Austria combined. Populated by millions of farming families that together practice shifting cultivation. Now imagine a foreign consultant saying …

Decoupling of the economy

Decoupling, also referred to as dematerialisation of the economy, refers to the disconnection or separation of economic and social well-being from the use of biophysical resources. According to the MEFA …

Natural and social capital

Capital is traditionally defined as manufactured means of production. In contrast, Costanza and Daly distinguish three broad types of capital: natural, human and manufactured, ‘which correspond roughly to the traditional …

NIMBY

In the NIMBY perspective, citizens are portrayed as overly emotional, uninformed and unscientific in their opposition, motivated by narrow, selfish interests, and obstructive of policies that would provide for the …

Value incommensurability

Values are often incommensurable. This simply means that they cannot be measured in the same units. The environment is often a site of conflict between competing values and interests represented …

Languages of valuation

Environmental conflicts might arise out of clashes of different interests or because of the existence of different values. Take mangroves for instance, on the coast of Ecuador. Some people want …

Fair trade

The philosophical principles underlying the concept of fair trade (FT) can be traced back to Aristotle (and his ideas of justice, equity and goodness) but the concept as it is …

Commodity frontiers

The search for materials to supply the countries at the centre of the global economy has already extended into the most remote corners of the world. To some extent, this …

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