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Article
Environmental Crises: Past, Present ad Future
Forthcoming in the Canadian Journal of Economics, November 2009 as the Innis Lecture (2009)
  • M. Scott Taylor, University of Calgary
Abstract

Environmental crises are distinguished by rapid and largely unexpected changes in environmental quality that are difficult if not impossible to reverse. Examples would be major extinctions and signi…cant degradations of an ecosystem. I argue there are three preconditions for crisis: failures in governance, an ecological system exhibiting a tipping point, and an economy/environment interaction with positive feedbacks. I develop a simple model to illustrate how a crisis may arise, and draw on our knowledge of past and present crises to highlight the mechanisms involved. I then speculate as to whether climate change is indeed a crisis in the making.

Keywords
  • Economics,
  • Environment,
  • Crisis,
  • Resource,
  • Sustainability
Publication Date
Fall 2009
Citation Information
M. Scott Taylor. "Environmental Crises: Past, Present ad Future" Forthcoming in the Canadian Journal of Economics, November 2009 as the Innis Lecture (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/taylor/102/