Wasted: Counting the costs of global consumption, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


Counting the costs of global consumption, 1st Edition

By Michael Redclift


196 pages

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Paperback: 9781853833557
pub: 1996-11-01
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Sustainable development cannot be achieved solely at the international level. Without the creation of more sustainable livelihoods, it will remain a utopian and elusive goal. Yet given the huge differences in economic development and levels of consumption between North and South, how might this be brought about? Taking the 1992 Rio Summit as its point of departure, Wasted examines what we now need to know, and what we need to do, to live within sustainable limits. One of the key issues is how we use the environment: converting natural resources into human artifices, commodities and services. In the process of consuming, we also create sinks. Today, these sinks - the empty back pocket in the global biogeographical system - are no longer empty. The fate of the global environment is indissolubly linked to our consumption: particularly in the energy-profligate North. To understand and overcome environmental challenges, we need to build the outcomes of our present consumption rates into our future behaviour: to accept sustainable development as a normative goal for societies; one that is bound up with our everyday social practices and actions. In this absorbing book, Michael Redclift argues that the way we understand and think about the environn1ent conditions our responses, and our ability to meet the challenge, and discusses tangible policies for increased sustainability that are grounded in recent research and practice. MICHAEL Redclift Is Professor of International Environmental Policy at the Department of Geography, King's College London. He was previously Professor of International Environmental Policy at the University of Keele and before that Professor of Environmental Sociology at Wye College, University of London, and Director of the ESRC Global Environmental Change Programme. He is author and editor of numerous books, including Sustainable Development: Exploring the Contradictions (1987), Social Theory and the Global Environment (1994) and Sustainability: Life Chances and Lifestyles (1999). Originally published in 1996

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments List ofFigures List of Tables Chapter One: Introduction Consumption and the Environment How can we 'Recover Consumption'? Chapter Two: The Earth Summit International Environmental Policy: the Road From Stockholm Counsel of Despair: International Environmental Problems in the 1980s UNCED: the Road to Rio The UNCED Deliberations: Conventions and a New Agenda In the Wake of Rio: International Finance and Political Devolution Global Environmental Management: a Realist Perspective From Science to Policy: Environmental Management and the UNCED Process Making sense of the Environment/Development Debate Chapter Three: Meeting Environmental Targets Global Environmental Change The Laws of Thermodynamics The Effect of Human Evolution on Natural Systems Sustainable Development Sustainability Indicators Chapter Four: The Global Economy and Consumption The Hydrocarbon Society and Energy Consumption The New International Economic Order Energy Consumption and the Generation of Waste Recovering Consumption: the Political Economy of Wastes Chapter Five: Managing Global Resources European Energy Policy and Global Change Sustainable Energy Policies for the Brazilian Amazon Chapter Six: Metabolising Nature Global Environmental Management The 'Empty' and 'Full' World System: a Point of Departure How we Measure Environmental Quality: the Costs of Consumption Democratic Control of the Environment The Standard of Living or the Quality of Life? Global Carbon Budgets The Social Functions of Sinks Chapter Seven: Sustainability and Social Commitments Environmental Discourse and Environmental Management How we Metabolise Nature Embodiment and Distanciation Chapter Eight: Local Environmental Action Creating Sustainable Employment: LETS Schemes Beyond Recycling: Recovering our Control over Waste Farmers' Networks References Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Waste Management