Clement A. Tisdell
This volume combines economics and ecology in a penetrating examination of the natural resources and environmental issues arising from economic growth, development, and change. The author focuses particular attention on the environmental consequences of economic change and argues that the management and conservation of biological resources is a requirement for sustainable economic growth. By setting traditional economic issues within their wider environmental context and covering issues not ordinarily addressed by economists, Tisdell offers an important new perspective on the problem of resource scarcity. He examines the two conflicting viewpoints on the magnitude of the problem--those who argue that technological progress will make scarcity of natural resources less important and those who argue that economic growth can only be expected to intensify scarcity--suggesting a reasonable course of action that will allow acceptable levels of economic growth while protecting important natural resources. Tisdell's work will be useful both as a supplementary text for courses in development or environmental economics and as recommended reading in biology, environmental studies, and ecology programs. Following an introduction which covers basic issues in resource scarcity, along with growth and development, the author addresses the major economic, ethical, and ecological issues involved in the conservation of biological resources. He goes on to examine concepts and changing views of sustainable economic growth, production, and development. Subsequent chapters explore such topics as conservation in less developed countries and the economic pressures that hinder conservation efforts, differing views on depletable resources as limits to growth, rural-urban migration and its effects on labor allocation, and foreign assistance to resource-poor developing countries. A case study of wildlife on New Zealand's Otago Peninsula is particularly useful in illustrating the economics of biological conservation. Throughout, Tisdell concentrates on providing a reasoned, balanced assessment of the impact of economic growth and change on the natural environment that will be an important resource for proponents on both sides of the environment versus development debate.