After completing my PhD, I work on how to make the growth of the emerging economies more sustainable
Environmental Crisis of Capitalism and Communism: State Control and Market-Based Solutions
In ten seconds? Capitalism and western Christianity are often blamed for the Global Ecological Crisis, however historically, atheistic socialism and communism have also lead to environmental degradation. State control by policies and legislation and voluntary mechanisms encourage improvements in both capitalist and communist countries.
It is often argued that capitalism in the post-Industrial Revolution world with its extensive consumption can be blamed for the Global Ecological Crisis. Based on Marx, capitalist society alienates mankind and nature, and everything, even the people and the nature, had a price, everything could be bought and used, as long as someone had the money for that. Another aspect is that Christianity which places man above Nature, and in particular, Protestantism with its focus on labour, could potentially be one of the driving forces of environmental degradation.
But do the atheistic socialism and communism offer viable alternatives in caring for the environment? History of the last century and modern history show that even though consumption in Eastern Europe and China was in many positions less extensive than in the West, environmental degradation was arguably even worse at same points of time.
Nowadays, new technological developments are aimed at combating environmental degradation caused by older technological developments (read more).
In Western countries, the measures are generally very successful with regard to traditional pollutants and there is an evident progress with greenhouse gas emission control. It is done not only through voluntary incentives, but mostly by the introduction of new policies and legislation. At the same time, currently communist China also makes certain progress, for example, with reforestation, flood control and sand storm mitigation using not only command-and-control methods, but also voluntary mechanisms.
by Anna Firsova
Abstract: This paper is a response to Professor Nancy Hudson’s paper “Divine Immanence: Nicholas of Cusa’s Understanding of Theophany and the Retrieval of a ‘New’ Model of God,” (Nancy Hudson, “Divine Immanence: Nicholas of Cusa’s Understanding of Theophany and the Retrieval of a ‘New’ Model of God,” Journal of Theological Studies 56.2 (October 2005): 450–470). The global ecological crisis has spawned intensive reflection about living in right relationship with the earth. Western Christian thought has received special scrutiny since modern alienation from nature has been traced to Christian theology. Undiscovered within the mystical theology of Nicholas of Cusa lies an ecologically promising vision of nature. The concept of divine immanence presented by this medieval thinker provides a rich spirituality that is inclusive, rather than exclusive, of the natural world. It is also far more intimate than contemporary stewardship theology. Cusanus interprets theophany as divine self-expression. A series of striking metaphors, including God’s enfolding and unfolding, God as ‘Not-other’, and Christ as the contracted maximum, reveals a holistic spirituality. Nicholas of Cusa’s concept of divine immanence infuses the world with immeasurable value and gives rise to a Christian theology that can address the current ecological crisis. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God in response to a presentation of Nancy Hudson’s “Divine Immanence.”
Pub.: 03 Oct '07, Pinned: 12 May '17
Abstract: A model of evolution of human society and biosphere, which is based on concepts of V.I. Vernadskii and of L.N. Gumilev about ethnogenesis has been developed and studied. The mathematical apparatus of the model is composition of finite stochastic automats. By using this model, a possibility of the global ecological crisis is demonstrated in the case of preservation of the current tendencies of interaction of the biosphere and the human civilization.
Pub.: 09 Jun '09, Pinned: 12 May '17
Abstract: China shares more than 20 transboundary aquifers with its coaquifer states, but they have not exploited their transboundary groundwater resources, and these resources have not been governed by any international agreements. Given the close interaction between surface water and groundwater, and the growing demands for transboundary groundwater in China and its coaquifer states, there is increasing necessity for these countries to undertake international cooperation on this issue. This article overviews China's transboundary aquifers, reviews the duty to cooperate on China's transboundary groundwater as well as the emerging transboundary aquifer law. It concludes by providing some proposals on international cooperation in this context, based on the two theories of international water law-limited territorial sovereignty and common interests, taking into account the practicability of China's cooperation with its coaquifer states. The author suggests that China cooperates with its coaquifer states through such means as the exchange of data and information, joint monitoring, the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral aquifer agreements, the establishment of joint management mechanisms, and international technical cooperation.
Pub.: 12 May '17, Pinned: 13 May '17
Abstract: Due to the severe degradation of wetland ecosystems in China, great efforts, such as the reconstruction of forested wetlands, have been devoted to restore the damaged and degraded wetlands to support species diversity and ecosystem services. However, less attention has been given to the diversity and ecological significance of prokaryotes of the domain Archaea compared with prokaryotes of the domain Bacteria during the reconstruction of forested wetlands. Here, the effects of introduced woody plants (Taxodium distichum and Alnus trabeculosa) on the archaeal community in a freshwater wetland in the Yangtze estuary were investigated. The results showed that Thaumarchaeota obviously predominated at three studied sites in the freshwater wetland, the relative abundance of which decreased with increasing depth, ranging from 93.9% (0–10 cm) to 1.9% (30–40 cm) in mudflats, from 100% (0–10 cm) to 64.8% (30–40 cm) in T. distichum sediment and from 100% (0–10 cm) to 66.7% (40–50 cm) in A. trabeculosa sediment. The abundances of the archaeal amoA gene in woody plant sediments, ranging from 3.27 × 107 to 2.45 × 108 copies g−1 dry soil, were significantly higher than those in bare mudflat, ranging from 9.23 × 106 to 1.35 × 107 copies g−1 dry soil. The archaeal community, which was significantly affected by pH, microbial carbon and SO42− contents according to a canonical correspondence analysis, was significantly altered by plants and soil depth (p < 0.05). These results indicated that the introduction of woody plants stimulates the proliferation of Thaumarchaeota, especially ammonia-oxidizing archaea, which could be important contributors to the N cycle in forested wetland ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Pub.: 10 May '17, Pinned: 13 May '17
Abstract: The introduction to The Challenge of Ecology to the Humanities: Posthumanism or Humanism? sketches out the ambiguous response of the humanities to the long-term anthropological thinking about the human as an ecological being from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the more recent constructivist worldviews typically discrediting biological thinking about humans as intrinsically "essentialist" and "nature" as cultural fabrication. The global ecological crisis, however, and an increasing awareness of the impact of human activity on the planet's ecosystems have forced the humanities to reassess such anthropological and biological assumptions. Recent strategies of the environmental humanities include either reformulating classic humanism with ecological frames or seeking alternative, "posthumanist" perspectives that avoid its inherent anthropocentrism. The special issue puts voices from historical, philosophical, and literary disciplines in dialogue with each other, with the goal of mapping out various possibilities for both the humanities and the environmental humanities.
Pub.: 06 Sep '16, Pinned: 12 May '17
Abstract: The race of technological advancements across the globe has made the life of electronic products shorter, resulting into Waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and posing a threat to sustainable development. With the stupendous increase in usage of e-;goods especially in developing nations, study on the consumption pattern of electronic gadgets has become important to researchers and policy makers as there are limited resources of some rare earth and precious metals, which are used in making of e-;equipment. In India, economic boom of the last two decades added with rapid development of newer technology, fuelled consumerism resulting into buying and disposing off of electronic products at a rapid pace. As mobile phones are the fastest growing electronic consumables in India, this paper attempts to study the consumption pattern, behaviour and awareness of the people about e-;waste among mobile phone users in the capital city of New Delhi.
Pub.: 26 Nov '16, Pinned: 12 May '17
Abstract: Authors: Osamuyimen Egbon Article URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0969160X.2016.1273450?ai=2t8&mi=47tg1r&af=R Citation: Social and Environmental Accountability Journal Publication Date: 2016-12-29T12:14:49Z Journal: Social and Environmental Accountability Journal
Pub.: 29 Dec '16, Pinned: 12 May '17
Abstract: Authors: Woodhouse ; K. M. Article URL: http://whq.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/short/48/1/82?rss=1 Citation: Vol 48 No. 1 (2017) pp 82 83 Publication Date: 2017-01-09T22:56:29-08:00 Journal: Western Historical Quarterly
Pub.: 10 Jan '17, Pinned: 12 May '17
Abstract: Despite concern about environmental issues, many people engage in environmentally-unfriendly behavior. The present research introduces a novel predictor of environmentally friendly behavior: attitudes toward the prototypical environmentalist, or the favorability of a mental image someone has of the typical, representative environmentalist. Based on previous findings linking prototype attitudes to behavior, we expected positive attitudes toward environmentalist prototypes to predict greater environmentally friendly behavior. In addition, the current studies used not just explicit, direct self-reports of attitudes, but also indirect measures of implicit attitudes, which are less intentional, less controllable, and less deliberate. As expected, Studies 1 and 2 showed that positive implicit and explicit attitudes toward the prototypical environmentalist predict self-reported engagement in environmentally friendly behaviors. In Study 2, positive implicit and explicit prototype attitudes also predicted greater likelihood of donating to an environmental charity. These findings provide the first demonstration of the utility of prototype models in environmentalism.
Pub.: 15 Mar '17, Pinned: 11 May '17
Abstract: Current debates in science and technology studies emphasize that the bio-economy-or, the articulation of capitalism and biotechnology-is built on notions of commodity production, commodification, and materiality, emphasizing that it is possible to derive value from body parts, molecular and cellular tissues, biological processes, and so on. What is missing from these perspectives, however, is consideration of the political-economic actors, knowledges, and practices involved in the creation and management of value. As part of a rethinking of value in the bio-economy, this article analyzes three key political-economic processes: financialization, capitalization, and assetization. In doing so, it argues that value is managed as part of a series of valuation practices, it is not inherent in biological materialities.
Pub.: 02 May '17, Pinned: 11 May '17
Abstract: The idea that human well-being (WB) can be supported and even enhanced by using, producing, buying, selling and consuming less 'stuff' is anathema to many living under consumer capitalism. Yet a growing research literature actually finds that frequent engagement in pro-ecological behaviours (PEBs) is positively correlated with personal WB. This paper reviews data relevant to three possible explanations for the apparent compatibility of PEBs and WB: (i) engaging in PEBs leads to psychological need satisfaction, which in turn causes WB; (ii) being in a good mood causes people to engage in more prosocial behaviours, including PEBs; and (iii) personal characteristics and lifestyles such as intrinsic values, mindfulness and voluntary simplicity cause both PEBs and WB. Because each explanation has some empirical support, I close by reflecting on some relevant interventions and policies that could strengthen each of these three pathways and thereby promote living both well and sustainably.This article is part of the themed issue 'Material demand reduction'.
Pub.: 04 May '17, Pinned: 11 May '17
Abstract: Capitalism, globalization, consumerism and an almost religious commitment to perpetual growth are often blamed for the world's environmental woes. But does this mean that economic stagnation and Marxism, for example, would be the friend of the environment? We need to analyze the flaws of our current socioeconomic ecosystem and work to make concrete improvements. Some improvements are short term and simply reflect improved ‘best practices’ and more flexible frameworks for implementing existing policies. These improvements can make a difference in a matter of years and are relevant to the urgency of avoiding species extinctions in the near term. These changes are analogous to ‘tuning’ a car's engine. Other improvements will require fundamental changes in how our economic system works – changes such as breaking the reliance of developing nations on cheap fossil fuels. These changes are analogous to rebuilding and redesigning a car's engine. But whatever actions are explored, they must be practical and concrete. Bemoaning the avarice and resource exploitation of capitalism and its addiction to growth is a, by-now, stale and unactionable critique of the modern world.
Pub.: 20 Mar '17, Pinned: 11 May '17
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