On production and abatement time scales in sustainable development. Can we loosen the sustainability screw ?
AbstractIn this paper we carry out a preliminary exploration of a time scales' conjecture, which postulates that "reasonable" notions of sustainability must include a suitable synchronisation of time scales of both the processes of human development and those of the natural environment. We perform our analysis within a coarse, ?ve variable, model of man-nature interactions expressed as a system of differential equations where production and human capital are coupled with both renewable and non-renewable natural resource. We demonstrate a phenomenon that we name the "sustainability screw" that describes a spiral like trajectory of the three key variables: non-renewable and renewable resources as well as the production capital. Under many plausible scenarios, this spiral tends unacceptably fast to an undesirable equilibrium. However, we also show that by adjusting the ratio of "intensity of production effort" and "intensity of abatement effort", parameters of the relative time scales of production and natural recovery processes can be altered in a manner that produces, arguably, more sustainable trajectories.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2009028.
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Voie du Roman Pays 34, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
Fax: +32 10474304
Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/core
More information through EDIRC
sustainable optimization systems; viability; multiple time scale;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
- Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-03-28 (All new papers)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alain GILLIS).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.