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The Environmental Violence of Volatility

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  • Nicolas Bouleau

    ()
    (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement [CIRAD] : UMR56 - CNRS : UMR8568 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - AgroParisTech)

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    Abstract

    Since the Brundtland report in 1987, at the start of the series of United Nations Conferences on the Environment and Development, the world population has grown by more than it was in the time of Adam Smith. Oil consumption has increased by 40% and the trend is similar for other exhaustible resources, such as metal and fish. The loss of biodiversity continues to reduce flora and fauna at an almost constant rate. Deforestation approximately equivalent to the area of England occurs every year. Despite all the warnings from scientists, the rate of degradation is not decreasing. But economic activity - consumption and saving - has grown faster than the global population. Why does the world not adapt to the boundary conditions of the planet? Why is nature being devoured? This work responds to this question in a very professional way: the economy is badly run, and not for the reasons stated by Marxists. Over the past 25 years, finance has held the wheel of the global supertanker. By globalization, by the increase of savings, and by the technical innovations of the financial markets, its power over the economy has become dominant. Finance is in charge. But the price-signal that it produces is surrounded by fog. The author explains why this is, and analyses the consequences for the near future.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HAL in its series CIRED Working Papers with number halshs-00835669.

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    Date of creation: 19 Jun 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:ciredw:halshs-00835669

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    Keywords: financial markets; sustainable development; IPCC; business as usual; substitutability; commons; fluctuation; arbitrage; speculation; price signal; trends; ecologico-scepticism; teeth of the market;

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    1. Bouleau, Nicolas & Lamberton, Damien, 1989. "Residual risks and hedging strategies in Markovian markets," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 131-150, October.
    2. Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
    3. Nick Hanley, 1992. "Are there environmental limits to cost benefit analysis?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 33-59, January.
    4. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
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