Uncertain future preferences and conservation
AbstractAn important problem in environmental economics arises from te irreversibility of consuming or destroying certain resources. Extractive resources like oil are a clear example. Even for environmental resources the same seems to be true in a number of environmental cases, for example biodiversity, current climate conditions, or complex ecological systems. Irreversibility imposes a sever externality across different generations; future generations will suffer from the destruction of a unique asset like Amazonia, and it is not clear how such a loss could be compensated in terms of other goods. If such an asset is destroyed, then it is not possible to subsequently restore it. In contrast, if the asset is preserved, then it is possible to "use" the asset at a subsequent date. If there is uncertainty about future preferences or valuations, then preservation provides a type of insurance which is not available if the irreversible decision is carried out.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 7912.
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
biodiversity; climate change; ecological systems; externality; future; preferences; environmental; environment; irreversible; resources; natural resources;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
- Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
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