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Environmental Victims: Arguing the Costs

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  • Christopher Williams

Abstract

The costs of anthropogenic environmental change are usually discussed in broad terms, for example embracing damage to the ecosystem or buildings. There has been little consideration of the direct human dimension - the cost to and of environmental victims - except in clinical terms. In order to prevent and minimise environmental victimisation it seems necessary to present cost arguments to governments and commerce. This paper outlines the personal, social and cash costs of environmental victimisation, using the psycho-social literature, and brief case studies of intellectual disability, road transport and cross-border pollution. It is proposed that governments and commerce might not respond in obvious ways to these cost arguments, but 'trust' is identified as a cost that both may recognise. It is concluded that the concept of loss-costs should be central to any analysis, and the paper provides a 'Framework for comprehensive argument of the costs of environmental victimisation', in the form of a simple matrix.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Williams, 1997. "Environmental Victims: Arguing the Costs," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 6(1), pages 3-30, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev6:ev601
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental justice; environmental victims; environmental economics; environmental costs; intellectual disability;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects

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