On production and abatement time scales in sustainable development. Can we loosen the sustainability screw ?
In 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.
|Date of creation:||01 Apr 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Fax: +32 10474304
Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/coreEmail:
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2009028. See general 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.