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On production and abatement time scales in sustainable development. Can we loosen the sustainability screw ?

Author

Listed:
  • FILAR, Jerzy A.
  • KRAWCZYK, Jacek B.
  • AGRAWAL, Manju

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • FILAR, Jerzy A. & KRAWCZYK, Jacek B. & AGRAWAL, Manju, 2009. "On production and abatement time scales in sustainable development. Can we loosen the sustainability screw ?," CORE Discussion Papers 2009028, Universit√© catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2009028
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    File URL: http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/core/documents/coredp2009_28.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Krawczyk, Jacek B & Pharo, Alastair & Simpson, Mark, 2011. "Approximations to viability kernels for sustainable macroeconomic policies," Working Paper Series 1531, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainable optimization systems; viability; multiple time scale;

    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

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