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Statistical measure of unsustainability

Author: Ayres, Robert U. INSEAD Area: Economics and Political Science Series: Working Paper ; 95/84/EPS Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD Centre for the Management of Environmental and Social Responsibility (CMER) 1995.Language: EnglishDescription: 21 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: The scheme proposed in this paper presents numerical comparisons of energy and materials use in the real world vis a vis an ideal case where all of the identifiable criteria for sustainability are satisfied. Having fixed the list of six criteria, the next step is to identify measures that eiter go to zero or increase without limit, as the system approaches more and more closely to sustainability. Various types of measures of sustainability/unsustainability can be developed, viz.(i) measures of relative dependence of the economy on non-renewable sources of energy and materials, (ii) measures of the productivity of energy and materials consumed by the economic system and (iii) measures of dissipative loss, especially of toxic and hazardous substances. Specific examples of each type are discussed
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The scheme proposed in this paper presents numerical comparisons of energy and materials use in the real world vis a vis an ideal case where all of the identifiable criteria for sustainability are satisfied. Having fixed the list of six criteria, the next step is to identify measures that eiter go to zero or increase without limit, as the system approaches more and more closely to sustainability. Various types of measures of sustainability/unsustainability can be developed, viz.(i) measures of relative dependence of the economy on non-renewable sources of energy and materials, (ii) measures of the productivity of energy and materials consumed by the economic system and (iii) measures of dissipative loss, especially of toxic and hazardous substances. Specific examples of each type are discussed

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