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Cowboys, cornucopians and long-run sustainability

Author: Ayres, Robert U. INSEAD Area: Economics and Political ScienceIn: Ecological Economics, vol. 8, no.3, December 1993 Language: EnglishDescription: p. 189-207.Type of document: INSEAD ArticleNote: Please ask us for this itemAbstract: In the 1970s there was a lively debate on the relationship between natural resource avaibility and long-run economic growth. One side has been characterized as "neo-Malthusian"... The other side of the debate has been characterized as "cornucopian"... This paper argues that the original dichotomy was false. It did not adequately represent either the real positions of most conservative business and political leaders today, nor did it reflect the currently emerging consensus among environmentalists. The former do not concern themselves with long-run issues at all, nor do they take a global view of the problems of mankind. Rather, they argue from the standpoint of short-run national (and corporate) interest. Environmentalists, on the other hand, do not fit the "neo-malthusian" world view, which emphasizes the role of natural resources and the inevitable exhaustion of non-renewables
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In the 1970s there was a lively debate on the relationship between natural resource avaibility and long-run economic growth. One side has been characterized as "neo-Malthusian"... The other side of the debate has been characterized as "cornucopian"... This paper argues that the original dichotomy was false. It did not adequately represent either the real positions of most conservative business and political leaders today, nor did it reflect the currently emerging consensus among environmentalists. The former do not concern themselves with long-run issues at all, nor do they take a global view of the problems of mankind. Rather, they argue from the standpoint of short-run national (and corporate) interest. Environmentalists, on the other hand, do not fit the "neo-malthusian" world view, which emphasizes the role of natural resources and the inevitable exhaustion of non-renewables

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