Land Economics - Economics
Traditional view is that the economy and the environment are separate spheres, and that the improvement of one of the spheres comes at a cost borne by the other. Traditionally the economists learned nothing about the environment and the environmentalists learned nothing about economics, which meant that both the studies were not complimenting each other. This raised the differences between the studies. The conflict of both the studies arouse the interest in both sides and they exchanged their views and new concept was born which took the ideas from both the studies and evolved into a new subject called land economics or environmental study in terms of economics.
The study of land economics is about the impact of the economic activity on the world’s ecosystem and as matter of fact the whole environment. The primary focus of the study is to analyze the economic basis for pollution and other human induced harms to the natural environment, as well as the policies designed to resolve them.
• One of the recent areas of interest in land economics is the development in sustainable society enjoying nondiminishing flows of ecological, economic, sociopolitical and cultural benefits. Accordingly, the economics of sustainability is concerned with understanding the interactions between the economy, environment and socio political institutions over the long term and which the knowledge to focus on policies which take us closer to a more sustainable society.
• The study and application of land economics has shown positive result in terms of environmental benefits such as, the Clean Air Act and its amendments have led to a substantial progress being made in terms of decline in the air pollution from the periods of 1978-1990. A decrease in pollutants like sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and lead etc have declined by 39 percent, 24 percent, 42 percent and 93 percent respectively was observed during the period of study.
• Another notable development is the introduction of carbon taxation system and carbon point system. In carbon taxation system is an environmental tax that is levied on the carbon contents of fuels. A carbon tax can be implemented by taxing the burning of fossil fuels in proportion to their carbon content. Accordingly, a carbon tax increases the competitiveness of non-carbon technologies compared to the burning of fossil fuels, thus helping to protect the environment while raising the revenues.
• There are also areas of concern in the study. The dependency on fossil fuels has no doubt increased the economic activity but at the same time has triggered mass emissions of carbon into the atmosphere. These carbon emissions have acted as a green house gases capturing the sun’s heat and increasing the water levels of oceans, which in turn is affecting the economy in terms of loss of land in some islands and decrease in the cultivable land in coasts throughout the world.
• Another area of concern is the continued growth of human population and the resulting impact on the necessary habitats of many of the world’s species of animals and plants. There is a substantial disagreement as to the human expansion is quickly deteriorating the integrity of the world’s remaining wilderness areas, coral reefs and other marine ecosystems and tropical rain forests. With the scarcity of food in many developing countries, the people are resorting to deforestation and cultivating the forest land, which is causing a loss of habitat for many animals.
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