Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Intensity of Human Environmental Impact May Lessen as Incomes Rise

22.09.2008
The richer you are, the more of the world’s resources you can afford to consume. But in many parts of the world, rising incomes are not having the proportionate effect on energy consumption, croplands and deforestation that one might expect, a new 25-year study shows.

By examining a variety of government and industry data spanning 1980 to 2006, Rockefeller University’s Jesse Ausubel and his colleagues say that dematerialization — the declining consumption of energy and goods in comparison to a country’s gross domestic product — is actually driving a trend toward rising environmental quality. The results were published online in the Aug. 18 Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“For generations, people have lightened their environmental impact by multiplying their consumption less than their income,” says Ausubel, director of the Program for the Human Environment. “We have found encouraging evidence that this trend continues, particularly in places like China and India.” While consumers increase their use of staples more slowly than their affluence grows, producers also play a role as access to better technology allows them to get more from less.

An especially striking example is China. Without the dematerialization from 1980 to 2006 by Chinese consumers, actual national energy use in 2006 would have been 180 percent greater, Ausubel says. In India, an initial trend toward poorer environmental performance appears to have reversed. Meanwhile, the effect has also occurred in the United States, France and other rich nations. In the U.S., dematerialization progressed steadily at about two percent a year throughout the study period, regardless of which political party was in power.

Other countries, however, have not shown progress. “Though positive evidence prevails, our analysis reports troubling directions for Brazil and especially Indonesia,” Ausubel says. And in several instances the authors found discrepancies and fluctuations in data that require caution in terms of drawing generalizations.

“Overall,” concludes Ausubel, “consumers and producers demonstrate that richer can be greener.”

Zach Veilleux | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.rockefeller.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>