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3. The production of wealth is mainly based on the exploitation of the earth’s natural resources. Unchecked exploitation of these finite resources is an off-shoot of the need to engender wealth, and leads to imbalances in the ecosystem. Conversion of these natural resources into manufactured consumer goods often uses technology which causes pollution and global warming. In this context, economists tend to ignore the environmental problems which accompany economic growth. This puts them in direct confrontation with environmental scientists who are concerned with the protection of the environment. 4. (a) Environmental issues, such as clean air, conservation of wildlife, and green energy, cannot be judged in purely monetary terms. While clean air cuts medical costs due to lung disorders, and green energy, such as more efficient refrigeration techniques, can reduce wastage and energy bills, it is more difficult to define the benefits of wildlife conservation in financial terms. Love of wildlife involves social and emotional aspects which cannot be quantified. (b) I would be prepared to pay about five percent of my income towards environmental issues. 5. The question in the title is, “Why do economists and environmental scientists have such a hard time communicating?”...
7. (a) The problem defined in the essay is the irreconcilable difference in attitude between economists and environmental scientists in assigning monetary values to environmental goods. (b) The proposed solution is to assign monetary values to environmental goods, so that there can be trade-offs between the competing needs of wealth generation and environmental protection. (c) The writer doubts that an agreement can be reached between economists and environmentalists, as the latter will not accept the assignment of a cash equivalent, however large, to environmental goods or agree to a cap on environmental spending. 8. Summary of Article 1. The article, “Never the Twain Shall Meet: Why do economists and environmental scientists have such a hard time communicating?” deals with the wide gap in the perspectives of economists and environmentalists. While economists firmly believe that environmental goods can be reduced to cash equivalents, this idea is anathema to environmentalists. Economists argue that by assigning monetary values to environmental goods, such as clean air and biological diversity, compromises can be made to achieve a balance between the consumption of these goods and environmental protection. The writer declares that it is inevitable that monetary values be assigned to environmental goods, so that a policy can be formulated and choices can be made regarding the consumption of such goods. Philip Graves, an economist, states that environmental goods are substantially undervalued by economists using standard methods of measurement. He contends that there will be a significant difference in the amount consumers would spend on environmental goods if they were actually available on the market, and the amount they give as a theoretical estimate.
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