MY VIEWS 1997 : January-September
May/28/1997/ELAN: Introduction/Centro America
Dear friends. My name is Lucio Munoz. I am a Ph.D. student at the
University of British Columbia, Canada. Right now I am working on a
thesis related to the deforestation problem in central America: I am
proposing a cost-efficient and holistic methodology that may be used to
establish a program of continuous deforestation assessment and planning.
This methodology is designed to balance the existing discourse between
detailed qualitative analysis and condensed quantitative analysis while at
the same time allowing to uncover causation and patterns of causation in a
way that deforestation plans and profiles consistent with country-specific
conditions and regional-specific conditions could be developed.
I would be interested in establishing contacts with other researchers
working on this topic in Central America. Moreover, as part of my validation
process, I am in the process of passing a short questionnaire in each country
in central America to people working in the area of forestry/deforestation/
sustainability. If there is a person in each central American country who
wants to give me a hand with the questionnaire in their country, I would
appreciate that. I will try be an active participant as much as possible.
Greetings to all from Canada.
June/12/97/ELAN: Re: Sobre el Ecologismo/MODERACION
Lo siguiente es importante para este argumento en cuanto a gramatica:
1)todas la lenguas estan en un proceso continuo de evolucion;2) las reglas
gramaticales estan dirigidas a contener/controlar el grado o rapidez de
evolucion; 3) extrangerismos, ya sea directos(palabras extrangeras importadas
y modidicadas/usadas con contexto local) o indirectos(palabras modificadas/
usadas por extrangeros y aceptadas por la sociedad local) estan continuamente
ejerciendo presion en el grado de evolucion; 4) la globalizacion esta accelerado
las preciones debido a estos extrangerismos y las reglas gramaticales y el
grado de evolucion estan tambien siendo presionadas; 5) fricciones van a ver ya
que justificaciones dirigidas a cambiar reglas gramaticales de otras lenguas
usualmente no son bien benidas en el corto plazo. En el largo plazo, el grado
de uso va a determinar aceptacion o no de palabras/oraciones; 6) asi como el
Che reaciono fuertemente a el uso de la palabra ECOLOGISTA, la cual indudablemente
viene de la traduccion directa de ECOLOGIST. Elizabeth puede que reaccione
fuertemente si empesamos a usar SPANINGLISH en esta lista; 7) conclusion, seamos
flexibles: ESTE ES EL UNICO CAMINO QUE NOS DEJA EL PROCESO DE GLOBALIZACION.
June/20/97/ELAN: Re: Ecologismo
Para tratar de dar ideas a la solucion de esta discusion de terminologia
aqui esta mi granito de arena a pesar de que no soy ECOLOGO:
Usando la terminologia de sistemas, el sistema medio-ambiente
puede ser dividido en dos subsistemas: 1) el sistema ecologico, compuesto
por todos los componentes de el sistema ambiental con vida(bacterias,
plantas, animales...seres humanos; y 2) el sistema no-ecologico, sin
vida: viento, rocas, suelo, agua...
Hay que notar, que la ecologia como ciencia excluye el estudio de
los seres humanos aunque estos son parte de el sistema ecologico, si bien
me acuerdo. Si definimos el sistema no-ecologico como la parte externa a el
sistema ecologico, entonces el sistema no ecologico es el AMBIENTE.
Si la parte externa a el sistema ecologico es el ambiente, entonces el
sistema ecologico es definido como el MEDIO.
Basado en lo anterior, es claro que la ecologia/sub-sistema
ecologico/MEDIO es parte de el sistema del medio ambiente y por lo tanto
los terminos ECOLOGIA Y MEDIO AMBIENTE NO SON EQUIVALENTES, como Alex
sostiene. Lo anterior tambien se puede usar para resaltar, que si el
termino MEDIO AMBIENTE es usado fuera de la NOCION DE SISTEMAS, entoces
su significado puede ser confuso ya que medio/ecologia no es lo mismo
que ambiente/no-ecologia. Por el otro lado, si el termino MEDIO
AMBIENTE es usado con la nocion de SISTEMAS, entonces es un termino
correcto el cual representa la union de dos subsistemas (ecologico-noecologico)
y sus interrelaciones. Finalmente quiero mencionar que el uso de terminologia
APARENTEMENTE fuera de contexto puede ser que sea un ACTO PREMEDITADO,
no de ignorancia, especialmente en investigacion. CADA QUIEN Y CADA
GRUPO UTILIZA LA TERMINOLOGIA Y CONCEPTOS CONSIDERADOS APROPRIADOS
POR ELLOS EN SU AREA DE ESPECIALIZACION, lo cual no debe de ser una
Saludes a todos;
June/22/97/ELAN: Re: THE PATENT CONTROVERSY
Posted by others: Dear elaner's:
< Just a little thought about this controversy.If the patent is
< of no value at all, why not drop it then? I just wonder.
< Clearly one must be extremely naive to believe there is no value
< insomething like this, especially with the great push the US is giving to
< the Intelectual Property Rights scheme.
THE TRUE VALUE OF THIS PATENT MAY NOT BE ITS PRESENT ECONOMICVALUE,
BUT THE FUTURE ECONOMIC VALUE OF OPENNING UP AND WITHHOLDING THE
RIGHT(MORAL OR NOT) OF PATENTING LOCAL KNOWLEDGE/TRADITION/CULTURE/
WAYS OF LIVES.
June/25/97/ELAN: Quinoa patent/moral-ethical values: a comment
There is no doubt that this controversy is a classical example of
the power struggle between local knowledge and non-local knowledge.
It is not a secret that people holding non-local knowledge take local
knowledge(usually) as no-knowledge, specialy when non-local knowledge
holders are having a difficult time, undecoding and understanding the
local knowledge of their interest. As long as non-local knowledge
holders have problems undecoding/understanding local knowledge, then it
remains wild and with no expected value. Zero expected value implies no
moral and ethical dilemmas because there is no rational for patenting
When non-local knowledge holders succeed in undecoding/understanding
local knowledge, then the expected value of local knowledge is not longer
zero and the rational to cross moral and ethical frontiers appears. The
grounds for patenting usually are that local knowledge holder did not know
scientifically what they had, and that since non-local knowledge holders
were able to undecode the scientific(meaning) characteristics, they are
the owners and have the right to patent it.
It seems that this patenting process takes away the moral/ethical
issues arising from patenting local knowledge by claiming that it is now
not a moral/ethical issue, but a legal issue. Some businesses remain in
business even at zero profits hoping for the revenue tide to over power
the cost tide one day and make a positive profit.
I hope we all will learn from the implications of this
controversy, especially for latin america, in particular and for less
developed countries, in general.
July/12/97/ELAN : Inglish or spanish controversy in list
My view:Hello, I am a new member of this list so I am not sure how English
came to be the official language, but my suggestion would beto have the original
posting to dictate the language to be followed in that discussion so that
everybody has the change to chose the language that allow them to feel more
confident and coherent when posting. This could be a good taste of democracy
and choice and may increase participation. What do the other think?
July/13/97/ELAN: Re: cuestionario/deforestacion centro america
Estimados Amigos. Estoy en la etapa final de completar un cuestionario
que estoy pasando en cada pais centro americano con el unico objeto de
validacion de los resultados de mi tesis. Quiero solicitar la
colaboracion de los amigos centro americanos en esta lista. Necesito
aumentar la participacion en BELIZE, PANAMA, COSTA RICA, y completar el
numero de cuestionarios de EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS Y NICARAGUA.
Por favor, envierme un numero de fax donde yo les pueda enviar mi
cuestionario ya que no me es permitido pasarlo por medios
electronicos(e-mail). Se los voy a agradecer mucho.
July/13/97/ELAN: Re: Questionnaire/deforestation BELIZE
Dear friends. As part of the validation process of my thesis I am
passing a short and simple questionnaire in each central America
country. I need to increase the participation of people from Belize. I
would like to request the participation of people from Belize on this list
to help me out either just participating or participating plus additional
contacts. Please, let me know a fax number where I can send you my
questionnaire. I will appreciate that.
September/9/97/ELAN: Desarrollo sostenido o sostenibilidad
Estimados amigos. Con el objeto de crear una discusion positiva y
constructiva aqui esta esta mensaje.
El concepto de "desarrollo sostenido" no es usado mas aca en
paises desarrollados debido a que la definicion delos terminos
"desarrollo"(crecimiento economico continuo) y "sostenido"
(un estado balanceado) llevan a una situacion contradictoria. Por eso se
usa el termino "Sostenibilidad" el cual refleja la incorporacion de
preocupacione economicas, sociales y ambientales en la toma de decisiones.
Hay muchos articulos y libros relacionado a esto. Durante mi proceso de
validacion de resultados en centro america note que el termino"desarrollo
sostenido" esta todavia de moda por alla y parece ser que la terminologia
central de todos los programas tanto de govierno como de NGOs estan
basados en el concepto "desarrollo sostenido". Mi pregunta es, se usa
"desarrollo sostenido" en ves de "sostenibilidad" en centro
america(en paises subdesarrollados) porque los profesionales
en centro america no lo han criticado o porque significa todo y nada a la
ves. Si el concepto de desarrollo sostenido de la comision de ambiente
y desarrollo sostenido(WCED/87) se usa, es desarrollo sostenido
sostenibilidad o es sostenibilidad desarrollo sostenido? Por ejemplo,
el desarrollo economico consistente con la ecologia puede ser sostenido
pero no sostenible o el desarrollo social consistente con la ecologia
puede ser sostenido por no sostenible. Comentarios son bien venidos.
Saludes a todos;
September/10/97/ELAN: Re: Desarrollo sostenido o sostenibilidad
Estimado Ricardo. Precisamente debido a que hay diferentes
posiciones ideologicas, semanticas, y de terminologia consistentes con
el concepto de "desarrollo sostenido" es que aca en paises
desarrollados(Ejemplo, Canada) ya no se usa. Lo anterior resalta el
alto grado de confusion que existe alrededor de el termino y al mismo
tiempo esa es la razon por la cual se ha abandonado practicamente ese
termino aca y se usa"sostenibilidad".
En mi opinion, es nuestra responsabilidad como academicos hacer un
analisis imparcial de las diferentes teorias consistentes con el concepto
de "desarrollo sostenido" para que asi las diferentes ideologias esten
directamente expuestas y aclarar la aparente confusion. Esto
es de primordial importancia ahorita que existe un proceso de
burocratizacion de la problematica ambiental a nivel de
universidades(Doctorados y maestrias) en todos los paises latino
americanos. A mismo tiempo esta claridad podria llevar a facilitar la
clasificacion de los diferentes programas de "desarrollo sostenido" que
estan siendo actualmente implementados a nivel de pais, region, y local.
Ninguno de los comentarios trato de responder mi pregunta: Es
desarrollo sostenido sostenibilidad o es sustenibilidad desarrollo
sostenido? No me extran~a porque yo creo que soy una de las pocas que
hace esa pregunta. Si acaso fuera posible enumerar las diferentes teorias
en forma tal que reflejaran la ideologia dominante y sus bases semanticas
y teoricas entonces esa confusion desaparceria y de ese modo se
identificarian las caracteristicas que separan esas idealogia de la
idelologia encrustada en el concepto de desarrallo sostenido de la
comision mundial de desarrollo sostenido(WCED/1987: OUR COMMON FUTURE), la
cual refleja la necesidad de incorporar los impactos sociales y
ecologicos para que el desarrollo economico sea sostenible.
Nuevamente, con el objeto de contribuir positivamente con este
debate voy a extender este tema "aparentemente ingenuo" de acuerdo
Ricardo y el cual considero que como tal todavia no ha sido expuesto y el
cual puede ayudar a explicar el porque el uso de el concepto de
"sostenibilidad" ayudaria a resaltar las diferentes ideologias
encrustadas en el concepto de "desarrollo sostenido" aparentemente usado
en paises subdesarrollados.
Primero voy a definir los terminos usados y luego voy a describir
las diferentes ideologias posibles y luego voy a relacionar este esquema o
modelo sencillo con los conceptos de "sostenibilidad fuerte y debil"
mencionadas por ricardo y con las diferentes teorias dominantes
al rededor de desarrollo sostenido. El analisis va a ser hecho
en el contexto de interaccion de systemas completos y parciales.
Terminologia a ser usada en este ejemplo
A= economia como ente activo
a= economia como ente pasivo
B= la sociedad como ente activo
b= la sociedad como ente pasivo
C= el ambiente como ente activo
c= el ambiente como ente pasivo
BC Bc bC bc
A ABC ABc AbC Abc
a aBC aBc abC abc
Anaysis de teorias posibles
1) teoria abc
Esta asume que los tres sistemas son pasivos y por lo tanto
independientes. La actividad de cada uno de ellos no afecta los
procesos que se llavan acobo en lo otros dos.
2) teoria Abc
Esta asume que la actividad economica es un ente activo y la
sociedad y el ambiente son un ente pasivo. La sociedad y el ambiente
tienen que adaptarse a los combios economicos y los niveles de actividad
economica no son afectados por cuestiones sociales y ambientales.
En pocas palabras esta es la teoria economica neoclasica pura
en dominacion hasta finales de los anos 80s: "the original neoclassical
3) teoria AbC
Esta asume que la economia y el ambiente son entes activos y que la
sociedad en un ente pasivo. La sociedad tiene que acomodarse a los
cambios economicos y ambientales pero el sistema economico debe de
reflejar las preocupaciones ambientales. Este es el famoso paradigma de
4) teoria abC
Esta asume que solamente el ambiente es activo y que la actividad
economica y social debe de acomodarse a los cambios ambientales: "Deep
5) teoria ABc.
Esta asume que tanto la economia como la sociedad son activos y
que solo el ambiente es pasivo. Asi el ambiente tiene que acomodarse a la
necidades economicas y sociales: "the socio-economic development
paradigma". Por el otro lado, los planes economicos tienen que reflejar
las preocupaciones sociales(basic needs).
6) teoria aBC
Esta asume que tanto la sociedad como el ambiente son activos y
que solo la economia es pasiva. Por lo tanto la economia tiene que
adaptarse a los combios sociales y ambientales: "the socio-ecological
development paradigm". Por el otro lado, los cambios sociales tienen que
ser compactibles con los cambios ambientales.
7) teoria aBc
Esta asume que solo la sociedad es un ente activo y que tanto la
economica como en ambiente son entes pasivos. Tanto la economia como el
ambiente tienen que adaptarse a las demandas sociales. "the socialist
society first paradigm"
8) teoria ABC
Esta asume que los tres sistemas son entes activos. Las
actividades economicas deben de reflejar las preocupaciones sociales y
ambientales. Las demandas sociales deben de reflejar las preocupaciones
economicas y ambientales. Los programas ambientales deben de reflejar las
preocupaciones economicas y sociales. "the sustainability paradigm".
1) las 8 teorias son consistentes con el concepto de "desarrollo
sostenido" y cada una refleja una ideologia diferente.
2) solamente la teoria numero 8(ABC) es consinte con el concepto de
desarrollo sostenible mas aceptado y que refleja la necesidad de
incorporar las preocupaciones economicas, sociales y ambientales en el
proceso de discusion, planificacion y ejecucion. Este es el concepto de
"sustainability" usado en paises desarrollados para evitar la
contradicciones de el concepto de "sustainable development".
3) solamente la teoria numero 8 es consistente con el concepto de
"sostenibilidad fuerte" ya que los tres sistemas son indispensables e
4) Todas los otras teorias son consistentes con el concepto de
"sostenibilidad debil ya que por lo menos uno de los tres sistemas puede
ser manipulado sin afectar a los otros sistemas.
5) si se usa el concepto "sostenabilidad" en ves de "desarrollo sostenido"
la situacion seria mas clara y las opciones existentes para hacercarse al
ideal de sostenibilidad serian bien claras. Por ejempo, si comparamos la
teoria AbC con la teoria ABC, esta claro que para que AbC sea "sostenible"
se tiene que incorporar la participacion social.
6) el sistema de teorias descrito facilitaria la clasificacion de todo los
programas de "desarrollo sostenido" que estan siendo implementados y
Repito, el unico objetivo aca es mencionar la necesidad de
aclarar la tematica relacionada con el concepto de desarrollo sostenido en
order de facilitar la comprension no solo technica si que tambien no
technica de la problematica economica, social y ambiental en centro
america(paises subdesarrollados). Sin objetivos claros no hay opciones
claras pero hay que reconocer que la existencia de objetivos confusos no
refleja necesariamente una "posicion irracional".
Saludes a todos y espero que todos aprendamos un poco positivo de
esto, especialmente en latino america. Todas las ideas basicas y la
estructura de analisis son el resultado de mi curiosidad y no han sido
Dear friends. Again with a positive goal I am going to extend the
"sustainabilidy discussion a little more by forwarding a message I sent to
the RESECON LIST. Nobody replied formally which indicates to me that
there is not much interest there about this. I hope I can create
some interest here.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 16:03:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: Toledo/Lucio Munoz <email@example.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list RESECON <RESECON@LSV.UKY.EDU>
In the past months I have been passing a short survey for validation
purposes in central america in order to determine local perceptions about
deforestation causality. From the dynamic of this process, the following
question came to my mind: Should central american countries(developing
countries) aim at reaching sustainable underdevelopment in their journey
toward sustainability first instead of aiming at sustainable development?
Is the route toward sustainability the same for both developed and
developing countries?. Comments are welcome.
Dear Benevolent. To see if more people get interested I will add the
following, again with a positive spirit. Replies can be either in English
On Thu, 11 Sep 1997, The Benevolent Being wrote:
> Interesting questions, although I would have to argue that there is
> nothing sustainable about underdevelopment. I think what we have to ask
> ourselves is what do we mean by development, sustainable and otherwise.
In my previous posting I highlighted that if we defined "sustainability"as
I defined it": sustainability = ABC system, then it is possible to
conceive the notion of "sustainable underdevelopment" and of "sustainable
development and the notion that without intervention(conquest) previously
sustainable underdeveloped systems(africa, centro america, latino
america...) would have evolved toward sustainable development systems,
what I call "the natural path to sustainability". At the time of
intervention(conquest), previously sustainable underdeveloped
systems(ABC) became unsustainable underdevelped systems. Hence, this
notion may allow for another alternative to the path to sustainability
currently being promoted: a one step move directly from unsustainable
underdevelopment to sustainable development. The alternative seems to
be, to go back to the natural path first: move from unsustainable
underdevelopment to sustainable underdevelopment and then later, move
from sustainable underdevelopment to sustainable development. A two
steps approach mean a more smooth approach in economic, social and in
environmental terms. According to this notion, the path to
sustainability for developed countries is a one step approach: make the
current unsustainable programs sustainable. We can add that developed
countries have the savings and do not have the social, economic and
environmental pressures that developing countries have to make a faster
> To the second part of your question, I would have to say that the
> so-called "developed" countries are in fact developing and do need to take
> a different route to sustainability. It has been argued that developed
> countries have to become less "developed" in order to become more
> sustainable. Whether or not that is the case depends again on your
> definition of development. If we believe that development is a process
> rather than a goal, it becomes clear that there is no such animal as a
> developed country and each country has to forge its own path to
This is related to the comment above. Yes, developed countries are
developing from current unsustainable programs to sustainable ones; which
does not affect their over all characteristic of being"developed" just as
the move from unsustainable to sustainable programs in developing
countries would not change their over all characteristic of
Your comments are welcome.
September/14/97/ELAN: CO2 Sequestration policy and unsustainable underdevelopment
Dear Friends, given that not much interest was created by me
previous postings, I will add my last one to close the cycle. Again, from
the positive side I bring the subject:
Another aspect that called my attention recently was the move of
Costa Rica in the direction of selling CO2 sequestration bonds. I have
also not seen much being said about the "potential negatives of such a
policy in developing countries", just the "potential positive aspects" are
highlighted". What would be the potential negative aspects of such a
policy in developing countries and what would be the potential benefits
for developed countries? Why the same project being carried out in Costa
rica was not carried out in the United States or Canada if it is for
demonstration purposes?. Would this CO2 policy be consistent with actual
sustainability efforts in those countries?
September/15/97/ELAN: Re: CO2 Sequestration policy and
Dear Corinne. You just got angry. As you mention, there are good
intentions behind this proposal for CO2 sequestration and there may be
many benefits which should be exploited, I can see that and I have read
that. However, as you mentioned, the potential for mis-understanting when
you do not know the full story are high. I stated in my porting that
up to know, I have only seen the "potential positives aspects of this
policy highlighted, not the potential negative consequences that may be
attached to it. Do you see any potential negative consequences? Are the
organizations in the USA holding areas for CO2 sequestration that you
mentioned selling Bonds too?. Your comments are welcome and hopefully are
On Sun, 14 Sep 1997 firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Just a "seat of the pants" reaction vis-a-vis potential problems with joint
> implementation projects like Costa Rica's carbon sequestration: the potential
> for misunderstanding is enormous. Put crudely, what we're talking about is
> preserving forests in LDCs to absorb carbon from industrialized countries'
> hydrocarbon use. (However, there are carbon sequestration projects in the U.S.
> Someone on the list should know details, or I can try to track down the info.)
> I can't help remembering how certain intellectuals in Cochabamba, Bolivia, as
> well as coca growers in the Chapare Valley, interpreted the "privatization" of
> the management of the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park (management was
> conceded to an NGO supported by U.S. conservation groups): they
> believed(sincerely) that it was part of a plot to eventually start oil
> drilling in the park. That they were mistaken was not the point. Nor was the
> point that the NGO might manage the park better than the government could.
> The problem was the perception of a privatization of "national interests."
> I think that, unless very carefully managed, JI may give the same impression
> that conservation is a fig leaf for protecting foreign economic interests.
> That doesn't mean I don't see great potential for JI, just that it could be a
> political minefield.
September/16/97/ELAN: Re: carbon sequestration/sustainability
Dear Bud. It can be said that there are two types of policies that
could be used to raise revenue or create incentives for environmental or
any other purpose: 1) traditional closed ended approaches, which are
subject to only local forces: income tax, environmental taxes, tax
write-offs or any other incentive and local agreements, local savings and
borrowing...; and 2) open ended approaches, which are subject to non-local
forces: international borrowing, international CO2 sequestration bonds,...
The trade offs of international borrowing for developing countries
are very well documented as well as its possible role on promoting
sustainability or unsustainability. The trade offs of promoting a
policy of CO2 sequestration are not very well documented. What can be
the impact of this policy on land tenure in less developed countries? What
can be the impact of this policy on cash crop production in the long-term?
It is known that when the profit margin is there for non-forest uses in
developing countries and there is not regulation, full forest conversion
to other uses is likely to happen. A lot is known about the economic,
social and environmental consequence of that outcome. On the other hand,
it must be expected that if the profit margin for forest uses in less
developed countries is created by policies like the CO2 sequestration
policy and there is no regulation, then full conversion of non-forested
land to forest uses is likely to happen. In conclusion, one side of the
same extreme coin is full forest land conversion to other uses, and the
other side of the coin is full non-forest land conversion to forest uses.
Both sides of that coin are not consistent with "sustainability"
according to the approached I described. Hence, answering my own
question, a policy of CO2 sequestration, given the right conditions may
lead to full conversion of non-forest land to forest uses as well as
increased concentration of land holdings in few hands. My new question
now is can we used the concept of sustainability as a tool to balance
Greetings to all.
On Tue, 16 Sep 1997, Bud Kenworthy wrote:
> A couple of observations. POSITIVE. I have heard it said or read
> somewhere that Costa Rica needs this income stream in order to continue
> financing reforestation through current programs of financial incentives
> (forestry bonds, tax write-offs, etc.). For some years now half the CR
> state's forestry budget has come from abroad. Now many big players are
> retiring from the scene (inc. USAID). So, a funding crisis looms, to which
> carbon bonds are one solution. NEGATIVE 1. A secondary bond market may be
> created where carbon bonds will be traded for reasons other than they were
> created for. Being no expert in high finance, I can't say more, but people
> in the know see danger in this. Possibly that the bonds could be driven
> into worthlessness by purely financial manipulations? NEGATIVE 2 is the
> impact on United States civil society. International trade in
> environmental ills can become a way for affluent societies to buy their way
> out of irresponsible habits. US autos have gotten heavier and less
> efficient in recent years -- at the same time that the Clinton
> administration says it wants to "do something" about global climate change.
> Hmmm. Educating the US public is easier when -- as with nicotine --
> ordinary citizens directly experience the tradeoffs. Carbon bonds may
> delay that experience. I don't see that as a problem etched in stone but
> one requiring strategizing. Finally, as a little "process" comment, Lucio,
> I didn't hear anger in Corinne's response, just appropriate wariness (un
> "ojo," come dicen los argentinos). Saludos, Bud
September/17/97/ELAN: Re: Carbon sequestration -
2nd reply to Lucio
On Wed, 17 Sep 1997, Bud Kenworthy wrote:
> Lucio, you posit two extremes neither of which is attractive or viable. On
> that I think we all agree.
.....My intention of going extreme is to hightlight the positive and
negative aspects that are well documented and the ones that are not, so
that I can bring my original point: the potencial negatives of a CO2
policy required a closer atention from the part of developing countries.
For example, the historical problem has been the conversion of forested
areas to non-forest areas when the profit margings from non-forest land
uses are there and regulation is not there or weak. Everybody knows
that this process is not viable, but is taking place even today due to
active market forces. The solutions to this unviable event relates to
apropriate land use planning, reforestation, clear property rights
allocations, green taxes, and so on. For a policy
like the CO2 policy to produce the opposite trend of land conversion(fron
non-forest uses to forest uses) you only need to make the profit margin
from forest uses higher than the profit margin from non-forest uses. This
is a process that also may not be viable, but it may happen. If it
happens, it will need a totally different treatment, do'nt you think so?.
Has somebody thought about what could be the impact of a CO2 sequestration
policy in all tropical countries on FREE TRADE?
>What happens if instead of discussing land as a
> homogeneous thing, we recognize its natural variations? In other words,
> can we soften the axiomatic logic by returning our gaze to the real world?
.....In the real world, do the forces estimulating the conversion of forest
land to non-forest uses in central america, not just costa rica, recognize
natural variations? I do not think so. Is it not reasonable to expect
that the forces estimulated by the a CO2 policy will not do so too? for
example, just as forest land best suitable for forest use and not
suitable for agriculture was converted into non-forest land, it can happen
that land already in agriculture and best suitable for agriculture may be
reforested, if the profit incentives are there. Remember my goal is not
to deny the potencial benefits of the CO2 policy, but to highlight
> For example, several researchers coincide in stating that the optimal
> use of Costa Rican territory is one-third forested. Obviously that's not
> any third but a collection of specific areas identified by GIS and other
......Regulation is needed to make sure that the conversion of forest land
to other uses do not surpase determined optimal levels(one third in the
case of costa rica). Moreover, regulation will be needed to make sure the
CO2 policy do no override the oposing policy and lead to more protection
that the one disirable(one third in the case of costa rica).
>Promoting reforestation or maintaining existing forests in
> THOSE areas is what I would hope carbon bonds would fund, not the
> conversion of suitable agricultural lands to forests.
.....Experience shows that good intentions are not enough, specially if
thy depend on market forces as the two situation under discussion do.
The addition of the CO2 policy changes the analysis and complicate more
these good intentions.
>As with "getting the prices right" (incorporating externalities in
>commodity prices, e.g.), wouldn't you agree that "sustainability"
>requires "getting land use right"?
.....Getting the price right(land use) right may mean getting the right
economic price(land use) or getting the right social price(land use) or
getting the right environmental price(land use) or gettig the
sustainability price(land use). If you look at the different theories I
posted before, getting for example the right economic price or the
right economic land use may maximize economic
benefits while having no impact on or worsening social and environmental
conditions. What is consitent with "sustainability" as I defined is
"getting the right combination of land uses" or "getting the right price"
consistent with economic, social and environmental concerns.
> Governments have the tools for doing this.
.....I am affraid this may not be true. Governments may
have the tools to determine "the right economic land use or price", but
not the "right social price or right social land use and not the right
environmental price or right environmental land use". For example,
the policies being implemented in the region to increased the rentability
of agricultural and livestock production seem not to reflect the "the
right price or land use" consideration that you mentioned.
How will the CO2 sequestration policy affects this "right price
> The outside-inside funding issue also may have an "in between" option:
> outside funding with inside control.
.....This is called "External Debt", you have the control to spend(you are
free to spend) it in ways already specified in the borrowing contract.
You either have your own money, and the freedomn that goes with it or you
borrow money with the attachments that it has. If there is any major
intenational borrowing or financing approach "in between", which allows
you to borrow money to do what you want and change your mind as many times
as you want, I would like to know. Selling CO2 bonds as the external debt
is also "borrowing", but the attachement may be different and perhaps
>The Costa Rican government has written its own forestry laws; it needs
>outside resources (it claims) to implement those laws. While
>decision-making and funding never can be fully separated, endowments
>offer one potential mechanism for maximizing
> separation. Costa Rica has experimented with endowments for environmental
> purposes, with what success I can't say. If any elanero has information to
> share on that, I'd love to hear it.
> Sorry to keep referencing Costa Rica, by no means a typical Latin
> American nation, but that's my only means of gounding my comments in
> reality. Thanks, Bud
-----The potencial benefits of using the CO2 policy to raise funds for
enviromental protection should be considered, and can not be denied.
However, this consideration should be taken based on a careful analysis of
the potencial negatives. How can this policy be used so that the economy,
society and the environment benefit at the same time so it is consistent
with sustainability? That is to be sorted out.
Dear Bud, thanks for your comments;
Since there is not much participation, I will leave it here and
let's look for a more interesting topic.
September/18/97/ELAN: Re: Carbon sequestration -
2nd reply to Lucio
What is this? Who are you? Your posting has nothing to do with my
posting? Did you write what is below at random or are you answering even
without reading my postings?If you read my postings, what is below shows
ignorance or lack of respect for positive and constructive thinking in
On Thu, 18 Sep 1997 an Eleaner wrote:
> Save forests everywhere. Cut demand for wood. Legalize hemp. Cut subsidies
> for loggers (not the least of which are free roads). Cut taxes on wages,
> putting at a disadvantage the labor-intensive enterprises such as recycling,
> reforesting, de-construction, etc. It's the capital-intensive ones (e.g.,
> clear-cutting) that get the tax breaks.
September/18/97/ELAN: Re: CO2 Sequestration policy and
Hello. I want to apologize to you. If we had started from here things
would had been easier. I will send you copy of the original posting made
related to the CO2 bonds in Costa Rica.
On Thu, 18 Sep 1997 ---The Eleaner wrote:
> confused or possibly just ignorant
September/18/97/ELAN: Re: Open minds please!
Estimado W….. Yo no tengo problemas con alguien exprese su punto
de vista dentro de el contexto de discusion. Eso es parte de la dinamica
de "sustenibilidad". No crees que ese punto de vista fue enviado fuera de
contexto de mi discusion?. O crees que se relaciona con las politicas
necesarias para contrarestar los consecuencias potenciales negativas
relacionadas con la politica de CO2 en discusion? O cual es la coneccion
que usted mira?. Es geominist un nombre o organizacion o nada?Parece que
usted sabe pero yo no se. Mis disculpas por esta reaccion. Ahora me
voy a calmar.
On Thu, 18 Sep 1997, JC W. wrote:
> Estimado Lucio, yo no creo que Geonimist quiso ofenderte sino simplemente
> aportar si punto de vista, el cual, dicho sea de paso, a mi me parece muy
> On Thu, 18 Sep 1997, Toledo/Lucio Munoz wrote:
> > What is this? Who are you? Your posting has nothing to do with my
> > posting? Did you write what is below at random or are you answering even
> > without reading my postings?If you read my postings, what is below shows
> > ignorance or lack of respect for positive and constructive thinking in
> > this list.
> > > Save forests everywhere. Cut demand for wood. Legalize hemp. Cut subsidies
> > > for loggers (not the least of which are free roads). Cut taxes on wages,
> > > putting at a disadvantage the labor-intensive enterprises such as
> > > recycling, reforesting, de-construction, etc. It's the capital-intensive
> > > ones (e.g.,clear-cutting) that get the tax breaks.
September/19/97/ELAN: Environmentally based market incentives
Dear friends. The basic point I wanted to highlight with my posting
related to the C02 policy is that if it is actually and fully used then
the "whole traditional development model" changes because then we would
have not just economic based market incentives but also environmentally
based market incentives. In this scenario, the policy recommendations
that Jeff mentioned before may not be appropriate because "the development
model" has changed. However, this is usually a common aspect(problem) of
policy since for example most people agree that "sustainability" requires
a system approach, but it is subject to a non-system treatment in
practice. Now, assuming that the new model prevails for a while, can this
system be sustainable without regulation?. Yes, no, maybe, and why?.
Your comments are welcome.
Have a nice weekend!
September/19/97/ELAN:Original posting about CO2 bond policy
Dear friends, as requested by Elaine Espino, Jeff and others, here is a
copy of the original article about the CO2 bond policy in Costa Rica.
It was the reading of this article which led me to develop all those ideas
I decided to share with you. I am interested in sharing, not just ideas,
but the creation of ideas with people who are concerned with the
sustainability of the future in developing countries and particularly in
central america. Remenber, ignorance when information is incomple is
justified, but under complete or full information is not. Now,
pretending to be ignorant to make a point is another thing. Hope we
leave this behind and you bring your own ideas to the discusion after you
read the article.
Greetings to all.
........FORWARDED MESSAGE FOR DISCUSION PURPOSES/NO PROFIT/NO PERMISSION
FROM THE ORIGINAL SENDER WAS REQUESTED AND I HOPE THIS IS APPROPRIATE.
Date sent: Tue, 20 May 1997 07:08:33 -0600
Send reply to: Thomas McKenzie <mckenzie@SOL.RACSA.CO.CR>
From: Thomas McKenzie <mckenzie@SOL.RACSA.CO.CR>
Subject: Money in CO2 To:
Multiple recipients of list RESECON <RESECON@LSV.UKY.EDU>
This was published today in the La Nacion newspaper in Costa
Rica. I hope you find it interesting. I've translated only
part of the one full page article: but I believe you could
see their www.nacion.co.cr homepage for more details.
TO SELL THE INVISIBLE
The following describes an ecological business which Costa
Rica is trying to promote. THE SITUATION TODAY Nation A: has
much industry and automobiles which contaminate the air
Nation B: generates little contamination and has much
forests which clean the air The country A doesn't par
anything to country B for the servies it provides in
purifying the air. That is to say, country B has a positive
externality, as it is called in economics circles (a benefit
for which i does not receive any income). THE NEW BUSINESS
Land Owner -- if you have forests and promise to conserve
it, the State will pay you US$50 per hectare each year for 5
years. If you have a forest under explitation, you can
receive $44 per hectare for 5 years. If you reforest your
land, the State will pay $5 per hectare for 15 years,
payable during the first 5 years. When the trees are
harvested at maturity, the landowner is free to sell without
restrictions. The State -- makes payments to the landowner.
The State then calculates its CTO (Greenhous Gas Emissions
Mitigation Certificate) based on: each cubic meter of
standing wood absorbs on-quarter of a ton of Carbon.
Therefore, for every four cubic meters of timber, it puts a
minimum price of US$10.00. Theses certificates issued by
the State guatantee that there is standing trees sucking up
Carbon, which the State then tries to sell. The amount of
certificates to sell is only limited by the enrolled
inventories of standing timber. The Commercializer -- Centre
Financial Products Limited is the first company that has
bought the first emission of CTO's. They will place these
certificates on the Chigago Stock Exchange. However, anyone
could buy the sertificates if they wished to. Contaminating
Companies -- in the stock exchange, the companies which are
contaminating can also buy CTO's: and in this way they
partially pay society for the contamination which they
generate. They too can resell their acquired certificates.
Conservation goups could also participate in this new form of
business. >> Source: based on La Nacion's interviews with
Franz Tattenbach Capra, coordinator of the Ofincina
Costarricese de Implementacion Conjunto -- Join
Further notes in the article show that Centre Financial
Products bought 1,000 tons; the government of Norway bought
100,000 tons. Hopefully, Costa Rica will promote some
15,000,000 tons of CTO's for their special Trust Fund.
September/23/97/ELAN: Sustainability and concentration
Dear friends, to finish up my participation in this "discussion" I would
like to call to the attention to the process of bureocratization of
the environmental knowledge that is taking place in lain
America at the university level(Environmentally/sustainability
based Ph.D and MS programs aiming at "sustainable development") as shown
in the different "Environmental Training Newsletters", ETN/UNEP.
Given the confusion related to using the concept of sustainable
development as I highlighted and on the apparent need to "think globally"
and "act locally" when dealing with sustainability this high speed process
of concentration of knowledge that is taking place in Latin o America at
the university level make back fire. When looking at the objectives of
university programs in different Latino American countries I noted
different views of sustainability within the same program in a country and
between similar programs between countries. This may lead to problems of
comparability between "sustainable development programs in the same
country and in different countries because each program reflects different
views encrusted within the same concept as I have shown. I hope we all
learned some from my comments, especially in Latino America/Centro
Greetings to all;
September/23/97/ELAN: Re: Sustainability and concentration
Dear Carlos. I totally agree in what you said below with respect to
the "hidden" limitations to sustainability. The framework as proposed
assumed political certainty. However, if political uncertainty is added,
the analysis becomes trickier, but generally, it not just still hold, but
also it would justify more the need to clarify "what type of sustainable
developmet" we are endorsing. I also agree that "homogenization of
knowledge" may be a bigger threat to "sustainability" than the
beaurocratization of knowledge, but rememember that the homogenization and
beaurocratization of environmental knowledge in latino america may not be
separated events. In fact, the western way of thinking(scientific) is
being exported to latino american universities, since it makes economic
sense. Why to bring students and professionals from developing countries
to developed countries if we can teach them there? The irony of all this
tranfer of knoledge is that it help us to understand and think "globally",
but make us more unattached to the local context and to thinking
"locally". Carlos thank you for your comment.
On Tue, 23 Sep 1997, Carlos ---wrote:
> Dear Lucio: I have been following closely the discussion about
> "sustainable" development and I believe that the problems with
> sustainability are related to the lack of challenge of the political and
> economic model that are the causes of "unsustainability"
> I mean, it does not matter that we have several definitions about
> "sustainability" but to what extent these so called sustainability
> strategies are proposing a new paradigm that will define a new vision of
> society and our definiton as living creatures spiritually, bilogically,
> connected to all other living creatures. Furthermore, I believe that we
> need to understand that there are going to be differetn strategies that
> are going to be used to achieve sustainability( as diverse as nature is)
> but there is going a main linkage: this sustainability will transform the
> whole concept of humanity and our relatinship with nature.
> For me, more disturbing than the " burecraterizzation of knowledge in the
> university is the fact that an homogenization of knowledge is happening.
September/24/97/ELAN: Re: Earth Network Website
Dear Carlos and Jeff. The market tool of subsidization seems to
be flawed because "the current development model" has only economic based
market incentives, which when susbsidised, increased the speed of resource
conversion. If the market had, at least two types of market incentives:
economic based and environmentally based the implication of the
subsidization mechanism would change. Just imagine for a second what
would happen if this new model existed, and the subsidies for
environmentally based market incentives were placed highter than those
for the economic based market incentives(example, due to political wish).
In this scenario is reasonable to expect that environmental quality will
truely improve? What about per capita social wellbeing, it should be
expected to improve or to worsen?. Hence, based on the framework I
presented, if the only active element of the system is the economy,
whether you have subsidies or not, it does not matter to "sustainability",
but it matters to "sustainable development" because without subsidies
it would be harder to claim that a model is "sustainable".
Your comments are welcome.
On Wed, 24 Sep 1997 Geonomist@aol.com wrote:
> Carlos S. F. T.,
> Jeff S.
> Your report shows four subsidies - agriculture, water, transportation, and
> energy - being bad. What subsidies, if any, are good? Since all distort price
> and invite corruption, maybe the system itself of subsidization is flawed.
> With the economic values that society generates, perhaps we should collect
> and share them on a per capita basis - a broader, fuller version of the
> Alaska oil dividend. It'd empower people at the grassroots level to make
> economic choices. Could that be a model for sustainability?
September/24/97/ELAN: Re: Sustainability and concentration
Dear Benevolent. The heart of my posting have been to highlight that:
1) we need to be critical as you mentioned below about the development
"remedies" being given to latino american/central american countries;
2) that just being critical is not enough, we need to developed
alternative to what we criticise; and 3) confrontation does not lead to
"sustainability", but constructive discourse may.
I hope I did not fail in trying to call attention to the above.
I will retreat from this topic for a while.
On Tue, 23 Sep 1997, The Benevolent Being wrote:
> Here! Here!
> I agree whole-heartedly with Carlos. I have only been following this
> discussion peripherally, but it seems to me that discussions of
> sustainability need to be far more critical of political and economic
> systems that have proven themselves unsustainable. I firmly believe that
> we cannot separate the ends from the means. If we want to build more
> sustainable societies, we cannot use the tools and models of unsustainable
September/25/97/ELAN: Re: Earth Network Website
Dear Jeff. I would like to ask you constructively two questions. Is
it not reasonable to expect that in the market where there are only economic
based incentives economic rights(previleges) will prevail? Have all the
environmental and social regulations enacted up to today to make for
"sustainable development" change the actual behavior of economic based
market forces?. It seems that a very basic implication of the model I
wrote( D = MA + mA + mB + mC ) has not been understood: Unless we
introduced environmentally based and socially based market incentives,
FREE TRADE WILL CONTINUE TO BE THE KING OF THE MARKET. You can see in
this model that more economic, social and environemtnal regulation may not
change anything in the long term.
I read today the posting of Ron Mader about the Brazilian position
with respect to opposing the links between free trade talks and the
environment and jobs(society). The position seems weak because it seems
to lack of a strong theoretical base and do not seem to have a way to
conteract FREE TRADE pressures. I believe that if the simple framework I
have posted is understood in detail, it could help to provide a strong
theoretical base to that possition and options to conteract FREE TRADE
pressures. I believe that all developing countries are facing the same
Greetings to all;
On Thu, 25 Sep 1997 Geonomist@aol.com wrote:
> A market may seem to exploit because most governments defend property
> "rights" (actually, "privileges") at the expense of environmental rights. The
> latter may even be more basic. Lacking them, owners/producers may legally
> kill others by legally polluting them. Trying to win politically, so to guide
> subsidies greenly, may be less effective than merely cutting the pie
> equitably. Say you want to subsidize rural electrification, then next year it
> seems that a better way may have been solar ovens, pv panels, and dc
> appliances - or maybe not, the example does not matter. The point is, trying
> to make the decision centrally, rather then enabling (via an EarthShare or
> citizens dividend) rural people to make the choice individually, commits
> development to one direction that may not be the most sustainable.
September/25/97/ELAN:Re: HUMAN BEHAVIOR: the BOTTOM LINE
Dear W….., I would like you to take a closer look at what THE DP1
postulate of Dr. Emery says and then tell me if you believe that it is
consistent with the concept of "sustainability" and if you believe that
yes, please tell me why do you believe so.
I also would like to add that "irrationality" has its roots and
these "roots" are the real problem and these "roots" are the ones we have
been talking about. Moreover, "rationality" is a relative concept, what
is irrational for some is rational for others: cutting the trees is
irrational for environmentalist/ecologist, but it is not for others.
Therefore I do not think that everybody will agree with your statement.
On Thu, 25 Sep 1997, JC W… wrote:
> Dear all:
> Everyone would agree that the foundation of the environmental, social, and
> economic degradation is inappropriate human behavior (i.e., goal-seeking
> behavior at best) whereas the foundation for sustainability is
> ideal-seeking behavior (based on the four ideals of Homonomy, Nurturance,
> Humanity, and Beauty, [Emery, 1993]).
> Unfortunately, ideal-seeking behavior is only possible within a
> contextualistic environment (see Pepper's world hypotheses, 1943) and its
> dispersive nature and unlimited scope. Hence, the need to transform our
> "centralized mindset" (as Mitchel Resnick puts it) or bureaucratic,
> dependency-generating, DP1 structures into participative democratic
> (ideal-seeking) ones.
> Best regards,
September/25/97/ELAN: HUMAN BEHAVIOR: the BOTTOM LINE
Dear W…., I made a mistake: I typed PD1 instead of PD2. The
postulate PD2 is the one of Dr. Emary right?. Any way since you said that
DP1 is the antithesis of sustainability I deduced that according to you
PD2 is sustainability or consitent with sustainability. Again, in a
contructive way I will try to show you that what you think may not be
true: There are two more postulates that are missing from Dr. Emary
approach, including the one consistent with sustainability. To show that,
I will follow a similar simple approach as before to make a connection
between this discusion and my proposed framework of "sustainability":
The terminolgoy used will be similar for comparison purposes:
A= manager role is active
a= manager role is passive
B= participant role is active
b= participant role is passive
From the logical combination of these characteristics we can developed the
following four theories:
1) theory Ab
This theory assumes that the manager role is active and the
participant role is passive. The participant will do what the manager
wants him to do and what ever the participant think will not affect the
decision of the manager. Familiar, this is the DP1 postulate that Dr.
Emary is trying to change, which by the way is the typical common top-down
approach: YOU NEED A BOSS FOR THE SYSTEM TO WORK.
2) Theory aB
This theory assumes that the manager role is passive and that the
participant role is active. The manager will do what the participants
wants him to do and what ever the manager think will not affect the
decision-making process of the participant. The participants have control
of the "process". This is the DP2 postulate of Dr. Emary, where the feed
back from the manager(coordinator of the conference) is assumed not to
affect the "process"(due to "peripheral role"). This is a type of
Botton-up approach: YOU STILL NEED A COORDINATOR FOR THE SYSTEM TO WORK.
3) Theory ab
This is the postulate I call "DP0" since both the role of the
manager and the role of the participant are passive. They are in their
own world: What the manager does does not affect what the participant does
or what the participant does does not affect what the manager does.
4) Theory AB
This is the other postulate missing, which I call DP3, where both
the manager and the participant have an active role: the decisions taken
by the manager reflect the concerns of the participants and what ever the
participants do is consistent with the concerns of the manager. This is
TRUE sustainabilidy, don't you think so Dear W…?: YOU NEED THE
ACTIVE INTERACTION OF THE TWO ELEMENTS OF THE SYSTEM
1) the postulate DP2 is the antithesis of the postulate DP1, but not of
sustainability since the postulate DP2 assumes that one element of the
system is passive: the coordinator or manager.
2) the postulate DP3 is consistent with "sustainability" and therefore, it
is consistent with the framework I have proposed.
3) the postulates DP1 and DP2 are consistent with the concept of
As always comments are welcome;
Greetings to all;
On Thu, 25 Sep 1997, JC W. wrote:
> Dear Toledo, DP1 is just the antithesis of sustainability. Either I
> Failed to make myself clear or you didn't read it carefully.
> As for the "rationality" issue I agree with you. That's why it's so
> important to maintain a contextualistic perspective, thus avoiding the
> extreme positions of dogmatism and utter skepticism.
September/26/97/ELAN: Re: HUMAN BEHAVIOR: the BOTTOM LINE
Dear Glenn. You have no comments on the about 20 messages I sent?.
It is interesting, the most important question for Latino America should
be "how to take advantage of the sustainability discourse to get better
deals and hence this topic should have lead to "open constructive
discourse" in our latino american list, yet not many key players wanted to
take the heat. Any how, my excuses if I annoyed you and the majority of
On Fri, 26 Sep 1997, Glenn S. wrote:
> Dear Friends:
> Having received about 20 messages concerning your interesting discussion
> with W…., I wonder whether others in the conference would agree that
> perhaps you should now carry on the discussion between yourselves, rather
> than sharing it with the hundreds of people who receive the conference
September/26/97/ELAN: Re: HUMAN BEHAVIOR: the BOTTOM LINE
Estimado W…. There is not misunderstanding at all. For the
search conference to work, you need a search conference manager. In fact,
there are whole chapters on how "to manage the search conference" and tips
for would be search conference managers: Part three, Pp. 210-235. THE
SEARCH CONFERENCE/1996/Emery & Purser.
My goal was not to critize the work of Emery and Purser or their
assumptions since this approach seems to me better than the top-down
approach. My goal was to show you that the DP2 is the antithesis of DP1
and that DP2 is not consistent with sustainability, meaning "strong
sustainability". Now DP2 is consistent with "sustainable development",
and since I showed that sustainable development is consistent with "weak
sustainability" then it can be said that DP2 is consistent with weak
Remenber, the age of any theoretical framework or appraoch does
not guarantee their survival through time. This is part of the unending
process of making and unmaking approaches and theories. Please, review
the pages I listed and tell me if there is a need or not for a search
conference manager for the approach to work. Also tell me if it is
assumend or not that the impact of the presence of the manager of the
search conference on the behavior of the participant will be marginal
and minimize throught cummulated experience. "There is not
misunderstanding at all": you need a manager and you need to assume that
when the conference manager is "resolving" deadlocks he has no effect on
the behaviors of the elements of the deadlocks.
On Fri, 26 Sep 1997, JC W..wrote:
> Estimado Lucio:
> Again, there seems to be quite a bit of misunderstanding on your part.
> You seem to be confusing the Search Conference (SC) process with the
> different characteristics of DP1 and DP2 structures since you talk about
> a manager or "coordinator of the conference". In actuality, DP2
> structures are based on the assumption that humans CAN be purposeful &
> ideal-seeking in the RIGHT environment and thus do NOT need to have a
> manager/supervisor as DP1 structures which assume that people are
> incompetent. So, what you are calling DP3 may qualify as Dr. Emery's DP2
> (with the corrections below). There is no need for reinventing DP2.
> There are more than 50 years of applied research behind it.
> Unfortunately, this is fairly new (~5 years?) here in
> the US. I wonder why??? :)
> Kind regards,
> JC W…
September/26/97/ELAN: MicroEconomics and sustainability
Dear friends, just a few more thouthts. In the discussion was established
that "sustainability" and "sustainable development" are not the same
thing. Since existing microeconomic theory provides the
bases(economic incenvives and desincentives) that underline the
"sustainable development" paradigm, then is it possible to address
"sustainability" using the same microeconomic theory?
Your comments are welcome.
September/26/97/ELAN: Re: THE SEARCH CONFERENCE
Dear W…, it seems from the above that your clear cut answers
to my questions are that yes you need a conference manager and that yes it
is assumed that his presence has no "influence". Therefore I stick to my
comments since I do not think that the 1996 book is wrong.
On Fri, 26 Sep 1997, JC W.. wrote:
> The role of the SC & PDW manager is to control the time, process, and
> environment, NOT the content, for the content is up to the participants
> who will have to live with the consequences.
.....You are assuming that the presence of the SC & PDW manager does not
influence the behaviour of the participants. It may, specially when
helping "por ejemplo campesinos analfabetos" in less developed countries
who are weary and worry about the "Ingeniero/Maestro" trying to help them.
> ANSWER: Again, the SC manager's job is to manage the process NOT its
> content. In addition, conflicts are NOT resolved but RATIONALIZED! (big
....You are reafirming your assumption of "not influence"
September/26/97/ELAN: Re: MicroEconomics and sustainability
Dear W….. I know that there are some people that believe that yes
we can use the same theory and there is no need for readjustments and I
would like to know why they think so. There are also people that believe
that we can not use the same microeconomic theory and that we have to
reajust it to deal with sustainability and I would like to know why
they think so. I would like to know this two views and their merits from
others in the list.
Have a nice weekend;
On Fri, 26 Sep 1997, JC W…. wrote:
> On Fri, 26 Sep 1997, Toledo/Lucio Munoz wrote:
> > Since existing microeconomic theory provides the
> > bases(economic incenvives and desincentives) that underline the
> > "sustainable development" paradigm, then is it possible to address
> > "sustainability" using the same microeconomic theory?
> Estimado Lucio, the answer has to be a big NO. Unless of course we want to
> continue trying to fool ourselves for a little longer.
September/29/97/ELAN: Re: MicroEconomics and sustainability
Estimado Carlos. Me hubiera gustado contestarle este mensaje y extender
la discusion un poco mas pero se ma ha informado privadamente que "que
este topico es esoterico, trivial y parece que no es considerado apropiado
para esta lista". Por lo tanto, me conprometi a abandonarlo.
Mis mas sinceras disculpas;
On Mon, 29 Sep 1997, Carlos ….. wrote:
> Esimado Lucio:
> El problema es mas bien metodologico.
> Las herramientas teoricas de la microeconomia convencional se disennaron
> en su momento por los padres fundadares de la ortodoxia neoclasica , por
> ejemplo Walras, para explicara la formacion de los precios en bienes
> reproducibles, producibles, apropiables y, evidentmente, utiles.
> Es decir un precio adecuado, incita la reproduccion de un bien momentanea
> mente escazo si tiene las carcteristicas que anuncie arriba.
> Un precio muy alto no resucita los dinosaurios , para poner un ejemplo
> extremo. La reproduccion de la naturaleza y los activos naturales, tiene
> una logica distinta, de tipo natural, a la cual la ortodoxia economica no
> parece que quiera tener en cuenta.
> Si ademas, tomamos en cuenta ya otros activos de la naturaleza como la
> energia, la segunda ley de la termodinamica (la energia se degrada
> irrevocablemente en su uso) coloca a la ortodoxia en una situacion mas
> El texto clasico de Gerogescu La ley de la entrpia y el proceso economico,
> efectua una discusion creo que contundente contra la ortodoxia que
> prentende , mediante un precio adecuado, revertir los procesos que la
> caprichosa naturaleza, ha colocado como irreversibles, no circulares.
> Cordial saludo
> Posgrado en Ciencias Economicas
> Universidad Nacional de Colombia- MEDELLIN
September/29/97/ELAN: Re: Earth Network Website.
Dear John. This statement under the current development model is true,
specially if we assume that the polluter pay principle will continue
to be an ideal and therefore a moral issue. The literature shows
that the market, the way it is, has not been and is not the right place
for equity issues[social pollution(poverty); non-market social
services...], and environmental issues(environmental pollution, non-market
environmental servises...). This is the main reason why there is welfare
economics and positive economics. Does this means that the market can not
be made consistent with economic, social and environmental issues?
Comments are welcome.
On Mon, 29 Sep 1997, John wrote:
> It does seem that until the manufacture of wastes becomes more
> profitable than whatever the products are which create the wastes,
> there will never be sufficient economic incentive which would reduce
> waste -only moral: which is an ideal.
September/30/97/ELAN: Re: the discussion continues
Dear Glenn. I can not believe that you are saying that "human behavior"
is of little interest for "the environment in latino america list". In fact,
It may be possible that human behavior is the most "important explanatory
mechanism" of the apparent mismatched between theory and practice in
terms of the environmental/deforestation discourse in developing
countries. This seems to be the case in central america
according to my preliminary findings and according to the survey
of local and regional perceptions. Because "human behavior"
seems to be such an important factor in the "sustainable
development/sustainability discourse I decided to start the
"sustainability discussion". Basically, "human behavior" is the
one hidden in the concept of sustainable development and "human
behavior" is the one that the "sustainability framework" I
proposed is trying to uncover. Moreover, it can be shown that
"human behavior"(the economic man) may be behind our unsustainable
development and is keeping out other types of behavior(economic
based altruistic and social behavior, environmentally based
altruistic and social behavior....). Finally, it can be shown,
that human behavior has to be changed(by means of economic based,
environmentally based and socially based market incentives and
regulations) to achieve "sustainability". If human behavior is not
important as a discussion topic in order to create more sustainable ways
of living in latino america, please tell me which one it is and lets
explore it. My thesis seems to indicate that this topic is important,
however, this topic can be approached from different angles, if you
do not agree with mine. Let me know what is your angle and I will
On Tue, 30 Sep 1997, Glenn wrote:
> Dear Friends:
> I think that Elan should decide whether it is a bulletin board for esoteric
> interpersonal discussions, or whether it will at least attempt to focus
> discussions on more specific issues relating to environment in Latin
> The human behavior discussion is of little interest, I am sure, to most of
> the subscribers, and I would call on the conference administrator to try to
> channel this discussion between the two parties, rather than to all Elan
> If I am being out of order, then please remove my name from the list, as
> this is not what I expected when I signed up.
September/30/97/ELAN: Re: Changing perspectives
On Tue, 30 Sep 1997, Antonio wrote:
> To Lucio, "Geonomist", John, JCW and others:
> No one can have any illusions about the ethics of markets. Marketers,
> like polititians and lawyers, usually strive to do, at best, what is
> possible. At worst, they do what they can get away with.
Human beings have always followed ideals(theories or real persons)
in their attemp to get better. For example, god, the perfect market,
sustainability...Hence it is natural human behavior. However, when
talking about the market, we have to be careful when talking about
"marketers and polititians" because at least in "scientific theory" they
are not comparable: the marketers are assumed to be rational individuals
and the politians and dictators are considered irrational individuals(it
could be shown in my own framework too). Is anybody familiar with the
"Lapier Experiment"? He showed that "individuals do not do what they say
they will do and when they do, they appear to do what they said they would
not do". This is part of the "irrational man" that is lost when
rationality is assumed(this leaves only the marketers as rational men in
the market). Who may display riskier behavior when there are external
shocks in the market as you mentioned, the rational or the irrational
> If economies sought to do what was possible IN THE LONG TERM, if business
> quarters referred to centuries and not years, for example, there would be
> far less need for this discussion.
There would be not much need for this discussion if the economy
would have reflected economic, social and environtal concerns since the
beginning of the marketization of traditional production systems. That
way there would not be need for us to be here trying to figure out how to
efficiently patched the social and environmental holes left out by the
economic only based model.
>The only sound demand I believe companies can
> make about the draconian steps needed to safeguard our and possibly their
> future is that the new sustainable order apply equally to all.
This is true from the developed country point of view. However, what are
the options for developing countries for example in the face of free
trade talks? Do they have options?
Your comments are welcome.