Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intensity Of Human Environmental Impact May Lessen As Incomes Rise, Analysis Suggests

Date:
August 26, 2008
Source:
Rockefeller University
Summary:
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.

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.

Related Articles


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 are published this week in 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.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University. "Intensity Of Human Environmental Impact May Lessen As Incomes Rise, Analysis Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825110122.htm>.
Rockefeller University. (2008, August 26). Intensity Of Human Environmental Impact May Lessen As Incomes Rise, Analysis Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825110122.htm
Rockefeller University. "Intensity Of Human Environmental Impact May Lessen As Incomes Rise, Analysis Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825110122.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins