Resources, Environmental Degradation, and Inequality

Michael Redclift and Colin Sage

in Inequality, Globalization, and World Politics

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780198295662
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599521 | DOI:
 Resources, Environmental Degradation, and Inequality

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Identifies four critical dimensions of inequality that are relevant to any consideration of environment and resource degradation: first, the unequal distribution of historical responsibilities for environmental change, notably climate change; second, the fact that global changes have unequal impacts on different regions and peoples of the world; third, the degree to which inequalities of interest promote different environmentalist agendas; fourth, the extent to which distributive problems lie at the heart of the failure to undertake effective and concerted action of the type envisaged at 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Begins by exploring the way in which environmental problems are constructed, both through structural processes, such as trade and technology transfer, and through attachment to cultural ‘models’ of development, disseminated on television screens and illustrated by new patterns of consumption. This social construction of environmental problems forms the backcloth against which the chapter analyses global inequality and the effects of economic globalization on the environment.

Keywords: economic development; environmental change; inequality; resource degradation

Chapter.  9772 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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