as done above and of making the preceding remarks is to establish a
context in which the important policy issues can be formalized explicitly.
Motes and Beam-motes
The conservation criterion, or at least, its more ordinary manifestation
as a sustainable yield criterion, is often criticized on the grounds that it
does not maximize the present value of the yield's benefits. This reasoning is surely wrong. It is no more appropriate to conclude that the sustainable yield criterion is invalid because it does not satisfy the present
value criterion than it is appropriate to conclude that the present value
criterion is invalid because it does not satisfy the sustainable yield
criterion. One cannot use one criterion to bludgeon another. They are
on the same logical level. The most one can say at this point is that the
two criteria conflict; they imply different states of the world.
One can judge a criterion, however, by its implications and by the
conditions under which it leads to desirable consequences. We have seen
that it is possible to view the natural resource sector much as a single
productive asset, even including "nonrenewable" virgin materials. No
criterion emerges as clearly superior to all others. But it is clear that
there is a world of difference between the statements, "The earth belongs
to the living" and "The earth belongs in usufruct to the living."
Harold J. Barnett and
Chandler Morse, Scarcity and Growth: The Economics
of Natural Resource Availability ( Baltimore, Md., Johns Hopkins University
Press for Resources for the Future, 1963) p. 72.
Morse, Scarcity and Growth, p. 50.
Morse, Scarcity and Growth, p. 96.
Gifford Pinchot, The Fight for Conservation ( New York, Doubleday, 1910)
cited in Barnett and
Morse, Scarcity and Growth, p. 76.
Morse, Scarcity and Growth, pp. 80-81.
Morse, Scarcity and Growth, p. 81.
Morse, Scarcity and Growth, p. 86, fn. 11.
Henry Clepper, Professional Forestry in the United States ( Baltimore, Md., Johns Hopkins University Press for Resources for the Future, 1971) pp. 135-136.
Neal Potter and
Francis T. Christy Jr., Trends in Natural Resource Commodities: Statistics of Prices, Output, Consumption, Foreign Trade, and Employment in the United States, 1870-1957 ( Baltimore, Md., Johns Hopkins University
Press for Resources for the Future, 1962).
Mancur Olson, Introduction" to "The No-Growth Society, symposium
issue of Daedalus, Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Fall 1973) pp. 8-9.
It is interesting to note a parallel shift in perspective in work done at Resources for the Future and its predecessor, the Paley Commission. During World
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Conservation and Economic Efficiency:An Approach to Materials Policy.
Contributors: Talbot Page - Author, African Diaspora Studies Institute - OrganizationName.
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Place of publication: Baltimore.
Publication year: 1977.
Page number: 188.
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