Ecology, Policy, and Politics: Human Well-Being and the Natural World

By John O'Neill | Go to book overview

4

THE CONSTITUENCY OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

A feature of successful computer chess programs is that they combine powerful methods for calculation with weak procedures for evaluating their outcomes. The same might be said of standard cost-benefit analysis: a sophisticated mathematical analysis is combined with crude measures of value. The unit of value is human preference satisfaction, measured by monetary units in actual or hypothetical markets. The object is to refine the monetary instruments of measurement so that all preferences are included, and to apply a principle for the aggregation of preferences thus measured. Public policy is to be based on the aggregation of preferences. In the next four chapters I argue that this approach to public policy fails to provide the basis for rational and ethically defensible environmental policies. The present chapter examines problems concerning the constituency of environmental policy—who counts in policy decisions. I argue that while cost-benefit analysis is able to incorporate the intrinsic value of nature and the preferences of future generations and non-human beings—criticism to the contrary being unfounded—it fails to give them proper weight. In the following chapters I argue that treatment of policy decisions purely as a process of preference aggregation is misconceived.


4.1 COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS: AN OUTLINE

Cost benefit analysis arrives at public policy through the aggregation of individual preferences. The strength of an individual’s preference for an object is expressed in terms of the amount she is willing to pay for that object at the margin, or alternatively, the amount she is willing to accept as compensation for its loss. 1

-44-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Ecology, Policy, and Politics: Human Well-Being and the Natural World
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 228

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.