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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

The Quality of Life: What Quality? Whose Life?

Sir Crispin Tickell

Environmental Values 1(1992): 65-76. doi: 10.3197/096327192776680197

As a consequence of industrialization, we face unprecedented pressures on the carrying capacity of the earth. Desertification, pollution and global climate changes can only increase these pressures, and will cause vast increases in the number of refugees and widespread risks to human health. Increasing inequalities between rich and poor nations are potential causes of conflict. Since the industrial countries are mainly responsible for our economic problems, they must give a lead in global arrangements to alleviate them. A major change in our habitual patterns of thought is essential, in which we reassess how we perceive values, and how we measure wealth and well-being. This must be accompanied by governmental action: on population numbers and the refugee problem; on the efficient use of energy; on new methods of land use, and on regulation of damaging industrial activities. To act in these ways, governments must reorganize their domestic policies and increase international co-operation.

KEYWORDS: climate change, economic values, environmental policy

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