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By R. A. Carr-Hill;John Lintott;Roy A. Carr-Hill

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Globally, they suggest that we have already exceeded ecological limits: the estimated ecological footprint of the developed world by itself exceeds the global supply of ecologically productive land (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996, pp. 85, 91, 149). Estimating current ecological impacts is not enough, however, since much of the concern is with the future. Duchin and Lange (1994) have attempted to test the Brundtland Commission’s (WCED, 1987) hope that economic growth and environmental improvement can be combined, using a world input-output model backed up by case studies of the sectors which are responsible for the bulk of energy use, materials use and pollution.

This is partly because, since the Second World War, providing full employment 37 38 Consumption, Jobs and the Environment: a Fourth Way? or near full employment has been an important part of most government policies3 and this is also true in many other OECD countries (see Kalisch, 1998). It is also partly because, in nearly all OECD countries, the social insurance/security systems were integrated with occupational status so that having a job – or being a partner of someone with a job – gave entitlements.

Ratio (1) includes the various ways in which more or less welfare can be obtained from a given quantity of consumer goods and services. It includes the effect on welfare of both the mix of goods (‘allocation’) and who gets to own or use them (‘distribution’). Ratio (2) includes all the ways that goods can be made to last longer, and thus require less resource use for its maintenance. A good can be made to last; failing this it can be repaired easily and with a minimum of new parts; and failing that its components can be recovered and reused.

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