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Uncertainty and the Environment: Implications for Decision Making and Environmental Policy

Series: New Horizons in Environmental Economics

By: Richard A Young

249 pages, Figs, tabs

Edward Elgar

Hardback | Nov 2001 | #120119 | ISBN: 1840646268
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NHBS Price: £75.00 $95/€88 approx

About this book

This thought-provoking work is concerned with the need to deal adequately with uncertainty in environmental decision making. The author advances a critique of the use of traditional models and then develops an alternative model of decision making under uncertainty, based on the work of George Shackle. Richard Young forwards a critique of the conventional expected utility approach and, using an alternative conceptualization of environmental uncertainty, contends that there are a number of different modes of uncertainty and that many environmental decisions are characterized by what is termed "hard uncertainty". The presence of hard uncertainty radically alters the way in which environmental uncertainty can be dealt with at both an epistemological and a practical level and poses a number of problems for traditional decision making frameworks based on probability. The author goes on to apply the model to a case study of the Belize Southern Highway - the first major application of Shackle's theory in the context of environmental economics. Detailing and explaining practical and theoretical approaches, this book should interest and inform academics in the fields of environmental economics and environmental science, geography, economics and social science, as well as decision makers in governmental and non-governmental agencies.


Contents

Introduction - dealing with uncertainty in environmental decision making; the decision-making context; environmental uncertainty; uncertainty and decision making; the Shackle model; case study - the Belize Southern Highway; methodology; results of the application of the Shackle model; discussion - a framework for the evaluation of hard uncertainty in environmental decision making; conclusions.

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