Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2020


For the longevity of our species as well as much of the biodiversity that remains, understanding the environmental impact of our decisions is paramount. We are amid the 6th mass extinction in the Earth’s history, and unlike the previous five this one’s on us. Having transgressed from the Holocene to the Anthropocene, we have found ourselves in an era that has lost many of the ecological features that has enabled our species to live such high standards of living, for wealth is dependent on that which nature provides. Over the past several decades, beginning around the 1970’s, we have been able to demonstrate that the planet has been warming at an alarmingly high rate, and it’s now well known that it’s due to a build-up of atmospheric carbon – primarily as the result of burning fossil fuels. To make matters worse, we are simultaneously destroying or incapacitating carbon sinks. Deforestation rates have somewhat slowed since their high in the 1990s (Ewers, 2006); however, according to the Earth Policy Institute in 2012, only about two-thirds of global forest cover remains compared to the pre-industrial era, and unfortunately for us it does not seem like deforestation follows an environmental Kuznets curve (EKC), a phenomenon that we will explore in more depth later (Koop & Toole, 1999)

Is Part Of

Student Papers in Local and Global Regional Economies