Contributors: Ekardt, Felix, Prof. Dr. (BUND e.V.)
Scientific paper contribution 1: The Limits to Environmental Economics
Abstract: By examining the problem of climate change this paper develops a substantial critique of the background assumptions that not only the formulation of economic theories but, in parts, also that of sociological/ political theories base on. However, this approach does not “supplement” to efficiency considerations” which up to now dominate the practical debate; it rather supersedes them. It will be demonstrated that the supposed rationality behind the cost-benefit analysis used by economists in order to more or less calculate mathematically the ideal climate policy is only vaguely visible and often not honored as both incorrect and incomplete normative and descriptive assumptions are incorporated into the calculation of what is supposed to be “efficient” climate policy. Accordingly, keywords are: predated and too optimistic climate data; problematic use of prognosis uncertainty; missing injury factors of global warming such as wars over resources; the limits of growth are not taken into account; improper quantification of what cannot be quantified; incorrect discounting of future events; ethical and democratic deficiencies of “preference theory”.
Scientific paper contribution 2: Phosphorus Governance for Sustainability
Abstract: This article broaches the legal treatment of the non-substitutable nutrient phosphorus, which is indispensable for life. We not only address the case of a highly important resource problem that has hitherto received little attention in the political discourse, but also focus on the excessive and wasteful entry of phosphorus in the environment. It is the sum of multiple minor actions of phosphorus users, that can lead to ecologically and resource-related fatal consequences. We hence argue that it is not sufficient to increase efficiency in phosphorus uptake “per individual plant” if at the same time crop cultivation is expanded to previously unused areas, for instance for greater animal feed crop (due to a globally rising meat consumption) or bioenergy plant production. It will be impossible to achieve the necessary absolute phosphorus use reduction by that means. Technical solutions”, ”command and control” law and resource efficiency alone do not tend to solve resource problems or quantity problems if at the same time, (global) production increases or remains on a constant high level.