ECONOMIC GROWTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE: Natural habitat loss
Economic growth is fostered by the development of new forms of economic activity, and new forms of economic activity bring forth new kinds of environmental change. For this view to be worth anything, the resulting environmental change must be of some significance. To judge whether environmental decline resulting from economic growth is a serious problem, we need a detailed understanding of its effects. Consequently, the goal of this and the following chapter is to document the significance and importance of the environmental changes and problems discussed in Chapter 3 and listed in Table 3.1. In this chapter, the problem of natural habitat loss will be addressed for the U.S. tallgrass prairie, the forests of the northern Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest old-growth forests, the U.K. countryside, riparian areas fragmented and altered through the construction of dams, and the Yellowstone area. In the next chapter, air and water pollution problems will be addressed as well as the problem of toxic agricultural chemicals.