Economic Growth and Man’s Environment

  • Harry G. Johnson
Part of the Trade Policy Research Centre book series (TPRC)


Technology is sometimes man’s chief hope and at other times his main fear.1 A dramatic example is provided by the rapid change in attitude towards technology that has occurred since World War II. Initially, technology was regarded as the key to everything desirable in the way of human betterment, ranging from the achievement of unquestionable military supremacy by techniques involving no risk of loss of human life to the militarily dominant country, to the satisfaction of man’s needs for food and shelter without the necessity of back-breaking toil in the “less developed” countries. In the United Kingdom during the 1960s the promotion of technological improvement even became the distinguishing feature of socialism. Since then, however, social thinkers in the developed countries have become disillusioned with material improvement via technology as the key to the good life. They have become concerned about the effects of the application of technology in endangering, as they see it, the environment provided by nature for man’s use and enjoyment.2


Economic Growth Gross Domestic Product Swimming Pool Private Cost Economic Interdependence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    For the most part, this chapter is based on Johnson, Man and His Environment (London, Washington and Montreal: British North-American Committee, 1973 ).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Perhaps the best known expression of this point of view was the report for the Club of Rome, namely D. H. Meadows et al., The Limits of Growth ( New York: Potomac Associates, 1972 ).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    In this connection, see Dales, Pollution, Property and Prices (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    H. S. Gordon, “The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: the Fishery”, Journal of Political Economy, Chicago, April 1954, pp. 124–42;Google Scholar
  5. R. H. Coase, “The Problem of Social Cost”, Journal of Law and Economics, Chicago, October 1960, pp. 1–44.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    J. K. Galbraith, The Affluent Society ( London: Hamish Hamilton, 1959 ).Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    E. J. Mishan, The Costs of Economic Growth ( London: Staples Press, 1967 ).Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    For a discussion of the wider implications of the dramatic increase in crude oil prices in 1973, see W. M. Corden, “Implications of the Oil Price Rise”, Journal of World Trade Law, London, May–June 1973;Google Scholar
  9. Corden and Peter Oppenheimer, Basic Implications of the Rise in Oil Prices, Staff Paper no. 6 ( London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1974 ).Google Scholar
  10. Also see Jan Tnmlir, “Oil Payments and Oil Debts in the World Economy”, Lloyds Bank Review, London, July 1974.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Harry G. Johnson and the Trade Policy Research Centre 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry G. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations