Jon Lovett

Jon Lovett

Jon Lovett is Chair in Global Challenges in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds and works on institutional economics.
http://www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/people/j.lovett

Location United Kingdom

Activity

  • @yvonneforster Thank you! I'm glad you are enjoying the course. The course has been running for quite a few years now which I guess is why there are few learners. My students use it to help with their modules so they are in it somewhere, but are submitting their assignments today :)

  • This is an interesting podcast about diet and longevity:

    https://zoe.com/learn/podcast-longevity-according-to-blue-zones

    "The diets of people who make it to 100 are 90% whole food and plant-based. Although the specific plants might vary, people tend to eat what they grow in their gardens, and beans feature heavily.
    Beans are full of healthy plant...

  • Good summary - and of course policies and institutional arrangements can be put in place to reduce inequalities and favour justice (in the sense of John Rawls).

  • The interesting thing about the Pareto wealth distribution is that it appears to be consistent. However the EKC has been criticised and the patterns may not be as robust as originally proposed.

  • Very insightful comment, well done.

  • You're right - it's complex! Here's an example of a complex correlation with El Niño years that may interact with changes in human population, land use and migration:

    https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.1617218114

    "Here, we show clear evidence for a shift in the distribution of cholera incidence throughout Africa in El Niño years, likely mediated...

  • The lynx and snowshoe hare dynamics is an interesting case study as it has been shown that the predator-prey dynamics that were previously thought to explain the fluctuations are in fact too simplistic. This paper explains the complexity:

    https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.94.10.5147

    "The plant species in the hare diet appear compensatory to one...

  • You are right, many countries are now either adopting or looking seriously at legal rights for natural objects. Some of these laws have already been in place for many years. For example Bolivia has a 'Law of Mother Earth' enacted in 2011:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/apr/10/bolivia-enshrines-natural-worlds-rights

  • Good analysis, thank you. Yes, the 'legal rights for corporations' argument is one put forward as an example of non-human things being granted legal rights. Perhaps a better argument is to look at the countries and places where legal rights for e.g. rivers has already been granted to see how those cases are working.

    These cases are a few years old...

  • Welcome back Lee. Yes you're right, there is no doubt and the impact continues with increased fossil fuel extraction and burning, more forests cut down, more water polluted and more fishing of wild stocks to name but a few impacts.

  • Many thanks Mark and sorry you haven't had feedback. My students are in the course somewhere, but have extended access so might not be practising their assignments just yet. Hope you'll join us on the next course.

  • @MarkBretherton There are many good people doing some excellent work on apocalypse avoidance. Here's a nice example from Spain:

    https://commonland.com/landscapes/reversing-desertification-with-regenerative-practices/

    There are many others. Perhaps small in the big scale of the world, but they show what can be done in a practical financially viable...

  • I agree that humans living in harmony with nature is Utopian. But the principles of virtue ethics explored in the Rights and Values course are that we should aim for a goal (a Telos) even if we can't attain it. Decision making will be orientated towards the higher level goal as a matter of principle. Costa Rica is a good...

  • Good analysis. The reasons for the extraordinary migrations to urban areas are, as you say, many fold and complex. Many people moved to cities during the industrial revolution in England and some say that the Enclosure Acts were used to drive people off the land to provide factory and mining labour. Similarly, many dispossessed Irish people looked for labour...

  • Good example. It's interesting to think of libraries as common pool resources. If you are interested in solutions to conflict the skills exercise in the fifth course in this series on 'Scarcity and Conflict' is on conflict transformation. With so many stakeholders affected by this type of decisions, many of whom probably have no power or voice, its important...

  • Very good points. We looked at 'elite capture', power hierarchies and the control of institutions in the first course in this series 'Justice in Environmental Management' in case you hadn't seen it.

  • Good analysis, well done.

  • One of the key preconditions to Coasian Bargaining is the establishment of private property rights - which is required for free market transactions. It doesn't matter who owns what, as long as everything is owned. This runs into complex problems with public goods and common pool resources, as we discuss in the course on 'Hierarchy of Property Rights'.

  • Welcome to the course, I hope you find it interesting.

  • Welcome to the course Mark. The course is also supporting my teaching this term at the University of Leeds so my students are here too. This is the third of the Environmental Challenges courses we've been using this term and there are two more after this one in case you're interested in the others.

  • Welcome to this course on property rights! I'll be following the course as well so please put any questions into the Q&A step 2.11 in Week 2.

  • That's a very good summary and a nice critical analysis of some of the contradictions. There are many different discourses around nuclear power that range from the 'ban nuclear' to 'its the best option to provide base load for renewables that fluctuate'. Other arguments against (aside from the risks and waste disposal) are that civilian nuclear power is used...

  • Welcome!

  • Here is a recent news article that raises contrasting values about elephants with people being killed as conservationists move elephants to a new habitat in a protected wildlife park:

    "Four more people have died after an elephant translocation overseen by two wildlife organisations, including one that was headed by Prince Harry, in a protected area in...

  • I'm now over in the ‘Rights and Values in Ecosystem Services’ course so please join us there!

  • Welcome to the Rights and Values in Ecosystem Services Course. I will be following the 'comments' as we go through the course and will try my best to keep up with responding to comments. There are a lot of steps in the course so if you have any specific questions you'd like answering then please put them in Step 2.11 Q&A where I can find them. Thank you!

  • Very good analysis. Readjusting the distribution of land rights to correct historical discrimination is difficult. The same is true in many other countries. For example countries as different as South Africa and Scotland have very unequal patterns of land ownership and redistribution of land is politically contentious.

  • You are welcome! I hope you find the course of interest.

  • Marketing of vapes to children has been attracting a lot of media attention recently. I was listening to a radio programme yesterday about child grooming and vapes. It certainly appears to be an institutional failure.

    "A BBC investigation has uncovered evidence that vapes are being used to groom children into sexual or criminal exploitation. Last week, the...

  • I don't know enough about law and the 'reasonable man' concept to respond in detail as to whether this creates discrimination. At first sight (and I am ignorant of case law details) I would assume that a reasonable person in law could be any gender, ethnicity, orientation etc. because of the principle of equality before the law (i.e. first principle of...

  • That's an interesting example. From the perspective of China the interpretation might be different - they would say that they are breaking the hegemony of western control and empowering developing countries in Africa by supporting creation of economic infrastructure. But as you point out, it is also to enhance trade with China which needs raw materials and...

  • That is a good example of inequality that had many consequences that are still being played out to this day. For example emigration of people from Ireland to the USA where people of Irish descent have strong political influence (the current president, Joe Biden, is of Irish descent) and political fractures in Northern Ireland. At the time it was certainly...

  • Yes, there is a lot of elite capture in United States politics. Following a series of Supreme Court decisions e.g. Citizens United v. FEC (2010) the amount of funding that could be allocated to campaigning politicians was uncapped. In 2020 $14 billion was spent on campaigning. This favours influence from super-rich elites.

  • Air BnB is a good example as it is an elite who are capturing the resource under a particular type of institutional arrangement that they've created. I had a quick look for literature and found this paper which seems nicely relevant:

    Elite capture and urban geography: Analyzing geographies of privilege

    Many cities have a two-tiered system for governing...

  • I wasn't sure if this was really elite capture or simply part of normal dynamics in a city. Cities change all the time and they can't be regarded as museums with everyone stuck in a diorama of a past age. So I did a quick lit search and found this article which I thought was quite interesting in this context:

    Challenging the financial capture of urban...

  • Elite capture by private agents of colonial powers is a good one and on a grand scale. It's happened again and again. The modern equivalent are transnational companies who can shift their capital around to places with the cheapest minerals, land and labour. This is often called 'free market economics', but its not because it goes against the basic principles...

  • The oil company example (and not just Nigeria) is a good example of elite capture and the consequences can be devastating with very long term consequences. The case of Persia/ Iran and BP is fascinating and the effects are still being played out today. In Nigeria there is great wealth and crushing poverty - and this is true of many countries rich in...

  • That's an interesting example. It could also be construed as market economics and is quite nuanced. A bit different from the luxury flats example you give: 'council houses' were sold off cheaply to the people who lived in them as a privatisation of the social housing sector as a way of creating a 'home owning' class. But now (I might be wrong on the numbers,...

  • Welcome to the Justice in Natural Resource Management Course. I will be following the 'comments' as we go through the course and will try my best to keep up with responding to comments. There are a lot of steps in the course so if you have any specific questions you'd like answering then please put them in Step 2.11 Q&A where I can find them. Thank you!

  • @paulgwynn A lot of countries are developing microgrids at a range of scales from local communities to larger scale operations. Here's an article about microgrids and mining in Indonesia for example:

    https://bv.com/perspectives/microgrids-bring-sustainable-solutions-mine-operators-indonesia

    It's not only clean energy, microgrids are also cheaper, more...

  • A great many thanks to all the course participants. The discussion forums during the past two weeks were lively and informative, I very much enjoyed reading them and replying. I wish everyone success in their future careers and I hope you find PyEPLAN a useful tool for designing microgrids.

  • Many thanks, I'll ask Lizzie to add that. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/what-is-the-united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change

  • Thank you! We hope that you are able to apply the information in the course and the design software in your own work.