Looking Back to Think Ahead

The problems of environmental damage and degradation of natural resources

have received increasing attention throughout the country in recent decades. In

the past, economists dealing with issues of growth and development have gen-

erally not paid adequate attention to the economic implications of

environmental pollution and the depletion and degradation of natural re-


Perhaps the first important piece of work in this field was the seminal

paper by Harold Hotelling in which he developed a framework for assessing the

economics of extraction and depletion of natural resources. Subsequently, sev-

eral other economists, most notably Kenneth Boulding and Nicholas

Georgescu-Roegen, have made major contributions in linking the issues of eco-

nomic growth and development with the complex set of their impacts on the

environment and natural resources, which have resulted from established mod-

els of industrialization and economic growth.

Introduction to the GREEN India 2047 Project

Development and lifestyles

Fifty years of development

Lifestyles and environmental quality: 1947-1997

Natural resources then and now

Water resources

Soil resources

Forest resources


Pollution: the degradation of natural resources

Air pollution

Water pollution

Solid wastes

The costs of degradation

The hidden costs of degradation