The price of wealth
The paper reviews the work of E. Altvater dealing with the challenges of the
environmental depletion to humankind survival. It shows the logic of its analytical structure,
built to demonstrate its central thesis: growing environmental problems are inherent to capitalism
development, leading to a sharp division between a small number of countries with
high levels of natural resources consumption and the others, poor ones, destined to play a
role as natural resources reserves for the former. The paper argues about the validity of the
hypothesis of this analytical model. It assumes as true only the first one, on the impossibility
to diffuse all over the world the Euro-American production and consumption patterns without
causing an environmental disaster. The other ones are viewed either as lacking empirical
evidence or more solid arguments.
JEL Classification: Q56; W452; Y30.
Keywords: Environmental economics sustainable development energetic transition solar energy