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Environment versus Development? Reflections on an LSE Lecture

I'm currently pursuing an MSc in Environment and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This is a reflection I wrote recently, cross-posted at the LSE Blog
As a student of Environment and Development, I often leave my lectures feeling slightly unsettled. It is difficult to confront the complexities of the environment-development nexus without a sense of inevitable doom – the future of our existence on the planet seems bleaker by the day as more people adopt resource-intensive lifestyles fueled by the extractive economy.
The culprit of this catastrophe is described through a range of catchphrases: institutional failures, climate change, unchecked capitalism, resource scarcity, socio-economic inequality … Where do we begin to address them? How do we disentangle and understand these issues in the first place? Dr. Barbara Harriss-White’s talk at the LSE last week did just this.

Dr. Harriss-White looked at the bigger picture to explain how we got to where w…