نه تنها جنگل های زیرزمینی: مصرف چوب و توسعه اقتصادی در بریتانیا (1850-1938)
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|14667||2012||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ecological Economics, Volume 77, May 2012, Pages 176–184
This paper analyzes wood consumption in Britain over the period 1850–1938. We calculate the apparent consumption of wood, taking into account both net imports of wood and the home harvest. We then develop some quantitative exercises that correlate wood consumption with GDP, with prices of wood and iron (as an alternative material to wood) and with other measures. The main conclusion is that, although wood had lost its economic centrality after the energy transition, wood consumption continued to grow in Britain both in absolute and relative terms, showing a positive elasticity to GDP superior to the unit. This result allows us to reach a more complete understanding of the socio-metabolic transition associated with the Industrial Revolution. Britain faced the increase in wood demand by relying almost entirely on imported wood, reinforcing the idea that the decoupling of economic growth from land use must to be handled with care, and should be observed not at the national level but on a global scale. Although British economic development was to a great extent focussed on what has been called the “subterranean forests” of coal, it simultaneously supported large tracts of surface foreign forest.
Although, as is evident, the forest is much more than a storehouse of timber, wood has been – and to a significant extent continues to be – the main economic product obtained from forests. Therefore, the evolution of wood use throughout history can provide interesting keys to a better understanding of the criteria and the specific ways in which forests have been exploited. As is well known, the economic uses of wood changed radically as industrialization spread throughout the western world. In Early Modern Europe, wood was a key element in the economy, since it was the main source of energy for daily life and for the operation of many industries. It was also the essential raw material in the manufacture of many products. As Warde (2006) has pointed out, wood can be considered, at that moment, as an “avenue to understanding much of the needs, tensions, conflicts and attitudes of the day”. Furthermore, according to Moore (2010a), the access to wood reserves was one of the key elements in explaining the success – and the failure – of European Empires at the dawn of the Capitalist Era.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
At the end of the 17th century, John Evelyn, one of the first Englishmen concerned with English forestry, advised his compatriots: “We had better be without gold than without timber”. It was a time when wood played a crucial role in energy supply, and when timber was also essential to maintain the “wooden walls” that English war ships were considered to be. Two hundred years later, things were very different. Wood had lost its importance as a source of power and most of the fleet was made of iron. On the other hand, exports coming from the English Industrial Revolution were providing Britain with enormous amounts of “gold”, part of which was used to obtain timber from across the globe. The age of wood was over, and the sources of power came from the subterranean forests represented by extensive coalfields. A new type of growth had begun and the economic role played by timber was beginning a process of change.