Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published in Cornhusker Economics, 07/31/2002. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


The title is borrowed in part from a section in the recent “Survey of the Global Environment” published in The Economist, an economically conservative magazine that also asks more broadly “How Many Planets?” will it take to support a world-wide economy like that in the U.S.A. (see Vaitheeswaran). The answer is: It would take 3-planet earths, which is perhaps the main reason the United Nations, with both private (e.g., the Ford Foundation) and public financial support, is sponsoring the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa this fall. According to the following website, upwards of 60,000 individuals will be attending, including “…Heads of State and Government, other government delegates and representatives from the Major Groups identified in Agenda 21 (the action plan agreed to at the Rio Earth Summit): women, local authorities, farmers, the science and technology community, business, youth, workers and indigenous people and NGOs.” Their activities during August 26 – September 4 bear watching, especially as it relates to climate change and the carbon question. ( qs_summit.htm1#summit2)