Economics and Ecology: United for a Sustainable World

1st Edition

Charles R. Beaton, Chris Maser

CRC Press
Published May 31, 2017
Reference - 191 Pages - 1 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138116450 - CAT# K35495
Series: Social Environmental Sustainability

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Summary

The earth, our home, is in crisis. There are two sides to this crisis—our global economy, and its effect on the ecology of our home planet. Despite conventional thinking that typical monetary and fiscal manipulations will put us back on the path of economic growth, the reality is not that simple. Meanwhile, the natural environment is sending unmistakable warnings. Glaciers are melting; oceans are becoming dangerously acidic; species and their ecological services are becoming extinct; and weather patterns are becoming increasingly severe and unpredictable each year. The stress on resource systems of all kinds threatens to shrink the carrying capacity of the planet, even as we call upon it for increased contributions to support a burgeoning human population.

Co-written by an ecologist and an economist, Economics and Ecology: United for a Sustainable World counsels the replacement of symptomatic thinking with a systemic worldview that treats the environment and the economy as an ecosystemic unit. The first part of the book establishes the methodological and biophysical principles needed to develop the concept of socioeconomic sustainability. The second part of the book examines the misuse of economics in the service of what increasingly appears to be a ruinous pursuit of material wealth and expansion. The third part offers advice on reconciling economics and ecology by proposing an economics in which the principles employed are aligned with the biophysical principles of ecology.

This timely volume puts forth a sustainable worldview based on systemic thinking, with the emphasis more on what and how people think than on what they do. A unique reference for professionals and laypersons alike, it can also serve as a supplementary classroom text for students of economics, ecology, biology, and environmental science.

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