You Can't Eat GNP
Monitor Daily. Photos of the Week. June 8, By Brad Knickerbocker bradknick. Share this article Copy link Link copied.
If we understand that all our wealth ultimately emanates from the natural world—the soil, the air, the water, the forests and the oceans, then it becomes apparent that our current system of economics is not serving the environment very well. This view of how the world works seems to suggest that if the crops fail, the people could eat the 97 percent of the GNP that remains. He states that the problem with moral arguments is that you either accept them or reject them.
Although it is apparent that he has bought in to the concept of saving the environment as a moral argument, the author also proposes that we begin to make our decisions on rational criteria that are based on the true value of the environment. However, I wish he would have gone one step further and talked about the need for and application of measurement techniques for the entire ecological debate.
The need persists for the formulation of metrics, a set of standard measurements that are understood by everyone so that the natural world comes to be properly valued.
- Document - You Can't Eat GNP: Economics As If Ecology Mattered & The Nature of Economies
We generally discount the future value of nature so that it is never worth more than at the present moment. When the author goes in search of sustainability he discusses the differences between the cowboy economy and the spaceship economy. The cowboy economy describes our country when there were very few people and a lot of open space. It did not matter how many resources were used or how much trash was created because the ecological space was much larger than the economic activities and it could absorb any localized detrimental effects.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the spaceship economy understands that economic activity has a critical impact on our natural limited biological life support system. The issues of sustainability and equality have become inextricably linked.
Daly, Herman and K. Townsend eds. Valuing the Earth: Economics, Ecology, Ethics.
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Daly, Herman ed. Ecological Economics and the Ecology of Economics. Northampton: Edward Elgar, Davidson, E. Cambridge, MA: Perseus, Macower, Joel and D.
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- Environmental Economics - Best books online;
- The Measurement of Economic, Social and Environmental Performance of Countries: A Novel Approach.
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Los Angeles: University of California Press, Durning, Alan and Y. Tax Shift. Seattle: Northwest Environment Watch, Nadeau, Robert L.
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New York: Columbia University Press, Sustainable Business Practices. Bakan, J. Elkington, John. The Chrysalis Economy. Oxford: Capstone Publishing Inc. Hawken, Paul, A. Lovins and L. Natural Capitalism. New York: Little, Brown and Co. Hawken, Paul.