Rediscovering Sustainability: Economics of the Finite Earth

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-01-16
  • Publisher: Routledge

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In Rediscovering Sustainability the authors help bridge the gap in understanding between scientists and the green movement on the one side and the prevailing view of many economists on the other. Greens worry about catastrophic climate change and a rapidly accelerating anthropocene mass extinction. Economists express reservations about spending substantial amounts of money on preventing environmental degradation. Aart and Wiebina Heesterman argue that there are inherent limitations and flaws in the analysis framework of standard economics which cause blind spots in its environmental economics sub-field. Simple lack of knowledge concerning available renewable energy technologies and the cost of some of them does not help in this respect. In this timely addition to the Gower Green Economics and Sustainable Growth Series, these limitations attaching to the neoclassical economics framework, which incidentally, are also relevant in other sub-fields of economics, are thoroughly examined. In particular, the authors explore the relationship between Keynesian aggregate economics and financial sustainability, as well as that between scale economies, locational economics and the understated cost of fuel for transport. The impact of economic theory on practice is dealt with from an applied perspective. For example, the authors describe how flawed economic theory and political compromise bear unhelpfully on an energy market constrained by emissions targets. Drawing on historical and current data this challenging book summarises the pathways resulting in the present predicament and maps out strategies to develop financial and economic systems leading to a sustainable world. The content is arranged in three distinct parts addressing in turn, 'stylised Market Equilibrium', 'the Real Market Economy', and 'Present Affluence Versus the Future'. Rediscovering Sustainability will be an invaluable aid to understanding topical issues for those teaching, studying, campaigning, making policy or involved with the science or the politics of environmental and sustainability issues. It is also a book for all those concerned with the application of economic theory in any context.

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