Valuing the Earth: Economics, Ecology, Ethics

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Herman E. Daly, Kenneth N. Townsend
MIT Press, Nov 24, 1992 - Science - 399 pages
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Valuing the Earth collects more than twenty classic and recent essays that broaden economic thinking by setting the economy in its proper ecological and ethical context. They vividly demonstrate that, contrary to current macroeconomic preoccupations, continued growth on a planet of finite resources cannot be physically or economically sustained and is morally undesirable.

Among the issues addressed are population growth, resource use, pollution, theology (east and west), energy, and economic growth. Their common theme is the notion, popular with classical economists from Malthus to Mill, that an economic stationary state is more healthful to life on earth than unlimited growth. A number of essays in the first edition have become classics and have been retained for this edition, which adds six new essays.

Contributors
Kenneth E. Boulding, John Cobb, Herman E. Daly, Anne H. Ehrlich, Paul R. Ehrlich, Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, Garrett Hardin, John P. Holdren, M. King Hubbert, C. S. Lewis, E. F. Schumacher, Gerald Alonzo Smith, T. H. Tietenberg, Kenneth N. Townsend

 

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Contents

Why Isnt Everyone as Scared as We Are?
55
Availability Entropy and the Laws of Thermodynamics
69
The Entropy Law and the Economic Problem
75
Selections from Energy and Economic Myths
89
Exponential Growth as a Transient Phenomenon in Human History
113
The Tragedy of the Commons
127
Second Thoughts on The Tragedy of the Commons
145
Ethics The Ultimate End and Value Constraints
153
The Abolition of Man
229
Economics Interaction of Ends and Means
243
Introduction
245
On Economics as a Life Science
249
Sustainable Growth An Impossibility Theorem
267
SteadyState Economies and the Command Economy
275
The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth
297
Spaceship Earth Revisited
311

Introduction
155
The Age of Plenty A Christian View
159
Buddhist Economics
173
The Purpose of Wealth A Historical Perspective
183
Ecology Ethics and Theology
211
Using Economic Incentives to Maintain Our Environment
315
The SteadyState Economy Toward a Political Economy of Biophysical Equilibrium and Moral Growth
325
Postscript Some Common Misunderstandings and Further Issues Concerning a SteadyState Economy
365
Index
383
Copyright

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Page 28 - Nor is there much satisfaction in contemplating the world with nothing left to the spontaneous activity of nature ; with every rood of land brought into cultivation which is capable of growing food for human beings ; every flowery waste or natural pasture ploughed up ; all quadrupeds or birds which are not domesticated for man's use exterminated as his rivals for food ; every hedgerow or superfluous tree rooted out, and scarcely a place left where a wild shrub or flower could grow without being eradicated...
Page 43 - No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, Half of it I burned in the fire, I also baked bread on its coals, I roasted flesh and have eaten; and shall I make the residue of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood? ^He feeds on ashes; a deluded mind has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?
Page 27 - I know not why it should be matter of congratulation that persons who are already richer than any one needs to be, should have doubled their means of consuming things which give little or no pleasure except as representative of wealth...

About the author (1992)

Herman E. Daly is Senior Economist at the World Bank.

Kenneth N. Townsend is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at Hampden-Sydney College.

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