Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development

Overview

"Daly is turning economics inside out by putting the earth and its diminishing natural resources at the center of the field . . . a kind of reverse Copernican revolution in economics." 
—Utne Reader

"Considered by most to be the dean of ecological economics, Herman E. Daly elegantly topples many shibboleths in Beyond Growth. Daly challenges the conventional notion that growth is always good, and he bucks environmentalist orthodoxy, arguing that the current focus ...

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Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development

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Overview

"Daly is turning economics inside out by putting the earth and its diminishing natural resources at the center of the field . . . a kind of reverse Copernican revolution in economics." 
—Utne Reader

"Considered by most to be the dean of ecological economics, Herman E. Daly elegantly topples many shibboleths in Beyond Growth. Daly challenges the conventional notion that growth is always good, and he bucks environmentalist orthodoxy, arguing that the current focus on 'sustainable development' is misguided and that the phrase itself has become meaningless."
—Mother Jones

"In Beyond Growth, . . . [Daly] derides the concept of 'sustainable growth' as an oxymoron. . . . Calling Mr. Daly 'an unsung hero,' Robert Goodland, the World Bank's top environmental adviser, says, 'He has been a voice crying in the wilderness.'" 
—G. Pascal Zachary, The Wall Street Journal

"A new book by that most far-seeing and heretical of economists, Herman Daly. For 25 years now, Daly has been thinking through a new economics that accounts for the wealth of nature, the value of community and the necessity for morality."
—Donella H. Meadows, Los Angeles Times

"For clarity of vision and ecological wisdom Herman Daly has no peer among contemporary economists. . . . Beyond Growth is essential reading."
—David W. Orr, Oberlin College

"There is no more basic ethical question than the one Herman Daly is asking." 
—Hal Kahn, The San Jose Mercury News

"Daly's critiques of economic orthodoxy . . . deliver a powerful and much-needed jolt to conventional thinking." —Karen Pennar, Business Week

Named one of a hundred "visionaries who could change your life" by the Utne Reader,Herman Daly is the recipient of many awards, including a Grawemeyer Award, the Heineken Prize for environmental science, and the "Alternative Nobel Prize," the Right Livelihood Award. He is professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs, and coauthor with John Cobb, Jr., of For the Common Good.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Daly is turning economics inside out by putting the earth and its diminishing natural resources at the center of the field . . . a kind of reverse Copernican revolution in economics. —Utne Reader

"Considered by most to be the dean of ecological economics, Herman E. Daly elegantly topples many shibboleths in Beyond Growth. Daly challenges the conventional notion that growth is always good, and he bucks environmentalist orthodoxy, arguing that the current focus on 'sustainable development' is misguided and that the phrase itself has become meaningless." —Mother Jones

"In Beyond Growth, . . . [Daly] derides the concept of 'sustainable growth' as an oxymoron. . . . Calling Mr. Daly 'an unsung hero,' Robert Goodland, the World Bank's top environmental adviser, says, 'He has been a voice crying in the wilderness.'" —G. Pascal Zachary, The Wall Street Journal

"A new book by that most far-seeing and heretical of economists, Herman Daly. For 25 years now, Daly has been thinking through a new economics that accounts for the wealth of nature, the value of community and the necessity for morality." —Donella H. Meadows, Los Angeles Times

"For clarity of vision and ecological wisdom Herman Daly has no peer among contemporary economists. . . . Beyond Growth is essential reading." —David W. Orr, Oberlin College

"There is no more basic ethical question than the one Herman Daly is asking." —Hal Kahn, The San Jose Mercury News

"Daly's critiques of economic orthodoxy . . . deliver a powerful and much-needed jolt to conventional thinking." —Karen Pennar, Business Week

Booknews
If you're beginning to feel that the phrase "sustainable development" might be going down the semantic doublespeak path where being fired from your job is now dubbed "occupationally challenged," then Daly is the economist for you. The innovative scholar and World Bank rabble rouser argues that the catchword of environmentalists and international financiers is being used by both to further their own ends. Sustainable development, as conceived by Daly, becomes a radical proposition of economy as part of the ecosystem, requiring that we give up an ideal of economic growth and reevaluate basic ideas about economic theory, poverty, trade, and population. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807047095
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 253
  • Sales rank: 790,792
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Named one of a hundred "visionaries who could change your life" by the Utne Reader, Herman Daly is the recipient of many awards, including a Grawemeyer Award, the Heineken Prize for environmental science, and the "Alternative Nobel Prize," the Right Livelihood Award. He is professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs, and coauthor with John Cobb, Jr., of For the Common Good.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Shape of Current Thought on Sustainable Development 1
Ch. 1 Moving to a Steady-State Economy 31
Ch. 2 Elements of Environmental Macroeconomics 45
Ch. 3 Consumption: Value Added, Physical Transformation, and Welfare 61
Ch. 4 Operationalizing Sustainable Development by Investing in Natural Capital 75
Ch. 5 Fostering Environmentally Sustainable Development: Four Parting Suggestions for the World Bank 88
Ch. 6 Toward a Measure of Sustainable Net National Product 99
Ch. 7 On Sustainable Development and National Accounts 103
Ch. 8 Carrying Capacity as a Tool of Development Policy: The Ecuadoran Amazon and the Paraguayan Chaco 121
Ch. 9 Marx and Malthus in Northeast Brazil: A Note on the World's Largest Class Difference in Fertility and Its Recent Trends 129
Ch. 10 Free Trade and Globalization vs. Environment and Community 145
Ch. 11 From Adjustment to Sustainable Development: The Obstacle of Free Trade 158
Ch. 12 The Economic Thought of Frederick Soddy 173
Ch. 13 On Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's Contributions to Economics: An Obituary Essay 191
Ch. 14 A Biblical Economic Principle and the Sustainable Economy 205
Ch. 15 Sustainable Development: From Religious Insight to Ethical Principle to Public Policy 216
Notes 225
References Cited in Text 241
Index 246
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  • Posted January 18, 2012

    Economic Arguments in favor of sustainability -- Highly Recommended

    Herman Daly's "Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development" is a valuable addition to the library of anyone who is concerned about the limits to growth imposed by resource scarcity and environmental degradation. Daly explains the basic fallacy of mainstream economics in treating resource depletion and environmental damage as 'externalities', i.e. features not included in the market economy.

    He makes numerous excellent points in his book:

    1. Chief among them is that the human economy exists within nature's ecosystem that is constrained by the second law of thermodynamics. The economic orthodoxy maintains that the human economy exists without any real restraints; while Daly insists that we must determine what the optimum size of the macro-economy is in the context of the earth's natural ecosystem of which the macro-economy is a part.

    2. Through resource depletion we are spending nature's capital yet our GDP accounting system treats resource depletion as income. Daly posits that GDP accounting is dead wrong because it does not account for resource depletion as spending from our capital account, and it does not account for the costs of pollution.

    3. Through the pollution that we generate, we are impairing the natural world's ability to absorb our impacts and maintain the ecosystem in which our economy is embedded.

    4. Sustainable growth is an oxymoron in the context of the thermodynamic constraints placed on the economy. Daly stresses that we may have sustainable development in the quality of the economic output increases while the quantity does not as it is limited by the carrying capacity of the earth.

    5. Population control is central to creating a sustainable economy. Also wealth very well will have to become less unequally redistributed, once we realize that we cannot create prosperity for all on the globe through unsustainable growth through a market based economy.

    6. Daly suggests that globalization has maybe gone too far, and that national autonomy should be stressed over globalization. His argument here does not have the compelling logic of his ones for other issues, however, it seems likely that a global order will not be able to compel the kind of changes of the economic system that he thinks are necessary and that nations will be better able to accomplish such changes.

    Overall, I found Daly's book to be a very thought provoking read that provides the economic arguments that support the green movement in the face of the economic orthodoxy of our globalized market driven economy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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