Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making / Edition 1

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Overview

In this important new work, Howard T. Odum, widely acknowledged as the father of systems ecology, lucidly explains his concept of emergy, a measure of real wealth that provides a rational, science-based method of evaluating commodities, services, and environmental goods. Using specific real-world examples, Dr. Odum clearly demonstrates the revolutionary role of emergy in environmental management and policy making.

Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making offers environmental professionals—policymakers, managers, ecologists, planners, developers, and activists—a systematic approach to environmental and economic valuation that will eliminate much of the rancor and adversarial decision making that often plagues environmental issues. Specifically, this book:

  • Describes the theoretical basis, calculation procedures, and applications of emergy
  • Introduces the concept of "transformity," the ratio of emergy (work put into a product) and energy (value received from the product)
  • Provides formulas for emergy calculations, procedures for making an emergy evaluation table, and parameters for updating evaluations
  • Demonstrates the use of emergy to evaluate environments, minerals, waters, primary energy sources, economic developments, and international trade
  • Compares the emergy approach to environmental evaluation with others

Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making will help environmental decision makers and the society they serve maximize economic vitality with less trial and error, innovate with fewer failures, and adapt to change more rapidly. It provides the tools they need to arrive at the best policies in resource management, economics, and the environment.

Balancing the economy and the environment— from the father of systems ecology

Increasing economic dependence on diminishing natural resources has sparked a highly charged debate over the use and fate of the world environment. Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making presents a unique method of environmental management based on maximizing real wealth, the whole economy, and the public benefit.

Renowned ecologist Howard T. Odum introduces the concept of emergy to provide a rational alternative to the tug-of-war over the world's most vital assets. Emergy measures the energy put into making a product and is the cornerstone of Odum's revolutionary text. This timely and important book offers key insights into:

  • Determining the real value of a product or service
  • Transformity, or the relationship between emergy (input) and energy (output)
  • Stored wealth, available energy, and the final product
  • Balancing economic and environmental needs

Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making will help economists, ecologists, policymakers, and planners make more responsible, informed decisions to sustain economic and environmental development.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Pioneer ecologist Odum (environmental policy, U. of Florida) introduces the concept of emergy, the cost of making a product or providing a service, as a balance to energy, the benefit expected. He explains how it can be applied to environmental management to maximize real wealth, the whole economy, and the public benefit. The dimensions he considers include evaluating environmental resources, fuels and electricity, alternative development, states and nations, international exchange, information and human services, and policy perspectives. He includes several appendixes of formulas and other data, and a simulation program in BASIC. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471114420
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/12/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 0.94 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

HOWARD T. ODUM is Graduate Research Professor and Director of the Center for Environmental Policy at the University of Florida. Dr. Odum is universally recognized as one of the pioneering figures in the development of systems ecology. In addition to numerous other publications, he is the author of Systems Ecology and Environment, Power, and Society, both published by Wiley.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction: Emergy and Real Wealth 1
2 Emergy and the Energy Hierarchy 15
3 Earth Emergy 35
4 Environmental Production and Economic Use 53
5 Emergy Evaluation Procedure 73
6 Empower Through Networks: Emergy Algebra 88
7 Evaluating Environmental Resources 110
8 Net Emergy of Fuels and Electricity 136
9 Evaluating Alternatives for Development 164
10 Emergy of States and Nations 182
11 Evaluating International Exchange 208
12 Evaluating Information and Human Service 220
13 Emergy Over Time 242
14 Comparison of Methods 260
15 Policy Perspectives 279
An Emergy Glossary 288
App. A Use of Energy Systems Symbols 290
App. B Formulas for Energy Calculations 294
App. C Transformities 304
App. D Emergy/Money Ratios 312
App. E Parameters for Updating Evaluations 316
App. F Simulation Programs 318
References 325
Index 359
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