Natural Capital And Human Economic Survival, Second Edition On / Edition 2

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Overview

Most people love nature and consider themselves environmentalists, but nature isn't just pretty and lovable, it is indispensable to our survival and economic activity. That is the most compelling reason for environmental protection.
The conventional economic wisdom views land (natural capital) as a small part of the economy, along with capital, labor, technology and so on. The authors argue that this is backwards: that the economy nests within the environment (land) and not the other way around.
The authors give a brief history of the origins of conventional economic wisdom and critique it from a the standpoint of ecological economics. They explain what natural capital -our life support system - is and does, and describe the severe strains that have been put on it. They conclude with some policy options, such as green taxes and suggestions for personal action that would conserve natural capital and thus make conserve resources for present and future generations.
Natural Capital and Human Economic Survival is written for environmentalists, environmental studies majors and anyone concerned about the flaws of mainstream economics - how it has led us into unsustainable ways of living - and who would like to learn about alternatives that are more sustainable.

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Editorial Reviews

Mary Carroll
One need not be an ecofreak to see that environmental costs and benefits are ignored (or at least undervalued) in the calculus of classical and neoclassical economic theory. Prugh and his associates remedy this "bad accounting" by incorporating ecological concepts into a transdisciplinary approach that recognizes renewable and nonrenewable "natural capital" as an indispensable "life support" base for any economy. The authors contrast the assumptions and consequences of traditional economic analysis with those of an ecological economics perspective; define the nature, function, and value of natural capital; and then suggest a number of specific policy steps--including "green taxes," graded ecozoning, depletion taxes, and ecological tariffs. Such measures would reverse current incentive structures, encourage maintenance of an investment in natural capital, and "get the prices right" for our choices between sustainable and overexploitive use of the planet's limited natural capital. Clearly presented, with helpful charts, sidebars, glossary, and resource list.
Booknews
Details a thesis now receiving grudging attention from mainstream economists<-->that classical models err in relegating ecological degradation to "externality" status. Insists that the ecosystem be considered as the basis for economic production and advances public policy recommendations to properly value natural capital resources and services. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566703987
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/1/1999
  • Series: Ecological Economics Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
The Ecological Economics Perspective and Why It's Needed
The Origins of Our Economic Worldview
The Ecological Economics Perspective
The Definition, Function and Valuation of Natural Capital
What Natural Capital Is and Does
Depletion and Valuation
Managing Natural Capital for Sustainability
Investing in Natural Capital: Incentives and Obstacles
Some Investment Strategies
Afterward
Appendix: Some Tools for Personal and Community Action
Glossary
References
Index

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