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Earth in our hands
ENVS 1000
ECOLOGICAL
ECONOMICS
The Myth of Perfect
Understanding
Or how to read a text
Deductive and inductive reasoning
Skepticism – not taking something as
“given” – independence of mind –
QUESTION the authority of the
Writer
Lecturer
Media
WHAT IS AN ISSUE?
The way in which
the world is
imagined
determines at
any particular
moment what
men will do.”
Walter Lippman, Public
Opinion 1921
Ecological Economics
• What is ECONOMICS?
• What is ECOLOGY?
• ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS:
environment within economics
• ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS:
economics within environment
KEYWORDS
Development
Economy
Ecology
Environment
Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture
and Society
by Raymond Williams
(Oxford Univ. Press)
THE POLITICS OF MONEY
by Hazel Henderson
The word is out that economics, never a science, has always
been politics in disguise. I have explored how the economics
profession grew to dominate public policy and trump so many
other academic disciplines and values in our daily lives.
Economics and economists view reality through the lens of
money. Everything has its price, they believe, from rain
forests to human labor to the air we breathe. Economic
textbooks, Gross National Product (GNP) and the statistics on
employment, productivity, investment, and globalization – all
follow the money. Happily, all this focus on money is leading
to the widespread awareness of ways money is designed,
created and manipulated. This politics of money is at last
unraveling centuries of mystification.
http://www.hazelhenderson.com/editorials/politics_of_money.html
Economics as Religion by
Robert H. Nelson
To the extent that any system of economic
ideas offers an alternative vision of the
“ultimate values,” or “ultimate reality,” that
actually shapes the workings of history,
economics is offering yet another grand
prophesy in the biblical tradition.
Another basic role of economists is to serve
as the priesthood of a modern secular
religion of economic progress that serves
many of the same functions in
contemporary society as earlier Christian
and other religions did in their time.
Robert H. Nelson,
Economics as Religion
Power of words
From Intro p.774:
“Even today, cultural critics such as David Korten
urge that human economies should “mimic the
behaviour of healthy living organismsand
ecosystems.”
“Conventional market economists generally view
the environment…”
“…the revocation of market subsidies that distort
true costs…”
Ecological economics
Oikos – household
Logos – discourse, systematic study
Nomia – management
Nomos - law
Some Assumptions
•
•
•
•
•
Assume time is constant; economic system is
static with no change over time
The invisible hand: Markets left to themselves
teeter between supply and demand and will
always balance out to an equilibrium point.
Leave the market alone and everyone’s welfare
will eventually be maximized.
Assume each individual is driven only by selfinterest.
Assume that there is full employment.
More Assumptions
•
•
•
•
•
Assume that individual satisfaction is
measurable.
Assume perfect circulation of goods and
service from firms to households and back
again.
Assume there is only one commodity.
Assume there is only one individual
(multiple by X to describe society)
Assume that future markets exist for all
goods and services produced now.
A Different Picture
http://www.hazelhenderson.com/
A diverse
economy:
rethinking
economy and
economic
representation
J.K.Gibson-Graham
The economic iceberg
(drawing by Ken Byrne)
World Water Forum
Is Water a Human Right or a Human Need?
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/3/23/water_rights_activists_blast_istanbul_world
Economics as politics
Economics as history
THE ASSIGNMENT
revisited
ESSAY
Or
Art Project
http://www.web.ca/~story/ENVS1000/