Introduction to Environmental Economics
It's the Economy, Stupid!
Economics is the science of meeting the physical needs of citizens of a society,
overlapping with the physical sciences since it is the physical needs of society
that is studied.
If meeting the physical needs of citizens of a society would happen automatically,
there would be no need for economics, and the science of economics would not exist.
However, due to entropy, meeting the physical needs
of citizens requires work, and that work is the science of economics.
Economics thus relies on physical sciences (and vice versa).
Historically, the physical sciences were much less effective at being able to meet
the physical needs of citizens. Economics was then called the dismal science,
because no matter how economics could be studied then, the physical sciences were not yet ready
to be applied by economics to meet the physical needs of many citizens.
That has all changed. The physical sciences have achieved huge breakthroughs
and can now, for the first time in history, be used to solve economic problems.
The science of economics can now be vastly improved. As a science, economics is
on the verge of total transformation into a much more effective science.
In the wake of Keynes there were now two bodies of economic theory.
One was a continuation of the nineteenth century tradition, centered on the analysis of individual
decision-making in the marketplace.
The other was the legacy of Keynes and
other early twentieth century thinkers that constructed models of the entire economy
to determine its systemic properties.
No one knew at that time how to combine them.
The result was that two subfields within economics existed side by side,
microeconomics and macroeconomics.
It is possible that within the next generation the division will disappear
but maybe neither micro nor macro will look then the way it does today.
Peter Dorman, Macroeconomics: A Fresh Start, p. 22
A double-scope network has inputs with different (and often clashing) organizing frames
as well as an organizing frame for the blend that includes parts of each of those frames
Far from blocking the construction of the network, such clashes offer challenges to the imagination;
indeed the resulting blends can be highly creative.
Fauconnier & Turner, The Way We Think, p. 131
This report looks at contemporary environmental economics,
analyzing the following quote:
Some authors suggest that a free market oriented economic approach to sustainability
could incorporate the importance of the environment. They argue that if the features of the environment
adversely on the health of the economy and other systems, the economy will receive the feedbacks
to adjust itself
Even if this position is accepted, the time frame over which the self-correction feedbacks might happen
is not expected to be synonymous with that relevant to preserve the ecosystem resilience.
The attainment of such a pseudo-sustainability could be consistent with massive environmental degradation.
P. K. Rao, Sustainable Development, p. 87-88
Contents of This Report
Introduction (this page)