Ecological Economics

Topics: Ecological economics, Economics, Energy economics Pages: 16 (6122 words) Published: May 19, 2013

Ecological economics ‑ Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ecological economics
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ecological economics is a transdisciplinary field of academic research that aims to address the interdependence and coevolution of human economies and natural ecosystems over time and space.[1] It is distinguished from environmental economics, which is the mainstream economic analysis of the environment, by its treatment of the economy as a subsystem of the ecosystem and its emphasis upon preserving natural capital.[2] One survey of German economists found that ecological and environmental economics are different schools of economic thought, with ecological economists emphasizing "strong" sustainability and rejecting the proposition that natural capital can be substituted by human-made capital.[3] Ecological economics was founded in the works of Kenneth E. Boulding, Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, Herman Daly, Robert Costanza, and others. The related field of green economics is, in general, a more politically applied form of the subject.[4][5]

According to ecological economist Malte Faber, ecological economics is defined by its focus on nature, justice, and time. Issues of intergenerational equity, irreversibility of environmental change, uncertainty of long-term outcomes, and sustainable development guide ecological economic analysis and valuation.[6] Ecological economists have questioned fundamental mainstream economic approaches such as cost-benefit analysis, and the separability of economic values from scientific research, contending that economics is unavoidably normative rather than positive (empirical).[7] Positional analysis, which attempts to incorporate time and justice issues, is proposed as an alternative.[8][9]

The three nested systems of sustainability - the economy wholly contained by society, wholly contained by the biophysical environment. Clickable.

Ecological economics includes the study of the metabolism of society, that is, the study of the flows of energy and materials that enter and exit the economic system. This subfield may also be referred to as biophysical economics, bioeconomics, and has links with the applied science of industrial symbiosis. Ecological economics is based on a conceptual model of the economy connected to, and sustained by, a flow of energy, materials, and ecosystem services.[citation needed] Analysts from a variety of disciplines have conducted research on the economy-environment relationship, with concern for energy and material flows and sustainability, environmental quality, and economic development.[citation needed]

1 Nature and ecology 2 Ethics 3 Schools of thought 4 Differentiation from mainstream schools 5 History and development 6 Topics 6.1 Methodology 6.2 Allocation of resources 6.3 Strong versus weak sustainability 6.4 Energy economics 6.5 Energy accounting and balance 6.6 Environmental services 6.7 Externalities 6.8 Ecological-economic modeling 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

Nature and ecology
Main articles: Nature and Ecology A simple circular flow of income diagram is replaced in ecological economics by a more complex flow diagram reflecting the input of solar energy, which sustains natural inputs and environmental services which are then used as units of production. Once consumed, natural inputs pass out of the economy as pollution and waste. The potential of an environment to provide services and materials is 1/9


Ecological economics ‑ Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

referred to as an "environment's source function", and this function is depleted as resources are consumed or pollution contaminates the resources. The "sink function" describes an environment's ability to absorb and render harmless waste and pollution: when waste output exceeds the limit of the sink function, long-term damage occurs.[10]:8 Some persistent...
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