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Beyond Uneconomic Growth

Economics, Equity and the Ecological Predicament Edited by Joshua Farley, Professor, University of Vermont, US and Deepak Malghan, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India
This engaging book brings together leading ecological economists to collectively present a definitive case for looking beyond economic growth as the sole panacea for the world’s ecological predicament. Grounded in physics, ecology, and the science of human behavior, contributors show how economic growth itself has become “uneconomic” and adds to a ravaging of both social and ecological cohesion.
Extent: 384 pp
Hardback Price: $150.00 Web: $135.00
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78347 248 2
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environment
  • Ecological Economics
This engaging book brings together leading ecological economists to collectively present a definitive case for looking beyond economic growth as the sole panacea for the world’s ecological predicament. Grounded in physics, ecology, and the science of human behavior, contributors show how economic growth itself has become “uneconomic” and adds to a ravaging of both social and ecological cohesion.

Guided by a clear moral vision that prioritizes sustainability and justice over profit, the authors provide a blueprint for an economy that replaces quantitative growth with qualitative improvement to enhance human welfare while restoring degraded ecosystems. They present solutions for many of today’s challenges, ranging from global climate change and biodiversity loss to natural resource depletion. This interdisciplinary work not only relates ecological economics theory to the most urgent predicaments of the contemporary world, but also pays tribute to the work of Herman Daly, a leading pioneer of modern ecological economics.

Researchers and faculty studying and teaching ecological economics and environmental studies will find value in this unprecedented book. It will also be of interest to practitioners working to solve a variety of global environmental issues.
‘Daly's contributions to the still emergent field of ecological economics are constant references for our peers throughout the developing world as well as in the North. His courageous tilting at the windmills of mainstream economic nonsense inspire us to continue questioning: in whose interests do we continue on a perpetual search for unlimited material satisfaction? Daly's conception is not only of a world restricted by biophysical limits, but also one in which poverty and deprivation are commonplace, and where Sisyphean efforts to maintain accelerated economic growth only exacerbate inequitable distribution. His vision of sustainable economic welfare shed light on other aspects of our existence which make it worth living. Thanks to Farley, Rees, El Serafy, Goodland and other fellow travelers, we are bestowed with an excellent collection synthesizing Daly's contributions to our work, which will inspire our youth and their children long after we too depart.’
– Peter H. May, President, Brazilian Society for Ecological Economics (ECOECO)

‘Contributed by several eminent thinkers, the chapters in this book herald the paradigm shift that is needed to save the scientific framework of economics. In spite of the conceptual inconsistencies, GDP continues to be accepted by the nation states as the singular parameter to comprehensively describe the health of their economy. What gets easily hidden behind ‘Market Failures’, is actually the success of cost-shifting on the heads of the ignorant and marginalized people as ‘price for economic growth’. The chapters eloquently establish the need for moving beyond the religious faith on a paradigm that is facing fundamental conceptual challenges but has not addressed them with due seriousness. What is a greater contribution of this collection is the identification of the gaps in knowledge of economics that need to be filled-up to arrive at some basic articulations of the new paradigm that can throw some light on what is ecologically and socially ‘Sustainable Development’.’
– Jayanta Bandyopadhyay, Past President, The Indian Society for Ecological Economics

‘The title Beyond Uneconomic Growth captures both the core of Herman Daly’s key message and the linguistic mastery that makes his texts so enjoyable to read. The book forms a great tribute to the work of Herman Daly by gathering a distinguished set of contributors, covering a a wide variety of the topics that Daly has dealt with, and pointing in new directions.'
– Inge Røpke, Aalborg University, Denmark

‘Excellent read. Speaking of the valuable and unique contribution of Herman Daly, the authors succeed in expanding the existing knowledge around Herman’s ideas and reflections. They also provide an insight into the origins and evolution of ecological economics. Thus, the book helps to understand the role that Herman has played in the construction process of the steady-state economy, its most important contribution perhaps to a prudent use of nature with a view to promoting the highest good of mankind – happiness. This rich volume will greatly assist in strengthening the foundations of ecological economics.’
– Clóvis Cavalcanti, President Elect of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE)

‘Beyond Uneconomic Growth is a fine collection of essays documenting, supporting, and building on the powerful contributions of Herman Daly to the field of ecological economics. Conventional economists focus on allocation, or efficiency, are only now becoming concerned again about distribution, and have yet to realize that the scale of the economy must be compatible with, i.e. significantly smaller than, the biophysical system. Ecological economists start with scale, are centrally concerned with distribution, or with who gets what, and only lastly are concerned with efficiency. Herman Daly set the stage on which ecological economists perform.’
– Richard B. Norgaard, University of California, Berkeley, US

‘Herman Daly is the greatest, and most under-appreciated, economist of our time. This volume, in which other economists and scientists whom he has influenced celebrate and discuss his work, is valuable both as an appreciation of, and as an introduction to the field of ecological economics—which Daly spearheaded. It is essential reading for anyone who desires a human economy that respects nature’s limits and can therefore be sustained far into the future.’
– Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute, US
Contributors include: P.G. Brown, C. Cobb, J.B. Cobb, Jr., R. Costanza, B. Czech, S. El Serafy, J. Farley, R. Goodland, J. Gowdy, J.M. Harris, P. Lawn, D. Malghan, J. Martinez Alier, W.E. Rees, A. Vatn, P.A. Victor






















Contents:

In Memoriam for Robert Goodland

PART I INTRODUCTION
1. The Foundations for an Ecological Economy: An Overview
Joshua Farley

2. The World in Over-shoot: A Celebration of Herman Daly’s Contributions to Ecological Economics – The Science of Sustainability
Robert Goodland

3. Toward a Sustainable and Desirable Future: A 35 Year Collaboration with Herman Daly
Robert Costanza

PART II CHANGING THE PARADIGM:WHAT IS BIOPHYSICALLY POSSIBLE, AND HOW DO HUMANS BEHAVE?
4. Population, Resources, and Energy in the Global Economy: A Vindication of Herman Daly’s Vision
Jonathan M. Harris

5. On Limits
Arild Vatn

6. Toward a Science-based Theory of Behavior: Building on Georgescu-Roegen
John Gowdy

7. Denying Herman Daly: Why Conventional Economics will not Embrace the Daly Vision
William E. Rees

PART III CHANGING THE GOALS: WHAT IS SOCIALLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND ETHICALLY DESIRABLE?
8. The Importance of Just Distribution in a ‘Full’ World
Philip Lawn

9. Hicksian Income, Welfare, and the Steady State
Salah El Serafy

PART IV CHANGING THE RULES: INSTITUTIONS FOR A SUSTAINABLE AND DESIRABLE FUTURE
10. Ecological and Georgist Economic Principles: A Comparison
Clifford Cobb

11. Making Money
John B. Cobb, Jr.

PART V THE STEADY-STATE ECONOMY
12. The Steady-state Economy
Peter A. Victor

13. Socially Sustainable Economic Degrowth
Joan Martinez Alier

14. Politics for a Steady State Economy
Brain Czech

PART VI CONCLUSIONS
15. The Unfinished Journey of Ecological Economics: Toward an Ethic of Ecological Citizenship
Peter G. Brown

Index