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Economics, The Environment and Our Common Wealth
Publication Date: 1/14/2013
Abstract:

This fascinating volume has at its heart a simple but powerful premise: that a clean and safe environment is not a commodity to be allocated on the basis of purchasing power, nor a privilege to be allocated through political power, but rather a basic human right. Building upon this premise, James K. Boyce explores the many ways in which economics can be refashioned into an instrument for advancing human well-being and environmental health.

Comprising a decade’s worth of essays written since the publication of the author’s pathbreaking book, The Political Economy of the Environment (2002), this volume discusses a number of diverse environmental issues through an economist’s lens. Topics covered include environmental justice, disaster response, globalization and the environment, industrial toxins and other pollutants, cap-and-dividend climate policies, and agricultural biodiversity.

The first economics book to explore the idea that the environment belongs in equal measure to us all, this pioneering volume will hold great interest for students, professors and researchers of both economics and environmental studies.

Contents

1. The Environment as Our Common Heritage
2. Is Inequality Bad for the Environment?
3. In the Wake of the Storm: Disasters and Environmental Justice
4. Justice in the Air: Tracking America’s Industrial Toxics
5. Where Credit is Due
6. Cap and Dividend: Carbon Revenue as Common Wealth
7. A Chinese Sky Trust
8. A Future for Small Farms
9. Globalization and Our Environmental Future Index

‘If you’re interested in the cutting-edge of the very best thinking on economics and the environment, it’s right here. Boyce has done a masterful job integrating issues of equity and ecological thinking into economics, and presenting deep and important ideas accessibly with the latest research to back them up. Not just recommended, but essential.’
– Juliet Schor, Boston College, author of True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans are Creating a Time-rich, Ecologically-light, Small-scale, High-satisfaction Economy

‘A colleague of mine puts it best: when thinking about the fundamentals of the economy and the environment, there is Pigou, Coase, and Boyce. Boyce adds to traditional economics the critical understanding that social power is a determinant of the extent and spatial scale of environmental degradation. In these essays, on subjects ranging from housing and credit markets to agriculture and globalization, Boyce mixes a data-driven picture of unequal environmental protection with a keen and useful discussion of the many forms of social power that can help right the scales.’
– Eban Goodstein, Bard College


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