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June 01, 2007


John Feeney


I'm not enough in the economic loop to quite I understand Julie Nelson's comment:

"Ecological economics, which realizes the critical need for responses to problems such as climate change, meets mainstream prejudices and turns into “natural resource” economics where the future is discounted away."

The discounting of the future sounds to me like the assignment of monetary value and discounting the future done by mainstream economists and, it seems, environmental economists. But I'd had the impression the eco-econ camp, by putting the ecosystem and sustainability first, didn't do that. Am I mistaken? Do people like Daly and Costanza do that? Is there a fourth camp yet, a "deep-eco-econ" camp or something?


I have a similar understanding to Mr. Feeney...

Kozo Mayumi

My undestanding of what ecological economics is the following.
The first unoffical meeting of the people in 1987 in Barcelona was to put many disciplinary fields together into the sustainabilty issues that make critical re-evaluation of conventinal scientific thinking including neoclassical resource and environmental economics. So, we did not intend to speak of only the relationships between economics and ecology. In certain respect the name, Ecological Economics, could be misleading. In Europe, Silvio Funtowicz and Jerry Ravetz proposed a new way of thinking, called Post-Normal Scinence, which may be more appropriate terminology for what I understand ecological economics. However, I share the concern raised by Julie Nelson. Some of the articiles being published in Ecological Economics these years are nothing but neoclassical economics articles. In addition to this, at the Canadian meeting of ISEE in 2004, we gave the Kenneth Boulding Award to two neoclassical economists, namely, Dasgupta and Maeler. In my view, this was the biggest mistake we did as ecological economist.

Dave Iverson

John and Others,

This week I will try to post up on some recent articles (forthcoming) in Ecological Economics about the state of the discounting the future - monetized values debate. There is a rift in the EE camp (that extends back many years). Too many EE practitioners, some argue, have followed the Nelson-alleged path. So let's continue this discussion then.. d.


Right now I only have a very basic awareness of ecological economics but plan to study it more and write a paper in this area for my Honours thesis. I love the broad concept and the areas of focus outlined on the website for ISEE. Something like this is definitely needed. Perhaps a more general discussion and debate is needed before EE begins to define itself in any particular way.


I might say that the title "Ecology and Economics" is certainly less loaded. If it helps, you could still keep the phrase "ecological economics" as a subtitle somewhere, as it seems to me that they are certainly related!

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