Economics weak and strong: Ecological economics and human survival

World Futures 59 (3 & 4):253 – 262 (2003)
Mounting evidence suggests that the human impact on the planet is reaching the point where the Earth's ecosystems will not be able to support the level of human occupation. The global economy also seems to be generating income disparities that threaten the social stability of even the most developed economies. Although both these trends are rooted in the operation of the global market economy, standard economics has surprisingly little to offer in the way of policies that might allow us to survive the twenty-first century with our current social and environmental systems intact. This article examines our current predicament from the point of view of neoclassical welfare economics and the alternative framework of ecological economics. We argue that ecological economics, by placing the study of economics squarely within human society and ecosystems, can lead the way to make economics both scientifically credible and policy relevant.
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