Pioneering Green Economists

In the past few years, the environment has moved to the Kenneth Bouldingcentre-stage of political debate, and climate change in particular—the most urgent but still only one of a plethora of environmental crises we are facing—has become identified by politicians as the most significant threat facing humanity, greater even than terrorism. It is important to remember, however, that this was not always the case. (pdf, 618 K) A mere 30 years ago those who considered that the way we lead our lives might be causing environmental problems were regarded as fringe thinkers and dismissed as hippies or killjoys. Those who identified the central cause of the environmental problem as the interaction between economic activity and the environment were even rarer.

Hazel HendersonI would argue that we need a green economics more than we need a green anything else. Although green economics is new as a discipline, and barely taught in our universities, its roots can be traced back and its origins (pdf, 176 K) identified in the work of a many different economists. I also pay tribute here to those pioneers (pdf, 166 K)who drew attention to the source of our ecological crisis in the pernicious nature of our economic system.

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