Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development

Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development

Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable DevelopmentAuthor(s): Herman E. Daly

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 0807047082

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Named one of a hundred “visionaries who could change your life” by the Utne Reader, Herman Daly has probably been the most prominent advocate of the need for a change in economic thinking in response to environmental crisis. An iconoclast economis t who has worked as a renegade insider at the World Bank in recent years, Daly has argued for overturning some basic economic assumptions. He has won a wide and growing reputation among a wide array of environmentalists, inside and outside the academy.

In a book that will generate controversy, Daly turns his attention to the major environmental debate surrounding “sustainable development.” Daly argues that the idea of sustainable development–which has become a catchword of environmentalism and international finance–is being used in ways that are vacuous, certainly wrong, and probably dangerous. The necessary solutions turn out to be muc h more radical than people suppose.

This is a crucial updating of a major economist’s work, and mandatory reading for people engaged in the debates about the environment.


Daly is turning economics inside out by putting the earth and its diminishing natural resources at the center of the field . . . a kind of reverse Copernican revolution in economics. –Utne Reader

“Considered by most to be the dean of ecological economics, Herman E. Daly elegantly topples many shibboleths in Beyond Growth. Daly challenges the conventional notion that growth is always good, and he bucks environmentalist orthodoxy, arguing that the current focus on ‘sustainable development’ is misguided and that the phrase itself has become meaningless.” –Mother Jones

“In Beyond Growth, . . . [Daly] derides the concept of ‘sustainable growth’ as an oxymoron. . . . Calling Mr. Daly ‘an unsung hero,’ Robert Goodland, the World Bank’s top environmental adviser, says, ‘He has been a voice crying in the wilderness.'” –G. Pascal Zachary, The Wall Street Journal

“A new book by that most far-seeing and heretical of economists, Herman Daly. For 25 years now, Daly has been thinking through a new economics that accounts for the wealth of nature, the value of community and the necessity for morality.” –Donella H. Meadows, Los Angeles Times

“For clarity of vision and ecological wisdom Herman Daly has no peer among contemporary economists. . . . Beyond Growth is essential reading.” –David W. Orr, Oberlin College

“There is no more basic ethical question than the one Herman Daly is asking.” –Hal Kahn, The San Jose Mercury News

“Daly’s critiques of economic orthodoxy . . . deliver a powerful and much-needed jolt to conventional thinking.” –Karen Pennar, Business Week

About the Author

Named one of a hundred “visionaries who could change your life” by the Utne Reader, Herman Daly is the recipient of many awards, including a Grawemeyer Award, the Heineken Prize for environmental science, and the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” the Right Livelihood Award. He is professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Affairs, and coauthor with John Cobb, Jr., of For the Common Good.

Table of Contents
Introduction: The Shape of Current Thought on Sustainable Development
Ch. 1. Moving to a Steady-State Economy
Ch. 2. Elements of Environmental Macroeconomics
Ch. 3. Consumption: Value Added, Physical Transformation,and Welfare
Ch. 4. Operationalizing Sustainable Development by Investing in Natural Capital
Ch. 5. Fostering Environmentally Sustainable Development: Four Parting Suggestions for the World Bank
Ch. 6. Toward a Measure of Sustainable Net National Product
Ch. 7. On Sustainable Development and National Accounts
Ch. 8. Carrying Capacity as a Tool of Development Policy: The Ecuadoran Amazon and the Paraguayan Chaco
Ch. 9. Marx and Malthus in Northeast Brazil: A Note on the World’s Largest Class Difference in Fertility and Its Recent Trends
Ch. 10. Free Trade and Globalization vs. Environment andCommunity
Ch. 11. From Adjustment to Sustainable Development: The Obstacle of Free Trade
Ch. 12. The Economic Thought of Frederick Soddy
Ch. 13. On Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen’s Contributions to Economics: An Obituary Essay
Ch. 14. A Biblical Economic Principle and the Sustainable Economy
Ch. 15. Sustainable Development: From Religious Insight to Ethical Principle to Public Policy
References Cited in Text

Posted in Economic Policy, Environmental Philosophy, Other.

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