Ecology, Economics, Ethics (Paperback)
The Broken Circle
Yale University Press, 9780300057515, 256pp.
Publication Date: July 28, 1993
In this book a distinguished group of environmental experts argues that in order to solve global environmental problems, we must view them in a broad interdisciplinary perspective that recognizes the relations—the interconnected circle—among ecology, economics, and ethics. Currently the circle is broken, they say, because environmental policy is decided on short-term estimations of material that take little account of the economic or moral burdens that will be borne by future generations if we deplete our resources now.
We must, assert the authors, have a better knowledge of the science underlying our environmental problems, we must understand their causes and consequences in relation to our economic and political systems, and we must recognize that an effective response will require a shift in a technologically oriented society’s ethical attitude toward the natural environment. The authors address a wide range of concerns from global atmospheric degradation and spreading toxification of the environment to loss of forests and massive species extinctions. They offer to general readers, students, and professionals practical assessments and remedies for many of these problems. They suggest, for example, mechanisms that provide economic incentives for conservation; engineering and technical adaptations to use resources more effectively and dispose of waste products; better economic accounting procedures for measuring the real environmental costs of our depletion of natural resources; and a remodeled education system that better prepares us to see each individual’s responsibility to the environment.