Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The blog "Biopolitical" has concerned itself with ecological economics and caught my attention during the last year.  The blog author´s position is in fact hostile to whole cost economics, and firmly grounded in the assumptions of orthodox neoclassical assumptions.  It appears that he considers the concerns of environmental degradation through economic activity to be unreal.  The reading can be somewhat entertaining since he usually makes expresses his disdain in a fairly offhand manner.  As such, it makes for an interesting exercise in the elements of classic debate.  
       A recent post titled, "How to make people happy via Ecological Economics"
begins as follows, "Monica Guillen-Royo arranged group discussions with a heterogeneous sample of people from a city in Spain and has just published a paper saying that these workshops illustrate how "a given society can unravel its own pathway towards sustainability and wellbeing" (Realising the ‘wellbeing dividend’: An exploratory study using the Human Scale Development approach, in the journal Ecological Economics)."
       His discussion includes this observation, "...So, according to Guillen-Royo, people think that a more modest lifestyle would improve their well-being, keep telling each other - particularly the rich - not to pursue such lifestyle, and keep doing what other people tell them to do instead of what they think they should do...."
  Any subject can be trivialized without supporting material.  Since the subject in question is based on the environmental crisis, it can be helpful to refer to current studies on environmental problems, such as the report produced by scientists through UNEP in 2009, .
   Moreover, since lifestyle concerns and especially "who tells people-particularly the rich-how to behave," is also of interest, an informed observer can easily research the subject of "advertising influence on lifestyle choice" and find a relevant source such as Juliet Schor, an economist who has reoriented her scholarship in terms of sociology, Juliet Schor, .
     An additional dimension can be explored in referring to former consumers of fossil fuel energy who have invested in becoming renewable energy producers, by looking at examples such as these from Germany and the US: Blake, M., “In Germany, Ruddy-Cheeked Farmers Achieve (Green) Energy Independence,” The Christian Science Monitor, Boston, MA, USA, Aug. 21, 2008,

Festa, E.D., “To Go Solar, Start Local,” Washington Post, Sept. 19, 2009
     Some talk isn´t so cheap, but makes for a good drink, worship service, and sustainability workshop that has no problem going green.  Thanks.

      Upon re-reading, I would add that "(people, especially the rich, doing what they themselves think they should do)" doesn´t really address the basic information inherent in the concerns of the journal in question, Ecological Economics, produced by the International Society for Ecological Economics. 

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