Environment and Economy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Environment and Economy

1st Edition

By Molly Scott Cato


264 pages | 42 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-01-27
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As environmental issues move to the centre of the political debate, more attention is being focused on the role our economy has played in creating the ecological crisis, and what a sustainable economy might look like. In spite of the success of the environmental movement in drawing attention to the crisis facing us, there has been comparatively little attention focused on the way the operation of the global economy contributes to this crisis.

Environment and Economy provides a stimulating introductory insight into the history of thinking that has linked the economy and the environment. It begins by introducing readers to the pioneers of this field, such as Fritz Schumacher and Paul Ehrlich, who first drew attention to the disastrous consequences for our environment of our ever-expanding economy. Part two of the book describes the main academic responses to the need to resolve the tension between economy and environment: environmental economics, ecological economics, green economics, and anti-capitalist economics. Part three is structured around key themes including an introduction to economic instruments such as taxes and regulation; pollution and resource depletion; growth; globalization vs. localization and climate change. Each key issue is approached from a range of different perspectives, and working policies are presented in detail.

Written in an accessible style, this introductory text offers students with an engaging account of the way that the various traditions of economic thought have approached the environment, bringing them together for the first time in one volume. The text is complimented by boxes, case studies and recommended reading for each theme addressed. It will be of value to students interested in environmental sciences, geography, green issues and economics.


"In the midst of ecological and financial crisis what we need more than anything is a clear perspective on how the two are linked, and what we can do to save ourselves and our planet. This is exactly what is offered by this book. Challenging and informative, this book will enable lecturers in a range of disciplines to deepen their students' understanding of the ecological crisis and how more enlightened economists are rising to the challenge." Professor Danny Dorling, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, UK.

"Scott Cato provides two books at once: an accessible primer in environmental literacy for economists, and a primer in economic literacy for environmentalists. Using down to earth case studies for consciousness raising, and theoretical exposition for policy critique, she guides a generation facing the imperative of de-growth into the adventure of revitalising oikos." Honorary Associate Professor Ariel Salleh, Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney, Australia.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Setting the Scene 1. Introduction: An Economy within the Environment 2. The Whistle-Blowers Part 2: Economic Schools and the Environment 3. Neoclassical Economics 4. Environmental Economics 5. Ecological Economics 6. Green Economics 7. Anti-Capitalist Economics Part 3: Issues and Policies 8. A Range of Policy Approaches 9. Economic Growth 10. All that the Earth Provides: The Economics of Resources 11. Pollution 12. Globalisation vs. Localisation 13. Climate Change 14. Markets or Commons 15. Conclusion: Is it the Economy? Are We Stupid?

About the Author

Molly Scott Cato is a Reader in Green Economics at Cardiff School of Management and Director of Cardiff Institute for Co-operative Studies.

About the Series

Routledge Introductions to Environment: Environment and Society Texts

This series introduces core topics for environmental study and presents unparalleled interdisciplinary perspectives on issues of environmental concern. Focusing on human-environmental interrelationships, these concise, engaging, user-friendly texts respond particularly well to the demands of modular learning. Each text in the series features:

  • summaries of key concepts and contextual introductions to each topic
  • uniform, attractive, series design
  • informative diagrams illustrating key concepts and issues
  • annotated reading lists and end of chapter questions
  • lively global case-studies boxed throughout the text.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography