Library Juice 2:15 - April 14, 1999

Green Issue! 
1. A short list of Earth Day resources 
2. Earthline - An Ecological Directory 
3. Some Sustainable Development-Related Resources 
4. Sustainable Development/Economics Homepage 
5. The Institute for Ecological Economics (IEE) 
6. Sustainability Web Ring 
7. Tuscon-Pima Public Library - Proposed Seven Generations Project 
8. GREENLines - Daily news and events 
9. New Society Publishers 
10. Feminist Economics 
11. Communities: Journal of Cooperative Living 
12. Clean Products and Processes 
13. World Resources Institute 
14. Sustainable Energy Coalition's "Weekly Update" 
15. TFOE - Task Force On The Environment  (ALA/SRRT) 
18. Ecological version of the free market economy 
19. SHIFTING DIRECTION: From Global Dependence to Local Interdependence 
21. The Ten Commandments  of Globalization 
22. Ecology, Ethics, Power - by Tom Green 
Quote for the week: 
The librarian's mission should be, not like up to now, a mere 
handling of the book as an object, but rather a know how (mise 
au point) of the book as a vital function. 
  - Mission del Bibliotecario, Jose Ortega y Gasset 
1. A short list of Earth Day resources 
From GreeNotes Vol.1, No.1, the online publication of 
ALA/SRRT's Task Force On The Environment, available at: 
            Earth Day Online 
            Earth Day Organizers and Activists Resources 
            EcoNet's Earth Day On-Line Resources 
            Earth Day Network 
            Planet Central Television 
2. Earthline - An Ecological Directory 
Earthline is a directory of environmental, animal rights, 
vegetarian organizations, and companies producing, 
manufacturing, or promoting earth friendly products and 
Submitted by: 
R. Tiess 
From the list ResPool - 
3. Some Sustainable Development-Related Resources 
International Institute for Sustainable Development 
SD Gateway - integrating SD information on the net 
Daniel Tsang's page of resources on sustainable development 
Resources for the Future 
-See also Library Juice 1:31 - 
Terry Link's page talking about socially responsible investment. 
"Redefining Economic Progress" 
Co-op America 
4. Sustainable Development/Economics Homepage 
Compiled by Tom Tietenberg, Professor of Economics, Colby College, this 
page offers an extensive bibliography of works on ecological economics and 
sustainable development. Bibliography headings include Economic Incentives 
Policies, Population, Energy and Global Warming, and Biodiversity and 
Wildlife Management, among others. Student case study assignments are also 
available with references to additional texts, and a list of sustainable 
development links completes the site. Interested parties may also view 
Professor Tietenberg's Tradable Permits Bibliography at a separate address 
for review and comment. [MW] 
Tradable Permits Bibliography 
>From the Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1998. 
5. The Institute for Ecological Economics (IEE) 
The Institute for Ecological Economics (IEE) was 
established to fill the growing need to integrate the 
study and management of "nature's household" (ecology) and 
"humankind's household" (economics). Ecological economics 
is the name that has been given to the effort to transcend 
traditional disciplinary boundaries in order to address 
the interrelationships between ecological and economic 
systems in a broad and comprehensive way. IEE was 
established in 1991 by the Center for Environmental 
Science, a research campus of the University of Maryland, 
and is a component of the University of Maryland's 
systemwide coastal and Environmental Policy Program. 
IEE is currently organizing an Envisioning a Sustainable 
and Desirable America future search conference. For more 
information about this conference and the future search 
concept, visit the IEE website at: 
6. Sustainability Web Ring  
Sustainability Web Ring 
Cercle web du d╚veloppement durable 
 Anillo Web de la Sustentabilidad 
This Internet tool allows users to navigate easily 
between web sites that deal with the principles, policies, and 
best practices for sustainable development. By following the 
links through the web ring, you will find information from 
around the world on how to deal with such crucial issues as: 
climate change, cleaner production, waste, poverty, 
consumerism, natural resource management, and governance. 
This information is particularly suited to decision-makers within 
civil society, government, business, research and funding 
institutions, and communities.  
7. Tuscon-Pima Public Library - Proposed Seven Generations Project 
 On to Full Proposal 
 Example Page (and a good resource) 
 Lisa Stage, author of the proposal 
It has become increasingly clear that "business as usual," 
following the Western economic and industrial model, 
cannot continue indefinitely. As residents of a finite 
planet, we cannot continue to exponentially increase 
consumption. Depletion of natural resources and 
accumulation of pollution will inevitably occur. We need 
new ways of meeting our needs -- food, water, clothing, 
shelter, energy, transportation -- that do not deplete or 
poison the planet. And we need information on these new 
ways and how to make these changes. The public library is 
the most widely accessible source of noncommercial 
Why "Seven Generations"? 
The term "sustainable" has been adopted for this new 
model, but it is a term that many people still do not 
understand. The same idea has been described more clearly 
by an Iroquois Confederacy concept: "In our every 
deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions 
on the next seven generations." With this description it 
is easy to grasp that we cannot continue indefinitely to 
rely on gasoline-powered cars as our major transportation 
mode, to expand our cities at acres per day, or to consume 
our groundwater faster than it is replaced. 
About the Project 
The Seven Generations project would promote sustainability 
materials at Tucson Pima Public Library, and other 
sustainability information resources. The medium for this 
promotion would be the TPPL website, similar to promotions 
of the Library's Business and Grants information. 
There are multiple benefits to pursuing this project. 
Primarily, Tucson-Pima Public Library will be enhancing 
its mission to provide local residents with access to 
information needed for full participation in the community 
and for the enrichment of individual lives. A presence on 
the Tucson-Pima Public Library website may invite the 
interest of regular library patrons who are not versed in 
sustainability issues. And finally, the website will 
assist the City of Tucson and Pima County's numerous 
sustainability programs in publicizing their missions and 
activities while, again, providing the public with more 
information for participating in the community. 
Programs of the Project 
Basic Program 
Determine areas of inclusion and develop subject headings 
for Seven Generations. 
Evaluate material in current TPPL collection for inclusion 
in Seven Generations. 
Develop inviting, informative, and easily navigable web 
pages for Seven Generations: 
Live links to TPPL web OPAC. 
 Descriptive annotations for each material. 
 Research and include websites for subject areas. 
 Research and include local organizations and resources for subject areas. 
 Ancillary Programs 
 Investigate possible funding sources. 
 Write grant proposals. 
Public Information: 
 Prepare press releases. 
 Give interviews in print and broadcast media. 
 Display at community events. 
 Stage special events. 
Other Possible Program Components 
 Collection Development: 
 Create bibliographies of key texts in subject areas. 
 Evaluate current TPPL collection against bibliographies. 
 Make ranked recommendations for collection development. 
 Investigate possible funding sources for increased collection development. 
 Develop public speaker programs for in-library presentations. 
8. GREENLines - Daily news and events 
A daily of environment and wildlife news and events. 
Published by GREEN, the GrassRoots Environmental Effectiveness Network (A 
project of Defenders of Wildlife). 
From: nj[at] (News of New Electronic Journals) 
9. New Society Publishers 
"NEW SOCIETY PUBLISHERS produces books to build a sustainable and just 
society - accountable economics, conscientious commerce, ecological design 
& planning, sustainable living, environmental justice, resistance and 
community, the feminist transformation, conflict resolution, progressive 
leadership, and educational and parenting resources." 
Free catalog: 800-567-6772 
or browse: 
10. Feminist Economics 
The Official Journal of the International Association for 
Feminist Economics  
Feminist Economics is an innovative journal dedicated to developing an 
interdisciplinary discourse on feminist perspectives on economics and the 
economy. It also features economic issues from cross-disciplinary 
perspectives, including work in anthropology, cultural studies, critical 
race theory, geography, history, law, literature, philosophy, politics, 
post-colonial studies, public health, psychology, science and society 
studies and sociology.  
Feminist Economics:  
	* advances feminist inquiry into economic issues affecting the 
	  lives of women, men and children  
	* provides a feminist rethinking of theory and policy in diverse 
	  subfields and related areas of economics, including those 
	  not directly related to gender  
	* provides insights into the relationship between gender and power 
	  relations in the economy and in the construction and  
	  legitimation of economic knowledge extends feminist 
	  theoretical, historical, and methodological insights to 
	  economics and the economy  
	* offers feminist insights into the underlying constructs of the 
	  economics discipline and into the historical, political, and 
	  cultural context of economic knowledge  
The journal also includes short essays, comments and replies to 
previously published articles, book reviews, and an information 
nj[at] (News of New Electronic Journals) 
11. Communities: Journal of Cooperative Living 
Communities is part of the "Intentional Communities" web site. The site 
has a list of intentional communities, e-mail groups, a calendar of 
events, resources, chat room. You will also find the contents of the 
current issue of Communities, subscription and submission information, and 
selected features from Communities' back issues.  
From: nj[at] (News of New Electronic Journals) 
12. Clean Products and Processes 
ISSN (print version): 1435-2974  
ISSN (electronic version) pending 
The concept of sustainable development, universally accepted as a means of 
protecting the environment for all mankind, demands that future 
manufacturing technologies must be cleaner, yet economically sound.  
Clean products and Processes will create an international forum for 
discussing the science and engineering of clean technologies, and 
mathematical and computer-based methods and models for designing, 
analyzing, and measuring cleanliness of products, processes, and 
manufacturing networks.  
The journal will provide a forum for experts from different disciplines to 
share common technical information and offer the opportunity for 
multi-disciplinary discourse on science and technologies that lead to the 
development, demonstration, and commercialization of cleaner products and 
Subhas K. Sikdar, editor, sikdar[at] 
From: nj[at] (News of New Electronic Journals) 
13. World Resources Institute 
Please note. WRI has done some remarkable scientiifc and policy work for 
the environment. Fred Stoss 
---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 11:24:55 -0500 
From: Elizabeth Behrendt <bethb[at]> 
The WRI Library may now be contacted at: 
World Resources Institute 
10 G St. NE, Ste. 800 
Washington, DC  20002 
for reference and interlibrary loan requests: 
tel: 202-729-7603 
fax: 202-729-7610 
email: bethh[at]  
to contact me directly: 
tel: 202-729-7601 
fax: 202-729-7610 
email: bethb[at]  
Please understand that there may be delays in our response time to your 
requests for the next couple of weeks.  Look for an invitation to the WRI 
Library Open House in a couple of months (once the dust has settled around 
Elizabeth A. Behrendt 
Library Manager / Senior Librarian 
World Resources Institute 
14. Sustainable Energy Coalition's "Weekly Update" 
Thought this is a bargain! 
Fred Stoss 
---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 08:08:24 -0500 
From: SUN DAY Campaign <kbossong[at]> 
To: Energy & Environmental Activists: 
We are writing to invite you to add your organization's name to the e-mail 
list to receive the Sustainable Energy Coalition's "Weekly Update" if you 
are not already receiving it. 
The "Weekly Update" is a free-of-charge, weekly, 2-3 page newsletter 
published by the SUN DAY Campaign for the Sustainable Energy Coalition. 
It provides short news updates on the status of the federal energy budget 
and tax issues, electric utility restructuring (with a focus on federal 
developments), climate change, and miscellaneous related environmental 
The Sustainable Energy Coalition includes 35 national business, 
environmental, consumer, and energy policy organizations including the SUN  
DAY Campaign; a list is available upon request.  Founded in 1992, the 
Coalition promotes increased federal support for energy efficiency and 
renewable energy technologies and reduced federal support for unsafe or 
polluting energy resources.  
The Coalition's mission statement notes that its "members advocate federal 
energy policies that will lead to a cleaner environment, safe reliable 
energy technologies, and a secure, prosperous future for all Americans. 
Avenues for Coalition activity include policy decisions on the federal 
budget, electric utility restructuring, climate change, and tax issues." 
If you would like to be added to the e-mail list for the Sustainable 
Energy Coalition's "Weekly Update," please let us know.  Please provide 
your name and that of your organization as well as your mailing address, 
telephone & fax numbers, and e-mail address (and web page address if you 
have one). 
Thank you. 
Ken Bossong, Executive Director 
SUN DAY Campaign 
for the members of the Sustainable Energy Coalition 
315 Circle Avenue, Suite #2 
Takoma Park, MD 20912-4836 
301-891-2866 (fax) 
15. TFOE - Task Force On The Environment  (ALA/SRRT) 
TFOE Identity... 
Librarians, publishers, vendors, and others interested parties from a wide 
variety of settings -- public libraries, school libraries and media 
centers, college and university libraries, government agencies, public 
groups, publishers, and vendors and other information providers -- comprise 
the Task Force on the Environment. TFOE has endorsed the National Library 
for the Environment as a component of the proposed National Institute for 
the Environment. 
The Task Force on the Environment was created in the spirit of the 20th 
Anniversary of Earth Day in 1990.  Issue-oriented task forces, including 
TFOE, comprise the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) of the 
American Library Association. SRRT is administratively linked to ALAs 
Office of Literacy and Out Research Services (OLOS). 
TFOE Objectives... 
Promote awareness for environmental issues for ALA, its members, and others 
Unite librarians and information professionals for mutual benefit and support 
Provide TFOE members with opportunities for career development, skills 
enhancement, and leadership experiences 
Facilitate networking among peers and professional associates 
Provide services, programs, and publications that assist TFOE members, 
other librarians, and other information providers in their careers, in 
their workplaces, in their homes, and in their communities 
Join TFOE... 
You join the Task Force on the Environment by becoming a member of the 
American Library Association Social Responsibility Round Table (SSRT). 
Membership in SRRT includes receiving the SRRT Newsletter.  Contact ALA 
Headquarters for a copy of the SRRT Brochure or simply mail a check to ALA 
requesting your membership in SRRT and TFOE. Cost to join SRRT including 
TFOE membership: $20.00 (non-ALA 
members); $12.00 (ALA-members). 
     (A) The Loka Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated 
to making research, science and technology responsive to 
democratically decided social and environmental concerns.  TO 
on-line discussion groups, to download or order publications, or  
to help please visit our Web page: <>.  Or  
contact us via E-mail at <Loka[at]>  
     (B) TO PARTICIPATE MORE ACTIVELY in promoting a democratic  
politics of science and technology, please join the Federation of 
Activists on Science & Technology Network (FASTnet).  Just send 
an e-mail message to <majordomo[at]> with a blank subject   
line and "subscribe FASTnet" as the message text.  You will  
receive an automated reply giving more details.  FASTnet is a             
moderated discussion list, which protects subscribers from       
receiving posts inappropriate to the list's purpose.  
     (C) FUNDRAISING UPDATE:  The Loka Institute is currently  
supported by grant awards from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's 
Managing Information with Rural America (MIRA) Initiative, the  
John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the C.S. Mott Foundation,  
the Albert A. List Foundation, the Foundation for Deep Ecology, the 
National Science Foundation, and the Menemsha Fund.  WE ARE ALSO 
supporting cutting-edge activism and scholarship to democratize science 
and technology is a wonderful gift to oneself, family, friends, 
and future generations.  TO DONATE, just send a check drawn in 
U.S. or Canadian dollars to: The Loka Institute, PO Box 355, 
Amherst, MA 01004 USA.  (Donations to the nonprofit Loka Institute  
are deductible on U.S. tax returns to the full extent allowable by 
law.)  Thank you!! 
LOKA INSTITUTE INTERNSHIPS: The Loka Institute has openings for 
volunteers, graduate and undergraduate student interns, and work-study  
students for the late spring of 1999 and beyond.  The  activities in which 
interns are involved vary from research assistance and writing to 
assisting in project development and management, fundraising, managing our  
Internet lists, Web page updates, helping with clerical and other office 
work, etc.  A summer intern at the Loka Institute will be quite involved 
with organizing the CRN conference (June 11-13, 1999) and with conference 
follow-up activities.  If you are interested in working with us to promote 
a democratic politics of science and technology, please send a hard copy 
resume along with a succinct letter explaining your interest, and stating 
the dates you would like to be at Loka, to:  The Loka Institute, P.O. Box 
355, Amherst, MA 01004, USA.  You may also fax these materials to us  
at +1-(413)-559-5811. 
18. Ecological version of the free market economy 
                         Scientific arguments for managing the costs of living 
                            in order to maintain the integrity of human nature 
	The goods and services on which consumers spend their money, form 
streams of goods and services and money.  These streams make up economic 
development.  A stream has a direction and a sense.  Every time consumers 
spend money on their costs of living they determine the direction and sense 
in which development flows.  They determine the goal towards which 
development flows.  The goal with which consumers spend their income is the 
goal of development. 
The only goal with which the consumer can spend his or her income, in the 
current version of the free market economy, is : CONSUME!  Mankind does not 
sustain development by pursuing this goal.  To pursue this goal is proving 
hardly satisfying on the personal level.  Because of the deleterious 
effects on natural resources, to CONSUME has no longer-term future. 
Nevertheless, economic theories of the developed world encourage higher 
consumption to maintain growth in development. 
Logically, in a free market economy, the two goals - of economic growth and 
of environmental management - can be brought together by harnessing the 
power of the consumer to choose the goods and services on which he or she 
spends money.  This has led to the proposition : consumers should be able 
to deduct from taxable income the money they spend on products that are 
ecologically sound. 
Through this accounting and fiscal practice consumers will be motivated to 
pursue as goal : to maintain the integrity of human nature.  The discovery 
that the goal of development is the goal with which consumers spend their 
costs of living is proof of the scientific validity of this proposition. 
Consumers will behave as responsible agents in the processes of production. 
Their demand for ecological products will favour production that is in 
harmony with Nature and thus in accord with the goal of keeping the 
integrity of human nature.  Human beings will thereby become doubly 
productive : first through their labour and second through the way in which 
they spend the monetary fruits of their labour.  They will trace a way of 
living in harmony with Nature and thus sustain development. 
The value of this proposition is furthermore proven because it presents a 
principle of economic efficiency : equilibrium between costs and revenues 
should be maintained by the people who earn the revenues.  In the free 
market economy producers apply this principle at the level of production 
costs and revenues.  Producers are allowed to deduct production costs from 
sales revenues in order to arrive at the net profits which are used for 
taxation purposes.  Because of this freedom to manage costs producers can 
reach the goal of their activities : to maximize profits, efficiently. - 
Where producers do not enjoy this freedom their efficiency is reduced, as 
has been the case in centrally planned economies. -  It is this freedom 
that has enabled producers in the free market economy to be also as 
efficient as they are in sharing the limited resources of this planet to 
satisfy unlimited desires of consumers.  By the same principle, the 
efficiency of the free market economy in sharing limited resources will 
increase when equilibrium between costs and revenues is kept by the people 
who earn income from the first activity that creates income : labour. 
Only consumers can keep equilibrium between costs and revenues at the level 
of revenues from labour. They spend their income from their labour on 
living costs in order to maintain or enhance their standard of living or to 
survive.  Only they can manage such spending to maintain the integrity of 
human nature, because this integrity can be kept only by means of selecting 
the goods and services from Nature which are to be consumed.  Only the 
consumer can therefore manage the costs of living to trace a way of living 
in harmony with Nature. 
The success of producers in achieving their goal of maximizing profits 
demonstrates that to manage a process by managing the activities that 
sustain this process is an efficient way to reach the goal of the process. 
Producers manage the activities that sustain the production processes that 
generate the profits.  The exchange of money for the goods and services 
with which mankind sustains their way of living on this planet, is an 
activity that sustains development.  Only consumers can therefore manage 
the living costs efficiently to reach the goal of development : to keep the 
integrity of human nature.  When consumers manage their living costs as tax 
deductible costs, they also improve the efficiency of the free market 
economy in sharing limited resources.  More well-being will be created, 
because they improve this efficiency in an ethical way. 
Brussels, December 2, 1998 
W.A. de Bruyn 
With sincerity and its feelings, 
Wim A. de Bruyn 
ZERO, association of consumers keeping their integrity with their income 
45 rue Alfred Giron 
B-1050 Brussels, Belgium 
Tel. : **32 (2) 648 56 95 
e-mail : WdeBruyn[at] 
ZERO web site : 
(Forwarded to SRRTAC-L by Fred Stoss) 
19. SHIFTING DIRECTION: From Global Dependence to Local Interdependence 
Complete paper (which is rather long) is available free at: 
Why is it that everything we hold dear seems threatened? 
Why do we feel insecure in our working lives, in our 
neighborhoods and streets, even within our own homes? Why, 
in spite of massive public awareness campaigns and 
educational efforts, does the environment continue to 
deteriorate from year to year? Why are communities and 
families fragmenting, while ethnic conflict, poverty, 
violence and crime are continuing to grow? Why is 
democracy slipping away? If each of these problems is 
viewed as separate and unconnected, solving all of them 
can easily seem impossible. When they are seen 
holistically, on the other hand, the potential for 
solutions expands enormously. Such a holistic analysis 
reveals that the many disparate symptoms of breakdown stem 
from the same root cause: a massive and centralised system 
of production and distribution one that transforms unique 
individuals into mass consumers, homogenizes diverse 
cultural traditions, and destroys wilderness and 
biodiversity, all in the name of growth and efficiency. In 
the process it is dividing us from each other and from the 
natural world on which we ultimately depend.  
20. Fun Facts About The World Coming to an End 
   Humans have destroyed more than 30 per cent of the natural world since 
      1970 with serious depletion of the forest, freshwater and marine 
                       systems on which life depends. 
   Consumption pressure from increasing affluence has doubled in the past 
    25 years and continues to accelerate, according to a ground-breaking 
       report from the World Wide Fund for Nature, the New Economics 
   Foundation, and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre at Cambridge. 
    The Living Planet Report says that the acceleration in environmental 
   destruction shows that politicians who have been paying lip service to 
    the idea of sustainable development have done little to promote it. 
     "Time is running out for us to change the way we live if we are to 
   leave future generations a living planet," Nick Mabey, WWF's economic 
   policy officer, said at the launch of the report in London yesterday. 
    "We knew it was bad but until we did this report we did not realise 
                                 how bad." 
    One of the most serious problems revealed for the first time is the 
   depletion of freshwater resources with half of the accessible supplies 
   being used by humans - double the amount of 1960. The rate of decline 
   of freshwater eco-systems is running at 6 per cent a year, threatening 
     to dry up many wetlands, and push the species of those habitats to 
     The report says that governments should increase the efficiency of 
     their water use, and stop wasteful irrigation schemes where water 
                            losses are highest. 
    Carbon dioxide emissions have doubled in the same period, and, being 
      far in excess of the natural world's ability to absorb them, are 
                        accelerating global warming. 
   Wood and paper consumption has increased by two-thirds, worldwide, and 
     most forests are managed unsustainably. In the same period, marine 
    fish consumption has also more than doubled and most of the world's 
          fish resources are either fully exploited or in decline. 
    Although western countries have high consumption rates, some of the 
      developing countries are depleting their natural resources at an 
    alarming rate. The people of Taiwan, the United States and Singapore 
    are singled out as the world's most voracious consumers, responsible 
    for depleting the earth's resources faster than other countries. 
Guardian (london)                           Friday October 2, 1998 
21. The Ten Commandments  of Globalization 
-I am Exponentially Increasing Profits, thy God 
-Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 
-Thou shalt not question the Inevitability of Globalization, nor 
the teachings of my disciples Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of 
-Thou shalt not honor anything in heaven above or on the earth 
beneath or in the waters below unless it has been processed and packaged by 
one of My Transnational Corporations; nor shalt thou use anything unless it 
bears an authorized corporate logo. 
-Thou shalt not misuse the logos of Transnational Corporations, nor 
take their names in vain. 
-Remember the Sabbath day by consuming vigorously. 
-Honor thy Financial Institutions, so that thou mayst live long in 
the quarters that thou or thy landlord hast mortgaged unto them. 
-Thou shalt not murder, but hearken: thou shalt not look too 
closely at the effects of thy investments, nor shalt thou fail to honor an 
associate just because he is a tyrant or a murderer. 
-Thou shalt not forget that thou art an economic production unit, 
nor shalt thou forget that if thou cannot find a job it is because thou art 
a lazy good-for-nothing, nor that if thou likest not thy pay or thy working 
conditions, there are many unemployed who would be happy to have your job. 
-Thou shalt not steal except from thy workers and the consumers of 
thy products;  render nothing unto the meddlesome Government who will just 
waste it on public health, education and welfare 
-Thou shalt covet thy neighbor's job, and his TV and computer, his 
car or bicycle, and every single thing that belongs to thy neighbor unless 
it is older or smaller than thy thing. 
From: James_Wilson[at] (James Wilson) 
22. Ecology, Ethics, Power - by Tom Green 
In downtown Victoria, BC, a crowd gathers to celebrate 
Earth Day, but I take no part. Pencil shavings pile up 
beside me. A dozen graduate students cover page after page 
with graphs and calculus. It's a final exam in 
environmental economics.  
The worries and hopes of the Earth Day celebrants have 
nothing to do with what we students race to get on paper. 
Instead, we find the "efficient" level of pollution, and 
prove that all firms should not adopt cleaner technology.  
In a few months, these students will land jobs. Is this 
not cause for celebration; more economists who understand 
the environment at policy levels? One student was being 
interviewed for a job with the Ministry of the 
Environment. "They asked me what we had learned about 
sustainability," she reported back to us, "and I told them 
that economists can have no opinion about sustainability." 
We did weird things in class. We assumed that people 
reproduce asexually. Then, we assumed the planet was 
populated by two types of people: those who cared about 
future generations, and those that didn't. The entire 
population, thinking as investors, discounts the future, 
like compound interest in reverse. These assumptions in 
hand, and with a little calculus, we proved that people 
will choose to consume in a way that destroys the planet. 
The problem is not that the planet will be destroyed, but 
rather that we won't do it efficiently. The economist 
seeks to restore efficiency, not sustainability. 
More than a forest was cut to publish all the papers on 
pollution taxes, on tradeable emission permits, on how we 
are in danger of cleaning up too much. In these papers, 
math is the language of choice. Too bad: if English were 
used, ecologists could have a good laugh.  
Economist logic will take you weird places. We should ship 
toxic waste to the third world, if those countries will 
accept a small bribe. Action on global warming is not 
worth the trouble, as those who will be flooded out live 
in low income nations, and can't afford to pay to avert 
Environmental economics is not green or ecological 
economics. It doesn't take as a goal that our planet 
should be worth living on. Instead, it explains away our 
present disaster and makes it acceptable. Never for an 
instant does it consider that the obsession with growth, 
the belief that we all want unlimited consumption - in 
short, economic theory - might be itself largely 
responsible. Interested in studying environmental 
economics? A background in ecology, biology, or 
environmental studies will lead you astray. As will a good 
grounding in philosophy, or an understanding of power. You 
might ask rude questions. No, stick to math and economics. 
And don't expect to see your colleagues in the Earth Day 
We need green economists. Green economists study ecology, 
ethics, power. They view society as more than a throng of 
selfish, rational morons, who can only see happiness as 
more of everything. Green economists see that the 
corporations are out of control, and that there's a 
revolution brewing in their profession.  
-Tom Green is a masters student at the University of 
Victoria studying green and neoclassical economics.  
This article appeared in Adbusters Magazine  
and resides on their website, at: 
  L I B R A R Y   J U I C E 
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