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Date:         Wed, 22 Apr 2009 22:19:39 -0700
Reply-To:     Ashwani Vasishth <[log in to unmask]>
Sender:       "Ecological Society of America: grants, jobs, news"
              <[log in to unmask]>
From:         Ashwani Vasishth <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      Re: ESA position statement economic growth
In-Reply-To:  <[log in to unmask]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Speaking as a planner, it seems to me that "position statements" are reifications of thought frozen in time. What's needed is a policy process that integrates what we know about adaptive management and about organizational evolution, and that systematically begs revisitation. Can we make this an on-going process, rather than a concrete document that then gets shelved in the musty recesses of our organizational mind? I understand ecological economics, I think <http://www.csun.edu/~vasishth/Vasishth-Ecological_Economics.ppt>, and agree that the ESA statement as it stands does indeed represent an anachronistic world view. This is not state of the art thinking, by any means. Of course, it is up to the collective to decide whether we want ESA to represent the best that is known about sustainability and sustainable development, or whether we simply want to take a categorical position on a politically ideological idea like "economic growth." As an ecological planner, I would suggest that our time is better spent in figuring out how, given what we know about the world and how the world happens, we think development ought to proceed. How do we make our cities, home to the majority, now, friendlier to nature, and begin the process started by Steward Pickett in taking "humans as components of ecosystems." Robert Costanza is a solid source for information on ecological economics and sustainable development, in my opinion. Cheers, - Ashwani Vasishth [log in to unmask] (818) 677-6137 http://www.csun.edu/~vasishth/ -------------------------------------------------------- Director Institute for Sustainability http://www.csun.edu/sustainability -------------------------------------------------------- On 4/22/09 6:11 AM, "Heather Reynolds" <[log in to unmask]> wrote: Dear Colleagues, ESA members may have noticed that ESA is soliciting feedback from its members on a draft position statement on economic growth. As ESA notes, the draft was developed by 2 environmental economists and a mathematical ecologist. To date, only a handful of professional societies have issued these sorts of statements (for a list, see http://www.steadystate.org/CASSEPositionOnEG.html) . ESA thus deserves a great deal of credit for taking on such a complex issue. The draft statement strongly reflects an environmental economist point of view. There is another field of economics, called ecological economics. There are fairly strong distinctions between environmental vs. ecological economists, although there are certainly many areas of agreement (e.g. the importance, where possible, of internalizing environmental externalities). Ecological economists are careful to distinguish economic growth from economic development. This Encyclopedia of Earth entry: http://www.eoearth.org/article/Steady_state_economy by recognized expert Brian Czech discusses the distinction between economic growth and economic development. Other well known ecological economists include Robert Constanza and Herman Daly. I hope that ESA will continue to work on this position statement and will actively seek the input of ecological economists. Heather Reynolds Associate Professor Department of Biology Jordan Hall 142 Indiana University 1001 E 3rd Street Bloomington IN 47405 Ph: (812) 855-0792 Fax: (812) 855-6705 [log in to unmask]


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