They have a common element, i.
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Insofar as they are located outside the territory of most developed countries, it is imperative that these seek other sources of energy. However, as these countries are the largest holders of technology, they can invest increasingly in renewable energy sources, including cold fusion.
It embodies a rich set of social and cultural movements among which are: the Anti-utilitarian Movement in Social Sciences MAUSS , the bioeconomists, the post-developmentalists, the conscientious objectors, and the antipub. Morin , p. This movement has its main roots in the work of the economist Georgescu-Roegen. Based on the second law of thermodynamics entropy , he draws attention to the fact that every productive process is the transformation of low entropy energy into high entropy energy, in other words, the transformation of available energy and matter into non-available energy and matter.
His main follower, Herman Daly , proposes a less drastic alternative: the pursuit of steady-state economy, in an analogy, according to Veiga , p. And studies showing the decoupling of economic growth from quality of life in developed countries reinforce the idea that it is possible to live better with less consumption and production Veiga, According to Latouche , the most extreme advocate of degrowth, the current production and consumption pattern has no future because it will lead to self-extinction.
Ultimately, in the adoption of a new lifestyle.
What is ecological economics?
The third answer lies in the possibility of a catastrophe. In fact, it is the result of a non-answer. The idea that the problems heralded by the environmental crisis can be solved through technological innovation cannot be right. It is true that several initiatives are being currently undertaken in the attempt to replace fossil energy sources. Germany and the countries in northern Europe are examples of that. However, greenhouse gas emission is already considerable, and measures to reduce it are slow.
It is a race against time.
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Ideas such as creating bacteria that can absorb carbon dioxide or putting mirrors in the stratosphere to reflect sunlight and reduce solar heat are dangerous from the standpoint their consequences, and uncertain as to their viability. In turn, it is possible that climate change will accelerate, to the extent that global warming will release more of the CO 2 that is retained in nature permafrost in Siberia and the Arctic, for example. A sudden reversal in climate can have catastrophic effects on human life, and this may already be occurring, with results to be felt in the next two or three decades.
The clash between the vision of developed nations, especially in Europe, and developing or underdeveloped countries that emerged in the s, persists and should continue at the World Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. But now in a different context, since the environmental issue not only has widened but also gained new connotations since the IPCC report. The differences lie, inter alia , in two points: a the environmental crisis has gained more serious contours as a result of the perception of the anthropogenic responsibility for global warming and the dynamics of the rise of a more substantial human contingent in the consumer market; b the proposals of sustainable development, especially as regards decarbonization and dematerialization of the economy, now under the guise of green economy, have gained strength.
The location of fossil sources outside their territories forces some developed countries to invest in new energy sources.
Sustainable development: an ecological economics perspective
The recent nuclear accident in Japan has driven this movement even further. These changes, finally, are becoming increasingly associated with technological innovations, opening the possibility of a new long-lasting wave of innovation. Thus, the economy is becoming increasingly convinced of the need to save the environment in developed countries and is gaining greater relevance in developing countries. In turn, the economic dynamics of developing countries, except for the share of their populations that are below the poverty line, coupled with a more pessimistic perception of the environmental crisis, shifts the focus of the fight against poverty.
The issue is finding out whether there will be some movement towards shifting the core of sustainable development from social to environmental. These are all, however, weak movements that have not yet become strong trends. Contradiction between the evidence of a growing environmental crisis and the weakness of the measures adopted; uncertainty about the future of humanity as the economic and environmental crises deepen; and hope that social transformations will actually occur, changing - for the better - the civilization pattern to which we are prey, as put by Morin Two other books in the same decade were less successful, but very striking: L.
Another study had less immediate impact, but encouraged a great debate in academia and fostered a strong research movement: G. The Club of Rome was established at a meeting of 30 people from ten different countries in , on the initiative of businessman Aurelio Pecei Machado, , p. Lyon: Golias, Paris: L'Harmattan, Denis Trierweiler. Paris: Seuil, Nosso futuro comum. Rio de Janeiro: FGV, Rio de Janeiro: Garamond, DALY, H.
Beyond growth. The economics of sustainable development. Boston: Beacon Press, The politics of the Earth : environmental discourse.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, The Entropy Law and the economic process. Boston: Harvard University Press, Quaderni del carcere. Torino: Riuniti, Paris: Mille et un Nuits, Sociologia ambiental : risco e sustentabilidade na modernidade. Rio de Janeiro: Intrinsecas, Os limites do crescimento. Paris: L'Herme, La voie. Paris: Fayard, The shallow and the deep, long-range ecology movement. A summary. Inquiry , v. Rio de janeiro: Campus, Sustainability as a new political Field.
Ibama, The politics of sustentability. Sustainable environmental economics and management : principles and practice.
London: Bethaven, Blueprint for a green economy. London: Earthscan, Sustentable development : exploring the contradictions. London: Routledge; New York: Methuen, The politics of sustainable development. The politics of sustainable development : theory, policy and practice within the european union. London: Makron Books, SEN, A. Desenvolvimento como liberdade. Actuality and potentiality are organically integrated so as to allow for a genuinely creative cosmos where, even if the past is settled, the future remains widely open.
The principle of open systems is our third systemic principle of life. And finally, all living systems are cognitive systems. They interact cognitively with their environment in ways that are determined by their own internal organization. The principle of cognitive interactions is our fourth systemic principle of life.
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This, then, are our four fundamental principles: nested systems, self-generating networks, open systems, and cognitive interactions. We should point out that they are all interconnected, so that the choice of what to call a fundamental principle is somewhat arbitrary. For example, the principles open systems and self-generating networks are combined in the definition of metabolism, which is a central characteristic of life. Metabolism is the ceaseless flow of energy and matter through a network of chemical reactions, which enables a living organism to continually generate, repair, and perpetuate itself.
To give another example, when the nonlinearity of living networks is manifest in ecosystems as food webs, it involves cooperation, partnerships, and symbioses — all of which might also be called principles of life.
At the very heart of the change of paradigms from the mechanistic to the systemic view of life we find a fundamental change of metaphors: from seeing the world as a machine to understanding it as an organic living network. In the following paragraphs we shall exemplify how our four principles can be guiding principles for a transition to an ecological economics. In a society where the systemic view of life is accepted, the context of economics becomes one where every economic activity should contribute to the development of viable societies within resilient nature. In other words, the economy should give priority to activities that are in harmony with the overarching goal of maximizing the well-being of human beings, non-humans, and whole ecosystems.
The only valid purpose of the economy is to serve the life processes in all kinds of social and ecological systems. What all these ownership designs have in common is that they create and maintain conditions for the flourishing of human and ecological communities. In principle, it is possible to implement the change to ecological economics both at the individual and the systemic level. On the one hand, economic systems depend on human beings.