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“Ecological Economics” Approach to Environmental Problems

Journal: Efil Ekonomi Araştırmaları Dergisi (Vol.5, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 24-91

Keywords : Environment; economy; growth; environmental economics; ecological economics; natural resources; the law of entropy; “weak sustainability”; “strong sustainability”; ecologic debt.;

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Environmental problems like global warming, biodiversity loss, the danger of depletion of natural resources and environmental pollution affect the whole globe in different levels. It is an undeniable fact that environmental problems appeared in the 19th century with the emergence of industrialization and rapid economic growth. The economics as a science has questioned the environmental problems in the last thirty years through “environmental economics” which was constructed on the assumptions and the methods of the mainstream economics. Towards the end of the 1980s, from “Seveso” to “Chernobyl”, as a result of the recurrent environmental disasters in our world, a new economic movement came into existence with the doubts arose on the market mechanism's ability to solve these environmental issues: “Ecological Economics”. The purpose of the Ecological Economics is not to consider the economy as a closed system which consists of the infinite cyclical streams in the frame of production-exchange-consumption like the mainstream economics assume, but to define as an integrated open subset of the earth (biosphere) system which it is bound to. According to mainstream economics, an endless economic growth will be maintained by supplying a strong substitute to the market. The Ecological Economics makes the most important objection to this ideology by the second law of thermodynamics; “entropy”, which implies the finiteness of the natural resources. In analyzing the environmental problems the Ecological Economics asserts “strong sustainability” which takes the “entropy” into account against the Environmental Economy's “weak sustainability” notion.

Last modified: 2022-06-23 20:23:54