By John Foster
This quantity questions the dominant financial equipment of comparing the surroundings and asks what position economics may still play in environment our environmental pursuits. subject matters comprise: a critique of neo-classical financial concept at the surroundings; environmental economics, associations and coverage; and moving environmental economics.
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Extra resources for Valuing Nature?: Economics, Ethics and Environment
7 Now broadly speaking, the attribution of rights implies a refusal to countenance actions which, whilst they might be preferable to others in terms of net benefits, involve unacceptable damage to the interests or wellbeing of particular individuals or groups. —have certain rights is to claim that they should never be treated in certain ways, even if the calculation of aggregative individual well-being shows that the action which has these effects would be the most beneficial one. Hence typical examples of rights-attributions imply claims such as ‘the (known-to-be) innocent should never be punished’, ‘slavery can never be permitted’, and so on.
This delightful image is due to Michael Jacobs; see Jacobs 1991. The classic texts for this account are Pearce et al. 1989, Pearce et al. 1991 and Pearce 1993. There is, indeed, a sense of the term ‘environment’ in which it stands for an intentional concept not wholly distinct from ‘frame of reference’—the field of significance which a given community or practice constitutes out of its interaction with its surroundings (see Cooper 1992); but, of course, this process necessarily takes the surroundings in question as really accessible to others.
No longer was the latter to be seen by other departments as soft and discretionary; by becoming translated into the grown-up language of economics, environmental priorities would begin to gain the authority they merited at the centre of the concerns of modern government. Appropriately, Professor Pearce’s promotion attracted considerable media interest. A succession of initiatives followed. Pearce’s previously unpublicised work for the Department of the Environment (DoE) (commissioned under the tenure of Patten’s predecessor, Nicholas Ridley) was published, reinforcing the wave of interest.
Valuing Nature?: Economics, Ethics and Environment by John Foster