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William Rees - The Dangerous Disconnect Between Economics and Ecology
The world economy is depleting the earth's natural resources, and economists cling to models that make no reference whatsoever to the biophysical basis that underpins the economy. That's why ecological economics is needed, says William Rees in this INET interview. http://ineteconomics.org/video/interview/william-rees-dangerous-disconnect-between-economics-and-ecology
Money Creation and Sustainability
What is money, and where does it come from? What does the monetary system have to do with sustainability? In this lecture, I explain what money is, and how it is created and destroyed by commercial banks. I look at some of the criticisms of our current monetary system, and discuss possible alternatives, such as Sovereign Money Creation and a Sovereign Money System. Lastly, I explore the links between money creation and environmental sustainability, including the tough question of whether our current monetary system creates a dangerous growth imperative.
What Is Economics?
There are many different schools of thought in economics, and they sometimes have quite fierce disagreements over big ideas. In this lecture, I discuss how three schools of thought (neoclassical economics, environmental economics, and ecological economics) think about the environment and sustainability.
What Is Sustainability?
What is sustainability, and why is it such a contested topic? What does it mean for development to be sustainable? In this lecture, I explore the two main views on sustainability within economics: Weak Sustainability and Strong Sustainability. In doing so, I also cover the Five Capitals framework (natural capital, built capital, human capital, social capital, and financial capital).
Marginal Benefits and Marginal Costs
Economics is about choices, about trade-offs. In this lecture, I introduce three important concepts that underpin rational decision-making in neoclassical economics: opportunity costs, marginal benefits, and marginal costs. With these concepts, we can understand important ideas such as the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility, the Law of Increasing Marginal Cost, and the concept of optimal scale (a.k.a. the “When to Stop” Rule).
Neoclassical Economics vs Ecological Economics
Neoclassical economics and ecological economics have very different views on how to achieve sustainability. One of the reasons for this is that is that they start with different "preanalytic visions". The fundamental vision of neoclassical economics is the circular flow diagram, while the fundamental vision of ecological economics is the economy embedded within the biosphere. These differences are important, particularly given we have moved from an "empty world" to a "full world", as shown by our transgression of planetary boundaries.
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