Monday, November 08, 2010

Biophysical economics

For some time, I've been intrigued by the notions behind ecological economics, but I never delved into that subject to any depth. 

Recently I discovered biophysical economics and the site of the Biophysical Economics Workgroup.  After reading a few of the articles, I thought it worth passing along. 

To get an introduction to the field, you might start with The need for a new, biophysical-based paradigm in economics for the second half of the age of oil. While it covers much more territory than this, I was struck by the quotation


The second factor [that undermined the perspective that natural resources are constrained] is the mistaken assumption that the ‘Limits to Growth’ model of Jay Forester and his students (e.g. Meadows et al., 1972) has failed, an erroneous perception shared even by most resource scientists. In fact after more than 30 years, that model is almost exactly on target for all 6 major entities simulated (at least if one assumes “resources” are equivalent to petroleum and “pollution” indicates CO2, SOx or NOx).... To our knowledge, this accuracy is unmatched by any economic prediction model that we have seen yet.

If you're already familiar with biophysical economics, what is your impression of the field?  If you're not familiar with it, what do you see when you check it out?

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