The Wealth of Nature: How Mainstream Economics Has Failed the Environment by Robert L. Nadeau (Hardback, 2003)
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- DescriptionVirtually all large-scale damage to the global environment is caused by ecomic activities, and the vast majority of ecomic planners in both business and government coordinate these activities on the basis of guidelines and prescriptions from neoclassical ecomic theory. In this hard-hitting book, Robert Nadeau demonstrates that the claim that neoclassical ecomics is a science comparable to the physical sciences is totally bogus and that our failure to recognize and deal with this fact constitutes the greatest single barrier to the timely resolution of the crisis in the global environment. Neoclassical ecomic theory is premised on the belief that the invisible hand - Adam Smith's metaphor for forces associated with the operation of the natural laws of ecomics -regulates the workings of market ecomies. Nadeau reveals that Smith's understanding of these laws was predicated on assumptions from eighteenth-century metaphysics and that the creators of neoclassical ecomics incorporated this view of the lawful mechanisms of free-market systems into a mathematical formalism borrowed wholesale from mid-nineteenth-century physics. The strategy used by these ecomists, all of whom had been trained as engineers, was as simple as it was absurd-they substituted ecomic variables for the physical variables in the equations of this physics. Strangely eugh, this claim was widely accepted and the fact that neoclassical ecomics originated in a bastardization of mid-nineteenth-century physics was soon forgotten. Nadeau makes a convincing case that the myth that neoclassical ecomic theory is a science has blinded us to the fact that there is absolutely basis in this theory for accounting for the environmental impacts of ecomic activities or for positing viable ecomic solutions to environmental problems. The unfortunate result is that the manner in which we are w coordinating global ecomic activities is a program for ecological disaster, and we may soon arrive at the point where massive changes in the global environment will threaten the lives of billions of people. To avoid this prospect, Nadeau argues that we must develop and implement an environmentally responsible ecomic theory and describes how this can be accomplished.
- Author BiographyRobert Nadeau is an interdisciplinary scholar and an historian of science and is currently a professor at George Mason University. His books include The Non-Local Universe: The New Physics and Matters of the Mind; The Conscious Universe: Parts and Wholes in Physical Reality; and S/He Brain: Science, Sexual Politics, and the Myths of Feminism. He lives in Fairfax, VA.
- Author(s)Robert L. Nadeau
- PublisherColumbia University Press
- Date of Publication22/05/2003
- SubjectEconomics: Professional & General
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintColumbia University Press
- Content NoteIllustrations
- Weight635 g
- Width163 mm
- Height237 mm
- Spine22 mm
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