This accessible and provocative book explores whether getting 'unhooked' from ecomic growth to meet the needs of the environment is possible. Although giving the environment priority over growth may seem radical, the author argues that it can be accomplished using marketable emissions allowances, transferable development rights, and other tools popular with conventional ecomists. It can also be achieved by creating more interesting and environmentally friendly urban landscapes less beholden to the automobile. The key problem will be ensuring that everyone who wants employment can find it. This will require a transition to a shorter workweek, the wistful goal of many a harried worker. More leisure, a higher-quality environment, and more attractive cities and towns are the potential rewards of a less consumption-oriented society. Yet how can the power of special interests be overcome in the name of environmental conservation? This is the author's critical final question as he offers a clear path to a sustainable ecomic and environmental future.
Douglas E. Booth is retired associate professor of economics at Marquette University and a founding board member of the Driftless Area Land Conservancy.