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Cambridge Journal of Economics
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 36  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 1033 - 1049

Green economics: putting the planet and politics back into economics

Molly Scott Cato    

Abstract: Green economics is arising from a study of the economy that takes a philosophical position characterised by a deep respect for nature. It is primarily a system of ideas and principles, rather than a rationally argued intellectual position. Its ideas are powerful and influential on developments in policy and politics, but it is presently less well grounded in the academy. Green economists do not dwell overmuch on introspection and their method is implicit rather than explicit, relying on a grounded, embedded and phenomenological approach and rejecting the scientism and spurious objectivity of neoclassical economics. In this paper I outline four key issues central to a green study of the economy: the need to end economic growth; the importance of equality and questions of the just distribution of resources; the requirement to consider appropriate scale in economic decision-making; and the need to include multiple perspectives in the study of economics.

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