The Sustainable Economy: The Hidden Costs of Climate Change and the Path to a Prosperous Future (Paperback)
An original, engaging guide to creating a sustainable economy that will combat global warming while also improving our quality of life.
Pick an environmental issue. Maybe air pollution, toxic waste, or deforestation. These all seem like solid choices, but none of these is actually an environmental problem--at least, not at its heart. Deep down, they are economic problems. Nearly all the issues we classify as environmental stem from defects in the DNA of America's current market system. This is emphatically true of our greatest environmental threat: global warming.
With a focus on climate change, journalist and author Robert S. Devine reveals the fundamental flaws in the economy that enable environmental degradation. The Sustainable Economy is a book about economics, but it skips the equations and eases through the jargon, opting instead for compelling stories and surprising humor. Readers will encounter high-tech narwhals, struggling coal workers, orbiting giant mirrors, the kids who are suing the U.S. government over climate policy, and vanishing Alaskan towns.
The Sustainable Economy looks at many of the most pressing climate issues, such as melting ice caps and farm-killing droughts, but by viewing them through the revealing lens of economics, the book delivers a fresh perspective. Devine shows how the basic mechanisms of supply and demand fail when it comes to global warming and the environment. Fortunately, he also lays out a path to an improved economy that can boost our well-being while also fostering a healthy environment. Most importantly, The Sustainable Economy shows how we can overcome the political and personal obstacles blocking progress toward a sustainable, just, and prosperous economy.
About the Author
Robert S. Devine has been writing about the environment and natural history for many years. His articles have appeared in scores of publications, including The Atlantic and the Los Angeles Times. He has authored and coauthored more than a dozen books, most of them published by the National Geographic Society. His 2004 book Bush Versus the Environment marked his first deep dive into the politics and economics of climate change. He lives in Corvallis, Oregon.
“Conventional, neoclassical economics has failed resoundingly to deal with the climate crisis: as The Sustainable Economy makes clear it is a market failure, an intellectual failure, and a moral failure. We clearly can't rely on the tools that have gotten us into this mess to get us out, and Robert S. Devine suggests some of the alternative possibilities.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy
"Activists, students, and policymakers stand to learn much from this deep dive into environmental economics."