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Supply Shock: Ecological Limits to Ecological Growth

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Supply Shock: Ecological Limits to Ecological Growth
3:00 pm, Knott Hall Room B01
Speaker Brian Czech, co-director of the Center for Advancement of a Steady State Economy
Sponsored by the Center for Community Service and Justice & Messina

About the Event:

Dr. Brian Czech will be talking about the call to incorporate ecology into economic models - to integrate the study and management of nature’s household (ecology) with human’s household (economics).  This talk will be highly interdisciplinary, and will promote more crosstalk and understanding between those interested in economic policies and those interested in environmental policies. The rapid increase in human population growth since the start of the 20th century (from 1.65 billion to 7.3 billion) calls for a new look at how we view our natural resources and our potential for future increases in economic growth.  Dr. Czech is a wildlife ecologist who also studies economics and works as an interdisciplinary biologist at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He is founder and President of the Center for the Advancement of a Steady State Economy (CASSE), and his recent book is Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution.

Resources for Attendees:  

What is ecological economics?  A Q&A with Robert Constanza, one of the founders of the trans-disciplinary effort to understand how economics is embedded in the broader ecosystem and supports all human activities.

Daly HE, Farley J.  2004.  Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications.  Island Press: Washington, DC.  Available online by clicking the title.  

Francis I.  2015. Laudato Sí: On Care for Our Common Home.  Encyclical letter.

Questions for further reflection and discussion:

1.    As individuals, we often go about our day making decisions that really amount to a cost-benefit analysis, weighing costs and benefits and choosing the activity with the highest overall reward. Think of some actions you have taken based on this type of decision making in the last week.  Did you make good decisions based on the potential benefits and costs of any given choices?

2.    Think about costs and benefits now on a longer term basis.  Can you think of a time when you only thought of the short-term costs and benefits, and then paid for it later?

3.    Now think about our use of the environment.  We are a consumer-driven society, and this is driving the large scale conversion of the natural world into the man made world.  We get all of the benefits of these goods right now, but the only “cost” we often consider is how much money it cost us to buy the good.  What other costs might be incurred that aren’t accounted for in the price of a consumer good?

4.    Ecosystem services are benefits of the intact ecosystem to humankind.  These are grouped into four broad categories:  provisioning (e.g., food production), regulating (e.g., climate control), supporting (e.g., crop pollination), and cultural (e.g., recreational benefits).  What are some ecosystem services that you rely on every day?
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