A Dictionary of Environmental Economics, Science, and Policy

A Dictionary of Environmental Economics, Science, and Policy

Elgar original reference

R. Quentin Grafton, Linwood H. Pendleton and Harry W. Nelson

This comprehensive Dictionary is an important reference tool for all those interested in environmental science and environmental studies. Written in a clear and accessible style, the dictionary includes over three thousand up-to-date entries, all accompanied by a detailed yet straightforward definition covering all aspects of the subject.

Preface

R. Quentin Grafton, Linwood H. Pendleton and Harry W. Nelson

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, ecological economics, environmental economics

Extract

With the increasing scarcity of environmental services and natural resources, it has become ever more critical to manage the environment more efficiently. Resource managers and environmentalregulators must combine natural science and economics into more effective policies. The natural sciences are critical for understanding the link between actions and consequences in nature. Economics is critical for understanding what markets will do and how to design public programs to maximize net social benefits. As most observers instinctively know, the economy is the greatest threat to nature. It is economic activities that are at the heart of most pollution, most solid and municipal waste, and most of the destruction of natural systems. In society’s active pursuit of material wealth, the environment can sometimes suffer. One reason to study economics is to better understand the economy and understand why the economy uses natural resources, pollutes the air and water, and compromises pristine ecosystems. There are many reasons why markets may not make efficient environmental and natural resource decisions. Sometimes market decision makers simply overlook their impact on the environment. Sometimes there are multiple owners of resources and responsibility is diluted. Sometimes there are no owners of a resource and people rush to use it before anyone else can. All of the above market failures suggest that the economy sometimes fails to manage environmental and natural resources carefully. When market failures occur, the government must play an active role, regulating the market and encouraging investments into natural resources that would improve social outcomes. Economics plays...