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Macroeconomics and the Environment

Essays on Green Accounting

Salah El Serafy

Though scientists and environmentalists have long expressed concern over the rapid deterioration of the global environment, economists have largely failed to recognize the issue’s relevance to their field. Salah El Serafy argues for an increased focus on the economic aspects of environmental degradation, calling for a fundamental shift in how economists measure and discuss national income.
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Chapter 21: An afterword

Essays on Green Accounting

Salah El Serafy


At this stage the reader may expect a distillation of the book’s central message or messages. But it is doubtful that a succinct summary is possible or can be sufficiently faithful to the many topics discussed. The coverage of the preceding chapters went far and wide, mixing demolition of what I thought heresies with constructive propositions. But the center of attention has been constant throughout, and all arguments have revolved around a core preoccupation. That is seeking a better estimation of national income, namely a greened national product. My quest for greening the national accounts, it should be obvious by now, has not been motivated by interest in ecological conservation, but to obtain more realistic macroeconomic measurements – which at least to some extent would reflect ecological change.

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