This book, explores a subject of growing significance. Acknowledging that the use of monetary value as a measuring rod is of limited applicability in assessing environmental and resource questions, Ecological Economics focuses instead on the crucial role played by the flows of energy and materials in the economy. Despite the dramatic increase in attention paid to ecological economics by mainstream economists since the first energy crisis of the early 1970s the subject is by no means as new as is often supposed. On the contrary, as Dr Martinez-Alier shows, it has a long and distinguished history and an extensive literature, much of it generated by the physicists, biologists and chemists of the 19th century. His discussion of these writers brings into the open for the first time a tradition of investigation and analysis which is of great contemporary relevance.
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