Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. Boulding Published History. We are now in the middle of a long process of transition in the nature of the image which man has of himself and his environment. Primitive men, and to a large extent also men of the early civilizations, imagined themselves to be living on a virtually illimitable plane.
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Other versions of this item: Spash, Clive L. Costanza, Robert, Ayres, Robert U. Clive L. Spash, Bianciardi, C. Kallis, Giorgos, Herman E. Daly, Spash, Clive L. You can help correct errors and omissions.
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Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services. Economic literature: papers , articles , software , chapters , books. FRED data. Registered: Clive L. The work of Kenneth Boulding is sometimes cited as being foundational to the understanding of how the economy interacts with the environment and particularly of relevance to ecological economists.
The main reference made in this regard is to his seminal essay using the metaphor of planet Earth as a spaceship. In this paper that essay and related work is placed both within historical context of the environmental movement and developments in the thought on environment-economy interactions.
The writing by Boulding in this area is critically reviewed and discussed in relationship to the work of his contemporaries, also regarded as important for the ecological economics community, such as Georegescu-Roegen, Herman Daly and K. William Kapp. This brings out the facts that Boulding did not pursue his environmental concerns, wrote little on the subject, had a techno-optimist tendency, disagreed with his contemporaries and preferred to develop an evolutionary economics approach.
Finally, a sketch is offered of how the ideas in the Spaceship Earth essay relate to current understanding within social ecological economics. The essay itself, while offering many thought provoking insights within the context of its time, also has flaws both of accuracy and omission. The issues of power, social justice, institutional and social relationships are ones absent, but also ones which Boulding, near the end of his life, finally recognised as key to addressing the growing environmental crises.
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The Ecological Economics of Boulding's Spaceship Earth
However, in my research, I have been surprised on several occasions by scholars putting forward valuable framings of sustainability concepts well before the emergence of the notion of sustainable development itself. Not only did Boulding hit the nail on the head in regards to the nature of the problem, he also framed the way forward in a compelling and lucid way. Boulding was a British-American; a professor of economics by title, a social philosopher by inclination and a Quaker by conviction. He began publishing in the s and had been pushing boundaries long before Spaceship Earth.
The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth
Other versions of this item: Spash, Clive L. Costanza, Robert, Ayres, Robert U. Clive L. Spash, Bianciardi, C.