Ecological Economics and Planetary Stewardship: Making Up for Lost Time
Thursday, August 13, 2015: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
308, Baltimore Convention Center
Stuart H. Hurlbert, San Diego State University
David Schindler, University of Alberta
The world in 2014 has around 7.2 billion humans living in approximately 196 nations. Most of these nations adhere to the common paradigm that prosperity is only achieved by economic growth. Yet increasing evidence suggests that growth in GDP is a poor indicator of well-being, and that more economic “bads and disservices” are being added to the GDP tally. Further, most national programs assume growth of populations in order to maintain wealth and security. Ecological economics has a different fundamental set of principles, understanding that human social/economic systems are subsets of the biosphere, connected through global exchanges. As such, human societies follow ecological rules and are not truly apart from Nature. Basic tenets of ecological economics posit that a sustainable future is based on population stabilization, reining in of growth policies, and equitable distribution of the world’s resources while maintaining global ecosystems that form humanity’s life support system. The proposed session will lay out the overall, dimensions of the problem, introduce ecological economics and the role of population in it, discuss U.S. immigration policy as an ecological economic problem, and consider particular fisheries and sea level rise issues as the result of the combined effects of population and economic consumption. This symposium is offered as a complement to an Organized Oral Session: Population Stabilization and Planetary Stewardship: Making Up for Lost Time. Both sessions have been strongly endorsed by the Society for Conservation Biology, the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics, and the Society for Freshwater Science. So make sure you attend both to get the Really Big Picture !