Wednesday, March 15, 2006


"In 'Economism or Planetism,' John B. Cobb (Herman Daly's coauthor in For the Common Good, Beacon Press, 1989) suggests that it is time to reassess our current 'non-ideology ideology' of consumerism. Cobb argues that we ought to address both consumption and production as part of a broader whole that interrelates the human economy with the larger natural economy functioning in the biosphere. One aim is to encourage values in addition to, and sometimes in conflict with, consumerism--especially those associated with human community and a sense of belonging to the larger world. Cobb does not deny the efficiency of the market, but champions its role (where appropriate) as a means toward achievement of socially/politically/biologically determined ends. But neither does Cobb believe that markets, and market mechanisms, are a panacea for all our problems. Whether you see his prescriptive remedies to be common sense or nonsense, Cobb's ideas are worth reading and discussing every bit as much now as when first presented in 1991."
We are not discussing the normative framework of sustainability until next semester, but if you would like a bit of a preview you might be interested in Cobb's paper.

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