Author Archive

A new framework to address overshoot

December 8, 2009 1 comment

As an independent economic thinker rather than an affiliated academic, I can perhaps offer a fresh approach to our ecological predicament.

The current approach is typified by recent posts regarding cap-and-trade, including Edward Fullbrook’s request that economists evaluate James Hansen’s “fee and dividend” proposal.  These posts are attempts to reform the current system – that is, to improve on business-as-usual.  Such reforms are worthwhile, but strikingly inadequate to prevent the collapse that Fullbrook and many others rightly fear.

Climate change is clearly a major threat to ecosystems, but it is only a symptom of the underlying problem we face – ecological overshoot.  For the first time in history, humankind has violated environmental limits on a global basis.  This situation is unprecedented, and therefore requires an unprecedented solution. Read more…