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What Environmentalists Need to Know about Economics

Excerpt from the cover of Professor Scorse’s new book.

Professor Jason Scorse’s New Book Explains “What Environmentalists Need to Know About Economics”

October 18, 2010

Challenging the conventional wisdom that economics and environmentalism are in conflict, Professor Jason Scorse of the Monterey Institute of International Studies argues that the opposite is true in his new book “What Environmentalists Need to Know About Economics” (Palgrave Macmillan).

In the book Scorse, chair of the Institute’s International Environmental Policy program, argues that sound economic rationales exist for many environmentally friendly policies, and provides a conceptual set of tools for approaching environmental issues based on economic analysis. The book covers incentives, property rights, market failure, and supply and demand constraints, and offers insights from behavioral economics.

“My goal with this book is to demonstrate that sound economic analysis and reasoning can be one of the environmental community’s strongest allies,” said Professor Scorse. “It’s also intended to be easy to read—no economics background is required—and filled with real-world examples of complex environmental challenges.”

Early praise for “What Environmentalists Need to Know About Economics” has come from experts including:

  • Bill McKibben, environmental writer and Middlebury College scholar-in-residence: "This book introduces many of the themes that environmental economists work with, some of which will need to come into play if we're going to deal with catastrophes like climate change.”
  • Linwood Pendleton, director of ocean and coastal policy at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute: “Jason Scorse's book will help anyone who cares about the environment move beyond simple ideas of money to understand how economic factors affect the environment and how the environment affects the economic well-being of all people."
  • Ann Harrison, director of economic development policy at the World Bank: “Professor Scorse puts to rest the notion that economics and the environment are at odds; in fact, sound economic policy is the key for environmental solutions.”

Professor Scorse will deliver a lecture based on the book’s findings as part of the Institute’s fall Sustainability Speaker Series. The lecture will take place on October 27 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Irvine Auditorium inside the McCone Building, at 499 Pierce Street in Monterey. This event is open to the public free of charge, and will be followed by a book signing and reception.

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