By Herman Daly Thanks to Bill McKibben, not just for his new book but for 30 years of honest, eloquent, and insightful environmental writing and activism. He begins Falter by pointing out that “the human game we’ve been playing has no rules and no end, but it does come with two logical imperatives. The first is […]
Author Archive for: Herman Daly
About Herman Daly
Herman Daly is a U.S. economist who began researching the fusion of economics and ecology in the 1970s, highlighting the necessity to consider the laws of nature when structuring an economic system. His work supports the idea that for the human economy to subsist, it must function at a steady state within the productive and assimilative capacity of the earth’s ecosystem.
He is a professor at the University of Maryland, School of Public Affairs. From 1988 to 1994 he was senior economist in the environment department of the World Bank. Prior to 1988 he was the Alumni Professor of Economics at Louisiana State University, where he taught for twenty years. He is a co-founder and associate editor of the journal, Ecological Economics.
He is co-author with theologian John B. Cobb, Jr. of For the Common Good (1989; 1994) which received the Grawemeyer Award for ideas for improving World Order. His other books include Steady-State Economics (Freeman, 1977; second edition, Island Press, 1991); Valuing the Earth (MIT, 1993) and Beyond Growth (Beacon, 1996). In 1996, he received the Heineken Prize for Environmental Science awarded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Right Livelihood Award, Sweden's alternative to the Nobel Prize. In 1999 he was awarded the Sophie Prize (Norway) for contributions in the area of Environment and Development; in 2001 the Leontief Prize for contributions to economic thought, and in 2002 the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic for his work in steady state economics.
Entries by Herman Daly
By Herman Daly
The economic process is not a mechanical analog that can be run forward and backward, nor a circular process that can return to any previous state. Rather it is an irreversible and irrevocable process moving in the direction of time’s arrow of increasing entropy . Finitude and entropy guarantee that the economic life of our species will be a journey of no return. Therefore even a stationary economy, in the classical sense of constant population and constant capital stock, is ultimately a journey of no return, because the metabolic throughput of matter and energy required to maintain constant stocks of people and physical capital, in the face of depreciation and death, is an entropic flow from ever less concentrated sources to ever filling sinks – and both sources and sinks are finite.
By Herman Daly
Historically, the U.S. is undeniably a country of immigrants. But why is this uncontested fact so repeatedly emphasized? Might the unremitting celebration of immigration as a policy (as opposed to the celebration of particular immigrants as people) obscure a dark side of our immigration history?
By Herman Daly
Disaggregating reported GDP growth to reveal the differences in growth by income class, as per the Schumer-Heinrich Bill, is a good idea. After all, telling us, say, that average income grew by 4% is not nearly as informative as telling us that the richest ten percent received the entire growth increment while the bottom ten percent suffered a decline in income.
by Herman Daly The stock market took a dip, so the Fed will likely continue to keep the interest rate at zero, in conformity with its goal of supporting asset prices by quantitative easing. What is wrong with a zero interest rate? Doesn’t it boost investment, growth, and employment? There are many things wrong with […]
By Herman Daly Many people think that advocating a steady-state economy is like wishing for a miracle. I understand their reasoning and take their point—in the present era of growthism it does seem rather like advocating a miracle. But that raises the question: exactly what is a miracle? And how many other miracles are we […]
by Herman Daly As a Protestant Christian my devotion to the Catholic Church has been rather minimal, based largely on respect for early church history, and for love of an aunt who was a nun. In recent times the Catholic Church’s opposition to birth control, plus the pedophile and cover-up scandals, further alienated me. Like […]
Herman Daly discusses the natural alliances between peacemakers and steady staters, and between the growth economy and warfare.
Herman Daly reviews Kerryn Higgs’ Collision Course (Endless Growth on a Finite Planet), finding her explanation of the ascendancy of the weaker anti-Limits position constitutes a kick in the head for those of us who believe in the persuasive power of reasoned argument.
The population problem should be considered from the point of view of all populations–populations of both humans and their things–if we are going to achieve a steady state economy.