#1. Supply Shock by Brian Czech
Written by CASSE’s very own founding president and executive director, Brian Czech, Supply Shock is required reading for anyone concerned about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit. This landmark work lays a solid foundation for a new economic model, perhaps in time to prevent global catastrophes; certainly in time to mitigate the damage.
Starting with a refreshingly accessible, comprehensive critique of “the dismal science,” Czech develops a compelling argument for a steady state economy. Supply Shock succeeds at engaging readers while conveying keen scientific, economic, and political insights including:
- The trophic theory of money
- The overlooked source of technological progress that prevents us from reconciling growth and environmental protection
- Bold yet practical policy objectives designed to ease the transition to life after growth
#2. Beyond Growth by Herman Daly
Herman Daly is perhaps the most prominent advocate of the need for a new economic paradigm in response to our environmental crisis. He has a wide and growing reputation among environmentalists, both inside and outside the academy. Daly argues that if sustainable development means anything, it demands that we consider the economy as part of the ecosystem and, as a result, abandon the ideal of economic growth. We need a global understanding of developing welfare that is exclusive from expansion. These simple ideas turn out to be fundamentally radical concepts, and basic ideas about economic theory, poverty, trade, and population have to be discarded or rethought. Daly argues that there is a real fight to control the meaning of “sustainable development,” and that conventional economists and development thinkers are trying to water down its meaning to further their own ends.
#3. Prosperity Without Growth by Tim Jackson
This book challenges the embedded, unquestioned assumptions of the global policy of growth and shows that it’s both necessary and possible to have increased and widespread prosperity without economic growth.
Our modern economy is reliant on economic growth for stability. When growth falters, politicians panic, businesses fail, people lose jobs, and recession looms. Jackson argues, however, that continual growth is just not possible, and therefore not sustainable, and to believe so is ignoring our knowledge of the finite resource base and fragile ecology in which we live.
Prosperity Without Growth sparks dialogue on the most urgent task of our time—the challenge of a new prosperity encompassing our ability to flourish as human beings within the ecological limits of a finite planet.
#4. Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth
Economics dominates our decision-making for the future, guides multi-billion-dollar investments, and shapes our responses to climate change, inequality, and other environmental and social challenges of our time. However, its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date, yet still taught in academic courses worldwide and still used to address critical issues in government and business alike.
Renegade economist Kate Raworth says it’s time to update our economic thinking for the 21st century. She explains seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Simultaneously, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design.
Raworth incorporates the best ideas from ecological, behavioral, feminist, and institutional economics to complexity thinking and Earth-systems science to address this question: How can we turn economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive, into economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow?
#5. Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher
Time magazine celebrates E.F. Schumacher’s riveting, richly researched position on sustainability as an “eco-bible” that has become more relevant and essential with each year since its premiere publication during the 1973 energy crisis. A profound statement against “bigger is better” industrialism, Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful paved the way for twenty-first century books on environmentalism and economics. This timely book offers a crucial message for the modern world struggling to balance economic growth with the human costs of globalization.
Clausen R. and R. York. 2008. Economic growth and marine biodiversity: influence of human social structure on decline of marine trophic levels. Conservation Biology 22(2):458-466.
Czech, B. 2019. The trophic theory of money: principles, corollaries, and policy implications. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 152(1):66-81.
Czech, B. 2006. Steady state economy. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Tom Tietenberg et al., National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington, DC.
Czech, B. 2009. Ecological economics, in Encyclopaedia of Life Support Systems. Developed under the auspices of UNESCO-EOLSS Publishers, Oxford, UK (copy compliments of UNESCO).
Czech, B. 2008. Prospects for reconciling the conflict between economic growth and biodiversity conservation with technological progress. Conservation Biology 22(6):1389-1398.
Czech, B. 2007. The foundation of a new conservation movement: professional society positions on economic growth. Bioscience 57(1):6-7.
Czech, B., and H. Daly. 2004. The steady state economy: what it is, entails, and connotes. Wildlife Society Bulletin 32(2):598-605.
Czech, B., P. Angermeier, H. Daly, P. Pister, and R. Hughes. 2004. Fish conservation, sustainable fisheries, and economic growth: no more fish stories. Fisheries 29(8):36-37.
Czech, B., P. R. Krausman, and P. K. Devers. 2000. Economic associations among causes of species endangerment in the United States. Bioscience 50(7):593-601.
Czech, B., J. H. Mills Busa, and R. M. Brown. 2012. Effects of economic growth on biodiversity in the United States. Natural Resources Forum 36:160-166.
Daly, Herman, 2008. “Towards a Steady-State Economy.” Paper presented to the U.K. Sustainable Development Commission.
Dietz, T., E. A. Rosa, and R. York. 2007. Driving the human ecological footprint. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5(1):13-18.
Gowdy, John, and J. Erickson. 2005. The approach of ecological economics. Cambridge Journal of Economics 29:207-222.
Jackson, T. 2009. Beyond the growth economy. Journal of Industrial Ecology 13(4):487-490.
Koch, M., 2015. Climate Change, Capitalism and Degrowth Trajectories to a Global Steady-State Economy. International Critical Thought 5, 439–452.
O’Neill, D. W. 2012. Measuring progress in the degrowth transition to a steady state economy. Ecological Economics 84:221-231.
Røpke, I. 2005. Trends in the development of ecological economics from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. Ecological Economics 55(2):262-290.
Rosales, J. 2006. Economic growth and biodiversity loss in an age of tradeable permits. Conservation Biology 20(4):1042-1050.
Simms, A., V. Johnson, P. Chowla. 2010. Growth isn’t possible. New Economics Foundation, London, U.K. 144pp.
Stern, D. I. 2004. The rise and fall of the environmental Kuznets curve. World Development 32(8):1419–1439.
Trauger, D. L., B. Czech, J. D. Erickson, P. R. Garrettson, B. J. Kernohan, C. A. Miller. 2003. The relationship of economic growth to wildlife conservation. Wildlife Society Technical Review 03-1. The Wildlife Society, Bethesda, Maryland.
Victor, P. and Rosenbluth, G. 2007. Managing without growth. Ecological Economics 61:492-504.