Chapter 9. Exemplar: How This Might Apply to Environmental Economics

Summary: Environmental Economics can be affirmed, critiqued and enriched by following these principles.

Status of chapter: + topics largely complete; + argument largely complete; - in need of critique; - some ancillary pieces to be written; - some references needed; - needs shortening; - needs styling; - needs proof-read.

The way economics has been practised recently has led to huge and many environmental problems. Simon Sharpe [2023] discusses several reasons why: Governments and others have been grossly misled by trying to estimate costs of climate change and action to prevent it because the figures used are arbitrary and unreliable and assume the past not the future, by assuming equilibrium in the economy whereas disequalibrium is common, and by treating the economy as like a machine. Effective action has been hindered because governments wanted to decarbonize at minimum cost, relied on carbon pricing rather than to invest properly, and dislike regulation. For the long journey to necessary change to prevent major climate change we have been "stuck in first gear" by policies that disincentivise climate action by business, and by refusing to use technological 'tipping points'. These are failures of economic policy, and they so are alarming that he says we must move "Five Times Faster" on reducing carbon emissions.

But there is even more to it than these. In this chapter we apply our thinking from previous chapters to more fully understand environmental and climate issues and the role economics plays.

We do so, not only to offer understanding and suggest ways ahead, but also to use it as a worked example of how the entire framework developed in the previous chapters might be applied to complex issues in economics, not just simple ones. Environmental economics was chosen because of its complexity and its current importance.

9-1. Introduction: How We Approach Application

Summary: This section explains the background and how the chapter proceeds.

We see economics and environment as fundamentally good for each other, both parts of Multi-aspectual Good, but so far economics has proven harmful for environment because it is practised and understood in wrong ways discussed in previous chapters. So we seek to understand environmental economics to guide economics as a whole towards better ways, and ways more conducive to the ultimate meaning and mandate of economics as a whole.

The term "environmental economics" is used here, not as an alternative to capitalist and socialist economics, as some use it, but as economics that takes appropriate account of environmental issues. If economics is to be holistic, all economics should be environmental. The discourse around and practice of environmental economics reveals some things that are essential for economics generally if it is to contribute to Multi-aspectual Good rather than Harm, but which had been overlooked for many decades.

Its importance is that most (affluent) economic activity is grossly out of harmony with nature. That the ecological footprints of most European nations stands at three whole Earths and five whole Earths for the USA [Note: Ecological Footprint] shows that we need urgently to take massive corrective action to reduce our footprint by 67-80%. For all nations together, the footprint is 1.75 Earths, and still rising - and since most nations aspire to what they see in affluent cultures, the global footprint is currently set on a course to massively increase. What can we do?

Many environmentalists [example refs ===] blame economics (as currently practised) for this - and not entirely unfairly. Reforming the economy, in both its theory and practice, is urgently needed for environmental reasons as well as for many others discussed in Chapter 2. To understand and act is urgent, and yet the relationship between economics and environment is complex.

For environmental economics we must understand both economics and environment, applying our understanding of economics developed in preceding chapters to an understanding of environmental issues - Chapter 4 to the meaning, mandate and mindset of environmental economics, Chapter 5 to environmental values, Chapter 6 to environmental-economic aspectual functioning and how functioning in each aspect affects that in others, Chapter 7 to economic activity Good, Harmful or Useless to the environment, and Chapter 8 to money, stakeholders, levels and their environmental responsibility.

One very important finding of the EU 2023 report on Beyond Growth is that Ecological Footprint correlates negatively with 10 main indices of human wellbeing, which correlate positively with each other (see Figure 23, p.9). This means that if we aim to increase these indices then ecological footprint problem becomes worse. So, are we just resigned to choosing between the two, as some anti-environmentalists claim? No we are not!

Why should this Rethink have something to contribute to environmental economics? Fundamentally it is because Dooyeweerd's aspects enables and encourages us to consider both human and non-human together, distributed over the whole range of aspects, rather than as two separate realms. That means that it is not fundamental that ecological and human health must detract from each other, but that there is hope they work in harmony. (x Christians and Jews might remember Hosea 4:2-3, where environmental damage correlates with human sin. x) Our whole Rethink is based on these aspects and the distinctive values, functionings, and kind of good and harm they offer. The difference lies in which aspects the two function as subjects, and the aspect that makes responsibility meaningful is primarily a human aspect, so we are held both responsible and accountable. The basic Dooyeweerdian understanding throughout this chapter is that "the environment" is multi-aspectual led by the biotic aspect.

This chapter's treatment of issues is indicative rather than comprehensive, giving readers an overview of how they might understand the direction and action they might take to reform economics.

This chapter will try to make sense without readers having to read detail in the other chapters, so as to largely stand alone, but comprehensive application needs readers to read and take account of everything in those chapters systematically: However it does assume some knowledge of Dooyeweerd, as set out in Chapter 3 and as employed throughout the other chapters.

Those who wish to write publications derived from this chapter, might reorder the sections, such as bringing the section on environmental harm here to the front, to set the scene and motivate.

9-2. Discussions of Environmental Economics

[===== To be filled out if necessary.]

Summary: The different discussions in the realm of environmental economics can all fit into a single picture, in which each is seen as focusing on specific aspects, and/or one or other of the pillars above.

Chapter 2 summarised some of the discussions coming from environmental economics, some early ones, in which the idea was introduced and argued for, proclaiming a clear normative message, and some later, more nuanced discussions.

The economist, EF Schumacker, for example, opened our eyes to the both environmental Harm and Uselessness of much economic activity. Later discussants try to bring in other issues alongside the environmental, such as poverty or faith. Others begin to suggest how various spheres of life in economics or policy can be latered so as to reduce Harm. Raworth offers a vision that non-economists can latch onto, Doughnut Economics. Dasgupta tries to work out how biodiversity can be incorporated into economic assessments, and SNA2025 likewise, but along with climate change. SNA2025 tries to include various issues that do not seem directly relevant to the environment, such as unpaid household activity, digitalization and globalization. These are actually relevant.

What all these are doing is discussing the meaningfulness of economics as it relates to the environment and other non-economic spheres of life. Yet most discuss only one or two spheres. What we do is offer a framework by which all such discussions may be brought together in a broader scenario and related to each other in ways that can be practically operationalized and yet remain philosophically sound. Without philosophically sound foundational understanding, the discourses are likely to remain discourse. To begin this, we first discuss the meaning, mandate and mindset of economics as it relates to the environment while remaining aware of other spheres.

9-3. The Meaning, Mandate and Mindset of Economics Applied to Environmental Issues

Summary: How should the field of economics (both practice and theory) see itself and be seen by others in relation to the environment?

9-3.1 Overall Meaning of Economics and Environment: Contributing to Multi-aspectual Good

Summary: Both economics and environment contribute to Multi-aspectual Good. From the perspective of the environment, Overal Good is usually seen as sustainability or harmony between human and non-human, and, from that of economics, as prosperity or having sufficient resources to contribute to Good.

To understand the meaning of environmental economics, we identify the various ways it is meaningful. Dooyeweerd's suite of aspects has been found a useful tool with which to identify the multifarious meanings of the environment [Brandon & Lombardi 2005; Lombardi & Basden 2006; Gunton et al. 2017; Gunton et al. 2021; van der Stoep ===]. For environmental economics, the environmental and economic aspects are primary and other aspects contribute to these. Environmental aspects include the biotic (life functions, organisms, their relationships, habitats, ecosystems, species, conditions for life, etc.), closely tied with the physical (climate, soil, water, air, chemical processes, etc.) and the psychical aspect of animal life (e.g. birdsong, predation, fight, flight, etc.).

9-3.1.1 Aspects and Inter-aspect Relationships in Environmental Economics

Summary: All aspects are involved, with the post- environmental aspects impacting the environmental, and the economic aspect in the middle of those.

The field of environmental economics rests on understanding the relationship between the economic and environmental aspects, how the three environmental aspects function togethee, and the relationship of these four aspects to all others. The "environmental ceiling" and "social floor" in Raworth's Doughnut Economics express this pairing, but might not sufficiently or explicitly understand the links among all aspects. This requires understanding of:

To understand environmental economics, therefore, we must understand all these inter-aspect relationships, especially between the economic and environmental aspects. Figure 9-3.1 shows the aspects and the relationships (a) to (f). Solid arrows indicate both foundational dependency and retrocipatory impact of later on earlier aspects; dotted arrows indicate how earlier aspects enable later, but for only a few of them. Both direct and indirect relationships are shown, but of the later aspects, only for the pistic.

An Aspectual Understanding of Environmental Economics, 1664,900IG "pix/EnvlEconAsps.gif" -w5.55 -h3 -ra

Figure 9-3.1. An Aspectual Understanding of Environmental Economics

Here we offer some generalised observations and suggestions about each of these; detailed understanding of those requires working out.

9-3.1.2 Environmental Economics Aspects in More Detail

Summary: Looking at the inter-aspect relationships in more detail.

For (a), the kernel norm of the economic aspect is frugality, as discussed in Chapters 3 and 6, and the meaning-kernels of the physical, biotic and psychical aspects are energy, life and feeling, as also discussed in Chapter 3.

For (b), there is inter-dependency among the environmental aspects, such as biotic functioning depends on climate, soil, light, solutes in water (e.g. pollution), etc., and psychical functioning depends on biotic. This is why climate change and biodiversity loss and pollution are so important.

What are often called environmental "externalities" of economic activity are within (c). It is useful to distinguish the direct from indirect impacts of economic activity on the environment, though there is some overlap between them.

For (d) we see an example in Dasgupta [2021], who tried to argue the importance of biodiversity by arguing that the economy depends on biodiversity. His argument may be strengthened by understanding the various aspectual 'paths' of dependency. Two types of direct dependency may be seen in certain sectors of the economy, such as agriculture. One is that the climate-devastated agriculture of many African nations, has damaged their economies even more than before. Then there is the effect of environment on economy, which covers two issues. The other is the impact of (corrective) environmental action on the economy and economic activity. Three decades ago, environmental action had not matured and some well-meaning projects exacerbated poverty (which fact was misused by enemies of environmental action). Since then, most of those whose main concern is poverty and injustice recognise that climate change and environmental damage undermine economies, both local and national.

But much of its dependency is indirect. Indirect dependency may be seen in that bodily and mental health (biotic, psychical aspects) affects ability to think clearly and see important differences and distinctions (analytical functioning), and thus planning and executing plans (formative), communicating (lingual) and agreeing and working together (social). There are also other aspectual 'paths' in parallel with these.

Research project: Collection information on, identify and explore in detail aspectual paths of dependency of economic on environmental aspects.

Because of (e), environmental economics must take into account not only the environmental and economic aspects, but all of them, especially the aesthetic, juridical, ethical and pistic aspects. These later aspects impact both economic and environmental functioning, by, for example, the juridical impact of laws, the ethical impact from attitude, and the pistic impact from idolatry versus giving dignity to the non-human Creation. Environmental economic activity must be holistic (aesthetic: harmony), made enjoyable (aesthetic: delight), oriented to justice and appropriateness, especially in policy formation (juridical), involve willing sacrifice (ethical) and eschew idolatry, and give the rest of Creation the respect due to it (pistic). Without these, environmental economics fails [refs ===]. Moreover, we do not yet know which aspects, seemingly not very relevant today, will become important in future.

The quantitative, spatial and kinematic aspects (f) are important in different ways. For example, the spatial aspect is important in the physical functioning as spatial proximity, in the biotic functioning of plants as area and volume coverage, and in psychical animal functioning as territory. In economics they are important more as analogies. In all, the quantitative aspect is also used in research.

9-3.1.3 Integrating These

Summary: Green movements and environmental economics discourses tend to focus on one or two main aspects, so they can be brought together into a picture of multi-aspectual Multi-aspectual Good.

[===== To be shortened]

It is important to understand that our functioning in each aspect is not different for the environment and economics, but is the same functioning, with different impacts or enabling of each of environmental and economic functioning. For example the same mindset, such as the dysfunction of idolising economic growth, affects economics and environment alike though in different ways meaningful in their respective aspects, as does the same positive attitude of care and self-giving love. When there seems to be hypocrisy, such as in claiming to aim for net-zero carbon emissions while encouraging carbon-intensive sectors in pursuit of economic growth, reveals something of the real, rather than surface, presented, mindset-attitude. (c.f. The Jewish Torah command "You shall have no other gods before me" and Jesus' words, "You cannot serve God and Mammon" which both refer to our pistic functioning.)

So our idea of Multi-aspectual Overall Good is the same, but given different names when seen through the lenses of the economic and environmental aspects, such as "prosperity" and "sustainability" or "harmony between humans and nature" [Note: Sustainability]. Our Shalom principle, in which Multi-aspectual Good occurs when all Creation is functioning well together in every aspect, means that sustainability and environmental prosperity reinforce, rather than detract from, each other. See Poverty below.

However, neither prosperity nor human-non-human harmony are themselves the sum total of Multi-aspectual Good. Neither is absolute, to which all else should be sacrificed. Rather, they both contribute to Multi-aspectual Good, are expressions of aspects of Multi-aspectual Good. So, environmental economics must take every aspect into equal account. [repeats below?]

The various 'green' movements or factions [Note: Movements, Factions] may be understood as each emphasising one aspect, usually an aspect in which things are failing. In similar vein, there is great diversity of environmental focus among recent economics thinkers. Early thinkers focused on resource deplection [e.g. Club of Rome ===, 1968]Many focus on climate change [=== refs], many on biodiversity [Dasgupta, etc.], some on pollution [===], some on so-called LDNs [===], some on protection and conservation of nature [===], some on landscapt [===], and so on. Each concerns but one or two aspects of environment. Here we want a more holistic picture, in which all environmental issues have a place, and there is also place for other issues not currently considered "environmental" or even "economic". [===== do we need to go through a few environmental perspectives and comment on them?]

The approach to economics outlined in these chapters might make a more comrehensive and effective environmental economics possible. If we understand sustainability as functioning well in all aspects, then they all become part of a wider picture and can be able to acknowledge the importance of others. So, we put the environment (planet, ecosphere, etc.) into proper perspective, alongside other spheres of life, as an extremely important foundational sphere of reality, neither more nor less important than others, and yet with a special role as foundational, and special worth and target of human love and responsibility. It must be neither ignored nor idolised. It is not itself Multi-aspectual Good, but rather contributes to Multi-aspectual Good alongside other spheres of life, including economics. Seeing environment as embedded among other spheres, as Chapter 4 urges us to do with economics, helps us avoid such absolutization. (It is just that, for the last 100 years or more, the environment has been overlooked, so it is not surprising if many want to restore balance by over-emphasising environment.) It also helps avoid any sense of economics and environment as detracting from each other or even at war with each other. That enables us to consider how they relate to each other.

9-3.2 The Mandate of Economics in relation to the Environment

[To be Shortened]

Summary: The mandate of all economics is to enable humans and humanity be careful in its use of resources in contributing to Multi-aspectual Good. The discourses within environmental economics draw attention to the environmental aspects of that Good, but not in isolation from other aspects.

If the Mandate for Economics is to carefully resource functioning that contributes to Multi-aspectual Good, then its Mandate towards environmental issues must be to resource that functioning by which the rest of Creation (nature, planet) contributes towards Multi-aspectual Good, and humans contribute harmoniously to that. This is mainly meaningful in the biotic and physical aspects, with the psychical aspect when animals are concerned.

In environmental circles, the discourse on harmony with the rest of Creation has evolved over the past century, with several objectives. Because of the massive loss of species, biodiversity and habitat, the initial emphasis was, quite reasonably, on preservation and protection (sometimes requiring keeping humans out). Then it expanded to include repair, restoration and maintenance. Recently, the discussion has expanded to include innovation to assist those, and to what extent humans might develop the rest of Creation. (Jews and Christians may find resonance with Genesis 1 and 2, seeing the 'shepherding' of the rest of Creation as encompassing all of those.)

In the light of that, the environmental Mandate for economics is to carefully resource all those - preservation, protection, repair, restoration, maintenance and development.

Unfortunately, much of the recent debate on this has opposed preservation to development. This may be because innovation and development are too frequently brought in idolatrously and selfishly by those with little real concern for the rest of Creation, as an excuse to continue their currently damaging activity - for example what is derogatorily called "techno-fixes". In our approach here, we avoid taking 'sides', and seek to understand whatever proper role human innovation and development might have alongside preservation and the others. We offer a basis for integrating them, and allowing each its proper place and emphasis. This must be sensitive to context; for example since species extinction and biodiversity loss have continued, despite five decades of warnings, preservation is probably still the most important, so environmental economics should prioritize preservation and repair etc. over development. (Christians and Jews might see in that, that we are answerable before our Creator for how we have despoiled and destroyed.)

If this is true, the current main mandate of economics should still be to contribute most towards preservation. This is not surprising because, Dooyeweerd argued, the central norm of the economic aspect is frugality and carefulness, and since its birth, modern economics has largely ignored that norm, especially at the macroeconomic level.

However, it seems that most economists, and politicians, pundits, academics and even the public, would, at least in most affluent cultures, prefer to invest in innovation and development [===]. As discussed in Chapter 4, technology and innovation, though important, should serve other spheres of life rather than being idolised or used to serve selfish aspirations. Though superficially it might appear that this is happening, with governments investing in technologies and projects for environmental repair or replacement, like carbon capture, tree-planting, nuclear fusion, hydrogen fuel or electric transport, one might question their underlying motivation. Many of these are seen as 'iconic' projects, designed to make the governments look good, an attitude of which Foundational Economics makes useful critique and reminds us of the importance of the mundane.

So, the environmental Mandate for economics, while it allows for some innovation and development when non-idolatrous, must be informed primarily by the economic fundamental norm of frugality and carefulness. Yet again we find mindset-attitude lies at the root of our problems, so we discuss that next.

9-3.3 The Mindset (Attitude) of Economics, Especially Towards the Environment

Summary: As in all kinds of economics, mindset and attitude, our functioning in the pistic and ethical aspects, has strong though usually hidden influence on all we do.

"I used to think the top global environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. ...
I was wrong.
The top environmental problems are
selfishness, greed and apathy

- and to deal with these, we need a spiritual and cultural transformation ..." Gus Speth.

Gus Speth is referring to attitude and mindset, to which we have already referred several times in this chapter. Understanding selfishness, greed and apathy as dysfunctions in the ethical and pistic aspects explains why this is so: they retrocipatorily and invisibly yet radically impact our functioning in economic activity and also in environmental activity. (x Christian and Jewish, and other religious, perspectives have long understood the importance of selfishness, greed and apathy.)

Thus a change in mindset and attitude is urgently needed, a "spiritual and cultural transformation". Chapter 3 has discussed why, ultimately, this cannot occur without genuine repentance (and, Christians believe, the working of the Spirit of God in human hearts). Only a pistic-ethical solution to a pistic-ethical problem will do.

However, action in other aspects can perhaps contribute something. (Christians and Jews might see these contributions as opening the hearts of people at all levels of society towards repentance.) So, things like education and economic incentives have some effect. Something that had a large effect was the tactics of Extinction Rebellion, which we will examine here as a case study. XR tactics were informed by two main things, a theory of disruption combined with willing sacrifice. Disruption shouts louder than mere argument or pronouncement (Christians might remember Jesus clearing the temple forecourts of money-changers). People sit up and question their previous assumptions, expectations, aspirations, etc. (mindset) and previously complacenct self-protection and self-service (atitude). This can lead to repentance - change of heart. Disruption can, however, also led to hardening of heart (to refuse to change current assumptions, aspirations and self-centredness). What tipped the balance towards change of heart was - and this was genius of XR at that time - not only to disrupt (a lingual functioning), but to be willing to sacrifice (ethical functioning). Ordinary people people being willing to be arrested and risk prison and a criminal record because they believe the environment is so much more important than many politicians and pundits did. The early XR actions gave success - a major shift in people's thinking at all levels, including governments, occurred. Sadly, however, it did not last. On one hand, many who hardened their hearts in the UK were of the government and media, and they deliberately forgot environmental norms in over-urging people back to economic growth after the pandemic. On the other, a spirit of self-serving excitement seems to have infiltrated many XR protestors, turning ethical good of willing sacrifice into ethical dysfunction of 'enjoying' being arrested and the kudos that followed. [Note: XR]

We can see the impact of attitudes and mindsets in all this. We might lift the lid on various other attitudes / mindsets about environmental economics, fromt romantic idealism of some environmentalists to cynical or naive greenwashing by companies and governments.

===== Give examples of how these had affected both economics and ecology. including technology.

Example: Technology and the environment. "Is technology good or bad for the environment?" is too shallow a question. On one hand, technology can help us repair environmental damage; on the other hand, it contributes to much environmental harm (direct harm) and also enables and encourages environmentally-damaging lifstyles (indirect harm). Humanity loves technology. (x Jews and Christians see the possibility of technology as a gift from God that should be used aright.) So it is difficult to come to a settled view about technology and the environment. Yet, if we recognise Goudzwaard's [1984] argument that technology is one of four Idols of our Time, our focus shifts to mindset-attitude rather than technology itself, and we might progress. As Schuurman [1980] does, we may treat technology as a possibility inherent in the formative aspect but which should serve the requirements of all other aspects rather than its own, and especially should never expect other aspects to serve it. This goes further than merely developing technology to repair environmental damage, in that it includes repentance and taking more seriously than we currently do responsible self-control during development. Example, Bing with ChatGPT generate orders of magnitude more climate change emissions than conventional web search engines and is likely to lock people into its use; its developers should have thought of that.

9-4. The Multi-aspectual Value of Environment

[shorten whole section =====]

Summary: The non-human environment has multiple values, all of which should be recognised in economics, and environmental economics focuses on those values, especially biotic and psychical. Values provides clear and compelling norms for economics.

Value is an economic concept, the idea of Good seen through the lens of the economic aspect. So, in environmental economics, we must ask "What is valuable about the environment (a) as such and (b) to economic activity, and (c) what is the value of economics to the environment?"

To answer that, we must not limit it to conventional economic value, especially not to prices or market value. Many authors in environmental economics have stressed that, but many others who, emphasising ecological and survival value try to cast these in terms of money value. Dasgupta [2021] does this because he writes for the UK Treasury. That is still rather limiting; we must take into account its value in every aspect, not just the biotic and economic.

===== reference lombardi

9-4.1 Multi-aspectual Valuing

Summary: Gunton et al. are developing practical ways to value the environment in all aspects.

Gunton et al. [2017] addresses exactly that. To do so, they see value, not as a static property, but as active valuing, in which humans value things by reference to every aspect (which. (The referencing may be explicit or tacit.) While their approach recognises the subjectivity of valuing, it maintains environmental and other kinds of value that humans might overlook at one time or another (for example, environmental value was ignored until half a century ago but was nevertheless important). Their Table 2 give, for each "Aspect of experience," examples of: Human functioning, Academic disciplines, Typical evaluative questions (normative words in bold), | Typical questions of reflexive valuation, quantities and related Ecosystem Services with relevant stakeholders, of which the latter is given here to indicate the kinds of environmental value meaningful in each aspect (with our aspect names in brackets where they differ:

This list is limited to valuing landscape, mainly in terms of ecosystem services and containing only a few examples thereof, but it shows how aspects may be applied to understanding environmental value. Readers should see their whole table, which goes beyond ESS with more general valuation questions, and also add other environmental values, especially thinking beyond local landscape to other local environments, and beyond the local to national and global, such as planet climate, oceans, forests, atmosphere, etc. To do this fully requires a research project.

What is valuable about the environment is not unitary but multi-aspectual. Different aspectual values are simultaneously relevant, even when different people might find different aspects important. In fact, 'nested' multi-aspectual, its value in each aspect being itself multi-aspectual when considered in more detail.

9-4.2 Assessing Environmental Value

Summary: The qualitative and quantitative ways of assessinig value apply to environmental economics, and there are severall proposals on how to do this.
===== name Dasgupta, SNA2025, etc.

Those concerned with the environment criticise economic assessments and decision-making for two main things: (a) for ignoring environmental issues in the economy [e.g. Schumacher] and, when they are taken into account, (b) for distorting assessment of environmental value. Both qualitative and quantitative assessment are prone to ignore kinds of issues - though perhaps less so with environmental issues today than 50 years ago, because of the publicity they have received. Quantitative assessment has the added problem of distorting even what is taken into account - because, as Chapter 5, Section 4 makes clear, there are many kinds of value that cannot be adequately transduced to quantities. The problem we face is that, in most affluent nations, governments and businesses and even most people presuppose quantitative measurement of value, especially in the form of money. GDP is especially prone to both (a) and (b).

Yet quantitative assessment does have several valid purposes, such as gaining an overview, judging whether we are improving or not, presentation and benchmarking. As mentioned in Chapter 5, market valuing or pricing, which some environmental authors have criticised [refs===], does, in principle, offer some valid insight because it can include a component of intuitive valuing of aspects that logical calculations overlook, which would include biotic and aesthetic value of landscape or ecosystem. But this is heavily influenced by society's fashions, idols, selfishness, and other pistic and ethical functioning, and can be fickle.

If we use assessment in decision-making, we must be very careful. This is exemplified in trying to map biodiversity so that, for example, planners can decide which areas to protect. Also, if we allow mining in an area, the mining company has a legal duty to restore the land as it had been before, we must assess the biodiversity of the area before mining starts. How do we do this? One useful way is to collect records of observations from the public. Figure === shows records collected for Western Australia. From this it might seem that the bottom-left is highly diverse, and some areas towards the top-right, which show no observations would seem less so. But notice the line of observations there; these are along a main road. Visitors send in reports because they happen to be there. So this map shows, not biodiversity as such but the number of records that happen to have been collected. Areas with no records collected might be highly biodiverse but just not visited.

Some of these problems can be ameliorated. For example, we can take data collection effort and opportunity into account in calculating. For example, when we use market prices to assess value, we need to understand the fashions of the time and modify it according to how important people believe climate and environmental responsibility is, increasing that component when it is under-valued and vice versa.

For example, as suggested in Chapter 7, numeric measures like GDP can be redefined to subtract (environmentally) Harmful economic activity rather than add to it. To do this will take a lot of work but, since there has been a lot of work on how to quantify environmental damage (e.g. Dasgupta, ===), it should be possible for environmental damage to reduce rather than increase GDP.

However, there may be a better way. Both Gunton et al. [2017] and [2021] together offer a way to overcome the problems of reducing everything to a price. They discuss various approaches to valuing environment ===== summarise these from G17, 21 literature. Then Gunton et aa. [2021] then offers a Pluralistic Evaluation Framework for doing this, which has environmental value especially in mind.

Too often, assessment in environmental economics focuses on already-known problems - either because these are where the funding opportunities are or editors of journals are more likely to accept 'topical' papers. That is yet another source of distortion in environmental assessment. The approach described in Chapter 5 avoids because Dooyeweerd's suite of aspects gives equal emphasis to kinds of issues that are not yet adequately recognised.

9-5. Environmental Economic Functioning

Summary: Dooyeweerd's aspects and idea of inter-aspect dependency offers a clear framework for understanding the impact of economics on the environment, and vice versa, and of all other aspects on those, especially aspects of mindset and attitude.

Multi-aspectual Good is when the entire Creation functions well in all aspects. What we treat as "well" is defined by the values we hold and live by, which has been discussed in Chapter 5. In this chapter we turn our attention to "functions", and in Chapter 7, combine them: "functions well".

Through the lens of the environment, the biotic, psychical and physical aspects are most important, but in fact environmental Multi-aspectual Good (e.g. "sustainability") involves functioning in every aspect - which is why "harmony between humanity and nature" is a better phrase. Human functioning in post-psychical aspects significantly impacts Creation's environmental functioning. This implies human responsibility. So there must be good functioning in all of those too; this includes functioning in the economic aspect, which has had, and is having a huge impact. Though strictly this applies to the entire Creation, we may also apply it to nations and localities if we bear in mind their links with the entire Creation.

9-5.1 The Relevant Multi-aspectual Functioning

Summary: It is useful to distinguish four main areas of functioning, in order to systematically understand environmental economics.

In order to understand what some call human power over the environment and human responsibility for it, as well as human dependency on it, we need to understanding the functioning of humans and the environment in all their aspects. This is complex multi-aspectual functioning, and Figure 9-3.1 shows how each aspect plays a role in environmental economics, with the arrows showing inter-aspect dependency. We bring the components of Figure 9-3.1 together in the following ways, conceptually distinguishing human from non-human functioning:

Various differing perspectives that focus on some of these (e.g. Deep Ecology on (1) and (2), Ecosystem Services on (3), Climate Change mitigation on (4), etc.). (Christian and Jewish perspectives focus on all four, with (1) in Genesis 1:1-25, (2) in verses 29 and 30, (3) in Genesis 2, and (4) in Genesis 1:26-28 and in Genesis 2:15, such that our responsibility is not only to future generations, but also to animals, all Creation and ultimately to God.) Thus they may be brought into the same picture.

In environmental economics, we must take all four into account. Indeed, we must do so for economics in general, as mentioned at the start of the chapter because environmental economics is not an optional alternative kind of economics but reveals what is essential to economics as a whole, if it is not to collapse because of its currently harmful direction.

By this conceptual framework we can bring together both paid and unpaid economic activity, both macro- and microeconomics, both production and consumption, of both use of resources and of the labouring that produces them. This is because the model above says nothing about money but only aspectual functioning (c.f. reconceptualization of money), because the levels may be seen as just different aspects of economic activity; c.f. levels), and does not differentiate producers from consumers. This this is an integrative framework.

9-5.2 Impact of Human Functioning on the Environment

Summary: Each of the human aspects (analytical aspects) impacts environmental functioning in its own distinct way.

It is (4), impact of later-aspect human functioning on environmental functioning, which changes the direction of the entire ecosphere and planet. Such changes can be very slow, because of huge mass and thus inertia (both physical and its biotic analogy). It is like steering the proverbial tanker. The environmental crisis we have today results from human later-aspect dysfunctioning (e.g. greed) over the past 200 years or more. In nautical terms, the tanker has gradually turned starboard towards the rocks, we need to change course fast (rudder hard-a-port) if we are to avoid catastrophe.

What prevents the change of course, Chapters 4, 6 and 7 argue, is our ingrained mindset-attitude, society's pistic and ethical dysfunctions. These aspects of society's functioning can take decades to change. This is at least part of the reason why the tanker metaphor is sadly so appropriate. So the key strategy, discussed later, must be to change mindset-attitude. We discuss this in strategy, below.

Many environmental writers expand on various of these later-aspect dysfunctions and how they have impacted the environment, and some proposed solutions, which may be distinguished by the post-environmental aspect that makes them meaningful: ===== give references for all the following

Research project: Make that list of examples more comprehensive.

Some later-aspect functionings amplify individual human functioning, the formative in producing technology with greater impact per person, the social, in which we collaborate, and the economic, which resources all other human functioning beyond what would occur without it. So when individual functioning harms the ecophere, then these amplifications ensure more harm, which is them multiplied by the billions of people functioning in these ways.

In theory, these could also amplify the Good we do. However, given the ethical and pistic dysfunction of vast numbers of individuals in affluent cultures, this is unlikely unless there is major, widespread change of mindset-attitude. The pandemic showed a tiny modicum of that, but then the politicians of most affluent nations urged people to return to the harmful ways - because of idolatry of GDP.

We must not forget to take into account also the human functioning that is unpaid and not of the market. That too is functioning that can impact environmental functioning in the same ways that paid work does, and can likewise be thought about and discussed by reference to Dooyeweerd's aspects. It may be the case currently that much unpaid activity does less environmental damage and more environmental good than paid work does, because unpaid activity is often motivated by care and multi-aspectual wisdom [ref===].

This presents an added environmental reason why economics should take full account of unpaid activity. As several have observed and argued [=== refs], unpaid household activity, especially in less affluent cultures, tends to be less environmentally damaging and more environmentally friendly. Much environmental Good is done by voluntary work, especially during mundane activity [Foundational Economics?].

As discussed in Chapter 6, macroeconomic functioning is not a radically different form of functioning from microeconomic (as is often taught) but is functioning in the juridical, ethical and pistic aspects - the aspects that govern societal structures: laws, policies, treaties; attitudes; aspirations, expectations, assumptions, beliefs and commitments. These structures govern how we function in all aspects, the repercussions of which affect our functioning in the three environmental aspects. This is (c) and (e) in Figure 9-4.1.

References to environmental harm and damage pepper the above. This is where Chapter 7 becomes important in environmental economics.

9-6. Good, Harmful and Useless in Environmental Economics

Summary: Environmental economics presupposes but seldom explicitly discusses the difference between Good and Harmful and Useless economic functioning. Dooyeweerd's aspects and their innate normativity helps make this explicit, so that it can be studied and used to guide practice systematically.

Many environmentalists and most environmental economists, from E.F. Schumacher onwards, are motivated by the Harm that economic activity does, and has done, to the environment. Sometimes this is indirect by resourcing Harmful and Useless activity in other spheres of human activity. However, their discussion of this Harm, as well as of Useless economic activity is less than systematic. This section applies our discussion of Good, Harmful and Useless in Chapter 7, in brief.

9-6.1 Aspects of Harmful Economic Activity

[==== shorten this section]

Summay: Each aspect from the analytical onwards can impact environmental functioning harmfully.

Dooyeweerd offers us a way to think about and discuss environmental harm systematically. The earlier list of some ways in which dysfunction in many aspects of human functioning can harm the environment, from reductionist thinking, through economic mis-valuing to pistic idolatry, offers a way to understand environmental Harm systematically. What enables us to differentiate Harm from Good is the inherent norms of each aspect, which are tied to the value each offers towards Multi-aspectual Good. In dealing with environmental Harm or Good, we focus on harmful or Good functioning and repercussions in the three environmental aspects. With such an understanding we can:

We need to understand and act on the following:

(Or, conversely, Good.)

Let us look at each in some detail. To do this, we apply Chapter 7.

===== The following seems to repeat some of the above, so sort that out.

1. Environmental Harm means that 'the environment' functions less well than it should or could, that is, in the three environmental aspects. This is (a) and (b) in Figure 9-3.1. The physical aspect does not distinguish between Good and Harm; what makes climate change, plastics in the environment, soil contamination, and chemical or particle pollution of air and water are problematic is meaningful in the biotic aspect. Biotic Harm is applies to individual organisms (injury, disease, poisoning, starvation, suffocation, parasitism, reduction in reproduction success, etc.), to ecosystems and habitats (reduction in growth rate, biodiversity loss, species imbalance, destruction, inability to spread and heal itself, invasive species, etc.) and species (loss of genetic diversity, extinction, etc.). In some cases, types of creatures have gradually adapted to such Harms, but the speed of change today prevents that. The physical changes bring about biotic Harm at all levels. Environmental Harm that is meaningful in the psychical aspect includes such things as noise that reduces the effectiveness of birdsong, which generates biotic Harms. By and large, environmental Harm is centrally biotic Harm.

2. Human economic activity causes this by retrocipatory impact of our function in post- psychical aspects; this is (c) in Figure 9-3.1. Some of the impact is direct, and immediate; as cutting down forests kills many organisms and destroys habitat and, if it is the only habitat for a species, causes its extinction. Some is indirect and more gradual; felling that forest cuts a wildlife corridor so that organisms cannot spread to maintain healthy populations (unless they can fly across the gap safely). That is an example of Harm to a wildlife corridor, and there are many others. Building a trunk road does the same (only 7% of the studied species of Butterfly managed to cross the M56 UK motorway though moving freely along its verge [Mills, 1986]); many individual birds, insects, mammals, reptiles and other invertebrates are killed by traffic on busy roads. Our functioning in the analytical to economic aspects, with which we are concerned here, causes myriad Harms, not just in wildlife corridors but in all the Harms above [refs ===]. Many cause multiple Harms; noise from busy roads hinders the natural processes like birdsong.

What concerns us is environmental Harm from economic activity. Most of this is indirect, in that economics 'demands' for example the building of trunk roads, the destruction of forests to grow animal feed, the 'efficiency' of dumping waste rather than reusing or repairing or recycling or processing it, the massive use of power-hungry infrastructure, services or manufacturing, the logistics routes for trade, and so on, and it is these that 'cause' environmental Harm. What we offer environmental economics is a framework for clear understanding of these 'causal pathways'.

3. We know (have been warned) about the environmental Harm that economics activity does, but we (in the affluent nations at least) continue regardless. Environmental economics must understand why this is. It can help to take full account of our functioning in post-economic aspects, such as:

These are discussed in Chapters 6, 7.

4. Economics activity exacerbates those, especially when economic growth has become an idol, as discussed in Chapter 4, thus forming a vicious circle. It is the supposed demands of economics that have built up the massive technology corporations, which are, perhaps indirectly, determining our beliefs, aspirations and expectations.

5. Useless economic activity includes unproductive jobs and the production of non-essentials. Not all Useless activity harms the environment, but most does, and Chapter 7 discusses three types of Useless. 1. Superfluity, lack of care, over-production, especially of non-essentials, which all go against the norm of the economic aspect, usually generate environmental Harm by the processes discussed above. 2. Giving an aspect of one's operations undue importance often overrides other norms, including environmental ones, for example Kurt's unnecessary driving generates climate change emissions. 3. Self-centred attitude usually goes with lack of care for the environment, so environmentally damaging decisions are made.

6. Many proposals have been made to prevent, repair or adapt to environmental Harm. Each may be understood via the aspect that most makes it meaningful, involving, for example:

None of these is a solution on its own; all have their necessary place. The first two constitute the "culture change" that Trainer, Speth and many others call for, which are probably the two most important aspects with which environmental economics should concern itself today.

9-6.2 Other Harms, e.g. Poverty

Summary: Environmental Harm must be understood alongside, and not divorced from other Harms, especially that of poverty.

What about other kinds of Harmful repercussion, such as poverty? In the early days of the environmental movement, some unwise actions were taken that might have exacerbated poverty [Note: Unwise actions]. That is, environmental activity caused or exacerbated other harms. But will environmental action always make people poorer? No! Most environmental action today is wiser and takes poverty into account. Indeed, most poverty and development charities recognise that environmental damage itself exacerbates and even generates poverty. It is climate change that has so devastated parts of Africa, resulting in floods destroying peoples homes and food production yields gradual falling.

This is exactly what a multi-aspectual approach would expect, because of the inherent interaction between aspects, and multi-aspectual nature of poverty itself (see A Richer Understanding of Poverty and Inequality). Dysfunction in any aspect threatens both the environment and the life and livelihood of the poor or nearly-poor, and environmental damage, being biotic, is foundational to all human activity. This foundational dependency means that rural people suffer disproportionately (though they might benefit in other ways).

What this chapter offers shifts our thinking away from individual problems, like poverty, species loss, pollution, or even climate change, towards dysfunction ("evil") in each and every aspect and their interaction, paving the way to a more holistic understanding in which all the individual problems are seen as part of a wider picture, and yet none can be treated as unimportant because, to Dooyeweerd, each aspect is as important as all the others.

9-6.3 Mix of Good and Harm: The Delta Smelt

Summary: Too often environmental Harm is because of some other Good. Dooyeweerd's aspects can untangle them.

Too often, environmentalists and others such as farmers or the fishing industry seem to oppose each other, even though their true interests coincide in the longer term. The apparent good to one seems harmful to the other. How may we resolve this?

One example, discussed in the RLDG, is that of the Delta Smelt. This is an endangered slender-bodied fish, which inhabits the meeting of the fresh and salt waters in the San Joaquin Estuary in California. It is susceptible to changes in environmental conditions, which were threatened by massive pumping of water for farming and other uses, along with several other changes, and have become almost extinct in the wild. The farming sector says it needs the water in order to produce food so that their businesses remain viable. How might we understand and maybe resolve this conflict of interest?

On the one side, is the life and continued flourishing of the Delta Smelt (biotic aspect good). And possibly the juridical aspect of what is due to them, from humans, whose mandate from God is to care for the rest of Creation, which is the also the ethical aspect (self-giving love, caring) of the situation. If the Smelt were plentiful and inhabited other places, then this consideration would be lessened, but because they near extinction, it has high weight. There is also the pistic good of committing to God's mandate, or dysfunction of refusing to.

On the other side, the argument seems at first sight to be about growing food (biotic Good). If the majority of people in the USA or the San Francisco area were short of food (starving), that would be important but, given that that there already seems to be enough food around in the USA, indeed too much, causing obesity etc., this biotic need for food seems to be of minimal meaningfulness here. Then there is the financial gain for the farmers, an economic aspect of need for the farmers' families to have a reasonable resource for a reasonable standard of living. However, many businesses plead this when they are in fact well-resourced and merely want to grow, which is not a norm of the economic aspect.

This brings us to ask why they might want to grow. Underneath the proffered reasons like food and prosperity lies the two hidden aspects of attitude and mindset, and indeed dysfunction in those: selfishness (ethical aspect dysfunction) and idolatry of financial gain (pistic aspect dysfunction); those are what falsely oppose environmental and fishing interests. Such dysfunction acts as poison in society, as we discuss in Chapter 4.

9-6.3 Useless Economic Activity

Summary: The three causes of Useless economic activity each apply to environmental economics. ===== actually the below does not seem to say that.

As E.F. Schumacher pointed out, there is much economic activity that is Useless (such as his biscuit lorries), which contributes to environmental Harm because of the resources wasted in it. In How Much Harmful and Useless Economic Activity?, we (very) roughly estimated that the Useless part of the affluent UK economy amounts to around 70%. Whatever the true proportion is, we expect it to be around that ballpark rather than a mere 10% or 20%. The 70% figure is not inconsistent with the ecological footprint of most European nations is around three Earths; we must reduce our ecological footprint by two-thirds.

One important environmental harm that most Useless economic activity does (both unproductive and non-essential) is its climate change emissions, especially the extra transport involved (often by the worst forms of transport, such as air)and the extra power consumption required for its production and disposal. Others are biodiversity loss from felling foests etc. to grow crops as raw materials for non-essential goods, such as exotic cuisine.

All the climate change emissions, pollution and biodiversity loss etc. that result from that proportion could be reduced if we reduce our Useless economic activity. Unproductive activity in firms and other organisations is a responsibility of those organisations. The demand for, and purchase of, non-essential goods and services is something for which all of us bear responsibility.

We might expect that one way to tackle this is to increase the efficiency with which we use environmental resources (a solution meaningful in the economic aspect). While we should do this, Jevons' Paradox immediately challenges us with the fact that increasing efficiency can actually increase consumption of those limited resoures. Environmental concern brought to the fore the Tragedy of the Commons and the Free Rider Problem, by which resources are consumed unnecessarily. To overcome it, we must ensure social agreements to limit consumption - but what makes that happen?

However, as discussed elsewhere, to achieve this requires a change of mindset-attitude, in both affluent nations and also in the aspirations to the Useless in non-affluent nations. Again, we are challenged to take careful account of all aspects, including the usually-overlooked ethical and pistic aspects and their retrocipatory impact on all others.

9-6.4 On Economic Growth and the Environment

Summary: Our Rethink offers a nuanced view of economic growth and GDP.

[===== to be written but maybe along the following lines]

1. Discuss decoupling carbon emissions from economic growth. with reference to "" [from -AH221104-TU]

Climate change emissions and environmental damage are two of the major Harms that have emerged from our adherence to economic growth (and there are other kinds), and always, until now, these two Harms have increased as affluent economies have grown. That is, when we plot climate change emissions and economic growth against time on a chart, we find that both graphs rise together: they seem coupled together. There is some evidence that it may be possible to decouple climate change emissions from economic growth, in that the graph for climate change emissions might now be rising less steeply than that for economic growth.

--- figure showing the coupling then the possible decoupling of climate change emissions or other environmental damage from economic growth ---

Part of the argument for this is that, in the past, economic growth has been fuelled by coal and oil burning, ever since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, but now that we understand the damage these cause, and for example turning to renewable energy, it may be possible to continue economic growth without increasing climate change emissions.

However, it is not entirely certain that this will be possible, and almost certainly it is not possible in time to reach net zero by 2050. Moreover, climate change is not the only environmental problem, and economic growth usually requires mew raw materials, which are increasingly extracted from the ecosphere, worsening things like biodiversity loss. And even then, environmental problems are not the only problems we must face that increase with economic growth. Given all these, it is little wonder that thinkers are increasingly turning to the post-growth and de-growth agendas.

2. Discuss degrowth of affluent economies and growth of economies in poverty-stricken cultures. Including shift to 'green jobs' in affluent economies.

2. Redefine GDP to subtract rather than add Harmful economic activity and perhaps also get diluted by Useless.

3. Bring unpaid activity into GDP, e.g. by SNA2025 methods.

9-7 Entities

Summary: The environment should be a key stakeholder in the economy, and responsibility for it occurs at all levels. Money and environmental capital should be seen as enabling good functioning, rather than as an owned commodity.

Walking through the Cheshire (UK) fields, most devoted to dairy but also a lot of horse farming, I reflected, "What is a farm?" The prevailing mindset seems to answer "A farm is a business." This, sadly, is the answer that most politicians would give, but even among many farmers I find that answer. What this deceptively short answer belies is a mindset that elevates the economic aspect above the biotic potential of land. It might be expanded as "Primarily a business with a bit of land as its resource, so that any way of making money out of this land is valid in principle - including horses or adventure grounds."

But should a farm not be "Primarily a food producer and custodian of the ecology of land, secondarily a business?" Are not food and ecology important? In fact, many farmers recognise their stewardship of the land, for wildlife and food, but are bullied/constrained by society's mindset of the elevation of economics, and especially competitive economics.

For environmental economics, we need a clear understanding of entities like farms, businesses and land. Chapter 8 offers a new, aspectual, way to understand entities that addresses a dozen problems with what it calls an entity orientation.

(The following was relevant to an earlier version of Chapter 8, and is due for rewriting, but it is still includes some useful issues here.) [Old version of] Chapter 8 introduces three main topics around entities that function in economic activity, stakeholders, levels and money. The first two function as subject, money as object. In brief, the relevant to the environment may be usefully understood as follows - though this has yet to be thought out in full.

1. Stakeholders.

2. Levels of economic activity. Each level of economic activity has responsibility for the well-functioning of the environment. Sadly, there is too much emphasis on either individual or government responsibility, whereas all bear responsibility alike - individuals, households, groups, companies, governments and humanity as a whole. Since each level is led by a different aspect alongside the economic, the responsibility of each takes a different shape and emphasis, and all the aspects of each are present in all the others. This affects the different kinds of decision-making at each level.

3. Money. Seeing money enabling functioning in any and every aspect that should contribute to Multi-aspectual Good, rather than as an owned commodity, can help environmental functioning at least indirectly. But the shift also applies to the environment, which is also too widely seen as an owned commodity rather than as that which contributes to Good functioning. The owned-commodity attitude, whether to money or to the environment, generates or exacerbates greed and many other ills, listed in Section 8-3.1, most of which impact environmental functioning. Replacing this by an attitude, to both environment and money, of active service to Good functioning in all aspects, and avoiding Harmful functioning, brings health to not only the environment but also the economy. Examples: It may be seen in the Spanish treating South American silver as 'theirs', in competition with other European powers of the time. That greedy attitude and action drastically harmed not only justice in South America but also the economy of Spain and other European nations (as Adam Smith argued), and the history that followed, not least being slavery in America. Today we have plundering of the forests, planet, animals and people, because of that same attitude-mindset. "Seeing as" and "treating as" are a mindset issue. What are called environmental capital and Ecosystem Services need to be treated not as owned commodities but as resources for functioning that contributes only to Multi-aspectual Good.

4. In all three, responsibility is key. Responsibility is an attitude and mindset. Indeed, yet again we see the impact on environmental functioning of mindset-attitude. It is still to be discussed.

Research Projects. 1. Research is already well established on treating the environment as a stakeholder, but much more needs to be done, not least critiquing some of the established presuppositions. 2. The environmental (and wider) responsibility at each level needs to be systematically explored, and knowledge of aspects that make each level meaningful can help in that. 3. Explore more deeply how mindset-attitude about money changes and determines our approach to the environment. 4. Research responsibility in economics, especially among non-economists, such as politicians and pundits and even the public.

9-8. Strategy to Make Economics More Environmental

Summary: How do we make economics more environmental? This is how we can apply the above. Each aspect defines and guides a different kind of strategic action in each aspect. For both theory and practice must be affected.

In both real life and Dooyeweerdian philosophy, theory and practice are not divorced from each other, and both have a strong normative component, of what we ought to do. So we discuss what we should do, in ====context of the above, and in each aspect. And we discuss how both theory and practice should change.

[Make sure the following is a sound list, because people will quote it!] And compare with existing strategies. And say how, if we don't adopt this full strategy, then we will suffer more, the Earth will suffer more, and we will end up adopting it out of control, rather than in a controlled and human-dignified way. ***

9-8.1 Applying the Above

Summary: Key strategic actions indicated by the above.

Key strategic actions gleaned from above:

9-8.2 Strategy and Action by Aspect

Summary: Each aspect indicates a different kind of action to protect or repair the environment.

Key strategic actions meaningful and mandated by each aspect, in relation especially to the environment:

9-8.3 Theory and Practice

Summaray: Theory of environmental economics can be affirmed, critiqued and enriched, and practice can be guided and assessed, using a Dooyeweerdian ideas.

===== to be written e.g. including the following

9-8.4 Example: Extinction Rebellion

Summary: Extinction Rebellion burst onto the scene in 2019, and achieved a significant shift in environmental consciousness, but how deep did it go? How can we make it last?

[===== notes to form basis of this]

# Perhaps the biggest challenge is to change mindset-attitude. This suggests therefore the strategy for environmental [policy and action] should be / should take seriously the changing of attitude. # How do we do that? # Well, XR is trying to do it through disruption and making people think and change their attitude, through logic and data. And questoning / And that has some important role. And in fact. it worked in their first campaigns. # ??Do you?? know why? [because of sacrifical giving] # But then people hardened. People hardened, and saw them as enemies. The government saw them as people to resist because people's convenience - disrupting convenience seemed a Bad Thing. # [Actually government granted XR's three demands in their own eyes, # But Lip service: to the letter, but not the spirit: tell the truth, declare a climate emergency, establish a citizens' assembly. they did the second two and claimed to be doing the first - but the emergency was nothing more than words, with no teeth, and the citizen's assembly was temporary and not listened to.]

9-8.5 Notes to be added in above

# There is a problem, however, in using such aspectual analysis: it can be used by vested interests to argue for Good they do. This is where attention to the pistic and ethical aspects becomes so important, in exposing mindset-attitude behind such arguments.

# Innovation and technological solutions have been proffered to overcome environmental Harm, such as solar and wind generation of electricity, electric cars, carbon capture and storage. While innovation is indeed a human capability that can bring much Good, in our current affluent cultures its net effect might be harmful, especially when devoted to Useless economic activity [===] or the mindset described as "technology for technology's sake." Though some environmentalists blame technology itself [e.g. ===], we must be careful; it is helpful to recognise the crucial role that mindset-attitude plays, in idolatry (e.g. of technology itself or of what technology enables) and selfishness.

# GDP. Strategy needs to recognise that there are many values cannot be quantified; find ways of dealing with that. [Dasgupta trying] [What we need is some standard overall summary of the Goodness of a nation, which is what GDP is taken to be. ]

# [Today 2 February 2023 praying I realised that Jesus disrupted convenience when he overturned the tables of the moneychangers, possibly twice. Christians who resist XR and dislike them because of disrupting convenience ]

9-9. Conclusion

Summary: The approach to economics developed in this Rethink can significantly contribute to making economics more environmentally responsible.

It was suggested, in the RLDG discussions [ze21] that what we say about the environment is not unique, with many others also saying we need to take more than economic value and measures into account. This is true. The key message of much our discussion of the meaningfulness and mandate of economics (Chapter 4) and also of values (Chapter 5) echoes and expands on what many environmental economists are saying today.

However, whereas current discourses on the relationship of economics with environment allude to and presuppose them, or focus on specific manifestations of them, perhaps in one or two aspects, or go into specific details, few offer philosophically sound understanding of them that is presented here. A philosophically sound understanding of economics can reveal what is important and guide action in practice and rethinking of theory (x especially in conjunction, perhaps, with a Christian or religious perspectice).

And few go further and recognise as clearly as this Rethink does the importance of understanding multi-aspectual functioning and repercussions, the importance of unpaid activity, and the distinction between Good, Harmful and Useless activity. The latter is often alluded to, but seldom explored explicitly in detail. So, we submit that our approach is worth some consideration within the field of environmental economics.

We also submit that it is worth considering within the field (theory and practice) of economics more generally, as a worked example of how the thinking developed in earlier chapters may be applied. Following this as a template might help application in other fields.

Some of the insights that might assist in climate and environmental responsibility, and which are not major in current discourse might include:

Notes and References


Note on Sustainability. "Sustainability" is often misused (e.g. for sustainability of businesses) or misunderstood, so more recent discourse mentions the importance of and our responsibility for future generations. Yet that too is ambiguous. Its general meaning is an environmental Multi-aspectual Good, but probably the most useful idea of environmental Multi-aspectual Good currently assumed is harmony between the human and non-human, in which each upholds the resilience or 'joy' of the other. (Jews and Christians understand this as Shalom and Muslims as Salaam.)

Note on Movements and Factions. For example, the biotic aspect is emphasised by the deep ecologists, who treat humanity as just one more species, and also by those who want to change the agricultural and food systems (e.g. Vegans). These also emphasise the formative aspect of techniques and technologies. Those who argue for small communities and/or communal living, especially reverting to old tribal forms of society, emphasise the social aspect. The economic aspect is emphasised by those who see the economy as to blame for environmental problems. Green politicians emphasise the juridical aspect. 'Spiritual' greens emphasise the ethical and pistic aspects, and maybe the aesthetic. And so on. A possible difference between movements and factions is that factions absolutize their favourite aspect, treating it as the main answer to environmental problems, and tend to fight each other, or at least denigrate each other, with little cross-communication because each ignores the meaningfulness of the others.

Note on account of XR. This understanding of XR is perhaps unusual. It was compiled by someone who took part in XR protests, and knew it from the inside. Reference to Dooyeweerd's aspects has revealed issues not usually recognised and can contribute to the ongoing debate on the effect of disruptive protest.

Note on Presentation of Information. Whereas bar and pie charts afford overview comparisons between a few factors, and map-colouring can show numbers per area, other graphical techniques are needed to show such things as inter-species relationships and movement. Relationships may be shown by lines between items. Movement may be shown by arrows with direction and length to indicate its speed, or by animation on screen. See Edward Tufte's excellent works on this.

Note on Enkaptic Functioning. An environment (ecosystem, Umwelt, ecosphere) is seen by Dooyeweerd as not just one thing but as a thing whose existence arises from a kind of combination of individual things. Such combinations, such as a Hermit Crab and its shell or a city and its football team or orchestra, cannot by understood in terms of parts and wholes, system and subsystems, but as an enkaptic relationship, an idea he adapted from the biologist, ===. In an enkaptic relationship, individual entities whose primary aspect is in various aspects join to make a greater whole ("enkaptic structural whole"). An Umwelt like an environment or ecosystem or forest is one type of enkaptic whole, which he called correlative enkapsis, in which the individuals constitute the enkaptic whole : the trees, fungi, insects, birds, etc. constitute the forest, and the forest enables them to be function fully as they should; the individuals and the forest depend on each other.

Note on unwise environmental actions. For example, it was reported that some early large environmental projects in India made local people poorer - and anti-environmental organisations like the Cornwall Alliance were quick to weaponize this. The root problem, however, was not the environmental purpose of the projects but rather ethical and pistic dysfunction, especially self-interest, greed and hidden agendas.


O'Neill, D.W., Dietz, R., Jones, N. (Editors), 2010. Enough is Enough: Ideas for a sustainable economy in a world of finite resources. The report of the Steady State Economy Conference. Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy and Economic Justice for All, Leeds, UK.

Mills, Stephen, New Scientist, 20 February 1986.

Tufte ER. 1983. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Cheshire, Connectcut, USA: The Graphics Press.

Tufte E. 1990. Envisioning Information, The Graphics Press, Cheshire, Connecticut.

Speth JG (Gus). 2013. Shared planet: Religion and Nature, bBC Radio 4, 1st October 2013. Also in Common Cause Newsletter.

Last Updated: 2 March 2023 summary, edits. 4 March 2023 edits. 6 March 2023 harmonising, mandate, mindset, value, fig 9-2.1. 7 March 2023 Gunton. Val. 8 March 2023 val, fning, fwk. 9 March 2023 technology. 11 March 2023 fning, ghu intro. 14 March 2023 ghu new. 16 March 2023 useless. 18 March 2023 smys. 23 March 2023 edits. 24 March 2023 most edits, removed walk notes, summaries, uploaded. 29 March 2023 why we contribute. 31 March 2023 bit, uploaded. 4 April 2023 some minors. 5 April 2023 Delta Smelt brought here; decoupling CC fr EG. 10 May 2023 draft. 12 May 2023 masp led by biotic. 26 October 2023 Simon Sharpe in intro. 28 October 2023 EU correlation. 9 February 2024 MAOG. 19 April 2024 farm intro ch 8; status of ch.