Why Do So Many Economists Underplay the Psychological and Biophysical Aspects of Life on Earth?
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Standard economics and mainstream economists have been playing a marginal role in addressing the enormous challenges of a global shift to a low- or non-carbon energy future. Most economists have little knowledge of the role energy has played in human civilization, either from a psychological angle or a biophysical one. They usually appear to have limited knowledge of the constraints which lie ahead. All too often they are to be found backing over-optimistic, therefore unrealistic, expectations. This paper exposes the lacunae of “the dismal science” so far as most economists are concerned. It is based upon personal experience as a conventionally trained economist who in his working life found that his formal training in economics had little relevance. Its target audience is economists who should get more immersed in psychological and biophysical economics. Its intended readership includes those familiar with biophysical economics who wish to galvanise economists into taking the field more seriously.