Applying a Biophysical Economics Approach to Developing Countries
It seems imperative that we as individuals who care about the human condition and about nature must create a new way to undertake developmental economics and perhaps economics in general. The reasons this is so important have been reviewed in previous chapters and include our dissatisfaction with the intellectual foundations of conventional economic models used in development and of the results that have occurred with their use, the general sense of many development economists themselves that conventional economics has failed, the need to do something that will work, the concern that most knowledgeable people have that the future, and especially the future of most developing nations, will be much more constrained by the «end of cheap oil,» and the need to protect whatever nature is left. We try to develop such a model in this chapter, summarizing certain approaches and even successes of the past, and use a biophysical basis to try to generate a synthesis to help the reader. We are not foolish enough to believe that we can in one fell swoop cure all the economic problems that generations of traditional economists have not been able to, but we believe that we do provide a useful basis here for beginning that process and for generating useful results now for field workers.
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