Skip to content

w23: Ecological economics I

Topic 4

Learning materials ‘handout’

w23: Introduction to ecological economics

Main reading

Andrew, R (2020), It’s getting harder and harder to limit ourselves to 2°C, CICERO Center for International Climate Research, Jan 15th

Buller, A (2020), What’s the Value of a Whale?, Novara media, Oct 16th

BGS (2021), Anthropocene, British Geological Society

Gore, T et al (2020), Confronting carbon inequality – Putting climate justice at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery, Oxfam, Sept 21st

** Gowdy, J and Erickson, JD (2005a), The approach of ecological economicsCambridge Journal of Economics, v29, pp207-222

Gowdy, J and Erickson, JD (2005b), Ecological economics at a crossroadsEcological Economics, 53 pp17-20

* Hall, C and Klitgaard, K (2018), Energy and the Wealth of Nations: Understanding the Biophysical Economy (2nd Ed), New York: Springer

Harz, J (2009), The New Sustainable Frontier: Principles of Sustainable Development, GSA

Jackson, T (2009a), Prosperity without Growth? – The transition to a sustainable economy, Sustainable Development Commission [see 2010 TED talk]

Jackson, T (2009b, repr. 2011), Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, Abingdon: Earthscan

Juniper, T (2013), What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?, London: Profile Books

McDonough, W and Braungart, M (2002), Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things, Northpoint press [see TED talk]

Puller, A and Smith, T (2017), A CRITICAL AND REALIST APPROACH TO ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS in in Spash, C (ed), Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics: Nature and Society, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge

** Raworth K (2017), Doughnut economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist, London: Penguin Random House [see the Doughnut Economics YouTube channel as well]

** Ritchie, H and Roser, M (2020), CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions,, Aug [excellent data visualisation source]

Spash, C (2013), The Shallow or the Deep Ecological Economics Movement?Ecological Economics, 93. pp. 351-362

Spash, C (2017), SOCIAL ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS,  in Spash, C (ed), Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics: Nature and Society, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge

** Wallace-Wells, D (2019), The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future, London: Allen-Lane

Waters, CN et al (2016), The Anthropocene is functionally and stratigraphically distinct from the Holocene, Science, Vol. 351, Issue 6269

Watts, J (2018), We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UNThe Guardian, Oct 8th

Conventional environmental policy

Carrington, D (2013), EU carbon price crashes to record low, The Guardian, Jan 24th

Evans, S (2017), Q&A: Will the reformed EU Emissions Trading System raise carbon prices?, Carbon Brief, Dec 6th

OECD (2013), Climate and Carbon: Aligning Prices and Policies, OECD Environment Policy Paper, October, No. 1

Sandbag (a climate change lobby group) on (EU) carbon pricing

Sandbag’s EU ETS dashboard is interesting to have a play with too.

Other resources

Carbon Tracker Initiative

Costanza, R et al (2009), Beyond GDP: The need for new measures of progress?The Pardee Papers, no. 4, January

Coyle, D (2014), GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History, Princeton: Princeton University Press

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Extinction Rebellion

Lasn, K (2012), Meme wars: the creative destruction of neoclassical economics, London: Penguin

MacArthur, E (2015), The surprising thing I learned sailing solo around the world, TED2015

Met Office Hadley Centre observations datasets

Thunberg, Greta (2018),  The disarming case to act right now on climate change, Tedx Stockholm, November

Issues and concerns

Harvey, F (2020), Melting Antarctic ice will raise sea level by 2.5 metres – even if Paris climate goals are met, study finds, The Guardian, 23rd Sept

Henley, J (2020), Climate crisis could displace 1.2bn people by 2050, report warns, The Guardian, 9th Sept

Greenfield, P (2020), World fails to meet a single target to stop destruction of nature – UN report, The Guardian, 15th Sept

Watts, J (2020), Microplastic pollution devastating soil species, study finds, The Guardian, 2nd Sept

Past lecture examples


Carrington, D (2019a), Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study, The Guardian, Jan 15th

Carrington, D (2019b), UK has biggest fossil fuel subsidies in the EU, finds commission, The Guardian, Jan 23rd

Carrington, D (2019c), Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’, The Guardian, Feb 10th

Rhodes, M (2016), HOW QUICKLY CLIMATE CHANGE IS ACCELERATING, IN 167 MAPS, Wired, Aug 30th – see Ed Hawkins visualisation of global temperature change

Riley, T (2017), Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says, The Guardian, July 10th

Wallace-Wells, D (2019), ‘The devastation of human life is in view’: what a burning world tells us about climate change, The Guardian, Feb 2nd [see his book too]


Abraham, J (2018), Scientists have detected an acceleration in sea level rise, The Guardian, Feb 27th

Carrington, D (2018), Microplastic pollution in oceans is far worse than feared, say scientists, The Guardian, Mar 12th

Topham, G (2018), CO2 emissions from average UK new car rise for first time since 2000The Guardian, Feb 27th

Watts, J (2018), World’s great forests could lose half of all wildlife as planet warms – report,The Guardian, Mar 14th