An Introduction to Ecological Economics by Costanza, Robert

By Costanza, Robert

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For most of human history, people’s sense of identity has come through living within a community and its moral precepts. Today, this is increasingly less important among either the materially wealthy or aspirants to material wealth (and may indeed account for their frequent visits to the psychiatrist). Among the multiplicative factors affecting environmental degradation, the role of materialism and its relation to moral behavior is rarely discussed and is in need of broader, more serious scientific and public discourse.

Thereafter, scientific disciplines began to arise, defined by the subject matter to which logical thinking was applied rather than by the patterns of logic used. Nevertheless, for several centuries, scholars continued to work across broad areas of knowledge. Newton wrote about religion and morals as well as physics. John Locke (1632–1704) contributed to medical knowledge and the revival of the idea of atoms even though his most important contributions were to social philosophy. This scholarly tradition of contributing across disciplines lasted through the nineteenth century.

2003; Feely et al. 2004; Orr et al. 2005; Guinotte and Fabry 2008; Doney et al. 2009). Such an increase in acidity is affecting marine organisms sensitive to changes in the ocean’s chemistry. For example, one of the first species that will be affected is coral. Reefs would undergo a shift in dynamics and species composition. Such changes are already occurring and are expected to reach quite critical levels by 2050 (Kleypas et al.  2003; Langdon and Atkinson 2005; Hoegh-Guldberg et al. 2007). Marine plankton are also very vulnerable, affecting the food chain all the way up.

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