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A introduction to Econosystemics, a discipline of study that combines economics with global ecology in pursuit of sustainability.

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  1. 1. ECONOSYSTEMICS Reframing Economics for Sustainability Bryan K. Long Editor / Author / Activist ECONOSYSTEMICS.COM
  2. 2. ECONOSYSTEM <ul><li>A dynamic system of value transformations and transactions encompassing human society and the global ecosystem. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic: Energy dissipating; changing with time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System: Organized interacting components (sub-systems) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value: Usefulness to a system’s maintenance, growth, or development </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Economics <ul><li>e-kə- ˈ nä-miks a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative framing: The analysis and modeling of value creation, exchange and consumption within human society. </li></ul>(Miriam Webster Dictionary)
  4. 4. Value <ul><li>Value depends on context. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet we quantify it every time we buy or sell. </li></ul><ul><li>Implicitly what we are trying to measure with GDP: how much value did our economy create? </li></ul><ul><li>Negative value: An interaction that diminishes the net value in a system </li></ul>
  5. 5. Productivity <ul><li>The use of time, energy, capital, labor, biological systems and material resources to create value. </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency : Using less time, energy, capital, labor, biological systems and/or material resources to create the same amount of value. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Distribution and Marketing <ul><li>Distribution : The delivery of value from the time and place of creation to the time and place of value. </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing : Effort to create a context in which the perception of value is high. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Money <ul><li>A measurement scale for the quantification of value </li></ul><ul><li>A future “call” on value from any participant in the monetary system. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Ecology <ul><li>i- ˈ kä-lə-jē 1: a branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environments 2: the totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative framing: The analysis, decription and modeling of an ecosystem . </li></ul><ul><li>[Ecosystem: a system of biological species within a geophysical environment] </li></ul>(Miriam Webster Dictionary)
  9. 9. The Human “Footprint” <ul><li>Land : Mostly cities, agriculture and pasturage </li></ul><ul><li>Ocean : Fish stocks plummeting </li></ul><ul><li>Rainforests : Disappearing </li></ul><ul><li>Arctic : Melting </li></ul><ul><li>Biodiversity : Greatest extinction event in 65 M years </li></ul>The Earth at Night
  10. 10. Modern Economics
  11. 11. Modern Economics Natural Resources
  12. 12. Modern Reality
  13. 13. Econosystemics Energy Geophysical Systems Biological Systems Human Systems Value Impact Impact
  14. 14. Econosystemics <ul><li>i- ˈ kä-nō-sis-təm-iks </li></ul><ul><li>Broader discipline encompassing macroeconomics and planetary ecology. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Natural world” includes us. </li></ul><ul><li>Value flows in both directions. </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable human civilization can only be modeled within this larger context. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Sustainability <ul><li>Material resource flow must be circular </li></ul><ul><li>Value flow must be circular </li></ul><ul><li>Waste must be minimized </li></ul><ul><li>Energy must be “renewable” </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency knowledge must be shared </li></ul><ul><li>“ Negative Value” activities must be eliminated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pollution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecosystem destruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>War </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social oppression </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Econosystemics Challenges <ul><li>Mapping whole-planet energy and resource flows </li></ul><ul><li>Modeling multi-species interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Characterizing/quantifying non-monetary value and negative-value transactions </li></ul><ul><li>Reconciling present-value and future-value </li></ul><ul><li>Reconciling human-value and inherent-value perspectives </li></ul>
  17. 17. Social Challenges <ul><li>Kicking the fossil fuel habit </li></ul><ul><li>Letting go of exploitive consumption, and adopting cooperative development. </li></ul><ul><li>Transcending tribal conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Being able to see the big picture </li></ul><ul><li>Developing pervasive social responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Stopping population growth </li></ul>
  18. 18. Sustainable Development <ul><li>It’s not about going back to the farm. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a difference between growth and development. </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of life is about food, water, shelter, education, rights and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Total recycling can give us plenty of resources. Solar, wind, geothermal and advanced nuclear technologies can give us plenty of energy. </li></ul><ul><li>But we have to get from here to there. </li></ul>
  19. 19. ECONOSYSTEMICS <ul><li>Econosystemics is about finding our way to a sustainable future. </li></ul><ul><li>For More Information and Links, visit: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. econosystemics .com </li></ul>Reframing Economics for Sustainability