What happens when an economist understands ecology?

Dick Norgaard, being well versed in both economics and ecology, is one of those rare people who straddles the fault-lines of the disciplines. This means that – instead of believing that economic theory is immovable truth, or that the findings of the natural sciences are immutable – he can see how gracelessly these great tectonic plates rend at each other. From his vantage point, the faith that the invisible hand will solve our problems, and the belief that scientific progress is inexorably leading us to a bright future, look like especially primitive forms of superstition. If you want to know more, you might read this profile that Patrick Joseph had me write. Or look at his book, parts of which I found revelatory.
 (Patrick Joseph is one of those editors who is not only intelligent but also civil, kind even, who must be blessed and treasured.)

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