Mar 212018

(Scroll down to the announcement from Tufts.)


JUST ONE of the problems:   The Accounting system defines what is included in “Operating Costs”.  Then, (simplified):  Revenue minus Expenses (costs) is Profit.   Profits are available for distribution to Investors.   The fewer costs you pay, the more that can be paid to investors (and Executives).

A business can create huge pollution costs with no consequence, because the business does not get charged for that cost.  Therefore, it is not included in “Operating Costs”.   It “externalizes” the costs – – passes it outside the business for someone else to pay.   There is no “accountability” within the business (what Accounting is supposed to be about).  There is DIS-incentive to change.   Why would you?  Large businesses transfer those costs to the public — You and I get to pay for them.

2007:   First article I posted on economic indicators  The Need for Helpful Economic Indicators.    Includes a bit on GDP.

Year?:  Robert F. Kennedy Jr, guest speaker at FSIN (Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations) Water Conference, Saskatoon, SK.  He spelt it out  – –  the system allows big businesses to “externalize” pollution costs.  Kennedy is an environmental lawyer known for his work to keep poisons out of our water supplies.   I remember being excited and joyful – a large audience that included Government officials and Academics – – influential people – – were hearing what they needed to hear, through an excellent speech by a highly-respected Robert F. Kennedy Jr.   Maybe we could get the ball rolling, after all!

2008:  I met with Grant Isaac when he was still Dean of the Business School, University of Saskatchewan.  I wanted to understand whether,  what is taught in Economics classes is still the same as it was when I was a student there (1967-71).   Decades had passed.  The answer was “yes”, with slight, minimal adjustments.

The Dean  put it this way:   “If there was a way to change it, it would have been done by now.”  So, no problem teaching junk to students.

Grant went to Cameco (nuclear industry) in summer 2009.  Would he have been selected for a million-dollar job, if he had been active in seeking changes to a flawed economic system that is taking the planet to the brink? (The revolving door between the University and Cameco, the conflicts-of-interest, are a sight to behold.  There’s more on that in other postings.)

2016:   I see Academia as a big part of the problem in bringing about necessary change.  But good news!   Some economists (professors) from Universities have been doing A LOT about the problem!  Fellow-activist Dianne, and I attended the U.S. & Canada meeting in Vancouver of ISEE  (International Society Environmental Economics), to learn more, and to contribute.   It was great for learning WHO the big pushers have been, and are, for reform.  Or, is it (r)evolution?!

2018:   Hallelujah!  GDAE Textbooks for Economics Courses

From: GDAE: Global Development And Environment Institute, Tufts University

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GDAE Textbooks for Economics Courses
GDAE’s textbooks offer a new way to teach economics by providing instructors with tools to introduce critical social and environmental issues into their curricula.

The In Context textbooks present economic principles in a modern context of environmental, behavioral, and social issues. Supporting materials include lecture outlines and a test bank of over 3,000 questions, with an option to use a free online grading system. See below for information about the forthcoming 2018 editions.

Our environmental economics text balances standard and ecological economics analyses with extensive coverage of current issues including climate change, agriculture, and nonrenewable resources. The Fourth Edition, with expanded and updated treatment of energy, climate change, water, population, and other topics, was released in Fall 2017.

Teacher supplements for all books are available for verified instructors; please email us for access to our password protected instructor materials.

Microeconomics in Context

Inexpensive and innovative, Microeconomics in Context covers microeconomic concepts and models while including analysis of ecological and social concerns. This book tackles questions of human well-being, how it is affected by economic activities, and how it relates to markets and efficiency. The new Fourth Edition, to be released in late 2018, includes new material on economic inequality, environmental policies, behavioral economics, taxes, and labor issues. Three advance chapters from the Fourth Edition are now available on our website.

Macroeconomics in Context

Macroeconomics in Context covers basic macro analysis as well as growth, trade, and monetary policy. It includes the critical topics of distributional equity, ecological sustainability, the quality of employment, the role of unpaid work, and the adequacy of living standards. A new edition, to be released in late 2018, will have updated material on economic recovery, financial instability and inequality, deficits and debt, and “green” macroeconomics. Advance chapters will be posted shortly.

Principles of Economics in Context

Principles of Economics in Context combines both macroeconomic and microeconomic theory into a single text for students in a full-year introductory course. Themes such as distributional equity, ecological sustainability, and the strengths and limitations of markets are presented in both micro and macro contexts.

Macroeconomics in Context: A European Perspective

With a clear presentation of economic theory and different economic paradigms throughout, this is the latest addition to the bestselling “In Context” series. It includes a specific focus on European data, institutions, historical events, and topics, such as Brexit, the euro crisis, sustainability, and rising inequality. Policy issues are presented in context (historical, institutional, social, political and ethical), and always with reference to human well-being.


Of all the textbooks I have seen, yours is by far the most balanced and indisputably the best value! I think you have done a fantastic job in presenting the mainstream material in a non-mainstream way.
–Jakob Funkenstein, University of Washington


Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Fourth Edition

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics covers standard environmental economics topics while providing a global perspective on current ecological issues such as population growth, global climate change policy, water economics, “green” national income accounting, and the relationship between trade and the environment. Two sample chapters from the Fourth Edition and a series of supplemental updates on contemporary issues are currently available.


The book is simply great! It is really one of a kind. It fills an important need in the field, which will become more and more important in the future, no doubt — integrating standard environmental economics and ecological economics.
– Rafael Reuveny, School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University
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  2 Responses to “2018-03-21 Hallelujah! GDAE Textbooks for Economics Courses (Tufts University)”

  1. Europe dumped industrial toxins offshore of Somalia. Destroyed its fishery and main food supply.

    • Terry – – you bring up an excellent example, for economic indicators (the pressure on corporations to minimize costs, coupled with the ability to “offload” the costs) AND for specifically the discussion around radioactive waste.

      George Monbiot wrote an article about the illegal dumping, called “fly-tipping” in the UK. He writes about the Somalia example that you cite. See From toxic waste to toxic assets, the same people always get dumped on

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