This accessible and provocative book explores whether getting 'unhooked' from economic growth to meet the needs of the environment is possible. Although giving the environment priority over growth may seem radical, the author argues that it can be accomplished using marketable emissions allowances, transferable development rights, and other tools popular with conventional economists. It can also be achieved by creating more interesting and environmentally friendly urban landscapes less beholden to the automobile. The key problem will be ensuring that everyone who wants employment can find it. This will require a transition to a shorter workweek, the wistful goal of many a harried worker. More leisure, a higher-quality environment, and more attractive cities and towns are the potential rewards of a less consumption-oriented society. Yet how can the power of special interests be overcome in the name of environmental conservation? This is the author's critical final question as he offers a clear path to a sustainable economic and environmental future.
Douglas E. Booth is retired associate professor of economics at Marquette University and a founding board member of the Driftless Area Land Conservancy.
Chapter 1 Hooked on Growth: Introduction Chapter 2 Conspicuous Consumption, Novelty, and Creative Destruction Chapter 3 The Macroeconomics of Being Hooked on Growth Chapter 4 Economic Growth and Environmental Change Chapter 5 Everyday Economic Life and Environmental Decline Chapter 6 Conventional and Ecological Economics: Adjusting the Environment to the Economy versus Adjusting the Economy to the Environment Chapter 7 Environmental Values and Getting Unhooked from Growth Chapter 8 The Politics of Getting Unhooked from Growth