chapter  2
12 Pages

ECONOMIC GROWTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE: Theory

The key points of this and the following three chapters of this book are simple. Technological change, innovation, and the drive for wealth accumulation lead to the creation of new high-growth industries required for macroeconomic growth; these highgrowth industries foster environmental change; thus, the same forces that lead to economic growth are responsible for a changing natural environmental. The task here is to explore fully the logic of the economic growth/environment link and to provide historical evidence for it. The starting point is an investigation of the ties between the macroeconomy and the environment. For Herman Daly (1991a), as already noted in Chapter 1, production is inherently entropic, converting high-quality low-entropy matter and energy into high-entropy, environmentally disruptive waste. While Daly’s position is compelling on theoretical grounds, to fully justify it requires a more specific conception of the relationship between economic growth and environmental change and more concrete historical and empirical support.