chapter  1
18 Pages

Why bioregional economics?

It has been a basic assumption amongst green economists for several decades that a green economy will be a local economy, or rather a system of self-reliant local economies that meet most of their own needs from within their boundaries. This might be seen as a reaction against globalisation, but in fact it is a reaction to the evidence of the destructive consequences of an economy that relies heavily on fossil fuel energy and, therefore, on the production of carbon dioxide. Less widely considered by policy-makers, although of equal and urgent concern, is the lack of resilience in our global systems of production and distribution. A globalised economic system heavily dependent on oil makes itself vulnerable directly, through depleting its own fundamental resource, and indirectly, through increasing the likelihood of destructive climatic events that would in turn threaten transport systems. The global economy as currently designed, therefore, is ultimately self-limiting. The primary task of a green economist in the era of climate change and ecological crisis is to consider how a system of self-reliant local economies might be designed, and how we might make a rapid transition towards such a future world.