Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: The Earthscan Reader in Environmental Values

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: The Earthscan Reader in Environmental Values

Article excerpt

Review: The Earthscan Reader in Environmental Values By Linda Kalof and Terre Satterfield (Eds.) Reviewed by Byron Anderson Northern Illinois University, USA Linda Kalof and Terre Satterfield (Eds). The Earthscan Reader in Environmental Values. London; Sterling, VA: Earthscan, 2005. xix, 334 pp. ISBN: 1-84407-167-7 (paper); 1-84407-166-9 (cloth) UK£22.95,US$39.95; UK£80.00, US$150.00. Elemental chlorine-free paper.

Value is a hotly contested term among environmentalists. The Earthscan Reader in Environmental Values attempts to tackle the gargantuan task of assigning economic value to nature. The book is part of The Earthscan Readers, a series of books that bring together a core collection of key articles on environmental topics. This reader contains eighteen paper reprints, sixteen journal articles and two book chapters that originally appeared between 1984 and 2002. The contributors were selected based on expertise in their respective fields.

The editors, both academics, establish three goals for the book: lay groundwork for understanding contingent valuation practices, provide an overview of current economic approaches, and place a value on ecosystem services. The papers were, for the most part, originally written for their respective constituency and not for the layperson. Some of the articles may require some disciplinary knowledge to fully comprehend.

The book divides environmental values into four thematic parts, each with a separate introduction. First, economic themes focus on the discipline's move beyond traditional barriers to "incorporate political theory, moral philosophy, institutional economics, social psychology and socialism" (p. 56). This is due, in part, to a willingness of economists to debate the rights of future generations, treatment of the poor, and other "nontraditional" economics topics. …

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