If economics is to be relevant in addressing the ecological crises of our time, then research should purposefully consolidate worldviews between the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The naming of the Anthropocene is a call to embrace a study of the human economy that is: embedded in the biophysical universe; grounded in the evidentiary standard of science; and resolved to address conflicting goals of short-run maximization and long-run resilience. Building on insights from big bang cosmology, this presentation provides a fresh perspective to build such a study of human economies and institutions, to guide public policy and governance, and ultimately provide a new foundation for ethical decision-making that could help guide humanity through the planetary crises of climate change, mass extinction of species, and unprecedented inequality.
About Jon Erickson
Jon Erickson is Professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and Fellow of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont (UVM). He has published widely on climate change policy, renewable energy economics, watershed planning, and the theory and practice of ecological economics; led international research and education programs as a Fulbright Scholar in Tanzania and visiting professor in the Dominican Republic, Iceland, and Slovakia; produced Emmy award-winning documentary films on water, energy, and food system transitions; and founded and led numerous non-profit organizations including the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics, Adirondack Research Consortium, Deportes para la Vida, and Bright Blue EcoMedia. He currently helps lead the Economics for the Anthropocene partnership between McGill University, York University, UVM, and an international network of partners and collaborators.