I’m going to be a contributor to a new ecological economics blog. The idea of the blog is to present some alternative views to more conventional environmental economics blogs (notably the Environmental Economics Blog) which, I should say, themselves do a good job presenting alternative views to conventional economic blogs and free market blogs (such as the Commons Blog).
Ecological economics differs from environmental economics in its emphasis on the economic system operating within an ecological system and the need for multi-disciplinary approaches to the issues that this throws up. Environmental economics, on the other hand, is really a branch of conventional neoclassical economics and tends to take as a given the assumptions inherent in neoclassical economics – including seeing the environment as a source of goods and services, rather than a system within which the economy operates. There’s a lot of common ground between environmental and ecological economics but the different approaches come to a head when you examine macroeconomic issues such as physical limits to economic growth. Environmental economics tends to assume that economic growth can and should continue indefinitely. Ecological economics suggests that economic growth has finite limits because eventually you reach limits to natural capital that human capital can’t necessarily substitute for.
If you’re interested in this area, check out the International Society of Ecological Economics' online encyclopaedia, which has some interesting articles on these issues.