A Sustainable Economy
"An economy is sustainable only if it respects the principles of ecology; if it does
not it will decline and eventually collapse. Market forces rather than ecological principles, have
shaped today's global economy. Unfortunately, by failing to reflect the full cost - the social and
environmental costs - of goods and services, the market provides misleading information
to economic decision makers at all levels. An eco-economy will make markets work to the earth's
advantage. enabling us to justify our needs without jeopardizing the prospects of future
generations to meet their needs.
"A sustainable economy respects the sustainable yield of the ecosystems on which it depends: fisheries,
forests,rangelands, and croplands. A particular fishery can sustain a catch of a certain size, but if the annual
demand on the fishery exceeds the sustainable yield by even the smallest amount, the fish stocks will begin
to shrink and will eventually disappear. As long as the harvest does not exceed the sustainable yield, it can
be sustained in perpetuity. The same is true of forests and rangelands."
EXCERPTS by Lester R. Brown, from Earth From Above, Revised and Expanded Edition, Chapter 1, Building an Eco-Economy
English translation, 2002 Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, New York