People & Nature: An Economist’s Viewpoint
August 27, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston invites you to attend Sunday Evening Conversations on Creation, an environmental education web meeting series whose theme in 2017 is Connections between People and Nature.
At the August web meeting, we welcome Professor Peter Hartley, the George and Cynthia Mitchell Family Professor of Economics at Rice University, a Rice Scholar in Energy Studies in the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy and the BHP Billiton Professor in Energy and Resource Economics at the University of Western Australia, where he holds an adjunct appointment. In his presentation, Professor Hartley will discuss the economic perspective on environmental issues. He will begin by discussing the distinction between normative and positive economics. He will then outline the key value judgements that underlie normative economic analysis — namely the cost/benefit principle. He will briefly discuss some objections to the approach before going on to contrast it with other ethical frameworks — such as “maximizing biodiversity”, or maximizing “natural” and minimizing “artificial” processes — which are taken as goals of policy. He will also present an economic analysis of “sustainability”. Finally, he will argue for the necessity of a “human-centered” approach to thinking about environmental issues and policies. After Professor Hartley’s talk, there will be time for Q&A.