Environmental activists care deeply about preserving the diversity of life on earth and the ecosystems that enable plants, animals, and people to thrive. But economists too are concerned about creating sustainable and thriving ecologies within both human society, and its relation with the natural world. “Economy” and “ecology” share the Greek root eco- because economists and ecologists both study emergent systems and concern themselves with the efficient use of scarce resources.
While many assume that proponents of capitalist markets and the natural environment must have opposing goals and theories, the truth is that both use similar concepts to describes their respective domains, and economists have much to say about how to organize human activity to create sustainable and healthy societies.
What we’ve compiled here is a guide to understanding the most important principles and practices for protecting the environment from an economic perspective. Far from being it’s enemy, property rights within the context of a free market are essential to preserving our limited natural resources.