by Marian Radetzki
published 2001 ISBN 0 906522 17 X pp. vi + 84 £13.50
Does economic activity necessarily harm the environment? "No" is Professor Radetzki's uncompromising answer - in fact, quite the opposite!
This book challenges the common belief that economic growth constitutes an insurmountable threat to the environment. A wide array of empirical observations are presented to show that environmental quality tends to improve as economic activity is expanded. The author explores the reasons for this counter-intuitive finding, and concludes that:
expanding economic activity has provided increasing scope to fashion environmental conditions to human needs
human inventiveness and flexible behaviour has avoided or disarmed the environmental problems and constraints arising in the course of economic growth;
there is no compelling reason why continued economic growth should not be compatible with improving environmental standard
"For all who worry about the human effect on the environment, Radetzki's book is a must read. He provides a reasoned and bracing antidote to ecological despair"
DENNY ELLERMAN - Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"In a series of well-argued examples, Radetzki shows what many businesses know but what their critics find so hard to accept: Poverty is far more damaging to health and the environment than wealth."
DAVID HUMPHREYS - Chief Economist, Rio Tinto, London
MARIAN RADETZKI, Professor of Economics at Lulea University of Technology, and Senior Researcher at SNS, a Swedish think tank, has long specialized in the economics of raw materials and energy.