Clive L. Spash

Environmental Values and Economics

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Greenhouse Economics: Value and Ethics

Clive L. Spash (2002) Greenhouse Economics: Value and Ethics. ISBN 0-415-127181 London: Routledge. xvi+298 pages. Order from publisher.

Examining one of the most crucial issues in the modern world: human induced climate change, here Clive Spash provides a refreshing interdisciplinary perspective, pulling together strands of natural science, economics and ethics. Described by John Gowdy as ‘the best exposition to date on the political economy of climate policy’, this remarkable volume poses serious questions and gives intelligent answers. The issues it addresses are relevant to a range of environmental problems, and it covers themes such as:

  • How do we deal with uncertainty and ignorance?
  • What roles do science and economics play in policy formation?
  • To what extent should individuals take responsibility for the society in which they and their descendants live?

By rigorously examining international and governmental sources, and key contemporary issues, Spash provides an up-to-date and informative analysis. A well-organized study (including a glossary and helpful acronym list), this book will be of strong interest to students and academics in the fields of ecological and environmental economics, and is essential reading for all those to whom climate change is a professional or personal concern.


1. Climate Change: Introducing Some of the Issues (PDF)
2. Scientific Understanding of the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect
3. Impacts of Global Climate Change
4. Weak Uncertainty: Risk and Imperfect Information (PDF)
5. Strong Uncertainty: Ignorance and Indeterminacy (PDF)
6. Calculating the Cost and Benefits of GHG Control
7. Loading the Dice? Values, Opinions and Ethics (PDF)
8. Dividing Time and Discounting the Future
9. Economics, Ethics and Future Generations (PDF)
10. Science, Economics and Policy


(These are all pdf documents.)

Gowdy, J. (2003) Greenhouse Economics: Value and Ethics. Ecological Economics 46(2): 307-308.

Savage, V. (2005) Greenhouse Economics: Value and Ethics. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 23(4): 631-632.

Thomas-Pellicer, R. (2004) Greenhouse Economics: Value and Ethics. Environmental Politics 13(4): 804-805.

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