Citizens, Consumers and the Environment: Reflections on The Economy of the Earth
This paper presents a critical evaluation of Mark Sagoff's critique of economistic approaches to environmental decision-making in The Economy of the Earth . Whilst endorsing many of Sagoff's specific arguments against the use of extended versions of cost-benefit analysis in making such decisions, it criticises the conceptual framework within which these arguments are developed. In particular, it suggests that what Sagoff represents as a tension between consumers and their public roles as citizens is better understood as one between culturally shared values concerning both the protection of nature and the pursuit of consumption; and that this conflict has itself to be resolved by them as citizens.
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