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Citizens, Consumers and the Environment: Reflections on The Economy of the Earth

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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.

Keywords: Sagoff; citizens; consumers; environment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1994-11-01

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2015) of 1.311.
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