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Ecological economics -- Psychological aspects, Economic models -- Forecasting, Fossil fuels -- Environmental aspects


This section comments on an article by Lester Brown published in the July 2006 issue of The Futurist describing what an ecological economy might look like, at least in its technical dimensions. Brown points out that if economic progress is to be sustained, the fossil-fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway economy must be replaced with a new economic model. To do this, we need to create a new vision of what the economy is, what it is for and how to measure success. There is substantial new psychological research in the emerging science of happiness that shows the limits of conventional economic income and consumption in contributing to well-being. One convenient way to summarize these contributions is to group them into four basic types of capital that are necessary to support the real, human-welfare-producing economy, including built capital, human capital, social capital and natural capital.


Originally published in THE FUTURIST magazine. Used with permission from the World Future Society (

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