I’ve been sorting through the book pile and have started reading Hugh Pym’s, which so far is a very vivid account of the decision-making in the Treasury and Bank of England. It’s intriguing to get his more rounded perspective, having heard through my own contacts just a few strands of the story.
[amazon_image id=”B00JRYI4JE” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Inside the Banking Crisis: The Untold Story[/amazon_image]
I’m also taken by the look ofby Robert Ayers, an INSEAD-based economist and physicist. It’s partly about energy and decarbonisation, and partly about financial bubbles and sustainability too, which is intriguing because (apart from my own interest in the links in ) relatively few people see the different aspects of unsustainability as related to each other. The link, as far as I can tell from just paging through, is discouraging financial speculation in favour of the financing of investment in green technologies that will generate real returns.
[amazon_image id=”0262027437″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Bubble Economy: Is Sustainable Growth Possible?[/amazon_image]
Standard modern economics notoriously ignores energy use and has been criticised for this since at least Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen wrote– an almost unreadable tome, so it’s no surprise it had so little impact. What’s odder is that standard economics ignores resources in general and land in particular, despite its prominence in classical economics. Landlords were villains in all the classical versions, according to Thomas Sowell’s . In , as in , landlords were “the passive beneficiaries of progress,” as the share of rental income in national income would inexorably rise.
I’m not sure why the postwar mainstream dropped land from economic models – was it really because they could only do the algebra with two factor-models? Whatever the explanation, there’s no excuse for omitting resources from thinking about the economy, alongside labour and capital. And what do we think aboutwhen we need to think about energy consumption too? Is a robot economy a sustainable one?