Category Archives: News & Events

Call for Papers: UC Berkeley Climate Economics Workshop

UC Berkeley is  currently soliciting papers from PhD students and post-docs for a climate economics workshop. The deadline for submissions is 9 A.M. December 9, 2019 (Pacific time zone).
They encourage papers by PhD students and post-docs undertaking research in any area related to the economics of climate change. They encourage papers that use empirical methods, theory or numerical modelling. Papers can be single authored or co-authored. No restrictions apply to co-authors, i.e. co-authors can be senior researchers.


The workshop will explore recent advances in climate economics, with an emphasis on the linkage between empirical and numerical modeling methods. One goal of the workshop is to bring junior and senior researchers together. The final program will combine presentations from invited leading senior researchers and presentations from the most promising junior researchers (PhD students and post-docs). This is the second workshop of this kind at UC Berkeley, a summary of the previous workshop can be found at  https://matrix.berkeley.edu/research/matrix-hosts-advanced-workshop-climate-economics


Applications should be submitted online at https://forms.gle/YgXHjPisEhGmAwv19. Please include either a full working paper or an extended abstract (1-2 pages). PhD students should include a brief letter of recommendation from their advisor that indicates that the submitted abstract/paper will be ready for a full presentation for the workshop.


The workshop will be held at UC Berkeley on Fri 1/31 and Sat 2/1, 2020. All travel and lodging costs will be covered for presenters.
The workshop is organized by David Anthoff (Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley), Max Auffhammer (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley) and Solomon Hsiang (Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley) in collaboration with the Social Science Matrix at UC Berkeley.


Any questions regarding the workshop should be directed to Eva Seto (evaseto@berkeley.edu).

Assistant Professor in Biological and Environmental Systems Engineering, Cornell

The Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering (BEE) at Cornell University seeks candidates for a tenure-track position.

They are especially interested in candidates who have demonstrated expertise in investigating interconnected biological and/or environmental systems and will interact widely with colleagues in our department and across the university to build an understanding of the multiple trade-offs and competing objectives that may be present at the systems nexus. 

The successful candidate will establish an innovative, high-profile research program that addresses critical problems of society today. Areas of specific interest include, but are not limited to, sustainable agriculture and/or food systems, food safety and security, and interconnected systems of food/agriculture, energy, water, and climate.

A brief summary of the position is below.

More details on the position and how to apply are available at:
https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/14806

Webinar Recording Available: The Green New Deal: What is a reasonable “realism” in the face of an existential threat?

Presented by Eric Kemp-Benedict of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) . 

On October 9th, 2019 Eric Kemp-Benedict, senior scientist at SEI and USSEE member, presented for the USSEE webinar series on the topic of the Green New Deal. You can find Eric’s webinar on the USSEE Youtube page here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt5qF4hh9fA

Eric has also made his slides from the presentation available here

Webinar Abstract: In high-income countries, the first generation likely to be substantially impacted by climate change is coming of age, and they are urging us to action. Greta Thunberg is asking us to please panic, while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez led the writing of the Green New Deal resolution. Their calls are grounded in appeals to “the science”: the physical mechanisms driving climate change and evidence of impacts from the natural sciences. Meanwhile, William Nordhaus was given the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics for his work on the economics of climate change. His research program has arguably allowed for people to tell us not to panic. Yet, his has not been the only view within economics. In this presentation, I will briefly survey some of the alternatives and present a simple model for exploring broad alternatives. I will then talk about the role of social and institutional trust in making major systemic changes in a time of uncertainty.

Webinar: The Green New Deal: What is a reasonable “realism” in the face of an existential threat?

Presented by Eric Kemp-Benedict of the Stockholm Environment Institute. 
Wednesday October 9th, 1-2pm EDT

In high-income countries, the first generation likely to be substantially impacted by climate change is coming of age, and they are urging us to action. Greta Thunberg is asking us to please panic, while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez led the writing of the Green New Deal resolution. Their calls are grounded in appeals to “the science”: the physical mechanisms driving climate change and evidence of impacts from the natural sciences. Meanwhile, William Nordhaus was given the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics for his work on the economics of climate change. His research program has arguably allowed for people to tell us not to panic. Yet, his has not been the only view within economics. In this presentation, I will briefly survey some of the alternatives and present a simple model for exploring broad alternatives. I will then talk about the role of social and institutional trust in making major systemic changes in a time of uncertainty.

Eric Kemp-Benedict, a Senior Scientist at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and USSEE member, studies the macroeconomics of a sustainability transition. He joined SEI in 1997, where he has contributed to scenario and modeling studies on diverse topics of relevance to sustainability at national, regional, and global levels. Eric led SEI’s Rethinking Development theme during 2011 and 2012, was director of SEI’s Asia Centre from 2013 until 2016, and is a member of SEI’s Global Research Committee. He has a B.S. in physics from the University of Texas in Austin and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Boston University, as well as an MAT in secondary physics education from Tufts University.

To register for this free event and get login info, visit Eventbrite, or email ussee2013@gmail.com

Call for Papers: 2nd Annual NBER Environmental and Energy Policy and the Economy Conference

NBER is seeking papers or proposals for the second annual NBER conference/publication on Environmental and Energy Policy and the Economy. They will accept six papers for presentation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on May 21, 2020. The audience will include the professional staffs of government agencies, research institutions, and NGOs focused on energy and environmental policy. The contributed papers will then be published in an annual volume by the University of Chicago Press.

To view last year’s agenda and papers for the forthcoming volume, please click HERE and HERE.

Papers should be relevant to current policy debates in the United States and accessible to a professional audience, yet following standard NBER protocol, they should avoid making policy recommendations. While standalone projects are specifically encouraged, they also welcome spinoff projects where authors intend to later submit a more extensive or technical version to a journal, or may have already done so. While no paper should be a duplicate of another paper, alternate versions that put results into a more general, policy relevant context and summarize them in more accessible language are encouraged. This is a great opportunity to communicate research to the policy community.

Submissions should be either complete papers or 2-3 page abstracts outlining the intended contribution. Submissions are due by October 14, 2019, and can be uploaded at

http://www.nber.org/confsubmit/backend/cfp?id=EEPEs20

Submissions from researchers who are not affiliated with the NBER, and from researchers who are from groups that have been historically under-represented in the economics profession, are welcome. The authors of each paper will share an $8,000 honorarium.

Decisions about accepted papers will be made by mid-November. Complete drafts of papers will be due in early April 2019.

The conference and publication is being organized and edited by Matthew Kotchen (Yale), along with James Stock (Harvard) and Catherine Wolfram (Berkeley)

UVM Launches $4,000 Environmental Writing Prize

Now accepting submissions for Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics

The Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont invites submissions for the inaugural Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics, which celebrates outstanding writing on the environmental limits of our finite planet.

The winning author will receive $4,000, plus financial support for a trip to the University of Vermont for a public campus event in Burlington, VT.

The Zencey Prize will recognize the best current affairs book or long-form journalism that addresses real-world environmental issues using the principles of ecological economics, a field that explores the relationships between economics and Earth’s limited natural resources.

To be eligible, submissions must be published in English, in the years 2018 or 2019, and target a general audience.

The prize is named after Eric Zencey, a pioneering scholar and public intellectual who worked to bring ecological economics outside the academy to understand and address the political, economic, social, and environmental challenges facing society.

“I hope this prize will inspire future generations of environmental writers and ecological economists to communicate real-world solutions beyond ‘the Ivory Tower,’” said Eric Zencey (1954-2019), whose life will be celebrated on Sept. 29.

UVM students and scholars will benefit from the Zencey Prize through educational opportunities, seminars, readings, and events.

“The Gund Institute for Environment is a leader in ecological economics, thanks to the efforts of scholars like Eric Zencey,” said Taylor Ricketts, Director, Gund Institute. “The Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics is an important new prize for the field – and exemplifies Eric’s passion for real-world issues. We thank the Zencey family for their vision and generosity.”

The term “ecological economics” need not appear in submitted works, but the field’s underlying goals – understanding links among ecological, economic and social systems and advancing sustainability, equity, and human well-being – must be evident.

The Zencey Prize is awarded by the Gund Institute, in collaboration with the U.S. Society of Ecological Economics.

Learn more and submit writing to the Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics.

2019 USSEE Award Winners: Jonathan Harris and Mahadev Bhat

The USSEE is excited to announce our 2019 award recipients: Jonathan Harris of Tufts University for the Herman Daly Award, and Mahadev Bhat of Floridan International University for the Bernado Aguilar Award. Dr. Harris and Dr. Bhat were presented with their awards by USSEE president Robert Richardson at the member luncheon of the 10th biennial conference on Wednesday August 14th.

Herman Daly Award

This award is given in honor of Herman Daly, one of the visionaries who founded the field of ecological economics. The award is designed to recognize individuals who have connected ecological economic thinking to practical applications and implementation of solutions that are sustainable in scale, equitable in distribution and efficient in allocation. An ad-hoc Awards committee, composed of USSEE Board members, convenes prior to the biennial conference, no later than February of the conference year. The committee actively seeks nominations for the award, researches the candidates, and makes a recommendation to the USSEE board as a whole. The board then votes on the award. The award is given in conjunction with the US Society for Ecological Economics biennial conference.

The 2019 Herman Daly Award is presented to Dr. Jonathan M. Harris.

Jonathan Harris is a Senior Research Associate with the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University. Dr. Harris is co-author of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach (4th ed., Routledge, 2018) and of Macroeconomics in Context, Principles of Economics in Context, and Microeconomics in Context (Routledge, 2019), author of “Green Keynesianism: Beyond Standard Growth Paradigms” in Building a Green Economy: Perspectives from Ecological Economics (Robert Richardson ed., MSU Press 2013); co-editor of Twenty-First Century Macroeconomics: Responding to the Climate Challenge (Edward Elgar, 2009), New Thinking in Macroeconomics: Social and Institutional Perspectives (Edward Elgar, 2003), and of the Frontier Issues in Economic Thought volumes A Survey of Sustainable Development, A Survey of Ecological Economics, and Human Well-Being and Economic Goals. He is also editor of Rethinking Sustainability: Power, Knowledge, and Institutions; author of World Agriculture and the Environment; and co-author of environmental teaching modules on climate change, renewable energy, and environmental issues in macroeconomics. He has served as President of the United States Society for Ecological Economics, and as Adjunct Associate Professor of International Economics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

 Bernardo Aguilar Award

This award is given in honor of Bernardo Aguilar, a longtime member of ISEE and USSEE, a current member of the ISEE Board, and a former member of the USSEE Board. The Bernardo Aguilar Award was established in 2007 and is given to a person nominated and selected by students. The award was created to recognize a professional who has inspired students through teaching, research, ideas, and/or mentoring in ecological economics.

The 2019 Bernardo Aguilar Award is presented to Dr. Mahadev G. Bhat.

Dr. Mahadev Bhat is Professor of Natural Resource Economics in the Departments of Earth and Environment and Economics at Florida International University (FIU). Dr. Bhat’s research focuses economic and policy issues relating to natural resources management, including sustainable development, agriculture, water, coastal and marine resources, and ecosystem services valuation. He has more than 250 research articles, book chapters, publications and presentations. He has received research funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Science Foundation, National Parks Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and private foundations. Dr. Bhat has advised more than 30 graduate students and 150 undergraduate students on their research and independent study projects. He co-founded the FIU Agroecology Program with the aid of over 20 different USDA grant programs, which helped train over 400 under-represented students in agricultural and natural resources sciences and prepare them for career and higher education. His USDA-funded grants helped establish a multi-university consortium for training over 150 Hispanic students in South Florida and Puerto Rico. Dr. Bhat co-established the FIU Organic Garden, which serves as a teaching tool in urban and sustainable agriculture. The Garden was designated as a People’s Garden by USDA for having promoted sustainable agriculture education and benefited the FIU student community.

In Memoriam: Frank Ackerman

Economist and longtime member of USSEE Frank Ackerman died on July 15, 2019 at the age of 72. He was an environmentalist and a prolific writer on topics ranging from the economics of climate change to critiques of mainstream economic theory. After graduating from Swarthmore College, he earned a PhD in economics from Harvard University. He is the author of Why do We Recycle?: Markets, Values, and Public Policy (2013, Island Press), and co-author of On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing, with Lisa Heinzerling (2004, The New Press). His most recent book is Worst-Case Economics: Extreme Events in Climate and Finance (2017, Anthem Press). Earlier in July, he wrote his final essay, entitled “Why Economics?”. In this essay, Dr. Ackerman summarizes many of the questions that he pursued in his career:

“Was it worth the intellectual effort to work as an economist? The problems I encountered in economics remain very much with us. We are still stymied by complacence and understatement of inequality, the use of overly mathematical cost-benefit models and low carbon cost estimates to justify bad policy, and miscalculation of current and future risks.”

Dr. Ackerman spent his career at Tellus Institute, the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, Stockholm Environment Institute, and Synapse Energy Economics, where he advised government agencies and non-governmental organizations on a range of climate, energy, and other environmental policy initiatives. Many of his publications, including papers, op-eds, and information about his books can be found at his website. He published numerous articles in Ecological Economics, and his work has been cited in the journal scores of times. Frank Ackerman’s intellectual contributions to the field of ecological economics are significant, and he will be greatly missed. His obituary was published in the Boston Globe.

Call for Sub-Themes for Degrowth/ISEE Conference, 2020

The 7th International Degrowth and 16th ISEE Joint Conference

Building Alternative Livelihoods in Times of Ecological and Political Crisis

Call​ ​for​ ​sub-themes

We are delighted to announce that the first ever joint conference between the International Degrowth Research Network and the International Society for Ecological Economics will take place 1-5 September 2020 in Manchester, UK. This conference will bring together academics from the Degrowth and Ecological Economics communities, voices from the Global North and Global South, civil society actors, activists, artists and policy-makers. It aims to break down silos and stimulate dialogues between and within different perspectives, disciplines and social movements.

Building Alternative Livelihoods in times of ecological and political crisis is the overarching theme of the conference. Economic systems have always co-evolved with social, environmental and technological systems. The worsening ecological and climate crisis means we must urgently abandon practices of production and consumption that drive ecological degradation and that rely on unsustainable extractivism. We must develop alternative livelihoods which are harmonious with planetary limits and safeguard material living conditions.  We must invent and trial new ways of working, providing for everyone’s needs, caring for each other and democratising the economy. We must seek clarity about the systems of provisioning which will be utilised in a society beyond growth where states and markets play more peripheral roles in the allocation of resources. In short, we must ask what are the alternative livelihoods which ensure the future conditions of societal wellbeing.

The construction of alternative livelihoods entails a radical transformation of economy, culture and society. What are the institutional arrangements which safely provide for basic needs, social stability and democratic legitimacy in the transition to environmental sustainability? How can both social and ecological justice for the populations of the Global North and the Global South be ensured? How can political support be mobilised for the necessary transformations? How can the transition to environmental sustainability be made politically viable and democratically legitimate?

We list below some of the topics that the conference could cover. We also look forward to ideas beyond these, which would expand the geographical and thematic scope of degrowth, as well as advance and further substantiate current debates and dialogue within and between degrowth and ecological economics.

  1. the economy beyond states and markets
  2. the future of employment,  work and care
  3. debates on degrowth, green growth, the circular economy, and decoupling
  4. the democratisation of the economy and alternative models and forms of organisation
  5. the production and conservation of energy
  6. low carbon and low energy futures
  7. forms of decommodification and non-capitalist modes of resource allocation
  8. commoning resources
  9. money, debt and the financial system
  10. financing the (transition to a) post-growth society
  11. monetary and non-monetary measures of prosperity and well-being
  12. a universal basic income or universal basic services
  13. the green new deal
  14. the decentralisation of power
  15. decolonization and feminist economics as challenges to power
  16. post- growth policy-making, law and governance
  17. how to respond to the ethno-nationalist environmentalism and anti-environmentalism of ascendant populist groups
  18. the politics of transitions to sustainability and the lessons to be learned from past socio-economic and cultural transformation
  19. spatial issues: planning, housing and the future of cities
  20. diversity: class, race, gender, abilities
  21. Sustainable Development Goals
  22. conflict resolution processes and socio-ecological transformations
  23. biodiversity, ecosystem services, and sustainable livelihoods
  24. social metabolism
  25. political economy and ecological economics/degrowth
  26. sustainable livelihoods and ecological sufficiency
  27. languages of valuation and ecological conflicts
  28. extractivism, environmental justice and illicit activities
  29. social ecological economics
  30. production and consumption
  31. slow science and degrowth of publication economy
  32. strategies for degrowth transformation: lessons from the Vienna conference

Submission Procedure

There will be two stages for the call for both academic and activist contributions. The first stage is a call for sub-theme conveners. Academics and activists who wish to actively participate in these sub-themes or suggest new sub-themes for inclusion in the conference should submit a proposal by30th September 2019. Descriptions of the sub-themes should speak to the overall conference theme. They should be sent todegrowth2020@manchester.ac.uk

Each sub-theme can go from one to four sessions, with up to four papers or other contributions per session. There are many formats which a session can adopt, including the traditional format of paper presentations with a specific thematic​ ​focus, roundtable discussions, and participatory sessions encouraging reflection on a particular topic using an open format​ ​(e.g.​ ​discussion​ ​workshops,​ ​dialogical/reading/planning​ ​sessions,​ ​walks​, ​etc.). Sub-theme conveners will be given full autonomy and responsibility for the organisation of sub-themes.

Sub-theme conveners should present the following information in their proposal:

  1. theme title;
  2. convenor(s);
  3. presenters/roundtable participants anticipated;
  4. subtheme abstract (1 paragraph, maximum 250 words);
  5. how does this subtheme relate to the overall conference theme (maximum 100 words);
  6. format (paper presentation, round-table debate, etc.);
  7. live or remote or both;
  8. number of 1-2 hour sessions anticipated.

Successful sub theme proposers will hear by 30th October 2019.

Once sub-themes have been selected, we will announce a second deadline for individual abstracts for papers. The main language of the conference is English, but we will review submissions in other languages​ ​also.  For​ ​any​ ​questions,​ ​please​ ​contact​ ​us​ ​at:​ degrowth2020@manchester.ac.uk.

Eric Zencey

Dear all,

With great sadness, we’ve learned that our friend and colleague Eric Zencey has passed away. Eric was an important member of our community for many years, and instrumental to the development and success of the Vermont Genuine Progress Indicator. We will miss him.

A full obituary from Eric’s family is below, and a memorial service is planned for September 29 in VCFA’s Chapel.

Please join me in sending thoughts and best wishes to Eric’s family, friends and colleagues. The family asks that contributions to Eric’s memory be made to the Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics, which Eric himself established at the Gund Institute. We are so proud to be continuing his legacy in this way.

Warm regards,

Taylor

————————————

Taylor Ricketts

Director, Gund Institute for Environment
Gund Professor, Rubenstein School

University of Vermont

Family obituary:

Eric Zencey, professor, writer, and social critic, tireless evangelist for a new way of thinking about humankind’s relationship with nature, died on July 1, at his home in Montpelier. His wife Kathryn Davis, daughter Daphne Zencey, and sister-in-law Anne Davis were at his side. He was 65.

Eric arrived in Vermont in 1980 to teach at Goddard College, and quickly developed a deep love for his adopted state. It was at Goddard where he met Kathryn and where they were married, building a life together and raising their daughter Daphne, first at the white farmhouse in Woodbury, then the red millhouse with the waterfall in East Calais, before finally moving to Montpelier. Eric adored hiking Camels Hump, swimming in #10 Pond, walking with Kathryn and the family dog in Hubbard Park, and kayaking with Daphne at Wrightsville. Every August the family would drive to the north shore of Canada’s Prince Edward Island and spend an idyllic vacation along the warmest waters north of the Carolinas. His visit there in 2018, though delayed by a health crisis, was a highlight of his life’s last year.

While his writing focused for the most part on the subject of ecological sustainability, he was also the author of the best-selling 1995 novel Panama, in which Henry Adams (the subject of his PhD dissertation at Claremont Graduate College) turns detective. In addition toPanama, Eric published three works of non-fiction: Virgin Forest: Meditations on History, Ecology and CultureThe Other Road to Serfdom and the Path to Sustainable Democracy; and Greening Vermont: The Search for a Sustainable State (co-authored with Elizabeth Courtney). Before the final stages of prostate cancer debilitated him, Eric was finishing work on an essay collection, Slumlord Nation, entrusting its completion to his brother Matt.

Eric spent much of his career teaching courses that explored cross-currents among the disciplines of economics, philosophy, political science, history, and ecology; he never gave up trying to disabuse the economics profession of its assumption that a planet with billions of people is physically capable of supporting infinite economic growth. In addition to Goddard College, he taught in Empire State College’s International Program, which required frequent travel to its extension campuses in Prague and Albania. More recently he served as a visiting lecturer in the Sam Fox School of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as teaching in the Honors Program at the University of Vermont, where he also was a fellow at the Gund Institute.

Over the years, Eric’s work was recognized and supported by fellowships from the Guggenheim, Bellagio-Rockefeller, and Bogliasco Foundations. His commentaries appeared in several publications, including The New York Times, and he was quoted on National Public Radio and in the Harvard Business Review. He also helped convince Vermont leaders to adopt the GPI (Genuine Progress Indicator), providing a more complete measure of a population’s well-being than the myopic GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

After learning that he had exhausted all treatment options for his cancer, Eric responded with characteristic grace, good humor, and persistence. In the months before his death, he raised more than $100,000 to endow the Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics, to be administered by the Gund Institute at the University of Vermont.

Eric is survived by his wife Kathryn and his daughter Daphne, whose return to Vermont gladdened his heart. He is also survived by his brothers Carl Zencey (wife Susanne) and Matthew Zencey (wife Cindy); sister-in-law Anne Davis (husband Joe Mueller); nephews Gregory, Phillip, Nathan, and Kyle Zencey and Bryan Shaw, and niece Jennifer. He was pre-deceased by his parents, Ruth and Charles Zencey, and older half-brother C. Frank Shaw.

His family is grateful to Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, and especially for the exceptional care provided by Angie Romero. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics, through the University of Vermont Foundation, 411 Main St. Burlington, VT 05401.  A memorial service is planned for September 29 in VCFA’s Chapel.