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Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making

ISBN: 978-0-471-11442-0
384 pages
December 1995
Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making (0471114421) cover image
In this important new work, Howard T. Odum, widely acknowledged as the father of systems ecology, lucidly explains his concept of emergy, a measure of real wealth that provides a rational, science-based method of evaluating commodities, services, and environmental goods. Using specific real-world examples, Dr. Odum clearly demonstrates the revolutionary role of emergy in environmental management and policy making.

Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making offers environmental professionals--policymakers, managers, ecologists, planners, developers, and activists--a systematic approach to environmental and economic valuation that will eliminate much of the rancor and adversarial decision making that often plagues environmental issues. Specifically, this book:
* Describes the theoretical basis, calculation procedures, and applications of emergy
* Introduces the concept of "transformity," the ratio of emergy (work put into a product) and energy (value received from the product)
* Provides formulas for emergy calculations, procedures for making an emergy evaluation table, and parameters for updating evaluations
* Demonstrates the use of emergy to evaluate environments, minerals, waters, primary energy sources, economic developments, and international trade
* Compares the emergy approach to environmental evaluation with others


Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making will help environmental decision makers and the society they serve maximize economic vitality with less trial and error, innovate with fewer failures, and adapt to change more rapidly. It provides the tools they need to arrive at the best policies in resource management, economics, and the environment.

Balancing the economy and the environment-- from the father of systems ecology

Increasing economic dependence on diminishing natural resources has sparked a highly charged debate over the use and fate of the world environment. Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making presents a unique method of environmental management based on maximizing real wealth, the whole economy, and the public benefit.

Renowned ecologist Howard T. Odum introduces the concept of emergy to provide a rational alternative to the tug-of-war over the world's most vital assets. Emergy measures the energy put into making a product and is the cornerstone of Odum's revolutionary text. This timely and important book offers key insights into:
* Determining the real value of a product or service
* Transformity, or the relationship between emergy (input) and energy (output)
* Stored wealth, available energy, and the final product
* Balancing economic and environmental needs


Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making will help economists, ecologists, policymakers, and planners make more responsible, informed decisions to sustain economic and environmental development.
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Introduction: EMERGY and Real Wealth.

EMERGY and the Energy Hierarchy.

Earth EMERGY.

Environmental Production and Economic Use.

EMERGY Evaluation Procedure.

Empower Through Networks: EMERGY Algebra.

Evaluating Environmental Resources.

Net EMERGY of Fuels and Electricity.

Evaluating Alternatives for Development.

EMERGY of States and Nations.

Evaluating International Exchange.

Evaluating Information and Human Service.

EMERGY Over Time.

Comparison of Methods.

Policy Perspectives.

An Emergy Glossary.

Appendices.

References.

Index.
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HOWARD T. ODUM is Graduate Research Professor and Director of the Center for Environmental Policy at the University of Florida. Dr. Odum is universally recognized as one of the pioneering figures in the development of systems ecology. In addition to numerous other publications, he is the author of Systems Ecology and Environment, Power, and Society, both published by Wiley.
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