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Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making



Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making

Howard T. Odum

ISBN: 978-0-471-11442-0 December 1995 384 Pages


In this important new work, Howard T. Odum, widely acknowledged asthe father of systems ecology, lucidly explains his concept ofemergy, a measure of real wealth that provides a rational,science-based method of evaluating commodities, services, andenvironmental goods. Using specific real-world examples, Dr. Odumclearly demonstrates the revolutionary role of emergy inenvironmental management and policy making.

Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Makingoffers environmental professionals--policymakers, managers,ecologists, planners, developers, and activists--a systematicapproach to environmental and economic valuation that willeliminate much of the rancor and adversarial decision making thatoften plagues environmental issues. Specifically, this book:
* Describes the theoretical basis, calculation procedures, andapplications of emergy
* Introduces the concept of "transformity," the ratio of emergy(work put into a product) and energy (value received from theproduct)
* Provides formulas for emergy calculations, procedures for makingan 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 withothers

Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Makingwill help environmental decision makers and the society they servemaximize economic vitality with less trial and error, innovate withfewer failures, and adapt to change more rapidly. It provides thetools they need to arrive at the best policies in resourcemanagement, economics, and the environment.

Balancing the economy and the environment-- from the father ofsystems ecology

Increasing economic dependence on diminishing natural resources hassparked a highly charged debate over the use and fate of the worldenvironment. Environmental Accounting: Emergy and EnvironmentalDecision Making presents a unique method of environmentalmanagement based on maximizing real wealth, the whole economy, andthe public benefit.

Renowned ecologist Howard T. Odum introduces the concept of emergyto provide a rational alternative to the tug-of-war over theworld's most vital assets. Emergy measures the energy put intomaking a product and is the cornerstone of Odum's revolutionarytext. 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) andenergy (output)
* Stored wealth, available energy, and the final product
* Balancing economic and environmental needs

Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Makingwill help economists, ecologists, policymakers, and planners makemore responsible, informed decisions to sustain economic andenvironmental development.
Introduction: EMERGY and Real Wealth.

EMERGY and the Energy Hierarchy.


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.