What is econology, ecological economics?
Written by ENSAIS engineer (INSA Strasbourg) Christophe Martz in June 2004, revised in November 2006 and May 2016
Introduction and definition of ecological economics: econology
Econology is the neologism resulting from the contraction of words: economy and ecology. It is a recent term that originated in the early 2000s when the general public began to realize the impact of human activities on the Earth's eco-system. Christophe Martz created the Econologie.com site in 2003 to democratize the notion of econology.
Un forum ecological economy and energy brought together tens of thousands of members interested in econology. Discussions are numerous and varied: from water management to insulation, including gardening or eco-driving ...
The purpose of the site is Econologie.com to discover and democratize econology by showing that it is possible to (re?) reconcile economics (s) and ecology.
The term economy must be taken as much in the sense of saving money as in its broader sense: all the activities of a human community relating to the production, distribution and consumption of wealth.
Thus, in view of recent climatic events (but not only because econology does not only concern global warming), it is urgent to see the birth of a global economy taking into account the environmental impact in a systematic way. And if we don't do it now, we'll pay for it later ...
Many leaders, industrialists and politicians, see ecology (and respect for the environment) as an obstacle to economic growth! This is false provided that technological and organizational developments wise! On the contrary, certain econological solutions would make it possible to reduce unemployment problems in certain regions… and to revive abandoned industrial centers.
The only losers from econology would be the people living on exhaustion and waste of planetary resources. Unfortunately, it is these people who are currently pulling the strings of the world and the economy… These well-off people also develop very significant social inequalities (such as humanity has never known…)…
Econology? OK but how?
Quite "simply" by political, technological, organizational or everyday consumer choices no longer based on the depletion of resources but on sustainability.
Technological and organizational innovation, which is currently constrained by the inertias and economic interests in place, would allow us to develop a real ecological society! The examples of such restraints, such as electric vehicles, are obvious. (See the example of GM's EV1)
Global warming is humanity's current sword of Damocles! Research and above all the development of sustainable energy “solutions” are sorely lacking.
It is high time to systematically apply the concept of sustainable development, in its most comprehensive sense.
Econology also and above all aims to consume less fossil resources from a purely social point of view in order to leave them for future generations.
Is econology only for manufacturers and decision-makers?
No, econology is a way of thinking for all… It is also intended for convinced ecologists who do not necessarily take into account the efficiency and the economic (and overall ecological) cost of such or such a technological solution. Developing such a clean system or technology that is not efficient enough or that will never pay for itself is heresy.
The anti-nuclear argument, which reigns over the replacement of nuclear power by wind turbines, is the best example. Neither ecologically, nor technologically, nor economically, the solution of wind turbines is viable in the short and medium term ... except to completely review our consumption and industrial habits ...
Currently, there is no quick fix in the field of energy and each solution must be seen in all its aspects and not just with the arguments that suit one or the other party!
And the future of econology?
We are in a society where fossil fuels largely dominate the field of energy, led of course by oil. The financial benefits of these fossil fuels are currently undermining the development of alternatives: too much shortfall for those who benefit from them ...
We do not think that humanity will one day find a “natural” replacement for oil, that is to say a source of energy so inexpensive and so abundant. We believe that the near and medium term future will be made up of a “patchwork” of alternatives to fossil energies with a common denominator: parsimony and the reduction of current energy waste ...
Finally, what does econology defend?
Econology wants to defend, in all areas of human activity, the following points:
- Reducing the environmental impact of our lifestyles (at all levels) while maintaining an almost similar quality of life.
- Reducing the dependency of our society on fossil fuels.
- Reducing consumption of fossil fuels.
- The research of alternative fuels to fossil fuels.
- R&D of less energy-consuming technological solutions in order to satisfy the previous points.
- The R&D of more “enviromentaly friendly” organizational solutions, such as waste management, for example.
For this, econologic currently would advocate and as quickly as possible to pay for energy at its fair price (it has never been so cheap compared to the average purchasing power)…