What is econology, ecological economics?
Written by the engineer ENSAIS (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 was born in the early 2000s when the general public began to realize the impact of human activities on the Earth's ecosystem. Christophe Martz created the Econologie.com site in 2003 to democratize the concept of econology.
Un forum ecological economy and energy gathered tens of thousands of members interested in econology. There are many and varied discussions: from water management to insulation, 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: the set of 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 that takes environmental impact into account in a systematic way. And if we don't do it now, we'll pay it later…
Many leaders, industrial and political, 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 the unemployment problems of certain regions ... and to revive abandoned industrial centers.
The only losers from econology would be people living from exhaustion and the mess of planetary resources. It is unfortunately these people who are currently pulling the strings of the world and the economy ... These wealthy people also develop very significant social inequalities (as humanity has never known ...) ...
The econology? OK but how?
Quite simply by political, technological, organizational or everyday consumption choices no longer based on the depletion of resources but on sustainability.
Technological and organizational innovation, which is currently hampered by the inertia and economic interests in place, would allow us to develop a real econological society! The examples of such restraints, such as electric vehicles, are obvious. (See the example of GM's EV1)
Global warming is the sword of humanity's current Damocles! Research but especially the development of sustainable energy “solutions” is 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 industrialists 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 technological solution. To develop such a clean system or technology that is not efficient enough or that will never pay off is heresy.
The anti-nuclear argument, which dreams of replacing nuclear with 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 silver bullet in the energy sector and each solution must be seen in all its aspects and not only with the arguments which settle one or the other party!
And the future of econology?
We are in a society where fossil fuels largely dominate the field of energy, with, of course, oil. The financial benefits of these fossil fuels are currently undermining the development of alternatives: too much loss of profit for those who profit from it…
We do not think that humanity will one day find a “natural” substitute for petroleum, that is to say a source of energy as inexpensive and as abundant. We believe that the near and medium term future will consist of a patchwork of alternatives to fossil fuels 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 above points.
- The R&D of more "enviromentaly friendly" organizational solutions (such as waste management).
For this, econologic currently would advocate and as quickly as possible to pay the right price for energy (it has never been cheaper compared to average purchasing power)…