Is access to a safe, clean environment a basic human right? According to Jim Boyce, professor of economics at UMass Amherst and director of the university’s Political Economy and Research Institute (PERI), it is indeed.
In his new book, Economics, the Environment and our Common Wealth, Boyce argues against the commodification of the natural world, and explores economic strategies that benefit all sectors of society, regardless of one’s purchasing power or political connections. Disaster response, globalization and the environment, industrial pollutants and agricultural biodiversity are among the subjects the book deals with.
“When some have the power to abuse the environment at the expense of others, the result is runaway pollution and resource depletion,” Boyce tells the Advocate. “Treating the environment as our common wealth is not only a moral imperative but also a practical necessity.”•