RICHARD NORGAARD joined the Berkeley faculty in 1970, received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1971, and is a professor in the Energy and Resources Group and in Agricultural and Resource Economics. While he has contributed to a variety of fields, his work on development as a coevolutionary process between social and environmental systems complements anthropologists' efforts to understand modernity in the context of the diversity of other cultures, histories, and ways of knowing ("Development Betrayed: The End of Progress and a Coevolutionary Revisioning of the Future", Routledge, London and New York, 1994). Norgaard helped found and is currently President-elect of the International Society for Ecological Economics. He is a member of the U.S. Committee of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) hosted in the U.S. by the National Research Council. He participated in the founding and serves as chairman of the board of Redefining Progress, a San Francisco-based NGO engaged in research and public education on greening the system of national accounts and on resource and environmental taxation.
Following the Western "story" of progress toward global oneness through one correct science and individuals globally linked through markets, etc., the end is nigh for biological and cultural diversity. People following the Western story seem to be rapidly fulfilling it with respect to economic globalization, but the story is also being resisted and rewritten with respect to our convergence on "one right way of knowing." The "right way" that has driven industry have been fossil fuel and nuclear technologies, and both have serious long-term consequences. The "right way of knowing" with respect to agriculture has been the substitution of ecological processes by chemical inputs, now also in environmental trouble. The scientific, technological, and ultimately organizational basis of industry and agriculture as we know them will have to change dramatically to sustain people. Furthermore, people are choosing to maintain, even enhance, their cultural identity, even in the midst of economic globalization. The much discussed and presumably sought transition to sustainability and the refusal to culturally homogenize provide the linkages to reducing the loss of other cultures, languages, knowledges, and their associated biological diversity. These arguments are elaborated within a coevolutionary social and environmental history and vision of the future.
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