Reader Michael asks:
Drs. Whitehead and Haab,
This semester I've been taking a course in Environmental Studies. I've developed an interest in the fields of ecological economics and environmental economics. My own further reading is starting to skew toward the more radical figures in the field (for example, Hermann Daly and Robert Costanza) due to my own proclivities in that direction. I would like to develop as balanced a perspective as I can. Could you make some recommendations for introductory reading?
Dr. Haab, I thank your institution for allowing my beloved Fighting Illini to get back to the Rose Bowl. I was 1 year old last time and wondering whether I would be a father before I'd see it again. Of course, we're going to get pounded into a little puddle of goo by USC, but it'll be nice for the boys to go out to Pasadena and soak up some rays. Good luck against LSU. Also, Dr. Whitehead, that win against Michigan was a lovely bit of schadenfreude. Thanks. Hope you're having a lovely holiday season.
Since Michael did such an impressive job of sucking up (refering to us both as Drs, wanting a balanced perspective and flattering both schools' football teams), I've decided to answer his question directly rather than burying it in another sarcastic, uninformative answer desk post. My recommendation for a good introductory environmental economics text for non-environmental economists is Tietenberg's Environmental Economics and Policy.
I have used this text a number of times for intro classes for majors and non-majors. Econ majors find the text a little simplistic, but non-majors--usually environmental studies types--almost always come away with an appreciation for environmental economics and a depreciation of their belief in the pseudo-science that is ecological economics (I kid).