Recently, global environmental concerns are becoming more serious. The problems are wide and various such as the global warming, exhausted fossil fuel, depletion of the ozone layer, forest decrease, loss of variety seed of living thing, industrialization and border transgression type acid rain, water pollution, and flood and desertification etc. After human race has given the birth, man has been living for two million years with other flora and fauna in "Sphere of the life" that the earth brought up. However, human race's economic life started to change greatly by an opportunity of "Industrial Revolution". The production capacity and the production efficiency have been rapidly expanded by inventing machines to use the resource from nature for the production activity (industrialization), and introducing a large amount of exhaustable fossil fuels as an energy source.
On the other hand, it is assumed that the most efficient market system
in the domestic market is the "Free competition" and in the international
market is the "Free trade" under "Economic liberalism"
that is, the market economy system, and has accomplished rapid growth in
the amount and the quality of the products in one side. However, that caused
the result of economic disparity and the “economic weak” in the market
economy. Moreover, globalization of market economy has deeply affected
global environment which economics has been treated as "a given condition"
and considered infinity. It is becoming clear by many scientists that this
has been a social phenomenon that causes the reaction to economic activity.
In the present situation that destruction of the global environment is
advancing every moment, Economics have to think seriously how to grapple
with this subject from now on. This can be clearly recognized by the field
work in many countries depending on natural environment in Asian countries.
"Sustainable development " that World Commission on Environment
and Development advocated in “Our Common Future” forms the place of the
conversation to design the system of that future generation can also enjoy
present generation's civilization and developing counties can also enjoy
the civilization of the advanced country. To build an economics base, the
economist is made to stand in the age when they have to think about the
problem how it is possible to form the approach method and the judging
criteria for the symbiotic relationship between environment and development
and ecology and economy.
To thing about ecological and economical problem, first of all, we should
understand the ecological system in the Earth. From the point of view of
physicist I. Prigigen and the economist N. Georgesou-Roegen’s heat dynamics,
the earth forms the mechanism self-organized under the rule of an entropy
law. In a word, substance and energy bear a useful value (effect) as a
useful good in the process of producing, and lose it’s usefulness by expending
it in consuming process, but the amount of the substance doesn’t disappear,
it is preserved somewhere in the nature as an useless good by changing
the form. If we follow this entropy law, global environmental concerns
can be said that which are the phenomenon that scatter and lose substance
and energy in the form not to be able to recycle by an economic activity,
change the global environment artificially, destroy the ecological system,
bring the crisis to the human race's life maintenance. If we make the diagram
of this self-organized earth ecological system, it becomes like the following.
In the economic cycle system, national income Y acts by the level of Y=C+I.
On the other hand, it will be able to be written M+E=Y+W+Ewp+Ewc in the
mauo balance by simplifying and using a suitable unit of the measurement.
If this mass balance formula is rewritten, it becomes Y=(M+E) - (W+Ewp+Ewc).
This expression has the following implications. In the limited earth, useful
type of (M+E) decrease gradually through the production and consumption
activities by following “irreversibility” of entropy law. In a word,
from the economic point of view, (W+Ewp+Ewc) is just an invariable natural
resource, but it is not materially changeable, so it is absorbed to nature
section, and again it self-organize to another resource through variety
of material cycle actions like the water circulation and microorganism
action, etc. However, a great amount of time is needed to become a useful
resource again by natural Self Organization. In addition, it is necessary
to consider the natural capacity and a limit problem of material and ecology
circulation ability to think about the global ecosystem. While the spaces
that can accommodate waste are limited, and the amount of waste that has
discharged to the nature has become huge, it is not possible to recycle
On the base of this situation, the theme of the ecological economics is
to understand the mechanism of natural Self Organization of the earth scientifically,
and control various factors that produce global environmental problems,
and to create the mechanism and system to circulate it again artificially.
Economist A. Marshall in UK once has described "Production" as
“Man cannot create material things in the material world. Man can produce new ideas in a mental, moralistic world. “
To sustain the Spaceship Earth, we have to promote "Symbiosis of the
Economics and Ecology", and learn from the traditional style of life
and the culture of the developing country, and produce earth-friendly "Knowledge"
and new "Idea". In addition, it is necessary to accumulate them
as "Information", and to develop the mechanism and the system
to transmit to the developing country through "Education".
Under such ideas, the Ogata laboratory is advancing the integration of
the ecosystem and economic system of "Welfare" and "Ecological
Economics" which are centering on "Education based on the research",
and proposing the policy to search for the place of applied research in
Asia for the "Global environment project in Asia"
Figure. Ecology circulation and material balance
T. Ogata,2003,‘Employment and the Environment in Ecological Economics' Journal of Economics, Chuo Univ. March, Vol.43,No.5.
T. Ogata, 2005, ‘Ecological System & Social Development in Asia: Ecological Economics of Sustainable Development', Bulletin of Institute of Economic Research, Vol.35.