Buddhist economics and the environment: Material flow analysis and the moderation of society's metabolism
The reduction of the "metabolism" of the human economy has become one of the central themes of recent environmental and economic research and policy focused upon paths for achieving global sustainable development. Since the late 1980s, there has emerged a diverse array of "physical economy" approaches that utilise some form of material flow analysis (MFA) to quantify the pattern of flows of material and energy into, within, and out of the economic system. In principle, the reduction of the human socioeconomic metabolism, and appropriate changes in technology and consumption, are highly consistent with Buddhist economics. Indeed, MFA may be one of the most valuable devices for encouraging and implementing a global "green" technoeconomic paradigm that helps realize the type of benefits proffered under the vision of Buddhist economics. This paper describes the links between methodology or potential application of MFA and the central themes of the Buddhist economic path to the long-term, harmonious co-existence of humans within the natural environment.
International Journal of Social Economics