Inderscience Publishers

How green are principles texts? An investigation into how mainstream economics educates students pertaining to energy, the environment and green economics

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The purpose of this paper is to investigate how mainstream economics educates students pertaining to energy, the environment and green economics. The focus is on the principles of economics text which embodies the state of economic knowledge and in addition, serves as the foundation for more advanced economics courses. This paper surveys seventeen US principles of economics textbooks and finds that overall, students are ill-prepared to understand today's pressing environmental issues. US students are imbued with a false sense of optimism for the free market, along a profound ignorance of the interdependence between the economy and the environment. US economics education is on a collision course with environmental realities. From a green perspective there is little to salvage from mainstream economics and the paper urges a radical reform of economics education.

Keywords: green economics, economics education, energy, environment, externalities, fossil fuels, pollution permits, economics textbooks, environmental issues, educational reform, United States, USA

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