Sustainable Economics   Case Logo
  Home PageDonateActionsVolunteersCalendarsResources Why Sustainability
  Education & ResearchLiving SustainablyVocabularyProjectsMissionAbout Us  

Our Mission:

Campaign for Sustainable Economics is dedicated to promoting ecological economics in academic thought and as common sense.

The change will entail understanding that


1.      ecosystem services are necessary to humanity’s sustenance,


2.      growth in the physical scale of the economy (i.e., population, artifacts and throughput) is

      fundamentally in conflict with ecological, economic and societal well-being,


3.   an appropriately reduced economic scale is important for avoiding severe crises, and


4.      a steady state can be a viable alternative to economic growth.

 Much of this vision was from Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (


Where conventional or neoclassical economics goes wrong is by over emphasis on

1.    prices in markets to drive down consumption (high prices are about the present, not about what is sustainable for future generations), nor

2.    substitution of depleted resources with other resources (such as trees substituted with fossil fuels for home heating and who knows what to replace natural gas for electricity and home heating) nor

3.    a default belief in technologies to solve any future problems for the indefinite future.

To count on markets, substitutability and technology as inevitably coming to the rescue is to live in denial that resources are finite. With such an optimistic disconnect from reality, what need is there to be truly aware and get to the task of solving real problems? Perhaps a technology will allow for infinite economic growth. However, as you might know, science usually informs technicians about what is possible; rarely is it the other way around. So the second law of physics states that all transformations of matter increase entropy. For economics this means that growth in the physical scale of economic activity transforms resources to waste, and waste is less or not useful and even harmful. For technology this means despite the good intentions behind any product the entire throughput or process must be considered, not just some positive consequence such as with solar panels; the energy, materials and space to create, ship, use, dispose and reuse all have impacts in an already full planet. Civilizations have fallen from lack of awareness of their impacts on the limited environment. In this truly finite world growth can is excessive. Thus my vision is that technologies can be useful if full costs and benefits are considered but greater emphasis must also be made of our capacities for working with nature and capacities for social and community development. See Four Visions of the Future

This vision consists of two parts. There is the ultimate vision of what we would like to accomplish and the vision of how to accomplish that goal.

Our ultimate vision is of a world in which people have quality lives within the limits of nature with ample resources for future generations and full biodiversity, in other words – real economic progress. In this world cultural attitudes attend to environmental remediation and economic justice instead of defer to consumption. In this world the size of government adjusts for real need instead of greed. Various harms to quality of life are appropriately taxed or prohibited. Sustainable development is subsidized when effective.

Our vision for accomplishing this ultimate vision is to focus on addressing significant environmental/economic issues at the root cause or causes for cultural transition to sustainability. It will set an agenda (i.e., be proactive) in the promotion of sustainability. There might not be any purely proactive situation; being proactive seems to more of a spectrum with reactivity on the other end. A perhaps helpful way to explain the difference is that instead of an emphasis on reacting to the actions of a company or government, CaSE would focus on setting a agenda that gets more at the root causes of problems. Nonetheless, reactive efforts and concrete projects might be undertaken, if they are of adequate strategic importance to CaSE’s mission, especially as tools to contextualize situations and set an agenda.

Our initial preferred audiences will be residents of Indiana who are receptive

1. environmental, labor and welfare activists, 2. business people, 3. cultural creatives,* 4. parents and other leaders of youth, 5. youths and young adults, and 6. college administrators, professors and students. These audiences are to be much diversified with people from various ethnicities and economic classes. We intend to initially focus on engaging those who are sympathetic to our cause so as to build a strong base in order to be better positioned for doing serious undertakings with thos ewho might sit on the fence or be our opponents.

With the strength of CaSE’s growing momentum, and when otherwise appropriate, our target audience can strategically expand to our traditional opponents, including conventional politicians, economists and business people. 

As opportunities and resources allow, our geographic service area will expand. A preferred final area would be in the major bioregions that are in the Midwest, including the savannahs, prairies, plains, hardwood forests, the Great Lakes region and the Mississippi River Basin. Of course we would help promote ecological economics internationally when possible but feel that is important to be in closest relationship with our local bioregions.

More is covered on both the economic problems and an alternative vision in “Problem,” and in “Our Position on Economics” which is in the “Miscellaneous Notes” section.

*Cultural creatives are concerned about synthesis and healing, including between modernists and traditionalists, and especially regarding the Earth. Many cultural creatives might not be engaged in activism, conceivably for any of the following reasons: they 1. locally have shallow roots in the community, 2. consider their perspective too rare for collaboration, or 3. are busy with family, studies or career.  Examples of careers and interests of cultural creatives are writing, art, music, ecology, mediation, psychotherapy, alternative health, performance, and video production.


Even solar panels and wind generators make impacts, including from the high quantity usage of copper, energy and space. Other seeming panaceas are nuclear energy, hydrogen, biodiesel and ethanol, but it seems that their impacts are typically under estimated and even ignored given that our context is of an earth that is full, including from quantity of and heavy use of the personal automobile. Moreover in China use of petroleum is expanding. Though a technological remedy might be possible, we cannot just sit idly awaiting for the future to come to our rescue.

Guiding Values*:

We strive for and promote the following values:

-         Belief that power to shift from neoclassical economics to ecological economics can happen.

-         Quality of life assessments so we come closer to real costs and benefits than does the Gross Domestic Product.

-         A reduced economic scale, as a facet of steady state economics.

-         Environmental and economic justice.

-         Engagement of a wide range of human diversity in our participants, including by gender and ethnicity. Members of the lower economic class must be engaged.

-         Integrity to maintain focus, trust and respect.

-         Sincerity – It’s not just about education and policies but also about sustainable living.

-         Empowerment of people with knowledge of ecological economics and with opportunities to exercise strong or direct democracy.

-         Non-partisanship with regard to political parties so that CaSE would avoid constraint by political strings and so that the organization’s ideas make sense apart from any particular political party or trend in political discourse.

-         Independence from the ideologies and organizations that might interfere with responsible implementation of our objectives. Collaboration with any organization must truly support our purposes and not distract from out highest goals.

-         Living well from empowerment to choose intrinsic values over extrinsic values, especially by balancing quality experiences of work, recreation, community and relationships.

-         Holism over reductionism because the whole is greater than its parts. Regarding land, holism would lead to restoration and greater permanence in protection because holism takes into account the various demands upon land that hinder restoration and protection.

-         Policies and practices that seriously account for the impacts of decisions upon the welfare of both present and future generations, not just the present generation.

-         Design with nature as distinct from notions of being above or apart from nature.

-         The precautionary principle applied to technologies (including substances and genetic engineering) that have reasonable uncertainty about their harmfulness. That way there can be avoidance of unintended significantly negative consequences upon human health and the environment. Instead appropriate technologies must be implemented.

-         Full use of appropriate technology. Appropriate technology is “using the simplest and most benign level of technology which can effectively achieve the intended purpose” ( Moreover, the intended purposes and results of the technology must on the whole have positive impacts upon sustainability, especially with regard to appropriate economic scale and justice.

-         Low cost solutions, when reasonable, so as to be a model for all and to protect the organization from the undedicated.

-         Compassion so as to make and keep friends. An example of this importance is with regard to technologies. In the event of a major shift toward sustainable technologies, it must be done in a way that allows for a transition, instead of creating a crisis.

-         Doing business with friends.

* Many values are reflected throughout A Formula for Campaign for Sustainable Economics.


-         Promote appreciation of ecosystem services.

-         Promote understanding of optimum economic scale.

-         Promote replacement of inappropriate economic assessments with assessments that are supportive of optimum economic scale, and economic and environmental justice.

-         Promote sustainable development in commerce, urban and rural living, and urban design within the context of sustainable economic scale.

-         Promote values and potential policies that advance making it common sense to restore and sustain ecosystems. *

-         Promote economic and environmental justice.

-         Engage a community or communities in social change that is

o       of widespread interest, at least potentially, and

o       directly or indirectly supportive of sustainable economics.

-         Conduct ongoing learning to better understand

o       economic benefits of ecosystems,

o       sustainable scales of economic activity,

o       sustainable commerce, urban living and design,

o       means to establish sustainable economics, including educational tools, political approaches and public policies, and

o       any other information that is useful to this organization.

* Given that all land seems to be up for grabs for unsustainable activity (even ecosystems that are assumed by many to be protected) our principle aim is not to directly protect land but instead is to shift the ideology or world view such that it becomes common sense to appropriately weigh in the value of ecosystem services and quality of life. Some ways that we can enhance ecosystems are by 1. facilitating a societal paradigm shift to a greater appreciation for ecosystems and to ecological economics, 2. promoting appropriate mechanisms for funding of protected and restored ecosystems, and 3. promoting sustainable development, including appropriate wild crafting.

Potential future projects

Volunteer coordinator – for future consideration

Our ongoing learning

Contact Information Please feel free to contact us at our post office box in Indianapolis or via email

Postal address

Campaign for Sustainable Economics
% Greg Buck

537 Fletcher Avenue #2
Indianapolis, Indiana 46203

Electronic mail
General Information: Contact Greg Buck via email
Webmaster: Contact the Webmaster                                                                                                                      Last site update 1-5-2010