My Book: Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics

My book “Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics”, which is a product of my PhD study at the University of Corsica (Università di Corsica Pasquale Paoli, 2018-2021), is now available at Amazon as ebook and paperback:

Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics: Why does mainstream economics ignore ecology, especially in the undergraduate education that shapes the minds of young students?

My PhD thesis, which is presented in this book, was an inquiry into the historical roots & causes of the ecological ignorance in mainstream (neoclassical, neoliberal) economics. Understanding these roots & causes is important to surmount the mental and institutional barriers to holistic and ecological thinking.

This book also includes a sub-chapter that is dedicated to the “tragic story of my excommunication from the Church of Economism” (phrase and article by Prof. Richard Norgaard, one of the 17 contributors of my PhD thesis).

This book is for you, if you have questions about political economy and ecology in mind, like:

  1. What is economics, and what is it for? What are the primary features of mainstream economics?
  2. Is mainstream economics a social science, or an ideology of business & money posing as social science?
  3. How did political economy of the 19. century become first neoclassical economics, and then neoliberal economics in the 20. century?
  4. What is ecological literacy and how can it be obtained?
  5. What are the primary principles of deep ecology, and how do they collide with the main assumptions & myths of mainstream economics?
  6. What is wrong with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measure, and what is wrong with the economic growth (GDP growth) obsession?
  7. Why and how do the institution of mainstream economics resist to change for a more holistic and pluralist teaching of economics?
  8. What are the most important barriers to thinking and acting ecologically, and how can we surmount them?
  9. Why and how do some mainstream economists (the so-called “useful idiots”) often serve to the narrow interests of big money in climate discussions?
  10. How do some multinational companies and their investors profit from the destruction of self-sufficient & sustainable (social & biological) ecosystems?
  11. Why is the nature often seen as a passive (nonliving) raw material resource and dumping ground, rather than the active (living) primary reproducer of our planet?
  12. What are the most popular misconceptions and myths of mainstream economics, and what are their possible causes?
  13. Why do we need a totally different economics theory & education for the sustainable human life & wellbeing on the planet? How should such an education look like?
  14. What is the place of ecology in popular economics textbooks for undergraduate students?
  15. Why do big global investors prefer unhealthy & unsustainable industrial agriculture to healthy & sustainable ecological agriculture?

About my language and writing style:
I try to explain all ideas and concepts with a readable, clear and understandable language. I refrain from using hardly understandable field-specific and esoteric jargon (without definition and explanation wherever necessary), or premature mathematics and statistics in order to create a superficial impression of “respectable science”. I think, this attitude is especially important for multi-disciplinary studies like my PhD which covers fields like ecology, philosophy, economy, history, sociology and anthropology.

How to read this book:
I recommend reading “Introduction” (A) and “Conclusions” (D) first. These are the more flowing, easily readable sections. Then you can begin reading sub-chapters of “Fundamentals” (B) that interest you. The sections “Reports” (C) and “Appendix” (E) are for more specific or academic interests, or for reference. Within the text and in “References” (R) you may find links to many valuable resources (videos, books, articles) that may give you an idea about contemporary discussions in political economy and ecology.

Written by Tunç Ali Kütükçüoğlu, 17 November 2021,


About tuncali

I began keeping aquariums as early as I was nine years old. Since then, I kept many aquariums and lots of fish, plant and invertebrate species. My favorite fish family is of course cichlids with their fascinating behaviors. My relatively new area of interest is low-tech natural aquariums as almost self-sufficient ecosystems that are I think ideal models for sustainable life.
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2 Responses to My Book: Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics

  1. tuncali says:

    All comments, critiques and suggestions are welcome to improve the subsequent editions of this book, including English language corrections. After all, English is not my mother language. My email for this book: phd at tuncalik dot com

    “The Econocracy” by Earle, Moran and Ward-Perkins is an important book to understand the institution of mainstream (neoclassical, neoliberal) economics, that is, the “Church of Economism”:
    https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526110138/

    Two other important resources to understand the “Church of Economism”, telling the story of student movements since 2000 that protest the established (neoclassical) mode of economics education:

    1) Introduction: Broadband Versus Narrowband Economics
    http://www.paecon.net/Introduction.htm

    2) Open Letter: International Student Initiative for Pluralism in Economics (isipe.net)
    http://www.isipe.net/open-letter

    My original PhD thesis as PDF file can be downloaded here for free:
    https://www.mediafire.com/file/y455nvq3r5803sv/PhD-Thesis-Tunc_DRAFT_2021.pdf/file

    This document doesn’t include some of the chapters included in the book “Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics”, and it is not updated anymore.

    My second PhD presentation poster that illustrates the collisions between core assumptions/myths of mainstream economics and principles of deep ecology can be downloaded here (PDF):
    https://www.mediafire.com/file/0njdfezk3ecenek/MyPoster2_20200924_WithLogo.pdf/file

    This poster won a prize from a French technology organisation named SATT. My answers to their interview questions are published here:
    https://www.sattse.com/la-journee-des-doctorants-de-luniversite-de-corse-associe-enjeux-professionnels-et-scientifiques-et-pluridisciplinarite-pour-faire-du-doctorat-un-passeport-vers-lentreprise/

  2. tuncali says:

    Music of my book “Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics” (audio)
    https://audiomack.com/tuncalik/song/music-of-my-book-ecological-ignorance-in-mainstream-economics

    Main inquiries of my book “Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics” (video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZB9H5uBWuU

    Description of my PhD study at the University of Corsica (video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdUUOcLKPcQ

    “Ecological Ignorance in Mainstream Economics” may help you find answers to critical questions like… (video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nro4C5pGh4A

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