Against Ecological Neoliberalism
Christopher Lean (University of Sydney)

December 8, 2020, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Research Group in Environmental & Animal Ethics (GRÉEA)

Montréal
Canada

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Université de Montréal

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Abstract

Philosophers previously have explored the connection between population ecology and economics through the population models they share. There has been, however, a more recent exchange between political and normative strands of economics and conservation ecology, one that focuses not just on population models but the justifications for intervening in nature’s economy. This is the emergence of what I am referring to as ecological neoliberalism through a union of political convenience between those sceptical of invasive species control and the supporters of globalised free-market ideology (including authors from The Economist). Ecological neoliberalism is the position that there should be open biotic borders, and we should not control the free movement of species. When species can move and interact with new ecological systems, they create novel ecosystems. These novel arrangements create experimental markets in nature’s economy, providing opportunities for the efficient production of goods for humans (ecosystem services). When invasives supersede local populations, it indicates previous biotic systems were inefficient, which is why they were replaced, and therefore it is wrong to protect indigenous ‘losers’ from extinction. Those who act to defend indigenous species are accused of being xenophobic against recent biotic migrants. This paper outlines the disconnect between the economic and political arguments as applied to human economies and nature’s economy.

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December 8, 2020, 12:00pm EST

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Custom tags:

#ecological neoliberalism, #human/nature economies, #conservation ecology