Close Encounters of the Third Kind…between Ecosystems: When Ecology Becomes Industrial

By Franck-Dominique Vivien

Even though it has old intellectual roots, industrial ecology is a school of thought that has been recognized for about ten years. Its main aim is to escape the debate over economics versus ecology, using the lessons of ecological models and metaphors. This paper first places this movement in the context of the contemporary debate about sustainable development. The main methods used by industrial ecology are then presented along with ways of accommodating the usual economic logic. This critical analysis concludes by reflecting on some overlooked aspects of the industrial ecology, whose ideological meaning are nonetheless obvious.


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