IN the context of the climate emergency, contemporary economics is becoming obsolete. In order to mitigate the disastrous effects of climate breakdown with appropriate policy and action, politicians need to know the real value to society of human activity. Currently, the economics profession does not evaluate this. It is blinkered by the metrics of financial transactions and does not consider the quality of experienced outcomes.

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Orthodox economics is tied to the ideology of a market economy whereby value is determined by the consumer and, to some extent, governments. Whereas what is urgently required is the measurement of this missing dimension: the degree of benefit or harmfulness to humanity of each and every economic activity. This would change perception and have a bearing on present dominant financial value.

Once known, politicians would be able to identify those activities that have negative or mixed outcomes that could be most quickly substituted with alternative, beneficial ones, and direct their action accordingly.

Geoff Naylor
Winchester, Hampshire