This event was held in conjunction with
HKUSTs 2010 Environment Week.
About the Book
The Great Disconnect
/ by Bill Barron
(Multiple locations HD75.6 .B3627 2009)
The world economy has grown to the limits of what our planet can sustain. Climate
change is the most talked about, but we are also reaching limits of water, crop land,
and marine fisheries. The biosphere is too stretched; the system cannot
continue as it has for the past several decades.
"Moving to a more sustainable development path will require making truly
basic changes in what, how, and how much is produced and consumed. That, in
turn, will require nothing less than restructuring the economy, a make over of
consumer lifestyles, and re-examining values."
In this work, Dr. Barron raises important questions. Asking these questions is the
only way we can ever hope to reach possible answers. Questions like:
- What is the difference between economic growth and economic development?
- Can continuing technological advances allow indefinite economic growth?
- Can market mechanisms substitute for limited natural resources?
- Once our basic material needs are met, what is the "good life"?
About the Author
Prof. Bill Barron is a faculty member of HKUSTs Division of
Environment. An environmental economist, he received his PhD in Economics for
Public Decision Making from the Department
of Geography and Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins in 1980. From 1980-1986 he worked at the USs renowned
Oak Ridge National Laboratory on assessing energy technologies. He has also served as an
advisor on energy issues to the Liberian and Pakistani governments.
A Hong Kong resident for over 20 years, Prof. Barrons work has focused on environmental
aspects of transport policy, urban planning, and energy use. He also works
with the public policy think tank
Civic Exchange, in both advisory (Board of Directors 2003-05) and research capacities.
Before joining the newly created Division of the Enviroment, Prof. Barron was a member of HKUSTs Institute for the Environment, which published his book The Great Disconnect in 2009.
For enquiry, please contact Victoria Caplan at