Peter G. Brown

Professor

(cross-appointed to McGill School of Environment & Geography Department)

514-398-7825  |  peter.g.brown [at] mcgill.ca (Email)  |  Macdonald-Stewart Building MS3-040  |  Website

Degrees

PhD Philosophy (Columbia University)
MA Philosophy & Religion (Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University)
BA (Haverford College)

Short Bio

Peter Brown's career has concentrated on the uses of philosophy to think critically about the goals of society.  Since the 1980s this work has centered on the deterioration of Earth’s life support capacity, and the thought systems that facilitate and legitimate this decline. He is the author of Restoring the Public Trust: A Fresh Vision for Progressive Government in America, and The Commonwealth of Life: Economics for a Flourishing Earth, and Ethics for Economics in the Anthropocene; co-author of Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy; and co-edited/authored Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals, and Ecological Economics for the Anthropocene: An Emerging Paradigm.

Professor Brown is Principal Investigator of "Economics for the Anthropocene: Re-grounding the human/Earth relationship", a partnership between McGill, Vermont, and York Universities. Educating PhD students in the foundations of ecological economics, it also offers critical perspectives on neo-classical economics/finance, law, governance and ethics; and first hand experiences on the crises of the Anthropocene: water, energy, climate justice, and all species food security.      

Professor Brown is involved in conservation efforts in Maryland, Maine, and Quebec.  His land is under permanent conservation easements; totally nearly 1000 acres.  In 2012 he established a brook trout sanctuary on a threatened stretch of the upper Savage River in Maryland.    

Awards and Recognitions

United States Society of Ecological Economics, BERNARDO AGUILAR AWARD, to the Steering Committee of the Economics for the Anthropocene Project - 2015
Bravo Award, Faculty of Science at McGill for Research Excellence - 2000
Tree Farmer of the Year Garrett County Maryland - 1995

Active Affiliations

Member, Club of Rome
Member, Canadian Society of Ecological Economics
Facilitator, UN Secretary General Initiative on Harmony With Nature

Research Interests

Peter Brown’s career has concentrated on the practical uses of philosophy to think critically about the goals of society.  Since the 1980s this work has centered on the deterioration of Earth’s life support capacity and the thought systems that facilitate and legitimate this decline.

Current Research

Professor Brown is currently the Principal Investigator of Economics for the Anthropocene: Re-grounding the human/Earth relationship (E4A), a partnership between McGill, the University of Vermont, and York University in Toronto.  With a budget of over five million dollars it aims to educate over 50 graduate students in the foundations of ecological economics; offer critical perspectives on the foundations of neo-classical economics, finance, law, governance and ethics; and offer first hand experiences in responding the pressing issues relating to water, energy, and climate justice, and stimulate and participate in global efforts to respond to the challenges of the Anthropocene. 

Peter Brown is involved in tree farming and conservation efforts in Maryland, Maine, and Quebec--in all three locations his land is under permanent conservation easements (“servitudes”).  He is a Certified Quebec Forest Producer; was named “Tree Farmer of the Year” in Garrett County, Maryland; has served as the “Steward” of Walker Pond in Hancock County, Maine; and helped to found major conservation initiatives in Maryland and Quebec. In 2012 he established a brook trout sanctuary on the upper Savage River in the mountains in Maryland, in cooperation with Trout Unlimited and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Courses

ENVR 630 Civilization and Environment 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

NRSC 685 Special Topics 6 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Books Published

Ecological Economics for the Anthropocene: An Emerging Paradigm (Columbia University Press, 2015)
Ethics for Economics in the Anthropocene (Teilhard Studies Number 65, Fall 2012)
Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals (Island Press, 2010)
Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy  (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009)
The Commonwealth of Life: Economics for a Flourishing Earth (Black Rose Books, 2007)
Restoring the Public Trust: A Fresh Vision for Progressive Government in America (Beacon Press, 1994)