Some are more obvious (studying ecology when studying the environment? I'm shocked!)
Others are more fraught...to be an environmentalist who understands the science means I'm constrained politically. There's such a stark difference between the two political parties that I'm pretty sure I'll only ever pick the one that, you know, goes with science.
But economics? Capitalism? Whole other story.
So let's talk turkey. Environmental economics is pretty straightforward. At its core it says that environmental pollution created by human activity and usually from point sources needs to be accounted for in the market / economy. Point source? What is that you say? Picture a factory with a pipe going up in to the air or a pipe putting leftover waste into a waterway. If that factory or point source can just spew into the soil, air or water, we all pay for it eventually. And we all pay for it extremely inefficiently when it's a pound of cure versus if we had just had an ounce of prevention at the point source. (see: A Civil Action, Erin Brokovich, Dark Waters)
This is what economists call an externality.
The cost of environmental pollution - like greenhouse gas emissions or air / water waste - is often external to the marketplace.
Economists do not disagree with the existence of externalities. Indeed, economists almost universally agree that externalities should be internalized to the marketplace.
Where people tend to disagree is in the how. Corporations tend to have a lot of influence and the idea of paying anything additional brings on the heavy, heavy of lobbyists.
Don't believe me? Oh, I think you will.
(read after the jump)