None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid...

None of our most profitable industries are actually profitable at all without ripping off the environment. How sick is that!

The notion of “externalities” ... refers to costs imposed by businesses that are not paid for by those businesses. For instance, industrial processes can put pollutants in the air that increase public health costs, but the public, not the polluting businesses, picks up the tab. In this way, businesses privatize profits and publicize costs.

... if we take the idea seriously ... its implications are positively revolutionary.

... a recent report [PDF] done by environmental consultancy Trucost on behalf of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) program sponsored by United Nations Environmental Program. TEEB asked Trucost to tally up the total “unpriced natural capital” consumed by the world’s top industrial sectors. (“Natural capital” refers to ecological materials and services like, say, clean water or a stable atmosphere; “unpriced” means that businesses don’t pay to consume them.)

First, the total unpriced natural capital consumed by the more than 1,000 “global primary production and primary processing region-sectors” amounts to $7.3 trillion a year — 13 percent of 2009 global GDP.

(A “region-sector” is a particular industry in a particular region — say, wheat farming in East Asia.)

Second, surprising no one, coal is the enemy of the human race.

Trucost’s third big finding is the coup de grace. Of the top 20 region-sectors ranked by environmental impacts, none would be profitable if environmental costs were fully integrated.

The distance between today’s industrial systems and truly sustainable industrial systems systems that do not spend down stored natural capital but instead integrate into current energy and material flows — is not one of degree, but one of kind. What’s needed is not just better accounting but a new global industrial system, a new way of providing for human wellbeing, and fast. That means a revolution. [Font size 12 and 14 mine]


image source

Tags: externalities

Views: 48

Replies to This Discussion

Privatize the profits; socialize the costs.

American Capitalism abbreviated, and perhaps the name of a new discussion on AN.

Please consider starting a discussion here if you have a lot to say on that. No need to create a 1,085th group.

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

 

Latest Activity

The Flying Atheist commented on Ruth Anthony-Gardner's group Hang With Friends
7 minutes ago
Amy commented on Daniel W's group Godless in the garden
31 minutes ago
Daniel W commented on Daniel W's group Godless in the garden
42 minutes ago
Jim B posted a photo
46 minutes ago
Loren Miller commented on Dyslexic's DOG's blog post Wendy Wright (Creationist) arguably the Dumbest Person I've Ever Seen on Youtube!
47 minutes ago
Frank Moorman posted a status
"Heading to Las Vegas this weekend and hope to see the Tree of Knowledge, decorated with book covers, posted by the LV Coalition of Reason."
1 hour ago
Frank Moorman updated their profile
1 hour ago
Frank Moorman posted a status
"I signed up here four years ago, but did not participate, what with life taking some interesting turns. So I'll try again."
2 hours ago
Frank Moorman replied to scott martins's discussion IS EVERYBODY 100% POSITIVE THERE IS NO GOD?
2 hours ago
Daniel W commented on Dyslexic's DOG's blog post Wendy Wright (Creationist) arguably the Dumbest Person I've Ever Seen on Youtube!
2 hours ago
Loren Miller commented on Dyslexic's DOG's blog post Wendy Wright (Creationist) arguably the Dumbest Person I've Ever Seen on Youtube!
2 hours ago
Daniel W commented on Dyslexic's DOG's blog post Wendy Wright (Creationist) arguably the Dumbest Person I've Ever Seen on Youtube!
2 hours ago

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service