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Wed May 8, 2013, 05:38 PM

 

None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use

From GRIST:

By David Roberts

The notion of “externalities” has become familiar in environmental circles. It 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....

So how much is that costing us? Trucost’s headline results are fairly stunning.

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.... Second, surprising no one, coal is the enemy of the human race. Trucost compiled rankings, both of the top environmental impacts and of the top industrial culprits.

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. Ponder that for a moment: None of the world’s top industrial sectors would be profitable if they were paying their full freight. Zero. That amounts to an global industrial system built on sleight of hand. As Paul Hawken likes to put it, we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP.

http://grist.org/business-technology/none-of-the-worlds-top-industries-would-be-profitable-if-they-paid-for-the-natural-capital-they-use/

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Reply None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use (Original post)
grahamhgreen May 2013 OP
haikugal May 2013 #1
LineNew Reply .
blkmusclmachine May 2013 #2
Scootaloo May 2013 #3
Junkdrawer May 2013 #4
grahamhgreen May 2013 #7
villager May 2013 #5
Newest Reality May 2013 #6
grahamhgreen May 2013 #8

Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Wed May 8, 2013, 05:39 PM

1. There we have it in a nut shell...

Thx!

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Wed May 8, 2013, 05:41 PM

2. .

 

.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Wed May 8, 2013, 05:43 PM

3. Well duh

 

Not that it's going to have any impact; the governments of the world, almost one and all, value private profit over public welfare and sustainability.

Obsession with profit is a mental disease on a civilizational scale

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Wed May 8, 2013, 05:44 PM

4. I guess that means our current Business as Usual way of life is unsustainable....

Imagine that.

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Response to Junkdrawer (Reply #4)

Wed May 8, 2013, 11:41 PM

7. There's a brick wall up ahead! Should we put on the brakes or go faster???

 

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Wed May 8, 2013, 05:45 PM

5. Been saying this for years. We've never had "Capitalism," in that "profitable" companies *never*

 

...cover their true costs.

Most of those are externalized to the rest of us -- the pollution (the interstate highway system, for example, as a benefit to the auto industry), the cost of extracted timber from public lands, etc., et al. The list is very long indeed.

What we have instead is socialism for predatory corporations, who don't really "compete." That, and a lot of mythology, to keep us separated from our own personal "capital." (Whether that's our labor, our earnings, or whatever else...)

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Response to villager (Reply #5)

Wed May 8, 2013, 08:09 PM

6. +1

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Response to villager (Reply #5)

Thu May 9, 2013, 07:14 PM

8. Thanks for helping to dispell that myth!

 

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