philosophy, ramblings

Economy vs. earth – which one you going to choose?

I was listening the other day to a certain lobby group on the radio talking about the emissions trading scheme and the costs to the economy. Now, I am not in anyones best world,  skilled with numbers so stick with me if I am completely naive.  But I do continually wonder what is the point of hand-wringing over the economic costs if we have no liveable planet? I just can’t understand how they are at odds with each other, we have to make them complementary to each other. Isn’t that how we got in this wee mess in the first place?

Anyway, I was super pleased to fill out my meagre economic knowledge with some stats from the United Nations Environmental Programme. They have just released Dead Planet:Living Planet a report on biodiversity and ecosystem restoration for sustainable development.  It outlines the challenges to come, and the real need to align our economic drivers with the environment too. At a heart level, its not rocket science. But at a head level, it seems to really challenge people.

The worldwide economy they estimate is worth around $52 trillion a year. The biodiversity that is critical to the survival to humankind?  $72 trillion a year.  So. Ha!

I have tucked this wee stat away to equip me in case of emergency – for when I am stuck in a party with someone from the business review. Now I would have to say that it is unlikely that I would be at a party that someone from the business review would be attending, even less likely that I will remember this statistic when exasperated. But hey ho, I can only try.

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