Paying For Natural Capital Would Leave Even The Worlds Top Industries Unprofitable

More than pretty much any other group, environmentalists love their technical terms. It seems like you can no longer escape terms like ‘carbon footprint,’ ‘perceived obsolescence,’ and ‘open-loop recycling.’ They’re EVERYWHERE. But, you should still pay close attention, looking for history’s turning points.

As one report commissioned by Trucost for the UN has now proved, these terms can hide the most in-depth research and most radical conclusions from obvious sight.    

The report, finished in April 2013, was born as a bastard child of economics and environmentalism. It centres around the radical ideas of ‘natural capital,’ resources that the natural world provides to businesses for free, and ‘externalities,’ the costs of doing business that are subsidised by government or individuals. This includes both environmental and social costs.

$7.3 trillion is the amount that the report estimates was consumed per year by large businesses and production plants ignoring the natural capital they were spending. Think about how large that number is. This is approximately equivalent to over 10% of the world’s nominal gdp per capita in 2014 and the combined wealth of every billionaire.

Not only is this cost a gigantic proportion of the world economy, the report discovered that every business they investigated had an overall deficit when considering the natural capital spent. The natural capital spent cattle ranching and farming in South America alone costs 18 times more than the revenue that is generated by the business.

If the concept of natural capital was ever incorporated into governmental policy, it would be a true turning point for modern history. Effectively no business or industry could run sustainably without a radical change in environmental policy. In short, this report is a BIG deal, even if it goes largely ignored by the masses.