Monday, July 6, 2009

Environmental Crime Doesn't Actually Pay

Maldives trash islandThe bogus canard that protecting the environment entails damaging the economy lives on.

It's not true, of course, as I've argued before. Now David Roberts has compiled an interesting list that makes the same point more broadly by refuting the negative proposition: according to several separate studies, screwing up the environment costs more than taking care of it.

One thing they all have in common: an environment-degrading practice often defended as necessary to economic health is revealed, upon closer inspection, to be uneconomic. I wonder how many other allegedly economic environment-degrading practices would also be revealed uneconomic if examined with a fresh eye?

It’s almost like the economy is embedded in an environment, and degrading the latter ultimately degrades the former.

Not almost: the environment is the framework that allows an economic system to exist. Damage to the environment leads inescapably to damage to the economy.
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