BBC News reports:
The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study….
[A]s forests decline, nature stops providing services which it used to provide essentially for free.
So the human economy either has to provide them instead, perhaps through building reservoirs, building facilities to sequester carbon dioxide, or farming foods that were once naturally available.
Or we have to do without them; either way, there is a financial cost….
“It’s not only greater but it’s also continuous, it’s been happening every year, year after year,” study leader Pavan Sukhdev told BBC News. “So whereas Wall Street by various calculations has to date lost, within the financial sector, $1-$1.5 trillion, the reality is that at today’s rate we are losing natural capital at least between $2-$5 trillion every year.”
This is one clue to the dark cloud behind the silver lining of the financial “rescue”: other deep, structural weaknesses that are yet to play out (nature’s services and infrastructure disinvestment, to name two), with consequences that are so interlaced that they are difficult to envision.
The silver lining in that dark cloud: an opportunity — at both macro and micro levels — to invest in fundamentals, in creating lasting value, in building real wealth. This is not the time to slow sustainability investments; quite the contrary. More on this soon.
Meanwhile: Warning: Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.