David Suzuki is credited with pointing out that you cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy biosphere. The first is utterly dependent on the second.
A corollary. If you're damaging the environment in order to inflate profits, you're actually damaging the economy also.
Suzuki's warning came to mind in a piece in today's Guardian:
In recent weeks a slew of stories has hit the news about the soaring
price of food, petrol and household energy – and the financial pressure
this is putting on cash-strapped households. But as politicians scrabble
around for the best short-term fix, a fundamental cause underpinning
much of these economic woes is often overlooked. Under the bonnet,
there's something big going on: we're damaging the planet and draining
its resources, and it's starting to cost us big time.
With growing confidence scientists are linking climate change to the increasingly freakish weather around the globe which is causing food prices to rise. Earlier this month the National Farmers' Union predicted more price rises when it revealed that wet weather had cut UK wheat yields by 15%.
resources are not infinite and with developing economies growing fast,
we're beginning to discover that there are not enough to go round...
But faced with all the evidence, no one on the political scene is
showing the kind of leadership required. They prefer to squabble about
short-term sticking-plaster policies, like the perennial scrap about a
few pence on or off fuel duty...
biggest problem is the chancellor, who doesn't seem to understand that
in the long term you simply can't have a healthy economy without a
healthy environment. By pitting the two against each other, he ignores
not just the CBI – which says green and growth must go together – but
cold, hard, economic reality. In claiming, contrary to the evidence,
that "gas is cheap", George Osborne has become a modern day King Cnut, attempting to turn back the tide of
evidence on the rising price of gas by flat out denying it – and,
indeed, pushing to keep the economy hooked on the stuff. This is
especially galling from a man who reportedly accuses environmental
advocates of acting like the Taliban. If anything it's Osborne, with his
reckless dash for gas, who wants to keep us in the dark ages.
writing has been on the wall for years – indeed some enlightened parts
of the business community have even helped write it. It's more than a
decade since the Association of British Insurers warned of the impact of more frequent and more severe flooding as a result of climate change.
Bad as Britain's Conservative government is, Canada's Conservative government is an order of magnitude worse still. As eastern Canada gets hit by this megastorm and America lays pummeled, Steve Harper is in India drumming up orders for massive amounts of Athabasca bitumen. Steve couldn't care less about all the floods and the droughts and the storms. His prime directive is to push the sale and consumption of the filthiest fossil fuels on the planet. His cabinet tolerates it, so does his caucus and so does the Canadian public. Never has Canada been more degraded and debased.
Stephen Harper doesn't care about building a healthy Canadian economy. His sole interest is to build a fossil fuel economy for Alberta and bugger the rest of the country and its economy; bugger the world for that matter. Our kids will pay dearly for this fiend's perfidy.