None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use

Industrial LandscapeWe are constantly told that large corporations are ‘wealth creators’, however as is common in the Alice-In-Wonderland world of corporate propaganda, in fact the precise opposite is true, at least when one looks at the big picture.

As the environmentalist Paul Hawken has pointed out,

‘We are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP’

What the industrial system does is to convert our natural commons into private financial gain and leaves states and communities to pick up the pieces. If we do not find some way of shedding light on the myth of ‘the wealth creators’ and the insufficiency of GDP as any sort of measure of true wealth, we are never going to see the problem for what it really is.

This article by David Roberts of Grist.org highlights exactly how much damage is done to the global commons, especially by fossil fuel extraction:

Of the top 20 region-sectors ranked by environmental impacts, none would be profitable if environmental costs were fully integrated. Ponder that for a moment: None of the world’s top industrial sectors would be profitable if they were paying their full freight. Zero.

Read more here.

 

Photography by Louis Vest on flickr (CC Licence).