World's Top Industries Would Fail If They Paid For Natural Capital

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By David Roberts for Grist. Environmentalists these days love speaking in the language of economics — it makes them sound Serious — but I worry that wrapping this notion in a bloodless technical term tends to have a narcotizing effect. It brings to mind incrementalism: boost a few taxes here, tighten a regulation there, and the industrial juggernaut can keep right on chugging. However, if we take the idea seriously, not just as an accounting phenomenon but as a deep description of current human practices, its implications are positively revolutionary. To see what I mean, check out a recent report [PDF] done by environmental consultancy Trucost on behalf of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) program sponsored by United Nations Environmental Program. TEEB asked Trucost to tally up the total “unpriced natural capital” consumed by the world’s top industrial sectors.

Worries Over Oil, Gas Industry Exposure to Water and Climate Risks

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By Sharon Kelly for Truth-Out – When it comes to financial risks surrounding water, there is one industry that, according to a new report, is both among the most exposed to these risks and the least transparent to investors about them: the oil and gas industry. This year, 1,073 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies faced requests from institutional investors concerned about the companies’ vulnerability to water-related risks that they disclose their plans for adapting and responding to issues like drought or water shortages.

United Nations Calls For An End To Industrialized Farming

Gardener holding handful of Parisienne Carrots, which are a variety of heirloom carrot. (Photo: Chiot's Run)

In 2013, the United Nations announced that the world’s agricultural needs can be met with localized organic farms. That’s right, we do not need giant monocultures that pour, spray and coat our produce with massive amounts of poisons, only to create mutant pests and weeds while decimating pollinators and harming human health. Don’t believe the hype: We do not need genetically modified foods “to feed the world.” From my experience, many of these – how shall we say it – “worker bees” (i.e the GMO salesmen) who spread this propaganda, actually believe conventional tactics are necessary to ensure food security. They’ve drunk the Kool-Aid and cannot envision another possibility. The changes threaten their very existence.