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Sub-prime Then. Environment Crisis Now

While the world is yet to come to terms with the financial crisis in the past few weeks, George Monbiot of The Guardian reports on another huge collapse that no one’s paying attention to. Pavan Sukhdev, the Deutsche Bank economist leading a European study on ecosystems, reported that the world is losing natural capital worth between $2 trillion and $5 trillion every year as a result of deforestation alone. The losses incurred so far by the financial sector amount to between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion. Sukhdev arrived at his figure by estimating the value of the services – such as locking up carbon and providing fresh water – that forests perform, and calculating the cost of either replacing them or living without them. Monbiot says that therefore, the credit crunch is “petty” when compared to the nature crunch. He also cites that the reasons for both crunches is mostly of the same nature – in both cases, those who exploit the resource have demanded impossible rates of return and invoked debts that can never be repaid. In both cases the likely consequences have continuously been denied. Read more in his very interesting article here.

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