The cost of pollution, not only a matter of dollars. Lives too
By, Uwe Paschen.
A study conducted by the London-based consultancy Trucost, which is due to be published this summer, found that the combined damage of only the world's 3000 biggest companies was worth US $2.2 trillion in 2008 alone. This is a figure bigger than the national economies of all but seven countries in the world for that year.
Would those companies have to pay for the damage they cause, they would have to disburse the equivalent of one third of their profits to do so.
The report on the economics of climate change by Sir Nicholas Stern is trying to put an accurate price tag on the damage inflicted unto the environment and find suggestion to prevent it as well. Wile the report, led by economist Pavan Sukhdev, suggest the abolition of all subsidies to harmful industries like agriculture, energy and transport, all the wile asking for tougher laws and higher taxes on polluting industries to stop the trend and enforce the much needed changes.
This of course may have some serious consequences and will affect not only on the customers and the companies profits, more so it will affect labour laws and pension plans all the same, as the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment report does suggest.
Centuries of mismanagement and abuse seem to come back to hunt us now with a revenge and a very high price tag as well. Failing to act will not only increase the sub sequential price tag to fix it. But, any further delay would make the task exponentially harder to achieve, allowing to reverse or rather limit the damage and the disaster that will come along with it, whose price tag can not even be estimated for it is simply to high to fathom.
"The world's extinction crisis continues in 2010, the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity. As humans, we have the power to protect nature or destroy it. As this lecture will demonstrate, we must urgently explore all the ways in which we can preserve and protect life on earth. After all, biodiversity is crucial to providing us all with health, food, fuel, wealth and the vital services on which our lives depend."
Ceres, an investors and environmentalist lobby group with over 80 funds and assets exceeding eight trillion dollar US, Is estimating that those environmental changes that are desperately needed will cost North America alone over 20,000 jobs and over one billion dollar a year just to agricultural companies due to water shortages in California and other areas.
Our pollution is not only starting to cost us dearly, in addition, the price keeps increasing the longer we wait to act with some serious intentions and methods. Sadly, the price tag in human lives keeps on increasing as well with each day we waste. This not only in numbers of jobs being lost or in reduction in pension plans or health care programs, but in real lives that will be inevitably sacrifices and lost. The numbers will exceed the hundreds of millions worldwide and maybe even worth. Much could still be saved and avoided would we have changed by now, sadly we have not rely tried so far.