Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Biosphere Economy

CSR Wire, the corporate social responsibility and sustainability resource, is highlighting a way of implementing an accounting of natural capital and its related forms of value in the overall equation of "people, planet, profit." A new analysis, called the TEEB study, will be issued this year, and is covered in Volans:

What's wrong with economists? Ever since the Industrial Revolution, Nature has been in retreat, equally undervalued by economists, accountants, engineers and politicians. Now, however, a new revolution is building. Later in 2010, Pavan Sukhdev, a former Deutsche Bank managing director, will launch the findings of the TEEB study—the acronym standing for "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity".

This is developed using ecosystems science to understand processes that create the biological and physical resources that support the existence of humanity. It's being dubbed "The Biosphere Economy". It's slowly moving into corporate accountability as global resource destruction becomes painfully obvious economic destruction.

The way that economics has traditionally viewed resource extraction is covered very clearly by Celsias, and it underscores the destructiveness of the old-economy assumptions supporting capitalist growth. These assumptions leave out the fundamental impact of extraction and pollution on the global biosphere, and like many accounting sleight-of-hand leverages seen in the imploding banking sector, it leverages debt right up to systems collapse. Depletion of resources is a debt, as are toxic pollutants and carbon dumping (heat).

The awakening of the corporate community to these critical issues long embedded in the discourse among ethicists and environmentalists is long overdue. A dramatic change in the way value is calculated, and how industries profit, is necessary to end the destructive pollution and carbon dump that has resulted from the activities of manufacturing, trade, construction and food harvesting industries.