foreconomic growth. Business leaders generally assume that economic growthis essential to future prosperity. Environmental leaders sometimes assumethat economic growth is the enemy. But economic growth is measured in dollars,and a growth in transactions does not necessarily mean a growth in environmentalimpact.
At the same time, we must begin to calculate into our economic reasoningthe costs imposed by wastes. When wastes reduce the productivity of naturalsystems -- forests, fisheries, agricultural and range lands -- they reduceour supply of economic inputs. When wastes damage our existing investments-- acid rain eating our bridges, etc. -- they reduce our wealth. And whenwastes damage our health, they impose costs even as they add to GNP by generatingdemand for health services.
Environment & Economy - Products - Mitsubishi Electric
doesn't endthe account of our subsidies of waste and environmental destruction. Mostof us understand externalities -- costs created by an activity that arenot internalized in the cost of that activity. Our national accounting systemjust doesn't figure things right. When we produce and discharge to the environmentpollutants that degrade the value and productivity of our natural and manmadesystems, we count that discharge as "free." We too often thinkof the cost of pollution control as a net cost, when in fact, from a largerperspective, it is often repaid, sometimes many times over, by costs avoidedelsewhere in the economy and by the value gained by preserving stocks ofnon-renewable natural resources and by preserving the productivity of renewablenatural resources -- that is, again, forests, fisheries, agricultural lands,aquifers, and so on.
Q&A: What is a "Green Economy?" | World Resources …
representsbut a fraction of our subsidies for consumption and environmental destruction.A big part is our habit of treating consumption of our stocks of non-renewableresources as pure income -- and likewise treating our unsustainable drawof renewable resources as pure income. A friend of mine has a good way ofdescribing the economic irrationality of this. Valuing forest products asequal to the cost of extracting them, he says, is like valuing our lifesavings by the cost of driving to the bank to withdraw them.
Statistics - CSO - Central Statistics Office
at our interestin the world, we think in sequence -- individual, family, community, region,nation and world. Conventional economic thinking says that prosperity isa function of competitiveness, and that competitiveness is a function ofefficiency. But when economists think of efficiency, they usually consideronly the efficiency of labor and capital.
Waste policy review - Environment - European Commission
In fact, tax policies push in exactly the opposite direction. We subsidizeextraction with tax credits and other favorable tax treatments. And thefederal government builds roads and other infrastructure needed for extractionat a loss in order to improve the economics of withdrawing our natural resourcesfrom the bank. Come to think of it, even if we did value our bank accountsat the cost of driving to the bank to withdraw them, we would still be undervaluingthem because we would pay only a fraction of the true cost of that trip.
Review of Waste Policy and Legislation
Removal of massive subsidies to material consumption will not end economicgrowth but redirect it. As we meet our basic material needs -- for food,shelter, transport, clothing, etc. -- we naturally tend to shift in ourwants. We don't generally want more and more, but we generally want better-- better tasting food, more attractive, safer and more durable structuresand goods, more access to entertainment, culture and information, more leisureto enjoy our lives, and so on. To the extent that material consumption ispriced at its true cost, we will make more efficient use of it and shiftour economic demands to less resource intensive and polluting products andservices.