This stock collapse is petty when compared to the nature crunch
The financial crisis at least affords us an opportunity to now rethink our catastrophic ecological trajectory
14 October 2008
“This is nothing. Well, nothing by comparison to what’s coming. The financial crisis for which we must now pay so heavily prefigures the real collapse, when humanity bumps against its ecological limits.
As we goggle at the fluttering financial figures, a different set of numbers passes us by. On Friday, Pavan Sukhdev, the Deutsche Bank economist leading a European study on ecosystems, reported that we are 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. The credit crunch is petty when compared to the nature crunch.”