UN opens Biodiversity Year 2010 with plea to save world’s life-supporting ecosystems

by Dave

“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function”. Prof. Albert Bartlett, Emeritus Prof of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder

Must see videos
on the arithmetic of steady growth, continued over modest periods of time, in a finite environment. Here is one video in this series below:

With exponential growth in human population at least thru mid-century, the toll on natural resources will continue, unless there is some disincentivising price mechanism to arrest it – which seems unlikely. The tragedy of the commons in action.

Looking at the economic costs of action or inaction, a recent UN-backed Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study estimated loss of natural capital due to deforestation and degradation at between $2 trillion and $4.5 trillion every year – “a staggering economic cost of taking nature for granted.

“It is estimated that for an annual investment of $45 billion into protected areas alone, we could secure the delivery of ecosystem services worth some $5 trillion a year
,” it said. “When compared to current financial losses on the markets, this is not a big price to pay. Sound ecosystem and biodiversity management, and the inclusion of Natural Capital in governmental and business accounting can start to redress inaction and reduce the cost of future losses.”

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