Environmental Debt

The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy by Amy Larkin

  • Published: Jul 30, 2020

An award-winning environmental activist and social entrepreneur exposes the link between our financial and environmental crises For decades, politicians and business leaders alike told the American public that today's challenge was growing the economy,... read more

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Details of Environmental Debt

Exact title of the book
Environmental Debt
Book author
Amy Larkin
ISBN
9781137361028
Publisher
St. Martin's Publishing Group
Published
Jun 25, 2013
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
256
File size (in PDF)
2304 kB

Some brief overview of book

An award-winning environmental activist and social entrepreneur exposes the link between our financial and environmental crises For decades, politicians and business leaders alike told the American public that today's challenge was growing the economy, and that environmental protection could be left to future generations. Now in the wake of billions of dollars in costs associated with coastal devastation from Hurricane Sandy, rampant wildfires across the West, and groundwater contamination from reckless drilling, it's becoming increasingly clear that yesterday's carefree attitude about the environment has morphed into a fiscal crisis of epic proportions. Amy Larkin has been at the forefront of the fight for the environment for years, and in Environmental Debt she argues that the costs of global warming, extreme weather, pollution and other forms of "environmental debt" are wreaking havoc on the economy.

Synthesizing complex ideas, she pulls back the curtain on some of the biggest cultural touchstones of the environmental debate, revealing how, for instance, despite coal's relative fame as a "cheap" energy source, ordinary Americans pay 350 billion a year for coal's damage in business related expenses, polluted watersheds, and in healthcare costs. And the problem stretches far beyond our borders deforestation from twenty years ago in Thailand caused catastrophic flooding in 2011, and cost Toyota 3. 4 percent of its annual production while causing tens of thousands of workers to lose jobs in three different countries.

To combat these trends, Larkin proposes a new framework for 21st century commerce, based on three principles 1) Pollution can no longer be free; 2) All business decision making and accounting must incorporate the long view; and 3) Government must play a vital role in catalyzing clean technology and growth while preventing environmental destruction. As companies and nations struggle to strategize in the face of global financial debt, many businesses have begun to recognize the causal relationship between a degraded environment and a degraded bottom line. Profiling the multinational corporations that are transforming their operations with downright radical initiatives, Larkin presents smart policy choices that would actually unleash these business solutions to many global financial and environmental problems.

Provocative and hard-hitting, Environmental Debt sweeps aside the false choices of today's environmental debate, and shows how to revitalize the economy through nature's bounty.

About author

Larkin works with multinational corporations on transformative initiatives through her consulting firm Nature Means Business and serves as Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Climate Change. She partners with RESOLVE convening discordant parties from business, government, and civil society to revamp public policy so it better serves our 21st-century global economy. For many years, Larkin led Greenpeace Solutions and collaborated on surprising and high-impact corporate technology revolutions for which Greenpeace and several corporations received Harvard's Roy Award for PublicPrivate Partnerships that protect natural resources.

She is a regular contributor to the Guardian Sustainable Business and the chair of Biomimicry NYC.

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