For years we’ve been told that global warming is an unprecedented crisis, and that WE ONLY HAVE TEN YEARS TO SAVE THE PLANET!! But now, it seems that global warming is to be knocked into second place as the world’s catastrophe in the making, supplanted by biodiversity hysteria. From the story:
The economic case for global action to stop the destruction of the natural world is even more powerful than the argument for tackling climate change, a major report for the United Nations will declare this summer…The UN’s biodiversity report – dubbed the Stern for Nature – is expected to say that the value of saving “natural goods and services”, such as pollination, medicines, fertile soils, clean air and water, will be even higher – between 10 and 100 times the cost of saving the habitats and species which provide them. The UN report’s authors [contend that] if the goods and services provided by the natural world are not valued and factored into the global economic system, the environment will become more fragile and less resilient to shocks, risking human lives, livelihoods and the global economy.
Just what we need: Another UN bureaucracy to stifle our economies and order wealth redistribution–this time, in the name of protecting the economic value of undeveloped biodiversity.
This seems to be the idea: When conducting a cost/benefit analysis to determine the extent of environmental regulations that will be imposed on resource development, pollination, fertile soil, snail darters, whatever, will be assigned a (fictional) economic value–whether in dollars/euros will depend on which collapses first under the weight of all this–that will be measured against the expected economic value of the activity being regulated. When the natural world has greater value than the activity, resource development will be stifled. Wealth will not be produced. Jobs will not be created. And those who do pass that gauntlet to create wealth through development will be taxed to the hilt.
You think I’m kidding?
The report will advocate massive changes to the way the global economy is run so that it factors in the value of the natural world. In future, it says, communities should be paid for conserving nature rather than using it; companies given stricter limits on what they can take from the environment and fined or taxed more to limit over-exploitation; subsidies worth more than US$1tn (£696.5bn) a year for industries like agriculture, fisheries, energy and transport reformed; and businesses and national governments asked to publish accounts for their use of natural and human capital alongside their financial results. And the potential economic benefits are huge. Setting up and running a comprehensive network of protected areas would cost $45bn a year globally, according to one estimate, but the benefits of preserving the species richness within these zones would be worth $4-5tn a year.
And where do they think the money will come from to pay for all of this when the economic activities that create wealth won’t be allowed to proceed? Besides, that supposed greater value is all made up. It doesn’t mean a thing in terms of producing real prosperity and won’t add a dime to private pockets or national treasuries. To create wealth, you need to responsibly develop resources. But hey, rights of nature and all that!
Oh, they’ll still want to stop global warming, too. Imagine the impoverishing possibilities: If stopping development doesn’t work on a biodiversity test, we can always claim it will heat the planet.
I believe in protecting endangered species and protecting biodiversity, but getting the popular support to do that requires prosperity. I can’t think of a more potent recipe for creating a global Greece then strangulating ourselves with global warming, and now, biodiversity hysteria.