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WCVE Forum: Environmental Debt

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:09am -- WCVE

From Climate One Radio – All eyes are on the Federal debt these days. But who is counting the environmental debt? Natural systems provide all sorts of economic benefits such as cleaning water and pollinating plants. Yet these assets are often not calculated on the financial balance sheet of a company. Nor are they part of our GDP. Who should pay the bill for the environmental cost of doing business? And how can we collect?

There is a pattern between the way we do business and the changes in our climate. “The companies that are the biggest polluters make the biggest profits,” according to Amy Larkin, author of Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy. Companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are changing the rules to run a more socially conscious business. According to John Hofmeister, former President of Shell Oil USA, “social cost could be the game changer that warrants the way we look at future environmental debt.” Both Larkin and Hofmeister agree that the government must play a large role in changing the rules of business if we have any hope of solving the climate crisis. A conversation with a leading environmentalist and former oil executive on the costs of pollution and cleaning up capitalism.

Join 88.9 WCVE, Richmond’s Public Radio station, for another installment of WCVE Forum, Sunday, January 26 at 6:00 p.m.

Previously on WCVE Forum
January 19: The Promised Land: Different Takes on the Legacy of Martin Luther King