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Blog item: Bailing Out the Biosphere

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0 comments   Add a comment   Author: GuestWriter (Oct-23-2008)    Play a Video
Categories: Global Warming, Sustainable Living

The biosphere and global ecological systems deserve to be bailed outby Steven Earl Salmony

Global ecological sustainability is threatened by a massive ecological bubble – whereby there are not enough intact global terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems to maintain life. Now this – the destruction of our very being – is a crisis worthy of some serious emergency funding. The Guardian shows what the $2-4 trillion financial bailout could achieve if invested for the environment . It notes funding on this "scale to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect nature would... be repaid up to 100 times over."

Bailing out the biosphere would support up to 8 years of needed greenhouse gas emission reductions, going a long way towards averting abrupt and deadly climate change. Alternatively it could pay for 80 years of forest and biodiversity protection, would be 2-3 times what is necessary to fully protect global ecosystems, or could entirely transition the U.S. away from coal and oil for electricity generation. For "only" a one time $50 billion investment, access to safe drinking water could be given to the 2.5 billion living without, and for $30 billion a year all future threats of conflicts over food could be averted.

I suppose something had to be done to stop a global bank collapse, however deserved through decades of conspicuous consumption at the expense of the biosphere. But rescuing troubled bankers when the Earth and her life is dying is a bit like redecorating the Titanic as it sinks. Yet the speed and extent of the financial sector's massive bailout shows what is possible when society perceives a calamitous problem and rises swiftly to the challenge. If fat cat bankers are deserving, the biosphere and global ecological systems are much more worthy and in need of a bailout.

The ginormous task of our generation's environmental movement is to demand action and expenditures commensurate to the threats posed. It remains to be seen whether growth obsessed capitalism is redeemable; yet interestingly, prudent and ethical banks have largely been untroubled.

Related reading:
  Inventing for the Sustainable Planet, Chapter 4 (Aug-7-2008)

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About author/contributor GuestWriter welcomes occasional articles and opinion pieces from writers who are not regular contributors. Their contributions will be listed under the "GuestWriter" name, and additional attribution will be shown in accordance with the agreement with the original writer and source of the PlanetThought.

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