UN report: cost of pollution could wipe out 1/3 of corporate profits

Again, what about the costs to individuals? Sure it’s going to cost more for business though the drive for higher and higher profits has had a phony feeling to it for a while. Were Lehman profits real? Were the profits of businesses who sold lead-tainted kids toys or tainted pet food real? And what about the health care costs that everyone else needs to pay because the corporate world is overly driven to produce unrealistic profits? What about places like the Chesapeake Bay that has become a polluted disaster with tainted wildlife due to the drive for profits without regard to anyone or anything else? Call me crazy, but I’m more concerned with living without being polluted by corporate profits than by corporate profits. But that’s just me.

Businesses need to think a lot more about their impact on the world but they don’t. It helps that political systems around the world have corporatists in charge who only care about what’s good for business. The Guardian:

The study, conducted by London-based consultancy Trucost and due to be published this summer, found the estimated combined damage was worth US$2.2 trillion (£1.4tn) in 2008 – a figure bigger than the national economies of all but seven countries in the world that year.

The figure equates to 6-7% of the companies’ combined turnover, or an average of one-third of their profits, though some businesses would be much harder hit than others.

“What we’re talking about is a completely new paradigm,” said Richard Mattison, Trucost’s chief operating officer and leader of the report team. “Externalities of this scale and nature pose a major risk to the global economy and markets are not fully aware of these risks, nor do they know how to deal with them.”


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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