Friday, June 25, 2010

Budget for people and planet?

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Spot the serious green measures in this week's budget? There weren't any! The budget showed no respect for our real wealth and was unfair both for present and future generations. The VAT rise, benefit cuts , public sector freeze, govt departmental budget cuts of 25%, and failure to begin planning for and investing in a greener society will all hit the people, communities and the environment that is our real wealth. In 1997 Robert Costanza estimated that the total value of all our planet's ecosystem goods and services was a massive US $33 trillion - that's US $ 33,000,000,000,000, greater than the economic growth of the all the world' economies combined! Well worth protecting I'd say. There are huge problems with producing such estimates of course - is it water or diamonds that are more valuable to thirsty and hungry people? A subject I will return to I'm sure. If you accept the premises and methodology you are also likely to accept that this US $33 trillion figure is a vast underestimate!