From Other Words: http://www.otherwords.org/articles/we_cant_put_a_price_on_nature
The greenwashed economy threatens our ability to pursue sustainable development.
By Wenonah Hauter
July 16, 2012
July 16, 2012
A group of international scientists says that the earth is dangerously close to its tipping point of irreversible damage. Clearly, we need a way out of the mess we've made of the planet.
The so-called "green economy," which governments, business leaders, and some environmental organizations touted at last month's United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, is actually a greenwashed economy. Its proponents ask questions such as: How can we put a price on nature so as to better manage it? Or, how can we make it financially undesirable to pollute? Those are the wrong questions, and they don't lead us to real solutions.
Putting a price on nature — as if it were a widget to be bought and sold on the market — devalues its life-giving properties. It partitions the environment off as a commodity, leaving it for sale to the highest bidder. And pollution trading is like paying a robber not to steal from your home. Neither gets to the root causes of our environmental problems: the failure to take meaningful regulatory actions and the undemocratic means by which our natural resources are managed worldwide.
As our access to the planet's resources that once seemed endless has become limited, corporations, multinational institutions, industry-funded non-profits, and policymakers are eagerly offering market-based solutions. They typically position private interests to profit from our increased need for shared natural resources.
Calling this dangerous trend "the green economy" just isn't appropriate. It's more accurate to say that these special interests are promoting the same old dirty economy under a new banner. And this failure to prevent pollution threatens our ability to pursue sustainable development.