Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy

Written by Amy Larkin

For decades, politicians and business leaders alike told the American public that our most important challenge was growing the economy, and that environmental protection could be left to future generations. Now, in the wake of billions of dollars in costs associated with coastal devastation from Hurricane Sandy, rampant wildfires across the West, and groundwater contamination from reckless drilling, it's increasingly clear that yesterday's carefree attitude about the environment has morphed into a fiscal crisis of epic proportions.

Environmental Debt argues that the costs of global warming, extreme weather, pollution, and other forms of "environmental debt" are wreaking havoc on the economy. To combat these trends, author Amy Larkin proposes a new framework for twenty-first century commerce, based on three principles: 1) Pollution can no longer be free; 2) All business decision making and accounting must incorporate the long view; and 3) Government must play a vital role in catalyzing clean technology and growth while preventing environmental destruction. Profiling the multinational corporations that are transforming their operations with downright radical initiatives, Larkin presents smart policy choices that would actually unleash these business solutions to many global financial and environmental problems.

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