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Sustainability

  • By: Dirk Peter Philipsen
  • In: Green Business: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Nevin Cohen & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Sustainability, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Every economy, on a most basic level, depends on the ecosystem. Without basic resources such as air, water, and soil, and without the equally essential regulating and supporting services of ecosystems such as water and air purification, carbon sequestration, or pollination, there would be no human life, and hence no economy. While the relationship between the economy and the ecosystem has infinitely complex layers of feedbacks and multipliers, several things are largely beyond dispute: (1) through extraction, depletion, permanent alteration, and pollution, current economies are doing grave harm to the natural environment; (2) many, if not most, of the costs of this harm are not borne by those who cause it—rather, they are borne by outsiders and by future generations; and (3) without a well-functioning ...

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