Bailing Out the Biosphere
Global ecological sustainability is threatened [action] by a massive ecological bubble [search] — whereby there are not enough intact global terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems to maintain life. Now this — the destruction of our very being — is a crisis worthy of some serious emergency funding. The Guardian shows what the $2-4 trillion financial bailout could achieve if invested for the environment [ark] . It notes funding on this “scale to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect nature would… be repaid up to 100 times over.”
Bailing out the biosphere would support up to 8 years of needed greenhouse gas emission reductions [search], going a long way towards averting abrupt and deadly climate change. Alternatively it could pay for 80 years of forest and biodiversity protection [search], would be 2-3 times what is necessary to fully protect global ecosystems [search], or could entirely transition the U.S. away from coal and oil for electricity generation. For “only” a one time $50 billion investment, access to safe drinking water [search] could be given to the 2.5 billion living without, and for $30 billion a year all future threats of conflicts over food could be averted.
I suppose something had to be done to stop a global bank collapse, however deserved through decades of conspicuous consumption at the expense of the biosphere. But rescuing troubled bankers when the Earth and her life is dying is a bit like redecorating the Titanic as it sinks. Yet the speed and extent of the financial sector's massive bailout shows what is possible when society perceives a calamitous problem and rises swiftly to the challenge. If fat cat bankers are deserving, the biosphere and global ecological systems are much more worthy and in need of a bailout.
The ginormous task of our generation's environmental movement is to demand action and expenditures commiserate to the threats posed. It remains to be seen whether growth obsessed capitalism is redeemable; yet interestingly, prudent and ethical banks [ark | search] have largely been untroubled.