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Deforestation Costs Economy More Than the Financial Crisis

While the stock market's belly-dancer-gyrations (more of a limbo, "how low can you go?", really) seem significant — according to a study commissioned by the EU, the global economy actually loses more money through the disappearance of forests than through the financial ho-down. The study pegs the cost of the loss of forests between $2 and $5 trillion per year, while calculations put the financial mess at $1.5 trillion.

How did they arrive at that figure? By factoring in the value of the services forest perform, like providing clean water and absorbing carbon dioxide. According to their conclusions the cost sky rockets as nature stops providing the services it used to do for free. Mad, I suppose, at being hacked to pieces. That might do it. Without them the human economy has to replace them by building reservoirs, carbon capture facilities, and growing food that used to come . . . naturally. It's a cost that's also borne disproportionately by the poor.

The good news is that someone is doing this calculation at all — just a few years ago there was no connection between green trees and green backs. So while watching the Dow number flopping around is entertaining, while the markets are closed this weekend, I may just go plant a tree.


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I'd like to know where this picture was taken. It's a very tight shot, and doesn't necessarily represent the whole picture. I agree that deforestation is a bad thing, but more importantly it isn't ecconomically sound either.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
I know, Sasha K. It's kind of frustrating that being enviornmentally conscientious is suddenly in fashion, but I guess we need to strike while the iron is hot. I just worry about the backlash, too. "Being green" is becoming like an overplayed song. People are getting sick of it.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
I live in South Carolina where we honor hundreds of year old oaks... we cherish our trees and's hard to watch other places tear through them.
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 8 years
That photo makes me sick ot my stomach too Mesayme!
sashak sashak 8 years
There have been connections between environmental degridation (sp?) & the economy for YEARS. Its only since "green" became cool that people are actually starting to pay attention. Believe me, I'm all for educating people about the environment & our utter lack of respect for it. It just kills me that people are all shocked about it.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
This photo makes me sick on my stomach. :0 I think I'm doing everything I can...better take inventory tomorrow. I already gave up my real Christmas tree. :(
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