Car, life and fire insurance are normal. Now let’s cover the planet

English Bay
English Bay, Vancouver, Canada. Photo copyright Deborah Jones, © 2013

In much of the world environmental regulations are lax, and any changes controversial. F&O Natural Security columnist Chris Wood suggests a simple fix, one already embraced by business and civil society alike. An excerpt of his new column:

Chris Wood

Acidifying oceans. Desertifying fields. Liquifying glaciers and icecaps. Toxifying lakes and rivers. Our species has a nature problem. Or to put it another way: nature has a human economy problem.

Before this century is over — more likely before it’s half over — that problem will be resolved, one way or another. Either we’ll be bright and change the way our economy works, or — and also more likely — we’ll carry on until either our economy or nature or both break beneath our weight.

What we need here is a little insurance. Seriously.

Insurance is what I buy when I know something bad, expensively bad, could happen to me. Maybe it won’t, but it might.

I don’t light candles under paper streamers. I don’t smoke in bed. I don’t overload the wiring. But I also have fire insurance.

I don’t drink and drive. I keep my car’s brakes maintained. I try to watch for the other guy’s lapses in attention. I still carry car insurance.

I try to watch my weight. I get my exercise. I control my blood pressure. And I have health insurance.

Right now, when it comes to the planet, we’re behaving like an overweight chronic alcoholic who downs a double vodka with beer chaser for breakfast before leaving his lit cigarette on a sofa and getting behind the wheel for the freeway commute to work — all without a penny of insurance.

Log in to read Wood’s column: Planet Insurance. Seriously  (Subscription or day pass required*)

Chris Wood’s Natural Security column page is here.


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