The key to restructuring the economy is to get the market to tell the truth through full-cost pricing. If the world is to move onto a sustainable path, we need economists who will calculate indirect costs and work with political leaders to incorporate them into market prices by restructuring taxes. Full-cost pricing that will create an honest market is essential to building an economy that can sustain civilization and progress.
Author: Earth Policy Institute
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Wind power has been growing at a massive rate in the United States, and now accounts for a 10% share of the electricity energy mix in five states.
At least 215 million women want to prevent or delay pregnancy but are not using effective contraception. This “unmet need” for family planning may be due to poor reproductive health information, social pressures, or insufficient access to contraceptive options. In Africa, more than 1 in 4 women have unmet need — by far the highest rate of any region.
Our natural systems are the foundation of our economy. We can roughly estimate how much it will cost to reforest the earth, protect topsoil, restore rangelands and fisheries, stabilize water tables, and protect biological diversity.
Wind energy developers installed a record 41,000 megawatts of electricity-generating capacity in 2011, bringing the world total to 238,000 megawatts. With more than 80 countries now harnessing the wind, there is enough installed wind power capacity worldwide to meet the residential electricity needs of 380 million people at the European level of consumption.
Americans are eating less beef, pork, and poultry, and that decline in meat consumption is good news for our health and the environment. Janet Larsen from the Earth Policy Institute lays out the details.
The global economy grew 3.8 percent in 2011, a drop from 5.2 percent in 2010. Economists had anticipated a slowdown, but this was even less growth than expected, thanks to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, unrest in oil-producing countries, the debt crisis in Europe, and a stagnating recovery in the United States.
2011 was one of the hottest, wettest, and most dangerous years on record in terms of weather… and may serve as a sign of the “new normal” we’re facing as the climate changes.
We distort reality when we omit the health and environmental costs associated with burning fossil fuels from their prices. When governments actually subsidize their use, they take the distortion even further. Worldwide, direct fossil fuel subsidies added up to roughly $500 billion in 2010.
2011’s grain harvest was massive: the largest ever. Given the number of lean years prior to it, though, the grain produced will not replenish global stocks… and, thus, stabilize food prices.
The pace of solar energy development is accelerating as the installation of rooftop solar water heaters takes off. Unlike solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert solar radiation into electricity, these “solar thermal collectors” use the sun’s energy to heat water, space, or both.
World consumption of animal protein is everywhere on the rise. Meat consumption increased from 44 million tons in 1950 to 284 million tons in 2009, more than doubling annual consumption per person to over 90 pounds. The rise in consumption of milk and eggs is equally dramatic. Wherever incomes rise, so does meat consumption. As […]
People born today will live for 68 years on average, 20 years longer than those born in 1950. By the mid-twentieth century, industrial countries had already made major strides in extending lifespans with improvements in sanitation, nutrition, and public health. After World War II, rapid gains in life expectancy in developing countries began to narrow the gap between these nations and industrial countries. Although average life expectancy worldwide continues to increase, gains have come more slowly in the last few decades. Worryingly, life expectancy has actually declined in some developing countries, while a few industrial countries have stalled or made slow progress on this important indicator of human health and well-being.