This article was originally published on CNN.
In our current model these goals sometimes seem to collide, and our economic pursuits encroach too closely on nature. But nature — a stable climate, reliable freshwater, forests and other natural resources — is what makes industry possible. It is not one or the other. We cannot have long-term human development without a steady climate and a healthy natural world.
…Since the natural and economic worlds are linked, similar principles apply to both. In the financial world, for example, we would not eat into capital to the point of depletion because that would bring about financial ruin. Yet in the natural world, we have done this repeatedly with fish stocks and forests, among many other resources — in some cases to the point of decimation. We must treat the natural world as we would the economic world — protecting natural capital so that it can continue to provide benefits well into the future…”