As a reflection of the state of environmental debates in the United States, the Senate recently could not pass an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill affirming that “human activity significantly contributes to climate change” (although an earlier amendment to the bill declaring the “climate change is real and not a hoax” did manage to pass). In the video below, Dieter Helm, author of Natural Capital, provides a reality check on the environmental impact of continuing at a business-as-usual basis. Climate change is just one factor of the destruction we contribute to, Helm warns.
“At the current growth rate, the world economy will be 16 times bigger by the end of this century than it is now . . . If you think that the 20th century has been destructive to our natural environment, it’s a picnic, a stroll in the park, compared with what’s coming.”
Dieter Helm is Fellow in Economics, New College, Oxford. He is also Professor of Energy Policy and Professorial Research Fellow, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford. He lives in Oxfordshire, UK.