Here’s the Issue

Many economists understand that our present national accounting standards– GDP or Gross Domestic Product– needs revision if we are to reverse the economic drive most contributing to environmental degradation, resource depletion, biodiversity loss, climate change, poverty, inequality, and many of the fragility factors that have contributed to the loss of our environmental security and wellbeing.

While there are several alternative indicators proposing how we should account for consumption, production, distribution, and exchange of goods and services, what makes the intemerate accounting equation unique is that our equation does not simply adjust national accounts by adding new natural capital accounts or create new nature-based asset classes benefitting institutional investment regimes. 

Environmental indicators and climate-based insurance schemes that profit from fragility and scarcity will not address the issue of redistributing wealth or the widening gap in global wealth disparities. The addition of new environmental indicators would simply be imposing another top-down consent for an eco-privatization economy where the same power structures will provide security, technology, monitoring, auditing, and other services that perpetuate systems of exploitation and exclusion.

Responding to global demands for environmental and social responsibility (ESR), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Debt Service Suspension Initiatives (DSSI), and Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), the Intemerate Equation could provide a bottom-up pathway for indigenous peoples, impacted local communities, and developing countries to value environmental data with real-world evidence-based assessments and outcomes.

Sean Meadows. Chatanooga, Tennessee.