In 2007, former World Bank chief economist Nick Stern termed climate change the worst ‘market failure’ in history – since those who pollute greenhouse gases are not charged, and since they threaten future generations and vast swathes of natural life – and at that moment, even the 1991 ravings of another former Bank chief economist, Larry Summers, made sense.
‘I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable and we should face up that’, according to a memo with Summers’ signature (http://www.whirledbank.org/ourwords/summers.html), although actually Summers was a mere plagiarist of Harvard economist Lant Pritchett’s genius, insiders allege.
It makes sense if you envisage every aspect of life to be a commodity, and if in turn you believe carbon trading is the right way to address climate change, through privatization of the air coordinated by financial markets (as do Stern and Summers). Indeed ‘Payment for Environmental Services’ is the mantra for neoliberal ‘Green Economy’ advocates at the extravaganza Rio+20 Earth Summit in June.
For more on this story, visit: Climate Market Failure » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.