As my Friend Fried Harrison points out in his thesis on 'ecocide' http://www.sharetherents.org/thesis/just-prices-riches-nature/
"Driving the destruction are land-use and tax policies that reward speculators who engage in urban sprawl. We wreck habitats (deforestation), dump waste into the oceans, and even the heavens are littered with waste from disintegrating satellites. The catalogue of disasters cannot be blamed on nature.
"People do not behave in such reckless ways within their private spaces (our homes). We tend to be tidy, economical, we conserve the products of our labour and we respect the rights of our neighbours. So what motivates the opposite forms of behaviour towards nature? Again, it boils down to the pursuit of (or the ripple effects from) the flow of rental income. Joseph Stiglitz observes that conventional indices fail to expose the full extent to which rent-seekers are wrecking the environment:“Sometimes the distortions of the rent seekers are subtle, not well captured in the diminution of GDP. This is because GDP doesn‟t adequately capture the costs to the environment….Industries like coal and oil want to keep it that way. They don‟t want the scarcity of natural resources or the damage to our environment to be priced, and they don‟t want our GDP metrics to be adjusted to reflect sustainability” (Stiglitz 2012: 98-99). If the services provided by nature and society were correctly priced, we would not waste them, and we would not shift onto others the costs of our actions (such as dumping waste into rivers or seas). "
If we really want statistics to measure the health of the UK a far better balanced scorecard of our nations health would be using stats such as modal and mot means and the variation within of factors such as:
- Infant mortality
- Average life span
- Educational attainment
- Disposable incomes
Also highlight depletion of natural resources and dilapidation of infrastructure and projections of the future of all these stats that would highlight excessive personal, private and state debt.
Such a measure of GDH will be some percentage points down this week, with a trend that has been dropping for some time. The dodgy economics that masquerade as public information must be changed if we are to protect people and the environment instead so lets have some headline on from The Office for National Statistics (ONS) on GDH & consign GDP to the dustbin of dodgy statistics.
Dodgy theories and discredited statistics which are used by agencies like the OECD camouflage the trends that determine the health of the economy -- and people's welfare. Prof. Mason Gaffney explains why we should treat GDP data with extreme caution, and he identifies holes in the numbers used by governments.