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“The Environmental Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits” (Pierre Desrochers on capitalism & environmentalism)

By William Griesinger -- May 4, 2010

[Editor note: This review was completed before the BP oil spill. To the extent that cost cutting was responsible for the Deepwater Horizon rig blowup and the uncontrolled oil spill, it was a monumental miscalculation under profit/loss accounting.]

A hallmark of the “sustainable development” mantra is the notion that business’s pursuit of profit maximization must necessarily lead to environmental degradation and the depletion of “non-renewable resources,” and that such activities must be closely regulated by government. However, this assessment does not square with the historical environmental record of market-based industrial progress and it ignores basic economic concepts.

Pierre Desrochers, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Toronto, maintains, “It is unfettered governments that are no friend to the environment.” An expert in economic geography with specialization in the study of the history of technology, Desrochers provides an abundance of historical evidence to substantiate his position.…