Sustaining Environmental Capital: Protecting Society and the Economy

Publication Year: 

The central messages of this report are two. First, the economic and environmental dimensions of societal
well-being are both indispensable, as well as tightly intertwined. Second, even as the government
is rightly focused on the direct threats to the economic aspects of well-being in the form of recession,
unemployment, and the stagnation of the standard of living of the middle class, it must not fail to address
the threats to both the environmental and the economic aspects of well-being that derive from the
accelerating degradation of the environmental capital—the Nation’s ecosystems and the biodiversity
they contain—from which flow “ecosystem services” underpinning much economic activity as well as
public health, safety, and environmental quality.