[WSMDiscuss] ah, but what about counting "natural capital"? Re: "The financialization of the world" : Vandana Shiva on 'natural asset companies' (NACs)

Christian Stalberg CStalberg at mymail.ciis.edu
Wed Oct 19 14:11:04 CEST 2022

Resending. I sent this on the 16th but the listserv appears broken until now.
From: Christian Stalberg
Sent: Sunday, October 16, 2022 6:51 AM
To: Discussion list about emerging world social movement <wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net>; Brian <brian at radicalroad.com>
Subject: RE: [WSMDiscuss] ah, but what about counting "natural capital"? Re: "The financialization of the world" : Vandana Shiva on 'natural asset companies' (NACs)

Excellent point Patrick...but you got me thinking (as you oft do!). Given that the forces of evil (anthropocentrism?) live and move in an epistemological world dominated by economism (including capitalist growth and accumulation), you are right. Sort of like fighting fire with fire, analogously. However, diving deeper I believe the remedy that is truly demanded of us is a wholesale change in the dominant epistemology and ontology that is running roughshod across Nature. Of course this is a longer term project, but when I see the rights of nature and the crime of ecocide come into being, I am hopeful. These precedents are not grounded in environmental services accounting, but please correct me if I am wrong.
Having learned something about biology through biomimicry, I can tell you that the complexity of Nature is such that we have barely begun to scratch the surface [ example: https://youtu.be/ysa5OBhXz-Q ]. Given this truth, the idea that humans are seeing the complete picture whilst they calculate an ecosystem's 'environmental services' is the height of anthropocentric arrogance and ignorance. Pretty soon you will have these NACs divided up according to their 'assets'. Let's say a rainforest tract is estimated to produce X amount of 'water'. What is to prevent other assets from being identified, captured and sold and in so doing they inadvertently destroy the entire ecosystem's ability to even provide the water?
This is why for me, indigenous epistemologies hold the key to homo sapiens 'right relationship' with Nature on whom we depend for life. Changing a dominant epistemology is no small accomplishment, but we must do it. I recall agreeing with someone once that nothing short of a religious fervor embedded in a rapidly ascending neopagan movement sweeping the world converting the masses will save us now. That and only that would cause us to do the dis-economic, to embrace simplicity and frugality, and truly adapt to Natures systems and cycles and do no harm.
Impossible? It's been done before: "We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable - but so did the divine right of kings." - Ursula K. Le Guin
From: WSM-Discuss <wsm-discuss-bounces at lists.openspaceforum.net<mailto:wsm-discuss-bounces at lists.openspaceforum.net>> On Behalf Of Patrick Bond
Sent: Sunday, October 9, 2022 10:42 PM
To: Brian <brian at radicalroad.com<mailto:brian at radicalroad.com>>; Post WSMDiscuss <wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net<mailto:wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net>>
Subject: [WSMDiscuss] ah, but what about counting "natural capital"? Re: "The financialization of the world" : Vandana Shiva on 'natural asset companies' (NACs)

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On 10/6/2022 4:15 PM, Brian wrote:
> This is an important discussion with Vandana Shiva about 'natural asset companies' (NACs) - a lucid and essential read.
>   ~ Brian

Great analysis from Vandana, as ever... but to complicate the methodology, if one completely rejects the idea that natural resources have a value (and even a 'price'), then the risk is that by NOT counting natural capital depletion, the areas victimised by extrativism are implicitly forgiving "ecological debt" (and 'unequal ecological exchange<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcadtm.org%2FUnequal-ecological-exchange-worsens-across-time-and-space-creating-growing&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682284878408%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=w2udRV4UQVANIHjYCojOxJzuypm5SB0vN4JX3zuVqXs%3D&reserved=0>') simply because they do not enumerate such 'loss and damage.'

The leading forces within African CJ activism are doing this sort of damage assessment right now, and making demands to imperialist and sub-imperialist climate negotiators for next month's Conference of the Polluters. (One example<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.counterpunch.org%2F2022%2F05%2F20%2Fwho-dropped-the-rain-bomb-on-durban-last-month-and-will-they-pay-climate-reparations%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682284878408%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=TcC2nDUZAisd8a00wFV2jt2ObBSVUfz4VfRvPCHbldI%3D&reserved=0> is what we witnessed in Durban with two rain bombs in April-May.)

If we aren't counting the impact of impi/sub-impi pollution on natural damage or resource depletion in principle, then how do we demand reparations?

That's why, when Vandana discussed this eight years ago at a University of Pretoria conference, she agreed on the merits of using natural capital accounting as a way to STOP extractivism:
To be sure, there is a danger that natural capital accounting will become, instead, a 'fee' for pollution; the damage continues, but with an ongoing payment. The strategy known as 'Payment for Ecosystem Services', promoted by the more neoliberal of 'green economy' advocates, represents this sort of parallel danger: commodifying the environment. An example of an unworkable 'neoliberalised nature' strategy to address climate change is carbon trading, yet South African Treasury bureaucrats last month endorsed a policy move in that direction - which climate justice activists are opposing. The distinction between counting for damage control (a fine and ban) and counting for market-making (a fee) should be made. As Shiva put it last week, 'We should use natural capital as a red light to destruction, not as a green light.'

See attached, which was part of the deliberations in a successful court case decided a month ago when we tried to counter the enemies' claims that a new Shell/Impact offshore gas drill would create jobs, income, etc...



Can 'natural capital accounting' come of age in Africa?
(Triple Crisis, June-July 2014)

In early June, a University of Pretoria conference at the Governance Innovation Centre<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.governanceinnovation.org%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682284878408%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=QIqjuTdfh1Wl%2BX3m8VqyGCxGEjxXXdS6npZqBpEO0Gc%3D&reserved=0>, keynoted by Indian eco-feminist Vandana Shiva, contemplated how to go 'beyond GDP'. The current system of economic bean-counting is terribly inappropriate for a continent 'rising' in rhetoric but, in reality, being looted at a breakneck pace.

As the Pretoria host, Prof Lorenzo Fioramonti<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.premiumtimesng.com%2Fopinion%2F140002-nigeria-vs-south-africa-in-flawed-gdp-battle-by-lorenzo-fioramonti.html&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682284878408%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=i6Sy6EM3kAsflIuaULu3turab2W0TnqQBFDHiuBzzg4%3D&reserved=0>, author of the 2012 book Gross Domestic Problem, explained, "Gross Domestic Product focuses exclusively on market activities -that is, present income and production flow - whereas alternative measures of inclusive wealth highlight the importance of stocks of assets and their changes over time. The politics of GDP makes countries blind by rewarding short-term consumption and wholesale exploitation of natural assets at the expense of social justice and sustainability."

The head-in-sand, ostrich-mimicking economists and financial journalists who use GDP without correction probably aren't even aware that the figure does not include resource depletion, unpaid women's and community work, pollution, loss of farmland and wetlands, family breakdown and crime. There are many substitutes for GDP, and one - the 'Genuine Progress Indicator' - shows a substantial decline in world welfare, from around $36 trillion to less than $10 trillion in 2005, once these corrections are made.

World corrections to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
[cid:image003.jpg at 01D8E379.08D2F2A0]Source: Rethinking Progress

Africa is hardest hit by two of these corrections - resource depletion and white collar crime - and so any fantasy of 'Africa Rising' must be completely rethought once we recalculate. Regarding crime, as University of Massachusetts economist Leonce Ndikumana<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thetidenewsonline.com%2F2014%2F04%2F11%2Ffinance-experts-meet-to-end-capital-flight%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682284878408%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=SqygCnSsw0Pk6fQZtsgWEj6gImGPf8YCRmg4MH8k27E%3D&reserved=0> has shown, more than US$1.7 trillion was looted from Africa through Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) not tracked through GDP from 1970-2010.

According to Simon Mevel, Siope Ofa and Stephen Karingi<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.afdb.org%2Fen%2Faec%2Fpapers%2Fpaper%2Fquantifying-illicit-financial-flows-from-africa-through-trade-mis-pricing-and-assessing-their-incidence-on-african-economies-945%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682284878408%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=722rda92GMcUFCnuC%2B6jyBVuXAGysP3Sffa%2F1fGvMF4%3D&reserved=0> from the UN Economic Commission on Africa, IFF includes "1) Corruption, which is the proceeds from theft and bribery by government officials; 2) Proceeds from criminal activities, including drug trading, racketeering, counterfeiting, contraband, and terrorist financing; 3) Proceeds from commercial tax evasion mainly through trade mis-pricing and laundered commercial transactions by MultiNational Corporations (MNCs)." As they concede, the problem is getting worse, with trade mispricing alone rising from less than $30 billion a year before 2006 to more than double that level in the subsequent four years.

The NGO Global Financial Integrity<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gfintegrity.org%2Fissue%2Fillicit-financial-flows%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682284878408%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=wew28KbvROWKUlc0pwb9LdA85dMDy4kAy0IDKrSI%2Frw%3D&reserved=0> lists five African countries as having lost the most to IFFs during the period 1970-2008:

1 Nigeria $217.7 bn

2 Egypt $105.2 bn

3 South Africa $81.8 bn

4 Morocco $33.9 bn

5 Angola $29.5 bn
Here in South Africa, misinvoicing has become a major national controversy. Dr Dick Forslund, a Swedish economist based at Cape Town's Alternative Information and Development Centre<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Faidc.org.za%2Fprogrammes%2Fpolitical-economy%2Fpolitical-economic-debates%2F64-platinum-companies-are-under-selling-metals-aidc.html&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682284878408%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=4HIJHLfdoAkqXvll7drzuL0WrS%2Bl%2B9DXLDoGdkdvago%3D&reserved=0>, recently questioned how the big MNC mining houses could fail to get market-related prices during international platinum sales, which in turn meant they were underpaying their own books by at least $1.5 billion over the last decade.

The firms denied it, and as if on cue, African National Congress general secretary Gwede Mantashe<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthenewage.co.za%2F127730-1009-53-Platinum_strike_political&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=uQbywPoO6liTOK94DpFE%2FXKi7ox3SsUTmUf%2BwoxtxMI%3D&reserved=0> immediately launched a paranoid attack on Forslund, who was assisting the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Unions (Amcu): "The articulation of the Amcu position by white foreign nationals signals the interest of these foreign forces in the destabilisation of our economy."

Mantashe did not mention ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymaverick.co.za%2Farticle%2F2013-10-24-marikana-massacre-ramaphosas-statement-revisited%2F%23.U5abbSjQ50c&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=qFsIiCpJNxBQ8op0Ow7Hd1zfb4bmrz9t7mIV8Zxj53E%3D&reserved=0>, for many years a 9% shareholder and board member of Lonmin, the London firm once run by Tiny Rowland, who was 'the unacceptable face of capitalism' according to then Tory prime minister Edward Heath<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FTiny_Rowland&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=zhjryRazP57fJJCZTXCWUlnqUZ%2FUWLUi7aLBtRJAzYM%3D&reserved=0> in 1973. Lonmin's Marikana platinum operations became infamous in August 2012, because of what appears now as a pre-meditated massacre that took place the day after Ramaphosa sent emails to the police and mining minister upgrading a labour dispute to 'dastardly criminal'. The police shot 34 dead, many execution style.

In the same spirit, Pretoria's diamond valuators have winked and nodded while DeBeers apparently mispriced US$2.83 billion<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthestudyofvalue.org%2F2014%2F05%2F15%2Fnew-lcsv-working-paper-explores&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=JAKXo1hNsS2jkOzLtwdDx8KwMdp%2FB13VgsMrJuTp%2BbE%3D&reserved=0> from 2004-12, according to Africa Report columnists Sarah Bracking and Khadija Sharife.

These are just some of the reasons why in the country that PricewaterhouseCoopers recently reported was the world's worst case of corporate fraud<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.timeslive.co.za%2Fthetimes%2F2014%2F02%2F19%2Fworld-fraud-champs&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=6irlFtCTGjmQ2xvyNLRCWbGplm2aWU1VJV6bPZMeaeE%3D&reserved=0>, South Africa, 'natural capital' should be carefully counted. Otherwise, the mining and oil MNCs will loot us blind.

Two years ago, the Gaborone Declaration on Natural Capital Accounting<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gaboronedeclaration.com%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=PtD2PMnGNOLSRuWOGBQTR7COUARaVSaQrjTnxo6Y%2Fv0%3D&reserved=0> was endorsed by ten African governments: Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania. The reason: GDP has 'limitations as a measure of well-being and sustainable growth.' Instead, natural capital should from now on be included in 'national accounting and corporate planning.'

[cid:image005.jpg at 01D8E379.08D2F2A0]
[cid:image009.jpg at 01D8E379.08D2F2A0]
[cid:image015.jpg at 01D8E379.08D2F2A0]
Even though the World Bank has traditionally lined up in favour of corporate looting of Africa via its 'export-led growth' strategies and dogmatic philosophy of economic deregulation, several Bank staff in the 'Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wavespartnership.org%2Fen&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=x2iGZI7fI9qEEDLZK9DQbrnK1eJSuzO2CVPSvSsJJOA%3D&reserved=0>' group played a major role in the Gaborone Declaration. Their view of 'adjusted net savings' as an alternative to GDP is instructive.

There are four steps to understanding changes in wealth. Total savings should be discounted first for wear and tear on fixed capital (-); second for 'human capital' investment in education (+); third for natural resource depletion (-); and fourth for pollution (-). For Africa as a whole, these four corrections pushed the rate at which wealth accumulated in 2008 from 17% of national income, down to -7%, mostly because of resource depletion, according to the Bank's The Changing Wealth of Nations.<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.worldbank.org%2Fdata-catalog%2Fwealth-of-nations&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=B1zCe5NrrZ5ZiMTid1YEs2yN5KZshk1jPZhjd2GezqU%3D&reserved=0>

[cid:image016.jpg at 01D8E379.08D2F2A0][cid:image017.jpg at 01D8E379.08D2F2A0]

To take one example, Zambia, the savings rate of 26% should be discounted for wear and tear on machines worth 11% of national income; while education spending adds 2%; depletion of copper subtracts 20%; and pollution subtracts another 1%. In a given year, that leaves a typical Zambian 3% poorer on December 31 than when she woke up on the prior January 1. To take another example, in relatively more industrialised South Africa, the depletion of minerals costs the country 9% of its gross national income and as a result, the net decline in the average South Africans wealth after a typical year is $245.

Why do these depressing counting exercises? One reason is to make the case for 'ecological debt' in courts of law. For example, of Nigeria's recent $11.5 billion claim<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fshipsandports.com.ng%2Fbonga-spill-fg-slams-11-5billion-fine-on-shell%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=B0IHi93rRwJMnC5XGlR0PdC0tRRXExVsS5HTSt%2BjmBU%3D&reserved=0> against Shell for a 2011 oil spill, more than half is meant to compensate fisherfolk. The liability owed to silicosis-afflicted mineworker victims of Anglo American<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymaverick.co.za%2Farticle%2F2013-09-25-the-floodgates-open-anglo-american-settles-mineworkers-silicosis-claims%2F%23.U5aUtCjQ50c&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=Em00%2BqeB4BIrKu89OUOSCJ8Nk%2FIeqWm2ckAva3J4f7c%3D&reserved=0> and other gold mining houses may reach $900 million. Gencor and Cape PLC<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.business-humanrights.org%2FCategories%2FLawlawsuits%2FLawsuitsregulatoryaction%2FLawsuitsSelectedcases%2FCapeGencorlawsuitsreSoAfrica&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=mfMjAEU246IWKAqPDtMFYpVIFZASZAiuErRK1sanvOI%3D&reserved=0> had to pay £45.5 million a decade ago to settle South African asbestos lawsuits after they lost their last appeal in the UK House of Lords.

Similar arguments should be made against the MNCs most responsible for what the UN calls 'loss and damage' due to climate change. Or against companies like Lonmin that remove Africa's natural resources, corrupt its governments, despoil the landscape, wreck workers' health, establish untenable social relations such as the migrant labour system, and return a pittance to South Africa.

Ideally, over time, this strategy would develop as 'fine-and-ban', so that as a corporation makes an egregious error, it is fined punitively for the damage done, and then sent packing. Fatally damaging processes such as asbestos mining should then be consigned to the dustbin of history, and indeed in that case, that lawsuit bankrupted Cape PLC.

To be sure, there is a danger that natural capital accounting will become, instead, a 'fee' for pollution; the damage continues, but with an ongoing payment. The strategy known as 'Payment for Ecosystem Services', promoted by the more neoliberal of 'green economy' advocates, represents this sort of parallel danger: commodifying the environment. An example of an unworkable 'neoliberalised nature' strategy to address climate change is carbon trading<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DZYi78LaY8u4&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=Do9510%2Bk3PKHNquDQgDexJW4Qc4LY2dVGPOfbV8SxKc%3D&reserved=0>, yet South African Treasury bureaucrats last month endorsed a policy move in that direction - which climate justice activists are opposing.

The distinction between counting for damage control (a fine and ban) and counting for market-making (a fee) should be made. As Shiva put it last week, 'We should use natural capital as a red light to destruction, not as a green light.'

To that end, there is a much stronger ecological, political and moral case yet to be made based on Africa's declining natural capital accounts. Thanks to various kinds of Resource Curses, Africa is like a household whose drunken nephew finds the key to the cabinet that holds the family silver (natural capital), at which point he loots the valuables, sells them at a fraction of their worth to a sleazy foreign buyer, buys booze, drinks away the proceeds and then pisses all over the floor back home.

By counting the natural capital outflow and related illicit financial flows, at least the family is in a position to learn about, and hopefully halt, the looting - even if that means putting the nephew into a treatment centre. The equivalent act for a responsible society in Africa, while these Resource Curses persist, is to leave the minerals and petroleum in the soil - at least until the continent's wealth is no longer the cause of its systematic poverty.

[useful              Africa]
Natural asset companies/NSACs have been invented "to convert natural assets into financial capital":  "It's the final step of the financialisation of the world... it will mean the debt crisis will be used as a takeover of the real resources and the real wealth - land, forests, rivers, biodiversity,"
'Final Step Of The Financialisation Of The World,' Says Vandana Shiva On Natural Asset Companies
Seed warrior and ecofeminist, Dr. Vandana Shiva, at the India International Centre in New Delhi during the Bhoomi Festival conducted by Navdanya on October 1, 2022 (EmpireDiaries.com<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fempirediaries.com%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=EGJu0UEJGeGu9c9R1eo2sXeEGamKgnNxuXe2ZdhB164%3D&reserved=0>)
Ratna<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fempirediaries.com%2Fabout%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285034639%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=jarlu08ZRexICxR%2BOTskAPy%2B1IznuQnQxv2BkX682do%3D&reserved=0> and Nadim<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fempirediaries.com%2Fabout%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285190863%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=QCfYi5zN8Lhn2q6x2TDckL%2F0k9ugqGnBaGbqJdpP79o%3D&reserved=0>  EmpireDiaries.com<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fempirediaries.com%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285347085%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=OIrlpuel54TQq4rCAD%2Bs0I%2FRg4j40C1rjD9%2Fr6au%2BT8%3D&reserved=0>
New Delhi, October 2, 2022: Slowly, surely, and silently during the last few years, Wall Street hawks and their global allies have been plotting an unprecedented move - to capture the whole of nature and put it on sale.
That imperialist blueprint is ready. A new type of corporations called NACs or natural asset companies, are being created to carry out the takeover of nature.
Using these NACs, the imperialists want to colonise and own all of the world's biodiversity and farmland, brand them as 'natural assets', turn them into commodities by stamping price tags, sell them off to powerful buyers, and monetise on a scale never seen or imagined.
People who've lived on those lands, and off them, for generations would no longer have any rights to them. Only the new-born natural asset companies/NACs can exclusively own the commodified farmlands, forests, water bodies, reefs, wetlands, etc.
The privately-controlled NACs are being created by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Intrinsic Exchange Group (IEG). The land grab project is funded<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.intrinsicexchange.com%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285347085%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=qzO5n16sTHH0eU939tS4MzQMajxAN8cMo1PvUpDsxBY%3D&reserved=0> by the Rockefeller Foundation, IDB (Inter-American Development Bank), and Aberdare Ventures.
Seed warrior and anti-imperialism naturalist, Dr. Vandana Shiva, is alarmed at the coming commodification of entire nature for profit. "It's the final step of the financialisation of the world... Financialisation through the new model of financial asset companies, which is aiming at 4,000 trillion dollars, will mean the debt crisis will be used as a takeover of the real resources and the real wealth - land, forests, rivers, biodiversity," Dr. Shiva told Empire Diaries<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fempirediaries.com%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285347085%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=OIrlpuel54TQq4rCAD%2Bs0I%2FRg4j40C1rjD9%2Fr6au%2BT8%3D&reserved=0> during the Bhoomi Festival hosted by the Indian International Centre in New Delhi and organised by Navdanya, a farmer rights and biodiversity conservation group.
Dr. Shiva, who spent decades saving India from patent imperialism, fears that NACs, once rolled out successfully, will use local governments and local agents to uproot the bottom billion from biodiversity and farmlands.
"It'll mean total poverty and deprivation for the people who've taken care of these resources. That's because, sadly, most governments are indebted [financially, to the outside world]. Most governments are seeking credit where it can come from. So, they will be falling into the trap," she said.
"Therefore, sovereignty over our land, sovereignty over our seeds, sovereignty over our food, sovereignty over our water have become vital. Not just as systems of democracy and freedom, but as systems of sustenance and staying alive."
The Wall Street imperialists' agenda is evident from the audacious style in whichnatural asset companies are described on the websites of the New York Stock Exchange and the Intrinsic Exchange Group.
Here's what the New York Stock Exchange says on its website<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nyse.com%2Fintroducing-natural-asset-companies&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285503298%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=%2B1Zm67nUUVT3683hXO9kgA4NNak%2B0vdd6pIbb9fOFdk%3D&reserved=0>:
"The NAC is a transformational solution whereby natural ecosystems are not simply a potential resource to extract, but an investible productive asset which provides financial capital to responsible stewards of ecological resources. As a publicly traded equity, NACs will enable investors to allocate capital efficiently to meet their sustainability objectives...
To convert natural assets into financial capital, IEG has developed an accounting framework to measure ecological performance. Natural assets produce an estimated $125 trillion annually in global ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity and clean water."
While the NACs are defined here in sugar-coated language, the New York Stock Exchange's website has given us enough hints of an imperialist agenda to profiteer from nature. Notice phrases such as: 'investible productive asset', 'financial capital', 'publicly traded equity', 'investors to allocate capital', 'accounting framework', 'measure ecological performance', and 'natural assets'.
The New York Stock Exchange's website also tells us precisely what is being targeted in the imperialist swoop:
"Examples of natural assets that could benefit from the NAC structure include natural landscapes such as forests, wetlands and coral reefs, as well as working lands such as farms."
Dr. Shiva shed light on the modus operandi of the coming land grab by natural asset companies.
"In a globally integrated world, they (the new imperialists) don't need local companies. What they will have are servicing agents. Just as much as the existing financial world has involved most of the bright minds of India. They're working for the banks and investment companies," she said.
"So, what they will do is spread their tentacles of new slavery - through government systems, through new structural adjustment programmes, and through new climate conditionalities."
The activist, firebrand orator, and ecofeminist, who inspires women around the world to resist farmland imperialism, fears the climate crisis will be hijacked and misused by NACs to push their hidden agenda.
"Climate change is something to which I dedicated such a long time of my life, and I've written about it in my book Soil Not Oil. Sadly, climate change will be the means and mechanism through which the financialisation of land, of biodiversity, of water will take place," Dr. Shiva said, underlining the trend of empires capitalising on crises to colonise land.
So, is it a cold-blooded imperialist plan to use the climate emergency and launch NACs?
"Well, one would not have imagined that. It's just that in the last year, Bill Gates came out with his book How To Avoid A Climate Disaster where everything is written clearly - such as net zero," she said, pointing to last year's heightened concerns about climate action.
Dr. Shiva trashed the concept of net zero, suggesting that it's mere gimmickry because it doesn't actually advocate stopping CO2 emissions. "Net zero just means getting someone else's land for carbon sequestering, carbon sinks, and carbon offsetting," she explained.
By applying the net zero rule, major corporations with giant carbon footprint "can destroy a primary forest and offset it by a little park somewhere else that they'll plant. This idea of offsets has emerged very fast last year, but it's very clear that big schemes like this don't get born in a year, they've only emerged last year".
Dr. Shiva fears there's a hidden agenda behind the alarmist narrative surrounding the ongoing global food crisis.
The popular paid media outlets are repeatedly telling the world that the Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine caused the worldwide food crisis. But Navdanya International recently came out with a scathing report<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fnavdanyainternational.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2022%2F08%2FSOWING-HUNGER-REAPING-PROFITS-REPORT-d2.pdf&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285503298%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=crZA9kEvV9vBJ2iDoxxr7ZMTRB2G5KC9LLnJ%2B6HGJHQ%3D&reserved=0>, explaining the untold root cause of the crisis.
"What is crucially being overlooked by most diagnoses of the current food crisis is how the problem does not lie in a lack of supply, or lack of market integration, but instead in how the food system is structured around power," the report observes.
"The main agenda is to take total control over food, and replace real food with fake food and lab food," Dr. Shiva warned. "As their slogan is - farming without farmers and food without farms."
She compared the current discourse about a food supply crisis with a similar manufactured narrative during the 1960s that saw the imperialist imposition of the so-called 'green revolution' in India.
"The green revolution was introduced during a year of drought, but it was presented as a year of famine when nobody had died. I was old enough to know that. Prices of wheat had increased, but there was no famine in India. That's the narrative that the green revolution told to introduce chemicals [into Indian farming practices]," she said.
The narrative of hunger - that there's more hunger than last year - is hiding the real causes of global hunger, she feels.
"Today, why is an abundant land like Africa hungry? Firstly, they've been made dependent on imports. Secondly, they've been prevented from growing their own food and have food sovereignty... The scarcity is part of the past injustice. And the new scarcity is because of the new injustice of the financial world having entered food."
So, precisely when did the opportunistic globalists start plotting the takeover of nature and food?
"They did it in 2008, with the Wall Street collapse. That's when the financial world said: 'Buildings are not secure enough. But everyone will always need land and food. And if we enter this business, we will never lose,'" she said.
Dr. Shiva, who has written multiple books on the corporate agenda to turn agriculture into agribusiness, believes the worst thing to happen to the food industry is the arrival of financial interest groups.
"Financial companies have entered the food business. This year's food price increase is 87% because of financialisation and financial speculation," she said. "So, if we project into the 4,000-trillion-dollar economy sought through natural asset companies, [we can see] the integration of chemicals, biotechnology, informational technology, and the financial world, what they call fintech."
Slamming the crafty use of the so-called progressive term 'tech' as a means of colonial takeover, Dr. Shiva said, "Ag-tech, fin-tech, bio-tech - all of this with the attachment of the word 'tech' is the big takeover of the food system."
Dr. Shiva lamented that society slipped from the simplistic days of barter to the complex financialisation of nature and food systems. She slammed destructive episodes in recent history, such as the British stealing $45 trillion from India, and the birth of the World Bank and the IMF, which she says were "created to continue the colonial experiment. For every dollar they lent, they generated three dollars of business for themselves".
"That's why, for me, Navdanya is so important," said the scientist-environmentalist. "It's what keeps reality alive. It's what keeps hopes alive. It shows that every time a scare is created, there are women who say they'll never give up our farming, they'll never give up their food.
"About 35 years ago, I started saving seeds and created community seed banks. We now need seed banks of knowing how to live without the financial slavery, knowing how to live without the seed slavery of the Monsantos and the Bayers, and without the new food slavery that Mr Gates would like to create."
REPUBLISH! Feel free to repost this article on the following terms: (1) Use the writers' bylines at the start, (2) Hyperlink this post, (3) Mention our website EmpireDiaries.com<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fempirediaries.com%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285503298%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=2cpcKQykRVTGFbyVbDTUYl3lrngymoiOrNdsetDFruM%3D&reserved=0> with a hyperlink.

Blog: https://murphyslog.ca<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmurphyslog.ca%2F&data=05%7C01%7Ccstalberg%40mymail.ciis.edu%7C2b5b5aef0ee24af6e22f08daad26d6bc%7C34d667e31c5d4101b901e5d9fd8d69d9%7C0%7C0%7C638012682285503298%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=WzXQlgRsXCfWRRpudXnG%2BF31bjrxhcUF1oXvNO1s4RA%3D&reserved=0>
Twitter:  @BrianKMurphy2

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