A growing number of people are wondering why a World Balance Sheet hasn't already been created on a regular basis to help us perform our collective stewardship role over all of the World's assets. This site explores the possibilities. I've also started the ball rolling by producing a world balance sheet for 2018, building on the work of Harald Deutsch, and it is reproduced below.
“Humanity can no longer afford to ignore its dependence on a thriving environment rich in life. The calculations that guide crucial decisions must be changed so that nature and its benefits appear on the ledger. The approach best suited for this is natural capital accounting, which integrates nature and its benefits into existing decision frameworks.”
(United Nations, 2020)
“While there may be no “right” way to value a forest, a river, or a child, the wrong way is to give it no value at all.”
(Hawken et al, 2010)
“The growing number of countries and organizations producing natural capital accounts is an indication that many people are convinced of their usefulness. While the application of natural capital accounting in analysis and decisions remains relatively limited, we have identified an increasing number of actual and potential uses.”
(Ahlroth et al, 2019)
Unbalanced World: The Asset Stewardship Shortfall (published in 2021)
Have you ever felt like there was something missing from the world? Something making the world unbalanced? I have, often. When I was training as an accountant, I felt there was something missing from national accounts – a proper balance sheet. When I worked for BP, I felt that there wasn’t enough sustainability in the company’s future plans and strategies. All these were feelings that could be paraphrased as “hold on - there’s something missing here, something unbalanced”, or more colloquially as “a WTF moment”.
This book uses insights and analyses from the fields of ecology, economics and accountancy, tempered by real-world experience in all three sectors of the economy, to plug some of those gaps and bring information together into a World Balance Sheet, building on the works of previous fellow explorers in this space.
I also finally have the chance to put a name on the gap that has been on the back of my mind for decades - the asset stewardship shortfall.
People or Planet: Towards a Regenerative Economics (published in 2020)
Do economists, accountants and ecologists talk the same language?
What conversations could they have to build a just and sustainable future?
These are some of the questions David addresses.
He also introduces some new concepts of his own, including:
His ideas span the boundaries of science, sociology and the environment. Using these tools, David asks us to work together to improve the lives of everyone alive today and all future generations.
Peak XXXX: Infinite Possibilities on a Finite Planet (published in 2020
This distillation and synthesis of facts, thoughts, perspectives and ideas about sustainability will bring you right up to date on the state of the planet, its ecosystems and how humanity has choices. David outlines with insight and humility our progress in the transition to a just and sustainable future. He points to a toolkit of original and shared ideas for how to measure and navigate our way to a better world for all. He covers such topics as:
Low carbon transport
Tragedy of the commons
Sustainability in public debate
Economics of sustainability
Psychology of the transition