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May 3, 2024

Amy Larkin visits Google to discuss her book, "Environmental Debt."

For decades, politicians and business leaders alike told the American public that today's challenge was growing the economy, and that environmental protection could be left to future generations. Now in the wake of billions of dollars in costs associated with coastal devastation from hurricanes, rampant wildfires across the West, and groundwater contamination from drilling, it's becoming increasingly clear that yesterday's carefree attitude about the environment has morphed into a financial crisis of epic proportions.

Amy Larkin has been at the forefront of the fight for the environment for years, and in "Environmental Debt" she argues that the costs of global warming, extreme weather, pollution and other forms of environmental debt are wreaking havoc on the global economy. Synthesizing complex ideas, she pulls back the curtain on some of the biggest cultural touchstones of the environmental debate, revealing how, for instance, despite coal's relative fame as a 'cheap' energy source, ordinary Americans pay $350 billion a year for coal's damage in business-related expenses, polluted watersheds, and in healthcare costs. And the problem stretches far beyond our borders: deforestation from twenty years ago in Thailand caused catastrophic flooding in 2011, and cost Toyota 3.4 percent of its annual production while causing tens of thousands of workers to lose jobs in three different countries.

Provocative and hard-hitting, "Environmental Debt" sweeps aside the false choices of today's environmental debate, and shows how to revitalize the economy through nature's bounty.

Originally published in August of 2013.

Visit to watch the video.