The game is up. That thing you just bought for $10 has a "true cost" of $100. But the $90 you didn't pay is an accumulated debt you don't see...yet.
A new (interim) report by a group of scientists appointed by the UN Secretary General recognises that world economy cannot continue in the face of the unprecedented catastrophic ecological disaster we now face on earth.
It works like this...
The majority of the worlds "advanced" economies have effectively been creating an extraordinary environmental "debt". Almost everything you buy is subsidised by the deferral of the environmental cost of everything. Almost everything you buy is at least one tenth of the real/true cost. The thing that costs you $1, really costs $10. The $9 is the cost to fix the environment as a consequence of the $1 item. However, the $9 is deferred. Otherwise you wouldn't buy it. So the cost for fixing the environment is deferred as a future debt.
However, the problem is now evident that the accumulating debt cannot be paid back under the present economic system.
Have you heard about the Yellow vest protests in France? Well, that is the consequence of trying to start to reflect the true cost of petroleum.
Since World War 2, the earth's population has been creating a debt that is now so large that no one can afford the cost to repair the earth's ecology (or at least they won't pay, or can't agree who should pay).
If we had to start paying the real cost of everything, the global economy would crash almost instantly. The ensuing mayhem would leave civil society in tatters.
So, there are going to be only three main options: (1) allow the environment to continue to exponentially decline towards a state that can no longer support human life; (2) the debt has to be paid back, and very quickly; OR (3) restructure and manage the global economy centrally.
The forthcoming global economic recession will enable a major reset of the world economy which might be able to prevent us spiralling into extinction. The UN is therefore preparing its Global Sustainable Development Report for release this year. This will outline the options the world has and provide a blueprint for realignment of the global economy towards "true cost" economics. This pathway will be painful, however, the reality is this: start paying the true cost or humans face extinction quicker than we could have ever imagined.
Summary links/references/further reading:
The Story of Stuff: https://youtu.be/9GorqroigqM
It's our fault! https://twitter.com/bbcone/status/1141075861791096832