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Business consumes natural resources and develops those into products. Those resources are lost to future generations but no compensation is made to those future generations. Depending on the product it may be of value to the future but often the product is consumed by the current generation and in terms of generations immediately converted to waste. Waste then becomes a problem for the ecosystem and ultimately for future generations depending of what is done with it. No compensation is made to future generations to deal with waste and we are only starting to realise the consequences for the environment.

There exists market’s for labour (time/skills) inputs and products/services outputs but there does not exist markets for businesses environmental interaction for waste production and resource usage. Business and society claim some ownership of environment by means of property rights that is not legitimate. It is not legitimate as at best current businesses and society are only squatters in the environment as we occupy it for only a relatively short time in which we may develop or destroy it for future generations. This is a purely anthropomorphic view of the world ignoring the rest of the ecosystem  It should not be ignored but it is largely by current government and society thinking.

Businesses and ultimately society which consumes the products of business do not pay the environment or compensate future generations for the resource it uses like it does for labour (time/skills). Nor does it pay for the waste supplied. 

Once labour was demanded without it being paid for. However eventually people were able to resist that demand and get some recompense. It is overdue that future generations were recompensed for the damage being done to their future prosperity.  

The environment represents current and future generations’ life support. Either it is maintained sustainably or lost to future generations impacting on their quality of life. The future has no recourse to the past. The present is the only mechanism to protect the future.

The diagram above shows the flow of value and waste through industry to society.  A market exists for the transfer of value between each stage where the previous stage is paid for the value of its output. The exceptions are where resources are transferred to primary industry where little if any payment is made for the extraction to the environment and future generations which depend on it for support. If a payment is made it is consumed by the current generation and provides little or no compensation to future generations. Waste can be thought of as negative value transfer thus should be generated by the producer. No payment is made for the transfer of waste.  For other transfers of value from stage to stage it is positive as value is added however waste transfer reduces value and therefore should be paid by the generator of the waste. No market exists for the payment of this to future generations or the environment.

It is the governments responsibility to ensure that the current generation compensates the future generation for the loss of natural resources and the accumulation of waste (pollution is a form of waste) either through the value those resources provide to the future or ensuring that value exists to sustain life support systems and compensate the future for not having access to those resources.