Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

The fable of the goose that laid the golden eggs is one that is often quoted when it comes to financial matters. If you have a resource that keeps on giving, then by taking care of it you will always have something to rely on. If you sell that thing for a lump sum, or liquidate the resource for a single use, then you will only have the benefit for as long as it takes to use it up, spend it, eat it or whatever you plan to do with it. The people in the fable, who slaughtered the goose because they thought that it would be filled with gold, found that they had lost everything by wanting a quick profit.

The environment, not least the rainforest, is in many ways our golden goose. It contains many valuable resources that, harvested correctly, can be financially beneficial to the countries and the companies with access to the rainforest. By cutting it down for a quick profit, you may make more in the short term – although even this is open to debate – but you will certainly affect your profits in the future. People need to take a longer view of situations.

We have one environment, one planet. And while selling off parts of that environment can make for a short-term gain, that is all it will be. Once you have traded away something that has an ongoing use, you will all of a sudden find that the price you got for it will not sustain you for long, whereas if you had kept it going and harvested what it gave you, you would have been sustained for life. This is the important message of environmentalism.

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