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The singularity of modern economics is adapting, learning and evolving to better navigate the mathematical landscape of complexity — if a company can spend $500,000 that eventually saves $40,000,000,000 for their insurance company, we can see that understanding the economics of complexity isn't easy, but easily saves money for better investments. Even common sense may find value in complexity science? Can @IBMWatson learn more new tricks?
In recent years, there has been an increase of the publication of mathematics of natural systems — tiny discoveries about how predictable nature can be. The more complex our understanding of nature, the more these new tools are evolving our understanding of the nature we all share. So, what's the cost of clean water in China? Some say 60% of farmland in China is toxic, is China's self-regulation adding complex value to California's air quality?
Being able to place an economic value on our ecosystems is important for analyzing risk in design. What is the cost of polluting groundwater by fracking? What was the cost of a safer oil safety valve in the BP deepwater horizon project? At the time, I assumed about $500,000.
Full cost accounting is a method to apply better metrics to evaluate the value of nature. What was the full cost of polluting the Great Lakes with microplastic? What is the value of clean wheat crops free of toxic pollution from oil sands operations? What is the full cost of a 1,000,000 liter dilbit spill into the French River? Understanding that there are other economies dependent upon nature is important — the value of British Columbia's tourism and food economy makes the value-added proposition of ocean tanker ship traffic a fair question, but are the tools fare in analyzing risk?
As Canada's economists slowly evolve past their jungle of 2-dimensional spreadsheets and learn more about complexity science, the more effective they will be at presenting a much more reality-based analysis of large investments by Canada. So, which investments should Canada be making?