The phrase ‘negative externalities’ was coined to explain the unintended side effects of a business’ action in their pursuit of profit. This seemingly innocuous phrase covered everything from oil spills to childhood diabetes; the subtext being that profit and environmentalism or business ethics are at odds. To make the most money, someone somewhere has to take a hit, and if the fines metered out as a result of these externalities were less than the profits a business stood to make, it was a fair trade off. The planet, in many cases, came last…
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