How useful is Gross Domestic Product in helping us to make decisions that benefit our long term health and that of the environment? Consider the following:

The Alaska oil spill caused by the wreckage of the Exxon Valdez in 1989 helped the GDP because the money spent on cleanup is calculated into the services produced for that year.

1. Specify whether the following examples hurt or help the GDP:

· Re-using paper and plastic bag

· Installing solar hot water heaters

· Getting in a car accident

· Cutting down old growth forest

· Individuals and businesses going into debt in order to buy more goods

2. What does this say about the GDP? Can you think of other examples that would illustrate this point?