But then I read this statement by Richard B. Norgaard, one of the coauthors of the study:
At least to some extent, the rich nations have developed at the expense of the poor and, in effect, there is a debt to the poor. That, perhaps, is one reason that they are poor. You don't see it until you do the kind of accounting that we do here.Their "kind of accounting" does not lead to such conclusions, which do not appear in the PNAS article. But the reverse may well be true. Norgaard's belief that rich nations have developed at the expense of the poor may have lead to the weirdness of their "kind of accounting."