Establishing the financial worth of a river’s fish is complicated when many people don’t sell the fish they catch.
Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP via Getty Images
Putting a dollar value on nature has staunch opponents who say it’s morally wrong, but without it, building dams and other infrastructure can run roughshod over vital ecosystems.
An endless palm oil plantation in Costa Rica.
Christoph Lischetzki / Alamy
To protect natural ecosystems we will need a system that actually counteracts market forces.
Sunrise over Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.
When something is free, people use a lot of it. Economists are urging governments to compute values for natural resources – wildlife, plants, air, water – to create motives for protecting them.
Framing nature in terms of kinship can motivate people to care about the loss of biodiversity.
Our prevailing relationship with nature is based on framing the living world as a set of natural resources. This utility-based worldview perpetuates the drivers of ongoing biodiversity loss.
Ecosystem deterioration, along with climate change, is now becoming a controversial political question.
Valuing nature is hardly natural.
The latest Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts tell us waste production is rising with GDP, but the information is incomplete and widely ignored.
Water and energy use are becoming more efficient, which is good news for both the economy and the environment. But Australia has yet to realise the value of national environmental accounting.
We need to account for the benefit we get from nature.
When we don’t factor in the environment in our economic decision making, we aren’t getting an acurate picture of what’s happening. Australia needs to adopt more environmental economics.
Natural capital a dangerous illusion that masks the way capitalist growth undermines conservation itself.
Natural capital is a hot topic that proponents have jumped onto, believing it is the future of sustainable development. But this concept is based on fundamental fallacies.
A tree house used to observe the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador which has made a point of developing ecotourism to boost economic growth.
The world must embrace an economy where people and the planet are what matters the most.
There’s more to it than this.
The notions of “natural capital” and “ecosystem services” try to highlight the value of nature. But but by putting dollar figures on nature do we actually devalue it?
Dam useful: what have beavers done for you lately?
Listing the value of bees, beavers and others on the pages of the world’s financial press helps to show that ecosystems deliver benefits worth staggering amounts of money - yet we scarcely keep track of it.
We bailed out the banks – our food is worth even more, but working out exactly how much more is tricky.
Louise Docker/Wikimedia Commons
Is it worth trying to put a price on the natural world, when things like water and food are priceless? Yes, says Paul Sutton - without knowing the value of the environment, we might not value it at all.