'Nature's Banker' on Proper Environment Valuation

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 12/21/2011 08:06:00 AM

A few months ago Pavan Sukhdev delivered a very interesting talk at the LSE concerning 'The Economics of Ecosystems and Diversity' that brought home the point for me that resource finitude and non-renewability violate economic logic. That is, the dismal science of allocating scarce resources did not, on a global level, consider this question to the extent that it should.

I subsequently got in touch with Pavan Sukhdev concerning some aspect of his G8-commissioned project since it seemed very fascinating to me. It now turns out that our good man has garnered more of the spotlight as of late. Just today, I received a holiday greeting from him that mentioned how he had recently appeared at the TED conference. Although I am not the biggest fan of the TED shindig, it is nonetheless a good way for him to reach a larger audience with his important message.

What is the value of nature? Can you put a dollar value on the Amazon rainforests' environmental services? How about bee pollination? These are the sorts of questions we need to look at more according to him, and I am in total agreement.

At this point in world history, we really should be better stewards of the earth or 'natural capital' in the lingo. Properly valuing the externalities of environmental abuse is a really good starting point to know just what we have lost and may lose more of if we don't change our ways.