Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quantifying our Natural Resources:

Too often we forget that it is not our economic system that rules our planet; it is the laws of physics and our biology. That we have not come up with an easy way to quantify and qualify the separate elements of our environment—the value of our forests and oceans and the plants and animals that inhabit them—is not Nature’s fault. 

It is our inability to create an economic system that properly includes them so we know the true price of the resources we take from our environment.

As one biologist said recently, (and I paraphrase from this interview A conversation on poachers, gorillas and copper wires | Home | Deutsche Welle) the animals in our environment are not postage stamps, they are the machinery of our environment.

You would think that with the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity humanity would begin to rethink the way it values its biodiversity.  Because at the rate we are going now, many animals and plants, which are an integral part of our environment’s ‘machinery’, are going extinct.

Economists call for accounting rules on environmental impact | Business | Deutsche Welle | 14.07.2010 Businesses and economic planners use elaborate systems to measure various types of capital including financial assets and human resources. Now UN-backed experts say they should take biodiversity into account as well.   With the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico damaging regional fishery and tourism industries, authors of a UN-sponsored report linking business and biodiversity are calling on companies to count the cost of overexploitation of natural resources. (July 14, 2010) Home | Deutsche Welle

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