Dollar values and intrinsic values: can they co-exist?


It has been a long time between posts, and this current post covers an area that I've been musing over for an equally long time (and then some!). At the IUCN World Parks Congress in November 2014, I had been struck by how mainstream the idea of  Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) already was (NCA can also be referred to as Environmental Accounting or Full Cost Accounting). I had been aware of the 1997 paper by Costanza et al. on the value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital, and the work by The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity (TEEB) to mainstream the economic visibility of nature, but I had not realised how broadly NCA concepts had been adopted by individuals and organisations in the conservation and development fields. continue reading...


WPC2014: How to spin a reef

Cyclone Larry 2006

2006: Cyclone Larry bears down on the Queensland coast, roaring over the Great Barrier Reef.

Part 1

How we frame environmental issues affects the kinds of solutions we generate. Many of the discussions I heard at the IUCN World Parks Congress (Congress) sought to reorient protected area (PA) management efforts into broader geographic landscapes to engage bordering communities and industries in the process of ecosystem protection. Further re-framing sought to turn the question of whether we are protecting enough space into a question about what we hope to achieve through such protection, and whether the spaces we have selected (and seek to select) for protection will aid in achieving these goals. continue reading...


IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 - Part 2: An overview

Sylvia Earle addresses the Congress

Sylvia Earle addresses the Congress during a World Leaders' Dialogue on Feeding 9 billion people [16 Nov 14]

On Wednesday, November 19th, the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress came to a close after eight days of dialogues, presentations, lectures, workshops, capacity building sessions, and more. I plan to write in some detail about particular Congress events and sessions that I attended, and to reflect on the information and messages received as well as to unpack/critique some of the issues as I see them. In this post I will give a broad overview of my experience before getting into the details with later blog posts. continue reading...


Should economists study physics?

In my last post I mentioned my intention to examine an article that presents a libertarian's take on environmentalism. The article in question is called "Environmentalism Refuted" by George Reisman and it can be found over at the mises.org website. I stumbled across this article while browsing through "anti-environmental" articles in a somewhat shocked state; having only recently discovered that anti-environmentalism is actually a real thing to which real people adhere.

I wrote a number of comments in response to Reisman's article. I was somewhat bewildered by the lack of rebuttals to his writings given how divorced from the real world they seemed. continue reading...


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