Appreciate Nature Essay

Appreciate Nature Essay-81
Some worry about valuing nature in monetary terms because any estimate is necessarily an underestimate.However, thinking of decision-makers as automatons looking blindly at balance sheets and maximizing monetary returns is misguided, at best.Not once, in nearly 40 cases in which Nat Cap has been involved, has any decision-maker made a choice based solely on monetary calculation of benefits provided by nature.

Some worry about valuing nature in monetary terms because any estimate is necessarily an underestimate.However, thinking of decision-makers as automatons looking blindly at balance sheets and maximizing monetary returns is misguided, at best.Not once, in nearly 40 cases in which Nat Cap has been involved, has any decision-maker made a choice based solely on monetary calculation of benefits provided by nature.

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Nat Cap’s mission — indeed the concept of natural capital more generally — is, unfortunately, often terribly misunderstood.

I’ve read many an essay and endured public talks that characterize natural capital work as some kind of dangerous effort to reduce all of nature into a dollar amount that can then be sold off to the highest bidder or otherwise used and abused. The words “natural capital” seem to suggest, to the skeptical, that we’re reducing nature to a puppet of capitalism.

Nor does it suggest that benefits to humans are the only benefits that matter.

It simply makes it possible to bring them into conversations from which they too often are absent.

For specific questions related to visuals, please contact Todd Reubold. Have you ever paid more to buy something labeled “organic” because you thought it was the right thing to do for nature?

Looked for a “recycled” or Forest Stewardship Council label on a paper product? If so, you know what it’s like to express your appreciation and support for nature in monetary terms.

Does that mean that you “put a price-tag on nature” — that you think nature’s worth is the extra dollar you paid for that organic avocado? By taking these actions, you didn’t define what nature is worth in any sweeping, lasting way.

But you did show that you value the Earth, its ecosystems, and the ability of those systems to give people food, shelter, recreation and so much more.

I’d like to share with you what I think about when I go to work every day to promote the natural capital approach to protecting nature. Natural capital is about headwaters, springs, sources, mothers, fathers, children, ancestors, descendants, generations, caretaking, heritage, gifts, trusts and endowments. The goal of the natural capital concept is to give voice to things that are otherwise silent and invisible.

Natural capital thinking seeks to shine a light on the benefits nature provides to people and use that understanding to guide decisions that affect Earth’s lands, waters and biodiversity.

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