Can ecosystems be priced?

While most people consider nature to be priceless, economists have recently attempted to place dollar values on the services ecosystems provide. Here to explain is Dr. Sterling Burnett from the National Center for Policy Analysis: “Pricing is supposed to lead to wiser development decisions. For example, one estimate values estuaries at $4.1 trillion for reducing tropical storm [damages] and replenishing nutrients, among other things. But because estuaries, forests, and nature in general are public goods, they lack a market-revealed price. Defining ecosystems and calculating the price of their services is very difficult and speculative. After all, can we really put a price on the beauty of nature?”

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About the Author: Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.