What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The economic value of ecosystem services

Check out this podcast over on Greenplanet FM.

Dr Wayne Cartwright ~ A courageous statement for Strong Sustainability

It's a wonderful interview with the current Chair of Sustainable Aotearoa NZ.

To paraphrase one of his most salient points, the value of ecosystem services rendered to all of humankind greatly exceeds all the economic output generated by humankind.

So what is Strong Sustainability? here is the definition from the Phase2 website, a strong sustainability think tank.

"The concept of strong sustainability is based on the scientific fact that all human life and activity occurs within the limitations of planet Earth, or the 'biosphere' where humankind lives, including all societal functions, such as the economy.

It is a self-evident truth that without a functioning biosphere there can be no society or 'sociosphere', and without a sociosphere there can be no societal functions, including an economy or 'econosphere'.

Strong sustainability recognises that in order for human civilisation to continue, the true model for sustaining the planet on which we rely to survive should look like this:

Here is the abstract from-  The Ethics of a Sustainable Economy: Implications for Public Policy Dr Robert Howell and Dr Wayne Cartwright

"The currently dominant neoclassical economic model is not based on modern science or an ethic that adequately considers human­Earth relationships. This thinking and the activity based on it is leading to a dismal future for human life on Earth. It is based on the dominant ethics of utilitarianism and a version of the Lockean social contract. These, and the neoclassical model of economics, need to be replaced if sustainable human living is to be achieved. A steady state economics and an ethic based on the concepts of integrity, intrinsic value, reverence or respect, combined with equity, are required as the fundamental principles of public policy.    Some of the implications for this policy in economic measurement; strategies and plans for transition; laws, regulations and taxes; government departments; money supply and banking; investment; energy; rural land use; and immigration and population, are briefly described.    These changes are so profound and fundamental that many will find it difficult to move to new ways of thinking and behaving. Yet if a core function of government is to attend to the security of its citizens, these public policy directions are essential."

Also check out this post on the topic  of valuing ecosystem services over at Care2Causes,

Valuing Green in Greenbacks: Should We Put a Price on Services Rendered by Nature?



1 comment:

Nicky said...

I like this model very much - a simple way to describe what could be happening and one that can be used with a lot of different audiences. Thanks.