[Coral-List] Economic Valuation and market based conservation

Ulf Erlingsson ceo at lindorm.com
Thu Aug 18 13:31:08 EDT 2011

The way I see the failure of economics can best be described by a  
similitude. Imagine that Nature is a bank vault full of money.  
Economic activities drill holes in the walls and extract the money.  
The amount of money they extract is the "value" of what they  
"create", but the amount of decreasing resources inside remain  
unknown, or even unknowable.

Many years ago I made a simple index that relates present use levels  
to sustainable use levels. This refers to natural resources.  
Pollution is regarded as the usage of the resource of clean nature,  
and the sustainable level is the one that nature can absorb (e.g. by  
breaking down a toxic compound). Thus, one equation can be used for  
all situations. The crux is just to find out what the sustainable  
level is.

When it comes to renewable resources the sustainable level is the  
rate of renewal. When it comes to cyclically renewed resources, such  
as glacial deposits, the renewal rate is [amount / length of an ice  
age cycle]. When it comes to substances formed in stars, it is of  
course the age of our solar system we should consider.

Rather than writing it all here I refer to a popular presentation at  

Ulf Erlingsson

On 2011-08-17, at 16:04, Douglas Fenner wrote:

>       I agree that economics is a tool that can be useful, but  
> isn't everything.  Nobody said it was.  My parents used to refer to  
> some people as "knowing the price of everything and the value of  
> nothing."  Some things don't lend themselves easily to putting a  
> dollar value on them.  On the other hand, modern economics is now  
> able to start studying non-use values, how much people value the  
> existence of something .....

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