[Coral-List] $33B Hawaii Reefs Economic Value (Bob Bourke)

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 23 17:51:51 EST 2011

Dear Bob,
I don’t necessarily accept the “skewed outside a reasonable value” inference.
As has been explained, its is difficult to imagine a monetary value that could
represent the overpricing of an ecosystem. Let’s look at a  related issue: 
Apparently, we just lost the last of the Black Rhinoceros. Is there a specific
dollar value you would equate to the very existence of this species?
How is the value of an endangered species (or ecosystems) to be calculated 
dispassionately? Do we measure it by just comparing the animal to the market 
value of powdered rhino horns? 

Of course scientists should keep it real, but “real” is in this case an elusive
concept. I’m not advocating that science be used to deliberately misrepresent 
the truth, but how can you argue that a value is inflated if there is no way to
measure it with clear objectivity. 

I also believe that there is more to the advocacy of coral reef preservation 
than just a fight over the funding pie.

     Respectfully yours,
        Steve Mussman

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