What’s the Value of Nature?

It’s a funny question that many would answer as “infinite”. But putting a price tag on some of the “ecosystem services” that the planet provides is a good way of understanding exactly how valuable they are, and what it might cost us to replace them. It’s also a way to quantify the costs of business externalities such as pollution. One of Hunter Lovins’ favorite anecdotes: If the $200 Million Biosphere II project wasn’t enough to provide clean air for 8 people, what’s the value of a system that does it daily for 6 Billion?


EarthTrends has a good article with some more details here. The current estimated value of Earth’s ecosystem services: $33 Trillion, or almost double the global GNP.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.