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Some conservationists have started promoting ideas like “ecosystem services” and “natural capital” to get more people to take environmental protection seriously. Natural systems, the argument goes, produce real benefits to humans – forests suck CO2 out of the atmosphere, wetlands blunt storms. By putting a price tag on those services, we can create new incentives to protect natural areas. Some environmentalists, worry that the idea ends up cheapening nature by commodifying it.

pie chart of response percentages

  • YES. We need as many conservation strategies as possible. Calculating the economic value of natural areas can help attract new allies to environmental conservation. — 33 votes
  • NO. In the end, the idea of natural capital just ends up cheapening nature. We should protect wild places for their intrinsic value.  — 12 votes

Total Votes: 45


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