Paying Mother Nature for services rendered?

Do we get to sue her when she screws up?

From a University of Minnesota media release:

“The best things in life are free, including nature”, says author Stephen Polasky, professor of applied economics and ecology, evolution and behavior. “But without a price for nature’s services we don’t maintain the environment in ways necessary to sustain these valuable services.” Polasky is also a resident fellow in the university’s Institute on the Environment (IonE)…

The problem is that many ecosystem services are public goods. Some lie outside the control of any one government, and the science for others is still only poorly understood. There is no one-size payment mechanism that fits all cases. And bad payment mechanisms can be worse than no payment mechanisms at all, the study’s authors warn, pointing to the lessons learned from four decades of agricultural subsidies. Subsidies encouraged the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides, two of the main reasons for the growing number of dead zones in the world’s oceans…

Establishing markets and payment for ecosystem services can provide incentives for sustainable supply of these services. Examples of successful approaches to environmental markets include cap-and-trade policies to limit pollution and certification for sustainably made products. But environmental markets need to be designed carefully. Doing it wrong could be worse than not doing it at all.

Where has cap-and-trade been a success? What is the definition of success for sustainable product certification — no jobs in developing nations?

Paying for ecosystem services is just another concocted scheme for more government control and higher taxes.

Read the University of Minnesota media release.

One thought on “Paying Mother Nature for services rendered?”

  1. I asked Mother Nature just last night how much she wanted for the great snow fall we had on Wednesday. She didn’t answer so I threw a hand full of coins out the window. Well to my surprise when I left for work this morning, the coins where still there. So I gathered up the coins and continued to work.

    I guess Mother Nature doesn’t care about money.

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