as part 3 in Chapter 11, Consumption and its Costs
“. . . is being supported not by the income from natural capital but from steady depletion of the capital itself, “
Natural capital is “irreplaceable on a time scale the is of interest to humanity.”
"But 'infinite' too often translates to 'zero' in the equations that guide land use and policy decisions. Practitioners in the young field of ecological economics believe more concrete numbers are required to help nations avoid unsustainable economic choices that degrade both their natural resources and the vital services that healthy natural ecosystems generate.
In one of the first efforts to calculate a global number, a team of researchers from the United States, Argentina, and the Netherlands has put an average price tag of US$33 trillion a year on these fundamental ecosystem services, which are largely taken for granted because they are free. That is nearly twice the value of the global gross national product (GNP) of US$18 trillion ."
Robert Costanza et al., “The Value of the World's Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital,” Nature, Vol. 387 (1997), p. 256-259.
a. slow accumulation of products from
i. solar, &
ii. geothermal, energy sources
b. an accretion, or buildup of organic matter from living things
2. describes a condition where net primary productivity is in surplus
b. forests, hundreds to thousand years • food, fuel, tools
3. denotes a stable from an unstable situation
a. restoring natural capital
b. consuming natural capital
§ “more readily renewed natural capital” implies a rate of replenishment.
• “potential emergence of new lethal strains” implies a capacity to resist or buffer.
|Solar or geothermal|
|geo-physical habitat||biotic community|
a measure of performance
in terms of a rate of return
biotic community biomass amenity
Without forests there are no springs to supply water, thus woodlands and civilization are unrecognizable partners.
Sustained yield forestry,
developed from fishery studies in 1870s & 1880s and was applied to farms and timber.
“To assume economic growth in its present form can simply continue indefinitely, however, is to ignore civilization’s progressive malady, of which the most prominent symptom is the loss of natural capital.”
twenty leading and transitional nations:
with purchasing power equivalent to $2,5000 per year in the USA
China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Russia, Turkey
[me] Thailand, Indonesia,
Over a billion people
125 million cars to 245 million cars in 2010, “a quarter of the world’s fleet.”
“downside of neglected social costs- (those captured by the market plus those borne by society as a whole)–climate disruption, resource wars over petroleum, pollution and its health effects associated with automobile use –will need to be dealt with.
“exacerbate global environmental and resource problems–unless”
Sustained yield forestry, developed from fishery studies in 1870s & 1880s.
Fisheries rely on solar energy converted by plankton and currents moving unavailable but essential elements into the producing and consuming populations; including nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, calcium & iron
Forests rely on solar energy converted by leaves and decomposers recycling needed nutrients & especially magnesium to new growth
Gross primary productivity, GPP
– Respiration – R
= net primary productivity NPP
NPP or net primary productivity
Minus the number of trees timbered per year of mature growth
NPP – trees timbered per year of mature growth = yield
Types of forests and their growing time:
Pine is fast growing -- decades
Douglas fir have intermediate growth rates -- century
Redwood, yew, hemlock are slow growth rates -- centuries
How others pay the price for us
• Rainforest destruction internationally 221-222
• Garbage shipped to developing nations
• Developing nations selling fishing rights to Europe, Japan. Russia
Remaining forest cover in the Antilles, Central America, and the Caribbean.
What is nature worth?
October 29, 2011
 Animal food, esp. dried hay or feed, for cattle and other livestock.
 The rule of seventy or percent annual increase / 70 = doubling time
 Some desirable or useful feature or facility of a building or place
 money paid regularly at a particular rate for the use of money saved or lent, and for delaying the repayment of a debt : the monthly rate of interest and interest payments.