Want to keep nature from disappearing? Some say you must put a monetary value on it in order to convince those who don’t think the intrinsic value of nature is enough to consider it “worth” anything. What if that part of nature really isn’t worth anything ($), do we keep it?
One of my favorite NPR radio shows, Radiolab, explores why you should, or shouldn’t put a price tag on nature. One of the more interesting segments is the “natural” experiment of an inadvertent removal bees from an apple orchard in China, where farmers realized bees were doing the actual pollinating. Ok, that seems pretty obvious to most, but with no pollinators, the farmers had people go out and hand pollinate the apple blossoms, which resulted in an increased production rate. Humans are better pollinators than bees. So then, why do we need bees?
This segment, on the value of nature, is part of a larger episode that talks about “worth”. The other two episodes are also pretty powerful, especially the one on pharmaceuticals.