Thursday – How Much Is Nature Worth?

I’ve never stopped to think about how much money it would cost if humans were responsible for everything nature does. For instance, how much would it cost to keep the Amazon River flowing? During the rainy season there’s up to 300,000 cubic meters of water per second flowing in the Amazon. That’s a lot of water to try and move using man-power.

One book gives some costs per acre of certain ecosystems around the world. It was shocking to hear that in very specialized areas like estuaries and wetlands, land is valued at $8,000-$9,000 per acre each year! That’s how much the world would have to invest if it wanted to keep things running the way they are using man-power.

Seeing these numbers, it made me think about oil. It’s weird that humans can take this natural resource out of the earth and make money off of it, but humans don’t have to pay the earth anything for the services earth provides.

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