Not Everything Has a Valuation

Costanza’s article makes a great point of explaining how ecosystems aren’t given enough attention because the capital they produce can’t be quantified. Unfortunately, we often don’t realize the value they provide until after they are removed, demolished, or constructed over. However, Costanza seems focused on always quantifying the value of an ecosystem if planning on altering it and I disagree with that idea. Sometimes it isn’t about the tolls that would be collected on a new bridge but about how much faster it would be to commute and transport goods from one place to another. While monetary value gives us tangible factors to compare the two by, there are often intangible factors to consider when planning to construct on an existing ecosystem. I do agree with Costanza’s point of measuring marginal costs versus marginal benefits for the best decision making results. However, attempting to fit the two onto an actual supply and demand graph seems incredibly difficult, because even Costanza notes its virtually impossible to quantify demand. Overall, I agree with Costanza’s claim that ecosystems contribute a great deal to human welfare and aren’t valued highly enough. Although his methods of¬†evaluating their importance seem questionable to me, Costanza was right to mention the weigh marginal costs and marginal benefits.

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