A recent study found that native bees from two forest fragments adjacent to Finca Santa Fe yielded approximately US$60,000 a year in pollination services to the coffee plants. This was hailed as an example of how conservation can yield 'double benefits' for biodiversity and agriculture.He further argues that the economic devaluation of nature is unavoidable because we keep finding artificial substitutes for natural products and processes.
Shortly after the conclusion of the study, however, Finca Santa Fe, probably affected by one of the worst dips in coffee prices this century, cleared its coffee and planted pineapple instead. Pollinators are irrelevant to pineapple production. So simple logic suggests that over a period of several years, the monetary value of the pollinators in forest fragments around Finca Santa Fe dropped from $60,000 per year to zero.
McCauley then states that we should protect nature for its own sake because it has infinite intrinsic value. This is meaningless. Nature is like any other stuff. Different bits have different value and each bit has different value for different people.