November 19, 2006

Am I worth more than 7 cents?

Yes, if I am traded in the European Union carbon market. My current value as a store of carbon is 7 dollar cents in the Chicago market but 36 cents in the European market. I am about as worthy as a 35 kg wood log, or as Tom Cruise.

Robin Naidoo and Taylor H. Ricketts calculated the monetary value of five "ecosystem services" of the Mbaracay├║ Forest Biosphere Reserve in Paraguay - sustainable bushmeat harvest, sustainable timber harvest, bioprospecting for pharmaceutical products, existence value, and carbon storage in aboveground biomass. They found that carbon storage yielded by far the highest value - $378/ha on average, compared to $25 for existence and $2 for bioprospecting. This reasoning makes the forests of the reserve less worthy than the eucalypt plantations I see from my home.

1 comment:

  1. The indicators they chose were tied to cultural socioeconomic indicators across several temporal scales. But you knew that, as you are an ecologist, right?

    Sure you are.

    Anyway, your "valuation" of the forest near your home is not germane to the findings of the article (acutally, who knows since you gave no numbers), since you are comparing fiber values at one temporal scale to socioeconomic values across several temporal scales. Apples to oranges, IOW.

    If you want to play at saying you are an ecologist you have to get your metrics and scales right.