Since launching my petition, leading conservationists and sustainability academics have generally either lambasted or ignored me. Rupert Read and Molly Scott Cato rightly describe the problem as the “Natural Capital Controversy”. The assertions in the Nature and Wellbeing Act Green Paper on monetary valuation ARE controversial. There is a way to bridge the gap, which so few discuss. Pluralistic values are important and just. But monetary valuation of nature is the point upon which to focus, as money in our current economic system is all-pervasive, anti-pluralistic and often incommensurate with key values, not least justice and love. We do not need to monetise nature. Money is THE medium of exchange (trade). Nature should not be exposed to commodification. If we wish to measure it for our own sake too, sure. Pick any other metric except money. Nature for economic growth? No thanks. Ecoliteracy for all, including legislators and business people? Yes please. Please do read my earlier blogs. I emphasise, there are no heavy or rude demands here, simply polite requests. We environmental ethicists are more often than not a compassionate species! It’s in the very nature of what we study. But this issue IS important.
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