- Elgar original reference
Edited by Roger Fouquet
Chapter 25: Valuing nature for climate change policy: from discounting the future to truly social deliberation
The recent human impact on the environment is so unusual in the geological record that the official geological body that defines the division of geological time, the International Commission on Stratigraphy, is considering designating a new geographical epoch called the Anthropocene (Jones, 2011, p. 133). This will call attention to the global impacts that humans, and particularly the human economy, are having on the earth’s biological, atmospheric and geological systems. The driving force behind previous major geological transitions has been natural processes such as meteor impacts, massive volcanic activity and continental shifts. As the quotation above shows, the current human perturbation of the global environment will have an impact of similar magnitude (Nature, 2011). Yet most people are unconcerned about the looming possibility of environmental devastation and the resulting social chaos in the years to come. What is it about our way of living and associated ways of thinking that put so little value on the future of the planet? A major reason is the narrow logic of the global market economy, which values nature solely on its contribution to the discounted present value of economic activity. Following the logic of the market, the dominant economic model views the natural world from a financial investment perspective.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.