On natural capital and poverty of thought

20 Mar

Great Mind Opener

Make Wealth History

What’s nature worth? It’s a question many of might object to philosophically, but the British government has recently starting counting. It’s not something that many people are paying much attention to at the moment, but the second Natural Capital report was just presented this month.

Tree-TagIn a nutshell, the job of the Natural Capital Committee is to turn Britain’s nature into numbers. Trees and birds and rivers don’t count for anything, quite literally. They are invisible. For them to be accounted for, everything will need a price tag attached.

In my imagination, that involves Professor Dieter Helm and his colleagues running out into the woods to barcode sparrows. In reality, they plan to tot everything up and present their reports to George Osborne and his Economic Affairs Committee.

So far we know that certain things are in serious decline, including fish stocks and fresh water. Big opportunities exist in reforestation…

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