Nature has no bank account

On ecosystem services and the moral gap

Patching up the economy by adding on ecosystem services does not make the economy sustainable but it makes it more efficient: you can more efficiently destroy nature. This is a “patch it up” approach. We should not look at ecological systems through the lens of economics. We need some institutions and moral social pressure to consume less rather than more. It may take this generation to consume less; especially the rich people of this generation. All the prices set by the ecosystem services approach is income to somebody. But nature has no bank account.

Source: Norgaard, Richard B. 2013. Ecological Economics and Energy Economics in Historical Context, Spring 2013, Lecture 17: Ecosystem Services - Neoliberal economic thinking invades conservation, biology and ecology. University of California, Berkeley: Unversity of California.

Richard Norgaard, professor of energy and resources;
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