A few days ago, I read an article on attaching price tags, or value estimates, on natural and environmental resources. I've been wanting to put up a link ever since; here it is.
'What is the utility of _______?' In light of environmental degradation, habitat destruction, more and more endangered species, etc., the aforementioned question has a full range of ethical considerations, but the biggie is who decides what is useful or important, and how?
With recent news that nearly 1/4th of the world's mammals currently face extinction, and with the world extinction rate 10-100 times the rate of all years previous (excluding certain meteoric, dino-centric catastrophes), advocates for attaching monetary value to natural resources - like old growth forests, for example - claim that doing so is the only way to stem the bleeding. Advocates admit such a path is distasteful but urge the immediacy of the underlying problem. Opponents question the consequences of such a path.
What do you think?