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Economists vs. Ecosystem Commodification (Part III)

By Sterling Burnett -- July 13, 2013

“Due to a lack of knowledge and/or limited possibility of commodification due the impossibility of accurate pricing and the inability to enclose the commons for some environmental goods, it is an open question as to whether it is even possible to value ecosystem services as a whole – as opposed to a select few benefits that flow from particular sets of relations within an area.”

Many economists find valuing global (and most times even local) “ecosystem services” difficult. Nonmarket pricing, indeed, is inherently impossible to solve or thus requires very questionable methodologies.

Critics of environmental commodification argue that the ongoing public funds for such efforts are neither now, nor are they likely to be in the future, justified. Alleged market failure, in other words, is swamped by other failures in the “solution.”