Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bush Administration asks "Is a clean environmental actually better for the economy?"

What economic benefits do people actually derive from clean air, water and land? The Federal government has taken a step towards answering this question with the release today of its Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan (EBASP).

A more suitable question might be "How much is a beaver worth to you?"

    "The goal of an ecological benefits assessment is to estimate the benefits of an environmental policy, and when appropriate, estimate the value to society in monetary terms. This facilitates comparisons among policy alternatives to support decision-making. In practice however, ecological benefits are difficult to evaluate. Several factors contribute to this challenge, including limited understanding of the linkages among policies, stressors, and ecosystem services, linkages within and between ecosystems, and linkages between ecological and economic systems. EPA developed the EBASP to improve this situation. The EBASP is an important planning and accountability tool because it makes the underlying rationale for research and institutional actions very clear, and describes the mechanisms to facilitate adaptive implementation and periodic adjustments to reflect advances in knowledge."

The plan was a collaborative effort among EPA's Offices of Research and Development; Policy, Economics and Innovation; Water; Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances; Air and Radiation; and Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

I hate to bring this up, but how do you quantify the spiritual? My relationship with nature is not set in dollar signs, it is a spiritual relationship with God's creation that makes me whole. How do you value the benefits of my time spent hiking in the woods praying? How do you put a price on a sunset that stirs a man's heart toward faith in a creator who knows far more than any of us ever will? How dare you arrogant fuckers put a price on God's artwork. The only benefit I see from all this is that we will be able to sue people more effectively if they screw things up. Cost benefit analysis of our relationship with creation... what a sick way of looking at life on Earth. What's wrong with simply preserving what IS simply for the very reason that it IS?

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