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natural capital

Natural capital refers to the mineral, plant, and animal formations of the Earth's biosphere which provide essential services to life on earth. When viewed as a means of production of oxygen, water filter, erosion preventing, or provider of other natural services. It is one approach to ecosystem valuation, an alternative to the traditional view of all non-human life as passive natural resources, and to the idea of ecological health. Natural resources like wood , wheat and fish. are created by the natural services that make soil fertile, and circulate water and carbon. If you take more resources than can be produced each year, the "natural capital" is permanently reduced.

Related issues:
ecological yield(external link), Natural resources, pollution, soil erosion?, water, air pollution, deforestation, overfishing?, International treaties?, environmentalism?, ecological footprint


Position: Natural Capital is a public asset


To left wingers, natural capital is critical because the biggest natural capital assets, like the atmosphere and oceans and the genetic diversity of Earth's forests, are ultimately collective property and subject to "tragedy of the commons" if not managed properly (note: right-wingers abuse this term). But with international law? almost entirely based on human rights and not on ecological constraints of the biosphere, and not enforceable anyway under the UN Security Council style of governing this planet, Greens seek a few simple fair trade rules to protect these global commons?, and local control?s, not complex specific controls at the global level:

Note: While we might despise the deforestation of Indonesia, the fact is, it is now up to the village level to decide whether to make themselves poor - and many are saying no. By contrast in the Phillipines, Marcos deforested the country for the benefit of the rich, and in Haiti, the poor deforested it to make charcoal because they were defied kerosene due to sanctions put in place to "punish" military rulers. On balance, strong local control leads to less abuse than control by faraway national government. This is also true in most places in Canada.

Position: Capital is always wasted when it is given away freely.


To right wingers, natural capital is being wasted because it is often free, and there is no penalty in accounting or lending for destructive activities that wipe out the long term productivity of the land or seas. Also energy subsidy?pollution credit?cheap access to public land?Natural Capitalism(external link) theory

Gross Domestic Product


Sources and Resources:
en: Wikipedia: natural capital(external link)



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