price of Earth

The price of Earth can be calculated by various means. While there is debate about the morality and viability of the practices related to calculating a price value of life, these concerns do not apply to calculating a price on the whole Earth:

While it is possible to comprehend the value of one's own life or major aspects of another's life using some mechanism other than pricing, it is simply not possible to do so for the whole biosphere. Pricing is the only means humans have of agreeing on its value, since pricing is the only means used to manage such a large commons. This might change if a world government existed and could apply a moral order across the whole biosphere consistently at once. For now, however, the price of Earth remains its only global neutral value. For an alternate view see value of Earth.

The various ways of calculating it include:

"1. Estimate the value of life for everything that lives on it, and assign the Earth, as a necessary component and home for that life, the natural capital on which individual capital thrives, at least this much value. Since not all life is valued, and a very little is overvalued, there is high risk of under-estimation. One way to avoid this is to work continent by continent to see if there is systematic inflation of the price of life on some compared to the others."

"2. Estimate the cost of replacing the Earth, which may include finding and colonizing another planet, or creating one artificially in a compatible orbit. What if the natural capital of a nearby planet, e.g. Mars, were to compete? What would be the cost of terraforming it to make it as comfortable as Earth? Or even barely habitable? An issue is whether to count transport costs." This method seems to be assumed in ecological footprint analysis which refers to number of Earths that would be required to support "everyone living just like you" - i.e. according to Kant's categorical imperative. In order to make such a number operative one would have to be able to move to a "new Earth" which would have to be found or made.

Perhaps because of this, this method has been much elaborated:

2a. "As a variation, estimate the cost of a smaller habitat, such as Biosphere 2, and multiply its cost by the ratio between the population of Earth and of that smaller habitat. This however is to rely on below-minimum cost figures, since Biosphere 2, although brilliantly ambitious and expensive, was a flop. This method yields only a floor value which Earth itself would vastly exceed." Some estimates place this at about US$200 million billion or US$200 quadrillion.

2b. "As another variation, figure out every disaster that might occur due to failure of the biosphere, to lesser or greater degree, and calculate the price of insurance against all of it. The averted insurance payments are effectively a yield, and, this is one way to calculate the value of what Earth is doing for us, for as long as these averted failures do not occur." This seems to be an insurance like method based on regret.

3. Calculate the yield of natural capital, as nature's services, and use the size and consistency of this financial yield to calculate how much capital asset there must be. This is due to Robert Costanza, cited in Natural Capitalism, and is probably most compatible with green economics as a discipline.

This is a refer link. See the original references to make a cite link, or the GFDL corpus article price of Earth for more details, background, and links to related general topics.