Pavan Sukhdev: Put a value on nature!



http://www.ted.com Every day, we use materials from the earth without thinking, for free. But what if we had to pay for their true value: would it make us more careful about what we use and what we waste? Think of Pavan Sukhdev as nature’s banker — assessing the value of the Earth’s assets. Eye-opening charts will make you think differently about the cost of air, water, trees …

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate

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46 thoughts on “Pavan Sukhdev: Put a value on nature!

  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    Rather than converting nature into an empty value of cold hard cash, I think this kind of thinking can instead transform economics into something less sociopathic. The end result is that "economics" gradually changes into "thermodynamics".

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    Congratulations! I guess next step is selling air. We sell everything in such a natural way that we don't even recognize how brutally antihumanistic it is! You have no energy, simply die. You have not money to buy energy or its equivalents (food, fuel to warm up your home and so on) you just die. We hardly tolerate somebody's public strangulation but we easily tolerate somebody's death due to malnutrition or infectious deseases, why? Because it is not here. It is somewhere there, very far away.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    as much as I don't like the idea of a "price" on nature, a value a bit different. It's nice to see very quickly what it's worth in some quantifiable means. It it leads nicely to "why is it worth that much". Not a bad idea.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @jemmre The dude who made the Zeitgeist movies didn't even bother to do basic research (not even a quick google search) for all the topics he covered before spouting out a bunch of CRAP, supported by ZERO evidence (citing barely any credible sources at all in all of those vids) half of which is easily refutable by wikipedia. With such blatant incompetence, why would you trust his ideas in important things like socio-economic restructuring?

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @hempartist420 Fair enough. Can you give me some examples of models that are better? I agree that Zeitgeist is unrealistic in our current economic and social climate, but it is an example of how the technological advances made by our civilization could be better utilized for the benefit of human and environmental wellbeing. I think demanding that people pay the true cost for environmental degradation is as unrealistic as doing away with the monetary system. What do you think?

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @ritchloui By intrinsic value, i mean, the sustenance nature provides us with. Whats the true value in monetary terms of this sustenance that provides us with life? It doesn't and cannot have a value, because it is in its essence invaluable. To give a monetary value to life is to degrade it, we cannot and will never be able to put a price on nature because we cannot afford to under this economic system. Not until the economic system changes can we truly appreciate the value of nature.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    Conservation needs to be embraced by Conservatives!

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    I think we need to expand zoo's endangered species programs and loosen the restrictions on private citizens keeping them. There was a rancher in Texas who got shut down for importing a herd of endangered gazelles, he bred them to three times the number he brought in but still got shut down, how does that help the gazelle? The Golden Toad was recently discovered and within 5 years has gone missing presumed extinct, they discovered it in a pond with over 500 adults, but left them all!

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    It appears to me that the speaker is looking at the problem in reverse.
    The problem globally is the violent enforcement of monetary (economic) value of land and nature.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @jemmre but what is "intrinsic value"? people value things differently, value is subjective. prices are useful since they serve as signals coordinating production and consumption between large amounts of people.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    Human overpopulation is the problem. We are a swarm of locusts, causing massive irreversible damage to biodiversity and nature of this planet.
    We have to end religions, liberate women, reduce birthrates and hope we still have some biodiversity left when our numbers start to diminish after couple of decades.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    I'm usually a fan of utopist ideas, but this is so far outside what's even possible that I would argue that we all wasted valuable resources by watching this.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @GauravA42 Lol, if you call 20% of people on Earth living on < $1 a day, and 80% of people living on < $10 a day brilliant.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @lllraverslll Yeah like that'll work. I wish it could bit no way. Far to many greedy arseholes that judge their worth as a human along with their wealth.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    When the market, a blind an unwieldy behemoth, has not been given the true cost of things it is no wonder when it fails to act with our best interests 'in mind'. While we can propose unrealistic utopian solutions, I believe the first reasonable action we should take to resolve this is to fix the current system. Until we do that, I have little confidence that we can progress to a superior model. Valuing natural capital sounds like a good start.
    Fantastic talk; well put and thought invoking.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    Good job TED, you listened to your viewers, now I can go and watch the next vidoe without fear of hearing loss!

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @lllraverslll
    You're solution has not only not been tried billions of times every day for just about every problem imaginable, and failed miserably for this particular problem, but also relies on people agreeing with you what is right or wrong. I seriously doubt people depleting the environment pent their fingers and go "YES YES EVIL MUAHAHAH!". Given that the economy is the driving force behind the depletion of natural resources it only makes sense that the valuing system be monetary.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @pedrogregorio I disagree, as more precautions would be taken to calculate and specialize in green-tech (with the smallest carbon footprint possible). There will be more job opportunities. It draws the smaller communities/poorer closer to the bigger communities/richer.

    At least that's my view on this, I guess we really don't know until we really implement it.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @Jimmyretired Are you serious? Ever heard of the Manhattan Project?

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @DanielManahan only for stupid people. check how many products come from cattle (other than food) and tell me you use none. also, turn off your lights, forget your car and go plant some trees. being a pussy doesn't make you an environmentalist, only makes you an annoying douche.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @pedrogregorio Free market capitalism is the most brilliant, productive and widespread system, and it drives innovation. Its human nature, it alows us to compete in everything. If this is applied to other things,it could be far more effective in driving policies, as the environment will not be saved, unless there is real incentive. People can protests and cry all they want, but at the end of the day it will only be money that will come to the rescue. Greed is universal, but it can be good.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @pvaultinfish Have you seen Zeitgeist documentary. This is my ideal world, and it completely does away with the monetary system. This talk has some good ideas, im not against what he is saying, i just think that to suggest that we have to put a monetary value on things in order to appreciate them is the wrong way to go. We should appreciate them for the intrinsic value they give to our lives, and the the lives of other species and the ecology as a whole. Nature is not a resource, it is life.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    He's trying to reverse the effect by using greed and common sense to aid in us to understand how we use the environment, put a value on it, and sell it so that we can economically strive? Our capitalistic world shouldn't hold weight on earth. This guy's "dream" would result in a nightmare. The rich would prosper and the poor will be even poorer.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    money derived from preservation of the present ecosystems and/or rehabilitation of ecosystems.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @MentalHygieneMusic You misunderstand. He is trying to illustrate, quite competently, that in order to save our ecosystems (and planet), we must understand them in terms of their economic impact in order to gauge where we stand. There will always be a system. How that system affects peoples lives and the planet is the issue. This is a strategy to counteract the negative effects of economics. To change it, we must change what we value, money derived from destruction or…

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    I've always thought about how to bring economics into conservation, but it seems to me that on the individual business level there isn't any incentive to do so.

    Yes on the grand scale it's much easier to see the cost / benefit, but it needs to be implemented on the individual scale and I still don't know how that can work and… it must work on this level if it's going to work at all.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    Hmmm… Mr. Sukhdev is trying to apply our invented score called money to real resources, but what we really need to do is recognize that by valuing our money, it distracts us away from what really matters in our lives and our societies. It's all well and good to invent a way to account for envirnmental losses, but Puma, for example, is not really losing millions of dollars every year. Nature does not literally tax them for the harm they do. So nothing is likely to ever come of this attempted s

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    Oh, ew. Angry dumb people fighting each other. Remind me not to scroll down on TED videos ever again.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @FatalAnimal lol!! why does it matter what's the cause!? The link that i gave you provides causes of global warming, fuck! I'll go and copy and paste it! here: "mostly caused by atmospheric water vapour (36-70%)!" Plus obviously CO2 contributes to global warming, but humans contribute 5% of CO2 to the CO2 that ALREADY EXISTS and WILL EXISTS.

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    @jemmre but reality is complicated. even if there was universal truths, and there somehow was a consensus, interpretations of how to carry it out would vary. are you suggesting anarchy? what would your ideal world look like tomorrow?

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  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    Wow… A much needed stick for the blinded govts and corporations to save all from being frog in a pot with fire underneath.

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