The Value of Biodiversity
This chapter states that one of the most vexing problems facing ecologists and economists today is how to measure the value of environmental goods whose destruction generates vast externalities. Biodiversity, which is the variety of genetically distinct populations and species of plants, animals, and micro-organisms with which we share the earth, and the variety of ecosystems of which they are functioning parts, is a prime example of one of those goods. The chapter also discusses the ethical values of biodiversity, as they are often based on religious or quasi-religious feelings. The aesthetic values, direct economic values, and indirect economic values of biodiversity are also discussed in the chapter, as is the extinction epidemic and the economic value of biodiversity.
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