The natural world used to be in good company with happiness and education on the list of things on which a price could not be put (although anyone with a HECS debt might disagree). Now it seems not even Mother Nature can escape the reach of global capitalism.
The planet’s ‘natural capital’ is estimated to be a whopping $125 trillion, according to IQ2, the debate program of The Ethics Centre. IQ2 have made a name for themselves in recent times putting on impassioned live discussions of hard-hitting topics such as euthanasia, the future viability of large media corporations and Australia’s new(ish) data retention laws.
This month they turn their attention to the question: can we use economic modelling to protect the environment, or should we be protecting it from market forces instead? You'll hear from environmental activist/scientist Tim Flannery, Greens senator Larissa Waters, and Aboriginal elder and philosopher Mary Graham, among others. This is not your school debating team; the speakers on each side may reach similar conclusions, but they'll get there in vastly different ways. Prepare to have your thoughts well and truly provoked.