Tony Juniper – What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?

The two big Es in our lives often seem to be polarised entities. An interest in the economy and the environment are deemed to be irreconcilable, and progress in one likely to scupper the other. In this book Tony Juniper displays the value of nature in one of the few languages that people seem to understand – money. By calculating the economic value of ‘nature’s services’ he argues that there does not have to be a choice between economic development and a sustainable environment, and by so starkly laying out facts and figures, does so  in a way easily understood by  those blinded by money; if they were to ever take the time to read such a book.

Consider the facts, Juniper tells us. The work done by animals towards agriculture and growth, such as pollination, has been valued at $190 billion per year, and the pest control provided by insectivorous birds on a coffee plantation is the equivalent of $310 per hectare. Over half of the United States’ $640 billion pharmaceutical market is directly dependent upon the genetic diversity of the world’s species. Increasing the levels of cycling by 10% in Copenhagen would save$12million from the annual health bill. All in all, it has been estimate that the services provided by nature are deliver value double that of global GDP.

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