The price of nature



In the TED talk by Barry Schwartz on our loss of widom, he proposes that in our society mad with bureaucracy, what we need is fewer rules and more moral will and moral skill.  This concept applies in the debate on the price of nature.  Ecological Economists such as Daly and Farley believe that one cannot solve the debate on natural resources simply by pricing it and letting market forces ensue.  Schwartz's message supports this argument.  There are situations where price and incentives creates a counter effect, as in his example contrasting voluntary versus incentivized hazardous waste dumping where a community was more willing to accept the dumping on a voluntary basis.  By putting a price on nature, we impose rules and take moral-will out of the picture, thus motivating people to optimize against those rules instead of stopping to ask "Is this the right thing to do?"