Market transactions often exert negative externalities on the natural environment. To better capture the values of environmental resources in market economies, methods of environmental valuation have been honed and used to internalize such externalities (for example, see Freeman, 2003). However, the valuation methods capture varying aspects of the full spectrum of values that are found in the environment, and do so with varying levels of reliability (Gen, 2004). Thus, values for environmental resources are either absent from transactions, narrowly included, or unreliably measured. This paper articulates this dilemma of environmental valuation and presents a critique of it through the lens of environmental ethics. It finds that while progress has been made in capturing anthropocentric values, biocentric aspects of environmental values and moral consideration remain absent. However, promising new directions in decision analysis and public policy may fill this gap.
|Keywords:||Environmental Valuation, Environmental Ethics, United States, Policy|
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA
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