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Commodifying and financializing nature

Posted by Peter Donovan 1 year, 2 months ago in policy and framing /

The rush continues to commodify soil carbon or other "ecosystem services" and trade these on some kind of markets. Are we asking the wrong questions? These two excellent videos suggest that we are.

See also Richard Norgaard's 2009 paper, "Ecosystem services: from eye-opening metaphor to complexity blinder"

Divide and rule by Vandana Shiva

Banking Nature

Personal note: I have a background in forestry, farm, and ranch work, sheep and cattle herding, Holistic Management, reporting, rangeland monitoring, and community development.

My first effort in sharing what I was learning about ecosystem process and function was reporting on holistic managers in the 1990s (see In 2007 I founded the Soil Carbon Coalition with Abe Collins. The second effort was traveling around the continent for a decade measuring soil carbon change, with open data. I was spread too thin, not a good context for sharing or fostering a shared intelligence on the circle of life. Much of the conversation and buzz about soil carbon quickly turned to the commodification of soil carbon as "offsets" which to me is the wrong question—for both our intentions, and our ability to implement them. (Vandana Shiva observes in the video above that the financialization of nature equals the rape of the earth.) is the third try: can this help locally driven and managed efforts to ask better questions, and engage more people in asking and answering?