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The economics of trees

  • Posted by howies
  • 1 September 2009


The economics of trees

The economics of trees
A tree has no economic value until it’s cut down.

Man is pretty good at attaching a value to most things, but a tree is worth nothing unless a chainsaw runs through it. As an economic unit, it is worth more dead than alive.

If you’re a tree, this ain’t good news. Equally, if you live on a planet called Earth and you are human, it’s also a problem.

So what’s the answer?

Well, we need to look at the economics of a tree differently. We need to put a value on them while they are still stood in the ground.

One answer is to make a tree an employee. And it works for a company called Earth Inc. And we are all shareholders in Earth Inc.

As the tree goes to work each day and we pay for what it produces: Oxygen. Rain. Carbon.

Therefore we have to put a price on the oxygen it produces each day. We have to put a price on the rain it produces each day. And we have to put a price on the carbon it produces each day.

Then we can all pay a fair price for a day’s work for the tree. So every country, every person is charged for its output. Earth Inc then pays the owners of the trees, countries, companies, private individuals for their employees output.

The economics are flipped on its head. So when we cut one down, we see it as an economic loss and not a financial gain. So they become more valuable when alive than dead.

It may be a stupid dumb idea.

But then again it can’t be as dumb as cutting down the trees that keep us alive on Planet Earth just for a few more toothpicks.