Monday, August 27, 2012


A great article in the Washington Post on the use of cost-benefit analysis to prevent development around good surfing waves.

We've talked on here recently about the problems with CBA - but they are important to use to structure your arguments sensibly, make clear where the benefits are and where the costs are, and they are good for highlighting what assumptions your claims really turn on (this is particularly clear in climate studies, for example). I especially liked this quote:

Those of us who really love the ocean have an instinct when we see beautiful places like this to think that they’re priceless and to think that the commodification of nature, and putting price tags on everything, is the root cause of nature’s destruction. . . . I think that’s actually counterproductive,” Jason Scorse, director of the Center for the Blue Economy, said in a TEDx talk in April. Scorse is the author of the book “What Environmentalists Need to Know About Economics” (2010). “When nature is undervalued, we make bad decisions.”

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