Table

Listing of Wetland Values According to Hierarchical Level

Hierarchical Level Value Category Economic Values as Percent Total

Market System

Nonmarket Accounting

Population

Fish and wildlife and other component values

100%

Ecosystem and global Hydrological values

Productivity values Waste assimilation values

Atmospheric values Life-support values

Source: Adapted from Odum, E. P. 1979a. Wetland Function and Values: The State of Our Understanding. P. E. Greeson, J. R. Clark, and J. E. Clark (eds.). American Water Resources Association, Minneapolis, MN.

Jaworski for the Great Lakes wetlands described earlier (Table 8.2). Higher level values, at the ecosystem and global levels, are not accounted for by the market system and thus are largely considered to be free by humans. These values can be considered to be free as long as humans do not drain the system. However, when the drain on the systems becomes too great, the values must be accounted for and managed, or there is a threat of collapse due to overuse.

This problem of valuation is well known as are other criticisms of classical economics. Particularly interesting discussions are given by ecologists who provide a fresh perspective on these problems (Farnworth et al., 1981; Hall, 1990; Hall et al., 2001; Maxwell and Costanza, 1989; E. P. Odum, 1979a). Economists have attempted to deal with the problems in various ways. To some extent these are termed "market imperfections," which occur because people have incomplete knowledge of the basis of true value when making decisions. Various concepts have been developed to deal with these "imperfections," such as externalities for common property resources and shadow prices for adjusting values derived from the market. Whole subdisciplines have evolved with environmental economics dealing with the use of the environment as a sink for waste products from the human economy and natural resource economics dealing with the use of natural resources as inputs into the human economy. The next section deals with new approaches for integrating ecology and economics more fully.

However, even though conventional economics has limitations, in terms of assessing the environment, it is useful. It does account for things that have markets, which allows for financial analyses, and it is still the language of decision makers, which gives it practical utility. Thus, conventional economics should not be abandoned but new ways of thinking are needed to improve its utility during times of growing environmental impacts and resource shortages. Public policy decisions are

Ecology Economics

Ecology Economics

(i.e., Those Between Humans Only

Without Humans) and the

Environment

FIGURE 8.4 Venn diagram showing the differences and similarities between the fields of ecology and economics.

(i.e., Those Between Humans Only

Without Humans) and the

Environment

FIGURE 8.4 Venn diagram showing the differences and similarities between the fields of ecology and economics.

determined by conventional economics for the most part and ecologists should at least develop "diplomatic relations" with economists (Roughgarden, 2001).

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