The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 40%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 93%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $5.36   
  • Used (18) from $1.99   


Earth's ecosystems -- forests, wetlands, coral reefs, and the like -- are among humanity's most precious assets, offering such vital services as climate stabilization and water purification. So why are they being rapidly destroyed? Philanthropy and government regulations alone simply aren't up to the task of rescuing nature, the authors argue. Environmentally minded innovators are therefore trying to harness a more potent force -- self-interest -- to preserve our life-support systems. Theirs is the quest portrayed in The New Economy of Nature.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Environmentalists are often stereotyped as unrealistic idealists who make impossible demands on society, especially when financial issues are involved. But there is a group of environmentalists at the forefront of an innovative approach that uses capitalism as a tool for conservation. This "new economy of nature" integrates the ecosystem services -- carbon storage, water purification, genetic diversity, and many others that have been considered "free" -- into the world of business.

When the quality of New York City's water supply was threatened some years back, two choices presented themselves: building an expensive new water treatment plant or protecting the watershed. Cost analysis actually showed watershed protection to be the more financially attractive alternative. In this case the city compensated the communities of upstate New York for taking the necessary measures, such as building new storm sewers, that would allow the watershed to continue providing healthful drinking water for downstate city dwellers.

Other entrepreneurs want to go straight to the heart of the beast by selling carbon credits on the stock market. Although the success of this particular venture depends on governmental legislation to guarantee the value of the credits, carbon credits would give a real-time dollar value to living forests -- which store carbon in their trunks -- to counter their value as timber. Companies that burn carbon would buy credits as an offset to governmental caps. One danger would be the growing of monoculture tree farms as carbon sinks. To offset this, biodiversity credits are being developed alongside the carbon credits to give additional value to native habitat.

The authors, a scientist and a journalist, bring a sense of realistic optimism to these early efforts. Despite some setbacks, the new economy of nature holds a promise for the future -- one where all the intangible reasons for saving nature blend with the tangible -- so that nature will not have to rely on charity. (Laura Wood)

Laura Wood is the Barnes & Science & Nature editor.

From The Critics
Accepting that the rich now hold the environment hostage, and will only allow it to be saved if we make it worth their while, Daily (interdisciplinary science, Stanford U.) and journalist Ellison explain ways to reconstruct the natural world into goods and services, determine market values for each, and make sure everyone pays their share. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559631549
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Wealth of Nature 1
Chapter 1 Katoomba and the Stratosphere 19
Chapter 2 How to Make Carbon Charismatic 35
Chapter 3 New York: How to Put a Watershed to Work 61
Chapter 4 Napa, California: How a Town Can Live with a River and Not Get Soaked 87
Chapter 5 Vancouver Island: Project Snark 109
Chapter 6 King County, Washington: The Art of the Deal 125
Chapter 7 Down Under: How to Make a Numbat Turn a Profit 141
Chapter 8 Costa Rica: Paying Mother Nature to Multitask 165
Chapter 9 Teresopolis: The Spinning Motor 189
Chapter 10 The Birds, the Bees, and the Biodiversity Crisis 205
Epilogue: The Revolution in the Wings 221
Acknowledgments 235
Further Reading 243
Index 249
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)