Nature with a price

Earlier this month, in my Social Structure and Globalization class, we watched the documentary called “Banking Nature”. This documentary explained how we have transformed nature into a victim of capitalism as well. Since we have increased our value for money, we have also put a price on nature, degrading its priceless value. We have priced nature by selling resources until it becomes limited or extinct. For example, logging companies are constantly seeking better quality wood, which is found in rainforests. Logging in rainforests is expensive, but the profits are high. Therefore, investing in rainforests has become a competition for logging companies. There have been increasing movements to reduce the effects of immense logging, so companies have negotiated with green policymakers by planting more trees. People are more satisfied by this effort to plant more trees for the many that are used. However, the companies plant trees that are non-native and inefficient for supporting the ecosystem, which is a cheaper option than replacing the high quality trees at a higher price. This creates an illusion of the green stamp many companies have. Another examples of an illusion is the land buying system. If a company opens a factory in a certain area, and after a few years, a particular animals or plant species is harmed and vulnerable because of the factory opening. The company can take the price of the current land, match it, and buy another piece of land with the same amount of money. This piece of land will remain empty, and consider itself as preserving the natural species in that area. While eradicating a particular community of animal or plant in one area, the company can earn a green stamp by just buying more land that is not used. These schemes of corporations considering themselves supportive of the environment keep people in the dark about the realities of investing in these corporations. The most shocking part are the immense loopholes that companies can take to avoid looking their profits, and earning an environmental sticker that can increase their profits. This documentary made me think that you cannot trust the product as a green product based on the stamp. You must research the company’s history and production methods before trusting an investment. Nature is a precious gem that has been corrupted by our greed for money and materials. Individual actions, leading to community reactions can help get rid of the price tag on nature.

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3 comments

  1. jlynn4 · April 21, 2016

    Wow that sounds like a really great documentary, I think I will check that out. It is unfortunate that all of that is true, but it makes sense because the only thing people care about it making money. It is sad that people would lie or go through loop holes to say they are helping the environment, when really they are only looking out for their interests. People think they own the earth and they can do whatever they want to it. To me that is like owning another human being because the earth is one large living thing that only works when all of the ecosystems are in balance with each other. but here people are plowing down huge parts of it and eradicating precious species of animals. I just don’t know how people sleep at night. This is literally our home, the only place we have to live, yet people continue to destroy it little by little each day. That’s like someone breaking down the walls of their own house piece by piece while they are still inside until it comes crashing down on them; the house will be gone and it will take them with it.

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  2. xiaoxiazzzzz · April 25, 2016

    I really like you straight forward pointing out how greedy we are on money. Without your blog post, I wouldn’t know that companies are trying to get some other green plants as alternatives to remain the “green” label. It is interesting to hear about they choose other non-native plants are not so good as the one supposed to be there. And there is a huge negative impact from the non-native species living in somewhere they don’t belong. The plants are not able to work efficient for the environment and it is harmful to native animals because the environment has been changed. To businessmen, maximizing the profits as large as possible is something they are seeking for. However, it might be better with not cutting off all the trees in rainforest. It could be better if they are able to make a plan and contract a form telling themselves cutting down a certain number and keep the grow healthy. It is like similar principles of fishing. Only fishing the qualified fish, that are big enough and certain numbers per year.

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  3. rogerwleblanc · May 2, 2016

    Sonam, thanks for sharing this post. Very true that we need to be very careful with environmental certifications to ensure the companies are doing what they are saying and not just greenwashing. I will have to watch this documentary – it sounds awesome!

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