Thursday, March 24, 2016

Putting a price tag on nature

A former student wrote today to make sure I'd seen this article about pricing nature from the Washington Post. Thanks! It's good, and an impressive feat for the economists involved. On the one hand, it may seem repugnant or silly to try to put a price tag on such resources (Ok, a river is worth $29 million? I'll take four, please.) The reality, though, is that cost-benefit analysis is happening all the time, whether it's overt or not. If a piece of land is zoned for development, the natural environment nearby is going to suffer a downgrade, and if we don't take that into account, then our analysis will be incomplete.

So how can we do a better job? Take a look at the article and find out! :)

Monday, March 7, 2016

From the ridiculous to the sublime

The TV show Portlandia had an episode in which the central characters learned all about the chicken they were served, and Wegman's and Whole Foods wanted to tell their customers almost as much about the origin of their food. So, a few technological upgrades and a few cooperating seafood distributors later, they finally can. Interesting article summing up the development in the Sun- take a look. The article includes quotes from Steve Vilnit, who used to work for the State helping chefs learn about local seafood, among other things....