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You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. - Goethe

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Thanks again for taking us to such beautiful parts of Cornwall. The journey was really great with you.

- Rose Marie D, Germany

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My personal philosophy of walking

Economic value of nature: National Ecosystem Assessment

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The arrogance of mankind.

Two articles caught my eye this morning. The first was that Christiana Figueres of the UN has said that we should limit climate change to 1.5 degrees C. This has “shocked” certain developed nations who want it to remain at 2 degrees as it was agreed last year unilaterally at Cancun, Mexico. The second story involves putting a value on nature under the National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA).

This is an economic value that we are talking about as opposed to an impossibly calculable qualitative value. In other words a favourite tree is given a market value and is worth, say, £5, which makes it irrelevant that you or I loves its shape, that we watch the evolving seasonal change, which has and adds meaning to our life. Plus, and this is where a common value is impossible to endow, its existence, its beauty and importance in our lives is different to each and every one of us. It is a personal value that is qualitative and immeasurable.

When you read my blog you are accessing my valuation and my interpretation of the Cornish landscape. It can be argued that the more experience I have immersed in nature, the more understanding I have of natures rhythms and timescale and therefore possibly the more qualitative value I put to the importance of nature through my reflection and interpretation of nature. But I will do myself out of a job here by saying that each and every one of us has as valid an interpretation and viewpoint about our surroundings. All I do is engage more often with my natural surroundings to the point that it becomes vital to my outlook in life and is my touchstone for my creative output. I also spend less and less time in urban and consumerist territories, which shifts my focus on what life is about.

To put a monetary value on a tree or a cloud is giving a fixed common value to something that has evolved over eons and should be left to the individual, you and me whilst being historically the territory of artists, musicians, poets and writers.

Or you end up with “I wandered lonely as a £15 mass of water particles”.

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Can we really put a monetary value on each one?