STREAM
IQ2 Debate

DATE & TIME
21 JULY 2015

LOCATION
CITY RECITAL HALL

Is it wrong to put a price on nature?

Pragmatists argue the only way to save our planet is to put a dollar value on it. But is that just giving in to moral degradation?

Without the promise of fame or money, saving the planet is moving down the ranks of humanity’s growing to-do list. Some argue the only way to bump it up is to put a dollar value on the ‘services’ it provides. Wetlands control floods. Trees store carbon. Waves are good fun. If money talks, the planet’s natural capital – $125 trillion a year – says quite a bit.

But can it be justified? And is subjecting nature to market forces too risky? Traditional conservation methods ain’t broke, with success stories in Australia, the US and Germany. Moreover, what is the impact of a natural disaster? Nature isn’t always interested in giving us happy fun times. Would the ecosystems that house bushfires and floods become worthless?

Here what the expects had to say as they took to the IQ2 stage to debate the motion ‘We Should Price Nature to Protect It’ in July 2015. 

Catch up

Interested in hearing what both sides had to say? You can watch the complete debate on demand, just hit play below.

Photo gallery

Check out the moments captured by our photographers at the live debate. Click to expand or drag the cursor over the images to scroll through the entire gallery.

Speakers

Cullen Gunn

is the Founder and CEO of Kilter Rural, a business that builds long-term, sustainable investments in Australian agriculture, water and ecosystem resources. He has over 20 years experience in farmland and water management. 

Penelope Figgis

is a leading conservationist. She was appointed both a Member and Officer of the Order of Australia (AM and AO) for her contributions to environmental policy and protection. Penelope is the Vice Chair for Oceania with the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.

Larissa Waters

is former Co-Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens she was Queensland’s first Greens Senator. Formerly environmental lawyer for eight years, Larissa was the Australian Greens’ spokesperson on the Environment and Biodiversity, Women, Resources, Mining and Coal Seam Gas.

Mary Graham

is an Aboriginal elder, philosopher, and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland. She is the Co-Founder of BlackCard, an educational organisation where elders teach Aboriginal philosophies and worldviews.

Richard Dennis

is an economist and Executive Director of the Australia Institute. Previously Chief of Staff to former Democrats leader Natasha Stott Despoja and Strategy Adviser to former Greens leader Bob Brown. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the the ANU.

Geoff Cousins

is a businessman, former Howard government adviser and conservationist. He is chairman of the Australian Conservation Society. A highly successful adman turned eco warrior he is outspoken and influential on environmental issues.

Who is it for?


  • THE ACTIVIST
  • THE IDEALIST
  • THE PRAGMATIST

What you'll take away


  • 01‘AHA!’ MOMENTS A-PLENTY
  • 02AN INSIGHT INTO YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH NATURE
  • 03THE LIMITS OF CONSUMERISM

Things to think about


Ethics Explainer: Ownership

Ethics Explainer: Naturalistic Fallacy