A Blog Around The Clock

Will the rich save the planet?

Save the planet? Buy it:

Millionaires are purchasing entire ecosystems around the world and turning them into conservation areas. Their goal? To stop environmental catastrophe.

But will they know how to do it well? Will they inject some of their own incorrect ideas into their projects? Who will they listen to when designing these? Will their kids continue?


  1. #1 Paul Murray
    August 19, 2008

    Bet they’ll put fences around them. Catastrophic for things that migrate.

    Come to that – how the heck are they going to enforce their property rights? What happens when the corrupt local governments decide to look the other way when the local strongman starts burning them down and planting cocaine?

  2. #2 Coturnix
    August 19, 2008

    Excellent points!

  3. #3 gwangung
    August 19, 2008

    Um, being rich doesn’t mean you’re dumb or ignorant of ecology. Or of local politics.

  4. #4 Coturnix
    August 19, 2008

    Does not mean it, but also does not mean the reverse either. Many will not be ecologists themselves, but will pay the services of ecological advisors. The well-meaning rich can be quirky and ‘hire’ quack ecologists thinking they are the Real Deal.

  5. #5 Bill Kanapaux
    August 19, 2008

    As long as it doesn’t replace other efforts to conserve and preserve habitats and ecosystem functions, it’s a good thing. At best it’s a patchwork approach that isn’t really capable of addressing issues of scale.

    A large chunk of one of my favorite estuaries, the ACE Basin in South Carolina, is privately owned. Ted Turner and other wealthy folk work with the Nature Conservancy and SC conservation easement laws to protect an area that otherwise would be over-run by development.

    It’s not ideal, since the public has no access to the privately owned areas, but it enhances the value of the state lands there and helps protect the lower half of that watershed.

  6. #6 natural cynic
    August 19, 2008

    … and then fly in their private jets to check out their good works.

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