Based on either written or oral interviews with a dozen prominent environmental writers, What's Nature Worth? explores how the art of storytelling might bring new perspectives and insights to economic and policy discussions regarding the "value" of nature and the environment. The diverse points of view explored, and the writers' insistence on careful interpretation, demonstrate that environmental values are complex, rich, and deeply felt – far more so than mainstream economic methodology would have us believe. There is general consensus among the contributors that the narrative form allows for an exploration of the richness of what it means to "value" nature without being preachy or didactic. Following interviews with the twelve authors, examples of their work demonstrate how indirect expressions of value, in the words of Allison Hawthorne Deming, have an "emotional hue" that can replenish the energy depleted by the coldness of cost-benefit arguments.
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Terre Satterfield is assistant professor of culture, risk, and the environment at the University of British Columbia and formerly a research scientist with Decision Research in Eugene, Oregon. She is the author of The Anatomy of a Conflict: Identity, Knowledge, and Emotion in Old Growth Forests. She lives in Vancouver.
Scott Slovic is professor of literature and environment at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is the author of Seeking Awareness in American Nature Writing (University of Utah Press, 1992).