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Imagine waking up on the sterile landscape of the moon. What would you need in order to make life possible and enjoyable? According to Gretchen Cara Daily, Director of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University, this is the kind of question you’d need to answer in order to begin understanding the value—both intrinsic and monetary—of nature. If it weren’t for wasps, we probably wouldn’t have wine; if it weren’t for the bees in tropical rainforests, we probably wouldn’t have coffee; if it weren’t for birds and bats, our crops would be destroyed; if it weren’t for forests and wetlands, we wouldn’t have safe drinking water.

Not only is it crucial for people to start appreciating these connections, but it’s crucial that these connections are quantified and factored into the decision-making practices concerning the management of natural resources, the allocation of funds, and the creation of new policies.

On today’s podcast, Dr. Daily discusses all of this and more, including the global initiative called the Natural Capital Project, which is aimed at illuminating these connections, demonstrating the importance of environmental science, making the causes of environmental problems better understood, and emphasizing a path toward harmony between nature and humanity.

On today’s podcast, you will learn:

· What efforts are being made to mitigate the deleterious effects of city-dwelling that’s void of natural green spaces

· What types of changes are occurring in China, where some of the most devastating impacts of environmental degradation are occurring

· How satellite images can indicate the economic status of a geographic region

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