Zhu Zhu Zoom; Valuing complex environmental systems
Valuations in Vogue
How much is that coral reef? Commissioned by the G8 and the UN, a clutch of scientists, economists and policymakers have calculated the value of complex environmental systems in The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) . According to this report, the ongoing annual loss of forests is $2–5 trillion (that’s more than the banking crisis), and establishing marine reserves at the cost of $40-50 billion per year would result in benefits worth $4-5 trillion. And, mangroves in Vietnam save $7 million of annual expenditure on dike maintenance. Investments in agriculture and conservation offer returns of $60 for every dollar invested. With values like that, it’s well worth hugging everything, except perhaps that tipping tree.
Pramila N. Phatarphekar
Zhu Zhu Zoom
They don’t poop, or stink. They don’t even die, and they’re being sold to children in the US as their best and cheapest friends for life. Welcome to the world of Zhu Zhu pets or battery-operated robotic rodents that have become the hottest selling Christmas presents this year. Cepia, the US toymaker that makes them, expects sales worth $100 million during the festive season. These small furry creatures, billed as the best alternative to real live hamsters, come with a recession-friendly price tag of $6.99 and can coo and purr, and even squeak with contentment when petted on the nose. Who says innovation is dead in the US?