Dollar valuing of extinction-threatened species?

In the September 17 issue of New Yorker, Ben Taub’s sparkling article “Ideas in the sky” profiles Jonathan Ledgard, a modern iconoclast and journo (and novelist!) who conceives hairy, wild ideas that he then evangelicizes. I commend the article.

But here’s my favorite Ledgard idea: Project Linnaeus seeks to have people put a financial valuation, via corporate mediation, on specific species approaching extinction. Ledgard:

I don’t want to get to 2050, when Elon Musk and his libertarian chums are eating dog food on Mars, and then for them to look back on Earth and see that we’ve lost fifty per cent of our life-forms. There’s a significant minority—or maybe a majority—of human beings who are biophiliac. They like living things. And that hasn’t been priced correctly.

I’m a corporate child. What an intriguing, if hapless, idea!