The article gives insight to the concept of discounting and its feasibility. It discusses whether or not it is beneficial. Discounting is simply reducing a price of a current commodity on grounds that it could be increasingly beneficial in the future. It is done by comparing the values of a commodity in the present time to its value at a future date. What I find amusing is the regulations’ assurance that the future generations will appreciate the benefits we wish them to have. Scarcity is the sure way of evoking appreciation. Future generations, therefore, cannot share same sentimental value we currently place on our environment. Cynicism is evident from a non-economist’s point of view as it places little value in future benefits thus raising the question, are we helping them? Consequently, the improvement policies on the environment may not necessarily benefit the future generations because they may have different opinions on the value of land.
I agree with the first correspondent who insists that there should be higher taxes in natural resources than on the finished products. This ensures that miners, for example, do intensive research on the exact excavation area thereby minimizing the area of land to be used. Previously, they would find a general area and just excavate without regard to the environment. Conservation measures are thus extremely effective.
In response to the second correspondent, I also agree with the fact that there is insight on the concept of discounting. However, it is difficult to ascertain the level of relevance between the environment and the concept of discounting. This is because the methodology used to place value on the environment is a controversial one. Travel costs, for instance, should not be the basis for valuing an environment but the scenery. Appreciation of the scenery can be termed as more valuable than the compensation of cost to get there by the other party.