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We Saw a Fox by Tiffany Lynch

Tiffany Lynch’s work is on show at the Ghosts of Gone Birds exhibition, ONCA Gallery, Brighton

How then to deal with these problems? Clearly we cannot persist in upholding a system in which profit and ecology are opposed. Can we fix the concept of ecosystem services? One approach would be to take it even further. We’ve monetised carbon sequestration, but left out biodiversity. We’ve monetised watershed filtration ‘services’ but left out the displacement effects on neighbouring land. Maybe, some day, our accounting of ecosystem services will be complete, so that we can rely on financial motives to preserve and heal the biosphere. But I am not so optimistic. We can only measure what we can see, so anything outside our cultural blinders will escape our accounting. Moreover, we unwittingly import our invisible biases into our choice of what to measure and how to measure it. And these biases will tend to perpetuate the social systems that privilege and validate the people creating the metrics, and rebound to the financial interest of the institutions and systems that embed them. What is visible to us in the civilised world? Tonnes of CO 2 . Hectares of forest cover. Concentrations of ground-level ozone. Acidity of oceans. Numbers of species. In the service of these, measurable, things, we are willing to sacrifice what

Issue 276

Resurgence & Ecologist


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