So, I suppose by your logic, if you were no longer a productive member of society, you would be worthless, whose only value would come from grinding your body into dog food? This is a ridiculous argument, because you're taking the "invisible hand" theory of capitalism to an all time extreme. The free market will NOT protect something because it's valuable. It will consume it. Ever heard of ivory? If the market were left to decide when a forest should be protected, it would only do so when ALMOST all the forests were harvested and gone. Then it would put on a big fat admission, so people could check out what a forest looked like, because conservation would be more economically viabe than deforestation at that point. It amazing that you're making the argument, "in order to save the trees, we must consume the trees." Would you make the same argument with dolphins? "Help save the dolphins everyone! Start eating them!" Value is NOT only measured in what can this raw material be turned into, so I can exchange money for the finished product (ex trees into paper). A forest serves humanity in many different ways, which we have completely taken for granted. Not only O2 production, but maintaining biodiversity, keeping the food web viable, reducing soil erosion, reducing runoff, providing people with natural experiences like camping (isn't that important too???), and yes commodities such as paper. The world is not black and white, and your overly simplistic and cynical view of how to measure the importance of something is very askew in my opinion. I'm certainly glad you're not in charge.