“The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.” —Czech President Vaclav Klaus
I agree with him on one point: environmental concerns and “free market” ideals don’t mix. If we wait around for markets and businessmen to take a longterm concern for the earth and environment, we’ll be waiting until cows grow wings (or until they’re phased out in favor of genetic meat grown on plastic scaffolds). I think our friend Vaclav is vying for The Most Idiotic Remark of 2008 Award.
But the reverse is also true…without markets you don’t have the resources to improve the environment.
In other words, there are basically two economies that are good for the environment: 1. abysmal poverty, where a country cannot even afford heaters and production of energy 2. extremely market oriented.
Its the ones in the middle that produce the most waste. Take China, India, and other developing countries vs the more industrialized like US, Canada and Europe. And since you can’t support many of the people alive today with the abysmal poverty economic system, if you want to improve the environment pushing for a more market oriented system is your best bet. Carbon taxes and other ‘negative externalities’ taxes within a market system are the most proven methods to clean the environment. Luckily for us, they also happen to be the best ones for improving the standard of living and eliminating poverty.
I’m actually open to the idea of creating market incentives to make corporations (as well as flesh-and-blood persons) take responsibility for the longterm outcomes of their actions. And it’s true that technological innovation is the only way that billions of large mammals like ourselves can share the planet without ruining it. The issue then becomes how to make businesses responsible, and the answer seems to be government regulation and bureaucratic oversight–not the most popular buzzwords among those who see the unfettered market as panacea to all problems.
I agree – like almost all economists, including the more market enthusiast – that government has a central role to play in protecting the environment. My only disagreement is not with principle, but implementation. The governments method tends to be either grossly inefficient or grossly destructive.
Just to give one example – a cap and trade system or a universal carbon tax is far more efficient than, say, a ban on SUV’s, or regulation of gas mileage. Yet politicians continue to favor the latter over the former…when the efficiency argument argues the opposite.
What’s the problem with regulating gas mileage? This strikes me as the one simple measure that the U.S. government could take that would have an immediate effect, would be pretty much painless, and would greatly extend the time we have to transition to different fuels. It seems to me that such moves could be justified from a consideration of ownership of resources. It strikes me as wrongheaded to rapidly deplete fossil fuels while leaving it up to our children to rapidly find alternatives. In a sense, young children and the unborn next generation have a right to these fuels as well. We shouldn’t leave them in a situation more dire and pressing than our own. Choosing to not drive around in giant SUVs (that are little more than a status symbol) is the least we could do.
Remember, I didn’t say regulate gas mileage vs nothing….I said regulate gas mileage vs “a cap and trade system or a universal carbon tax”…in other words, why single out gas mileage? It seems to me that anything that “rapidly deplete fossil fuels” should be discouraged, no? Gas mileage regulations only punishes one segment of that very large community…and very inefficiently.
All gas mileage standards do is force car companies to lower the weight of the vehicle, thereby reducing safety, see here and here (more people die!). On the other hand, a gas tax or a cap and trade auction will discourage all methods of “rapidly depleting fossil fuels” equally. The “all” and the “equally” is the important part here.
An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had
been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me lunch due to the fact that I stumbled
upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for
spending time to discuss this matter here on your
I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website.
I really hope to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later
on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own site now 😉
I’m not sure why but this blog is loading extremely slow for
me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem
on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.
I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site?
Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 images.
Maybe you could space it out better?
I do trust all of the ideas you have introduced in your post.
They are very convincing and will certainly work.
Still, the posts are very short for novices. May you please lengthen them a little
from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.
3eayLe ydbonkpipkwk, [url=http://hrduwjnlhglu.com/]hrduwjnlhglu[/url], [link=http://liabichykszj.com/]liabichykszj[/link], http://alsuztxaaage.com/
I’ve read several just right stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for
revisiting. I surprise how so much effort you put to create one of these fantastic informative website.
Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the
same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to
work on. You have done a marvellous job!
Very good blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?
I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a
little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are
so many choices out there that I’m completely confused ..
Any tips? Thanks a lot!
This design is wicked! You obviously know how to
keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my
own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed
what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented
it. Too cool!
Your style is unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from.
Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark
Hello there, You have done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it
and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited
from this website.
I blog frequently and I truly thank you for your content.
This article has really peaked my interest.
I will bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week.
I subscribed to your RSS feed too.
This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of
your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!
I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the structure to your blog.
Is this a paid subject or did you customize
it your self? Either way stay up the excellent high quality writing, it
is uncommon to look a great blog like this one today..
Good blog you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours nowadays.
I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!
Mail (will not be published) (required)
Powered by WordPress and K2
Entries Feed and Comments Feed
30 queries. 0.683 seconds.