Free Market Environmentalism by Terry L. Anderson and Donald R. Leal
What would happen if Walt Disney took over the management of the Grand Canyon? Far from a horror show, the result might be better for those seriously concerned with preserving that natural treasure. "Free market environmentalism emphasizes the importance of market processes in getting more human value from any given stock of resources." On the whole, argue Anderson and Leal of the Political Economy Research Center, markets and property rights make far better protectors of the environment than government regulation. They muster example after example of how an attention to the rationality of the market and respect for property rights would have produced a far better result (e.g., fishery preservation) than government policies generated by political pressure groups, ideological rigidity, or regulatory inertia. In this subtly argued work, environmental policies ranging from recycling to international agreements come under enlightened scrutiny.
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This article appeared in the Winter 2002 issue of the Claremont Review of Books