Monday, October 24, 2011

Green Conservatism

Here's an interesting article pointed to me by a friend: it's about the overlaps between environmentalism and conservatism. I like parts of it, but other parts are curious.

  • They rightly note that the market solution to pollution isn't to try to pick winners, a process that failed with Solyndra. However, the second half of that equation is that the "right" answer according to these criteria is to impose a carbon tax, since incentives matter and the goal of decreasing pollution is more important than the means we use to get there.
  • The EPA is over-funded? Hm. No doubt some portions of that bureaucracy could be streamlined, but this article says that their worst work has benefit to cost ratios of 10:1. (h/t Environmental Economics) Sounds like these two commentators need to have a powwow. I'm sure both agree that in the end what matters most is growth in the economy- nothing's better for the environment than a recession. What matters second most is the private sector's implementation of better technology, and that's usually encouraged via... taxes and/ or subsidies. Could there be a theme here?
  • I fully support the conservatives on the costs of water and tradable fishing shares. People should face the true costs of their actions and should benefit when they do the right thing, like cutting back on fishing.
  • On air quality, this conservative site supports cap and trade. I don't know why more people don't.
It's always seemed clear to me that someone "conservative" should be for "conservation." Am I wrong?

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