A Better Way to Preserve the Environment
Published: June 13, 2017
Many people believe government rules and regulations are the only way to protect the environment. But there are important benefits that properly structured market forces can bring to environmental policy. When the government and markets work together, it leads to effective solutions for sustainability.
- Can the government or markets work alone to create solutions for sustainability?
- What happens when property rights aren’t well defined in environmental policy?
- What can the government do to maintain the private sector’s interest in conserving what the public values?
- For more, read Free Market Environmentalism for the Next Generation by Terry Anderson and Donald Leal. Their book provides a vision for environmentalism's future, based on the success of environmental entrepreneurs around the world.
- In "Greener than Thou: Are You Really An Environmentalist?" by Terry Anderson and Laura Huggins, the authors make a powerful argument for free market environmentalism as they break down liberal and conservative stereotypes of what it means to be an environmentalist.
- Terry Anderson explains the reasoning behind the production of his book, "Free Market Environmentalism for The Next Generation."
- In "Join the Green Tea Party," Terry Anderson explains the Green Tea Party and its policies to help lift the economy and the environment out of a regulatory chaos.
- In “We’re all environmentalists now,” Terry Anderson is interviewed in the Epoch Times.
Many people believe government rules and regulations are the only way to protect the environment.
But there are important benefits that properly structured market forces can bring to environmental policy. When the government and markets work together, it leads to effective solutions for sustainability.
For example, regulators once reduced the fishing season down to just six days in British Columbia, to protect their dwindling stock of halibut.
In response, fishermen invested in larger boats and overfished. The short season meant most fish sold on the market were frozen, not fresh.
After this failure, the government tried a different approach. It set a total allowable catch for the year and established a market for the right to fish.
It distributed those rights to fishermen, who could buy and sell them to anyone. And the season was increased to over 200 days, allowing them to fish when conditions were both safe and profitable.
By using market forces to make it in the fishermen's interest to have a healthy and sustainable population of fish, overfishing fell dramatically. And the next season, over ninety percent of halibut on the market was fresh.
The most effective environmental policies motivate the private sector to conserve what the public values.