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Facts At Your Fingertips

Free Market Environmentalism
Tragedy of the Commons

Many environmental problems result from the tragedy of the commons. The tragedy is that unlimited access to the use of resources—forests, rivers, or air—have an effect on others. Deforestation in the Amazon, for example, occurs because there are no limits on who can cut trees.

Free Market Environmentalism

Another way to achieve our environmental goals is free market environmentalism.

Environmental Stewarship

Free market environmentalism uses market incentives to promote environmental stewardship. Owners of trees don’t overharvest; owners of land don’t overgraze.

Partnership Between The Government and Markets

Free market environmentalism does not mean that government has no role. Indeed, by helping to define and enforce property rights, the government encourages markets and makes the environment an asset to be conserved.