Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The market saves the environment

The Economist's cover story this week is outstanding. If the significant energy expended in defense of the environment was channelled in a more rational and market-oriented (i.e. efficient and effective) manner we would all be better off - especially the environment itself.
I have never been able to abide people who wrinkle their nose at cost-benefit analysis: it denotes a refusal to deal with the realities that face us. Resources are finite and decisions must be taken as to what is the best way to employ them. Cost-benefit analysis, as a tool of a (lightly regulated) market mechanism, has been shown time and again to be the ideal way of reaching these decisions. It may be inelegant to assign a value to something priceless, but refusing to do so reduces us to a childish insistence for something that we ourselves are aware cannot be.

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